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Enabling language help: epistemic maneuvering in extended information request sequences between EFL teachers

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher Leyland


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Recent years have seen an upsurge in interest in epistemics/knowledge in interaction (e.g. Heritage, 2012a, 2012b; Stivers, Mondada & Steensig, 2011). Insights from such research are now being used by Second Language Acquisition (SLA) researchers yielding valuable insights into teacher-student interaction (e.g. Sert, 2013) and student-student interaction (e.g. Jakonen & Morton, 2013). The current study, however, tracks how teachers use other teachers as language learning resources. Conversation Analysis (CA) is used to examine English language learning sequences in Japanese high school staffrooms between English L1 and L2 speaker teachers, namely JET Programme Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) and Japanese teachers of English (JTEs). This study reveals that the relationship between the information request and subsequent provision of help is not a straightforward one. Information requests in this study are particularly lengthy multi-turn collaborative processes that see the use of various interactional tools used and careful epistemic manoeuvring to equip the prospective helper with the knowledge necessary to provide help. This process ends when the recipient is able to provide the necessary information - with a ‘penny-drop moment’ frequently given. This study contributes to a deeper understanding of epistemics in SLA, and adds a layer of complexity to our understanding of epistemics in interaction.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Leyland C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Novitas-ROYAL (Research on Youth and Language)

Year: 2014

Volume: 8

Issue: 2

Pages: 136-152

Online publication date: 01/10/2014

ISSN (electronic): 1307-4733

Publisher: Hacettepe Universitesi * Egitim Dergisi



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