“What do you say?” The analysis of classroom talk from a sociocultural perspective 3511
PhD in Psychology, Professor at the Institute of Psychology and Education, University of Neuchatel, Neuchatel, Switzerland
The aim of this paper is to study different situations of classroom talk through the use of a methodology called sociocultural discourse analysis, which focuses on the use of language as a social mode of thinking. Specifically, we intend to apply the categories elaborated within the model elaborated by Mercer (2004). In particular, we refer to cumulative, disputational and exploratory talk in order to analyze data collected through ethnographic observations of 8th and 9th classroom grade interactions. We analyze the recorded school situations through the use of conversation and discourse analyses in order to verify the fit of the above-mentioned sociocultural categories. Our hypothesis is that within the Italian school context is possible to find regularities as signs of regulation’s processes within the school activity of social construction, as well discrepancies between the different forms of talk we are referring to. The findings of this study show regularities as concern the cumulative and disputational talk. Concerning the third category we found a level of “proto–exploratory” talk as hybrid category of classroom talk. We argue that the sociocultural discourse analysis is a valid methodology that can be used as a flexible model to analyze different levels of classroom talk.
Keywords: classroom talk, discourse analysis, sociocultural perspective, ethnographic observation
Column: Social Psychology
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