Layered Contexts

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Sarah Creider


This brief essay focuses on a single turn in an interchange between an adult educator (Anna), and a five-year old girl (Claire), who are playing math games together. Using multiple layers of contextual information, the paper shows how much interactional work can be involved in teacher talk, even in an informal setting. First, conversation analysis (CA) is used to analyze the turn in question, as well as its sequential context. Next, data from a participant interview is described within the context of Goffman‟s (1974) theories of frames and footing. Thus, four layers of context—turn, sequence, participant interview, and frames—work together to help describe this pedagogical interaction.

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