A Study of Teacher–Learner Interactions: A Continuum Between Monologic and Dialogic Interactions Purpose Teachers and learners must be able to shift flexibly along the continuum of monologic and dialogic interactional repertoires to advance learning. This article describes how teachers and learners interacted during whole-class instruction along the continuum between monologic and dialogic interaction in primary school classrooms in Western Cape, South Africa. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 01, 2015
A Study of Teacher–Learner Interactions: A Continuum Between Monologic and Dialogic Interactions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Harsha Kathard
    University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Daisy Pillay
    University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Mershen Pillay
    University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Harsha Kathard: Harsha.Kathard@uct.ac.za
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Victoria Joffe
    Associate Editor: Victoria Joffe×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 01, 2015
A Study of Teacher–Learner Interactions: A Continuum Between Monologic and Dialogic Interactions
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2015, Vol. 46, 222-241. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0022
History: Received February 14, 2014 , Revised July 31, 2014 , Accepted March 23, 2015
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2015, Vol. 46, 222-241. doi:10.1044/2015_LSHSS-14-0022
History: Received February 14, 2014; Revised July 31, 2014; Accepted March 23, 2015

Purpose Teachers and learners must be able to shift flexibly along the continuum of monologic and dialogic interactional repertoires to advance learning. This article describes how teachers and learners interacted during whole-class instruction along the continuum between monologic and dialogic interaction in primary school classrooms in Western Cape, South Africa.

Method A video-observation method was used to analyze teacher–learner interactions (TLIs) across 15 lessons in intermediate-phase classrooms. TLIs were analyzed in relation to indicators such as authority, questions, feedback, explanation, metalevel connection, and collaboration. The transcriptions of TLIs were described using quantitative and qualitative techniques.

Results The study found that teachers sustained dominant monologic interactions by asserting their authority, asking mainly closed-ended questions, and providing confirming/correcting feedback that constrained the interaction. Learners had limited opportunities for explanations or collaboration. Across most lessons, there were episodic shifts from monologic TLIs to transitional TLIs. These transitions were achieved by using mainly open-ended questions and feedback to expand the interaction. Dialogic TLIs were not evident.

Conclusions Monologic TLIs were dominant, closing down opportunities for communication. Although transitional TLIs were evident, they were episodic and showed the potential for opening interaction opportunities. The absence of dialogic TLIs suggested that collaborative engagement opportunities were unavailable. The opportunity for intervention to increase dialogic TLIs is discussed.

Acknowledgment
The study, Enhancing Communication in Classrooms (Kathard, 2006–2011), was funded by the National Research Foundation, South Africa.
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