Microanalyzing Discourse in the Second and Foreign Language Classrooms: A Review of the Literature

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Catherine Box


Classroom interaction has long been a rich site for scholarly research, as attested by the sizable body of literature surrounding classroom discourse. This paper reviews three frameworks currently informing the analysis of classroom talk, or more specifically, the qualitative microanalysis of the turn-by-turn talk that occurs in naturally-occurring unfolding exchanges between teachers and students, and amongst students themselves. Findings from studies working within (1) language socialization, (2) critical discourse analysis, and (3) conversation analysis are explored, with particular attention paid to the ways in which these frameworks complement and complicate one another. The paper also attempts to identify areas of classroom discourse that have yet to be fully explored, and highlights the need for further research along those lines.

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