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Investigating Classroom Talk

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Lauren McGroder

on 14 April 2013

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Transcript of Investigating Classroom Talk

Investigating Classroom Talk What is classroom talk? Our Goals Today Are: How Will We Do This? We're going to start by asking the question: 1. To gain a sense of what classroom talk is It’s features and the situations in which it is used.

2. To develop a vocabulary of ‘talk terminology.’

3. To understand the effect of language in the classroom on students.

4. To identify why classroom dialogue is important. 1. Styles of Classroom Talk

2. Functions of Classroom Talk

3. Five Nations Study

4. What does this mean for students?

5. What does classroom talk look like day to day? Danielle Huang, Dimitris Tomaras &
Lauren McGroder Dictionary of Classroom Talk Dialogic Teaching: A pedagogy that harnesses the power of talk to stimulate and extend students' thinking and advance their learning and understanding.

Wait Time: The pause between a question being posed and it being answered.

IRE: Initiation, Response, Evaluation. The regular 3 part exhange involved in classroom dialogue.

Pre- and Post-Framing - Connnecting the lesson to the overall goal of the program, or to past lessons.

Moves>Turns>Exchanges>Phases>Lessons>Units - Stages in which interaction occurs.

Propositions and Procedures - 'What' and 'how'?

Feedback: Affirming or correcting responses. This should be immediate. Classroom Talk vs. Everyday Talk Why is classroom talk important?
How can it improve learning? Styles of Classroom Instruction Research has identified five broad methods of classroom interaction:

Rote: Facts and ideas are repetitively drilled.

Recitation: Questioning designed to stimulate recall.

Instruction/Exposition: Imparting information explaining facts, principles and procedures.

Discussion: An exchange of ideas with a view to share information and solve problems.

Dialogic Teaching: "Achieving common understanding through structured, cumulative questioning and discussion which guide, prompt, reduce choices, minimize risk and error and facilitate the internalizing by students of concepts and principles." (Alexander, 2005)

* The latter two methods were less frequently encountered in worldwide studies of classroom dialogue. Communication in the Classroom Dialogue is evident on a much larger scale in the classroom when non-verbal communication is considered. Functions of Classroom Talk Content Talk: This talk focuses on what is being learned. When a student or teacher discusses an idea or concept, or when someone explains or elaborates a new aspect of knowledge, content talk occurs. Usually, this dialogue relates in an obvious way to the curriculum although deviations from the topic are not uncommon.

"You can see in the textbook there are a number of reasons for the decline of the Roman Empire.

Procedural Talk: An administrative talk needed to accomplish tasks in the classroom. A strictly scheduled crowded environment needs procedural instruction to function effectively.

"You'll need to rule a margin in your workbook for this."

Control Talk: Is a form of discipline that prevents or stops bad behavior. This kind of talk is most often used by the teacher but students also use it towards other students.

"The noise level is too high, you need to be working silently." Robin Alexander is a researcher at the forefront of dialogic teaching. His interpretation of dialogic teaching has been developed since the early 2000's. Alexander has formed a list of requirements for dialogic teaching:
Discussions and Argumentation
Professional Engagement with Subject Matter
Classroom Organisation, Climate and Relationships

Alexander's Five Nation Study forms the framework for our first activity. Robin Alexander Five Nations Study Now we have a sense of how

different types of classroom

dialogue are appropriate for

different situations, let's

have a look at how this affects

your students. Research Shows: Using methods such as discussion and dialogic teaching to increase the amount of student talk allows individuals to:

*express an opinion
*build up confidence
*improve their communication skill
*move the student's thinking from their own conception towards well-formed
*mature ways of thinking, understanding and talking about ideas and issues

(Alexander 2005) Let's Look Further... It is clear that classroom talk is a highly complex issue that is difficult to monitor on a large scale, even on a day to day basis in your classroom.

So let’s take a closer look at how classroom talk
looks in an everyday classroom situation.

By analsying a transcript you can identify the multiple elements at work in short exchanges. In Summary: 1. Classroom dialogue is very distinct from other communication styles, It serves a particular purpose.

2. Classroom instruction comes in many forms, appropriate for different contexts.

3.Classroom communication is verbal, non-verbal and unintended, at the same time.

4.Classroom dialogue serves three functions, to impart content, instruct procedures and control.

5. Dialogic teaching is most successful when it is collective, reciprocal, supportive, cumulative and purposeful.

6. Dialogue has the power to affect children's learning in vast and numerous ways.
We considered what classroom talk is at the

beginning of the presentation, and

throughout we looked at its structure and

what it looks like.

