Socialization of Appropriate Classroom Behavior: A Micro-Longitudinal Conversation Analytic Account

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Sean Hughes


According to Garfinkel and Sacks (1970), linguistic development is a fundamental tool by which children become competent members of society. While socialization in the home is key to children’s acquisition of cultural norms, school is another important setting in which children are socialized into their cultural environment (Schieffelin & Ochs, 1986). In this paper, I employ conversation analysis (CA) to examine how young children are socialized towards appropriate classroom behavior by a teacher’s upgraded use of directives, embodied directives, and finally, metacommentary. Specifically, this study focuses on the strategy one teacher uses within the span of a single class to get a misbehaving student to physically move back to her partner during group work.

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