The joint construction of meaning in writing conferences

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Using an analytical framework that combines insights from a variety of previous studies, the current paper aims to contribute to the description of the joint construction of meaning in pedagogical discourse, in particular in one-on-one teacher-student interaction in writing conferences in a Japanese-as-a-foreign language (JFL) class. The argument is made that it is not the formal properties of the interaction, such as the use of triadic dialogue or the types of questions that teachers ask, that in themselves determine the pedagogical effectiveness of the interaction, but the way in which they are used to achieve particular instructional purposes in a specific setting. The findings indicated that the conferences were characterized by a back and forth movement between dialogic and monologic instructional sequences (Nystrand 1997). The teacher under study made flexible use of triadic dialogue, evident in the manner of exchange initiation and the options selected in follow-up moves, in order to achieve particular pedagogical goals in the moment. The patterns of discourse that occurred varied according to: the students' self-selected revision goals, which were related to their level of target language proficiency; the choice of discourse topic; and the teacher's underlying pedagogical goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-219+288
JournalApplied Linguistics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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