ERIC Number: ED347850
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Instructional Conversations. ERIC Digest.
ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, Washington, DC.
Given recent research that encourages more frequent use of the discussion method in teaching, this digest reviews the role of instructional conversations (ICs) in second language learning. ICs, instructional in content and conversational in quality, offer natural and spontaneous language interactions that are free from the didactic characteristics normally associated with formal teaching. ICs also are more in line with a shift toward a "constructivist" curriculum with students expected to actively construct their own knowledge and understanding, and with the teacher playing a role as facilitator of learning. Elements important in the IC model are as follows: thematic focus; activization and use of background and relevant schemata; direct teaching; promotion of more complex language and expressions; promotion of bases for statements or positions; fewer "known-answer" questions; responsiveness to student contributions; connected discourse; challenging, but non-threatening, atmosphere; and general participation, including self-selected turns. ICs appear to be particularly suited to certain educational goals, such as analysis of literary or historical themes, learning and understanding complex concepts, mathematical reasoning, applying quantitative understandings, considering various perspectives on issues, and oral or written composition. Contains 12 references. (LB)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics, Washington, DC.