ANALYZING EFL CLASSROOM TALK DURING CLASS OPENING: TOPIC SHIFT AND NEGOTIATION

Phalangchok Wanphet

Abstract

This exploratory study, following a conversation analytic (CA) perspective, investigates topic shift in classroom talk during the class opening. The data, which are natural observational, come from three hours of audio-recordings of verbal interaction between four EFL teachers and their students during the class opening at an Asian university. The fi ndings are threefold. First, the EFL teachers’ topic-changing turns are much longer than turns that do not serve the same purpose. Second, the EFL teachers’ topic-changing turns consist of two parts: a) the fi rst part deals with the students’ preceding topic and turns; and b) the second part is intentionally designed to prompt the next topic. Third, discourse markers are placed between the two parts. A close analysis of the EFL teachers’ topic-changing turns suggests that they may make topic shift appear more natural and spontaneous. However, their turns have features that diff erentiate them from those located in mundane talk.

Keywords

teacher talk; topic shift; classroom communication; class opening; discourse markers

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