To be able to use it effectively in your

classroom, we need to consider: USA-Instruction/Exposition France-Discussion Russia-Dialogue England-Recitation India-Rote Alexander, R. Culture, dialogue and learning: notes on an emerging pedagogy, speech delivered July,2005, University of Durham, United Kingdom, p. 12 Classroom Talk Everyday Talk 1. Does not follow a logical order

2. Often has to make quick abrupt transitions

3. Unspecified expectations influence the dialogue

But most importantly:

Aims to reach an outcome. 1. Generally follows a logical order

2. Speech is often much more relaxed and lacks specialist terminology

3.Lacks many of the interruptions classrooms produce

4. Is often not designed for a specific result. Seifert, K., & Sutton, R., (2011). Educational Psychology (3nd Edition), pp. 154-155 Issue: What is the implication of these styles used at once in the classroom? Robin Alexander,2013,Dialogic Teaching, retrieved 11/04/2013, http://www.robinalexander.org.uk/index.php/dialogic-teaching/ Classroom Teaching where teachers and children both make substantial and significant contributions through which children's thinking on particular ideas and or themes is moved forward (Mercer & Littleton, 2007) Scott, C. (2009) Talking to Learn: Dialogue in the classroom. The Digest, NSWIT, p.1 Non-Verbal Communication Verbal Communication Unintended Communication A message expressed in words orally or in writing. It can involve:

Relating content to prior knowledge
Elaborating new information
Organizing new information
Discussing procedures
Announcing transitions Gestures and behaviours often reenforce or contradict information conveyed in the classroom. It can involve:

Eye contact
Wait Time
Social Distance "Unintended communications are the excess meanings of utterances." Teachers are often unaware of various meanings students take from their communication. This is influenced by each students 'luggage'. Seifert, K., & Sutton, R., (2011). Educational Psychology (3nd Edition), p. 156 Seifert, K., & Sutton, R., (2011). Educational Psychology (3nd Edition), pp. 156-160 * Collective - teachers address learning task with students
* Reciprocal - all members of dialogue listen and share each other's ideas, with concern of alternative viewpoints at the same time
* Supportive - pupils are allowed to express opinion freely and under the environment of respect and without fear of saying the 'wrong answer
* Cumulative - all members of dialogue build on answers and comments and link all to form a chain of coherent thinking and understanding
* Purposeful - dialogue planned to reach a specific learning goal

Alexander's Five Nation Study forms the framework for our first activity. Dialogic Teaching Principles
Alexander,R. 2011. Dialogic Teaching Essentials, University of Cambrige, UK Sources of Evidence Research in five areas has proven the importance of classroom dialogue:

Neuroscientific: Brain research has suggested talking physically shapes the brain in the early years of life.

Pscyhological: The extent of a child's cognitice development depends significantly on language they encounter.

Social and Cultural: Talking is the most basic tool for relationship forming and nurturing.

Political:Interactive skills necessary for talking are also necessary for functioning in a democratic society.

Communicative:Talk differentiates between private, domestic relationships and formal public transactions. ouiuu Some Quotes to Think About: "Collective, supportive and genuinely reciprocal; it uses carefully structured extended exchanges to build understanding through cumulation; and throughout, children's own words, ideas, speculations and arguments feature much more prominently. Human Intelligence is primarly developed through speaking and listening. The quality of our lives depends on the quality of our thinking and our ability to communicate and discuss what we think with others. Talk is intrinsic to literacy and our ability to form relationships with others. It is the foundation of both verbal and emotional intelligence. Effective talk for learning did not just happen. The collaborative research strand showed that the clarity of task setting (e.g., that the students knew what kinds of talk were required) and appropriate selection of topic (so that it had relevance to students and they had knowledge to bring to the task) had an impact on students' learning. Language is not merely a tool for describing what one already knows. It is a pervasive process through which we learn about our world and develop our creative and problem solving skills. Robin Alexander (2005) p.1 Sourced from Scott, C. (2009) Talking to Learn: Dialogue in the classroom. The Digest, NSWIT Fisher (2007) p. 3 Cormack et al., (1998) p. 3 Smith (2001) p.3 Studies have found that in many classrooms, teachers do most of the talking and students do not have the opportunity to officially engage in talk that lasts more than a few seconds.

Open questions made up 10% of the exchanges
15% of the sample did not ask any questions
Probing occurred in 11% of questioning exchanges
Answers lasted an average of 5 seconds
70 of the time answers were limited to 3 words or fewer Seifert, K., & Sutton, R., (2011). Educational Psychology (3rd Edition) Versions of Teaching Styles of Classroom Instruction are used depending on preferred versions of teaching: Teaching as Transmission: Education is viewed as a process of instructing children to absorb, replicate and apply information skills.
Teaching as Initiation: Education is viewed as a means of providing access to and passing information from one generation to the next.
Teaching as Negotiation: Views teachers and students knowledge as jointly created, and does not relate them as an authoritative source and its passive recipient.
Teaching as Facilitation: Education is guided by developmental rather than cultural or epistemological principles. Individual differences are nurtured.
Teaching as Acceleration: Believes teachers need to outpace devlopement rather than follow it, stemming from Vygotsky.
Teaching as Technique: Believes good teaching is efficient regardless of the context of values and makes use of economic time planning, space, carefully planned tasks, regular assessment and clear feedback. Alexander, R. Culture, dialogue and learning: notes on an emerging pedagogy, speech delivered July,2005, University of Durham, United Kingdom, p. 6 Classroom
Transcripts Sourced from Scott, C. (2009) Talking to Learn: Dialogue in the classroom. The Digest, NSWIT
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