chapter  15
23 Pages

Classroom interaction and language teacher education

WithOlcay Sert

Language teachers perform constant multi-tasking in L2 classrooms while they are teaching. They manage materials, behaviours, content, discourse, and organise and co-construct learning environments at the same time. At the heart of this multi-tasking lies a process of instant decision making during classroom interaction: they initiate turns, respond to student utterances, attend to linguistic mistakes within micro-seconds. As research in the last two decades has clearly documented, the convergence between pedagogical goals and unfolding classroom interaction (Seedhouse, 2004; Walsh, 2011, 2013; Sert, 2015) is perhaps one of the most important means of creating learning opportunities for students. Opportunities for language learning are facilitated if interactional practices are fine tuned to the goal of teaching the L2.

Mainly using conversation analytic methods, researchers of L2 classroom interaction have documented the interactional manoeuvres of teachers so as to understand the microscopic details of instructed language learning and teaching. Findings of these empirical observations have recently been incorporated into teacher education and development programmes, increasing the importance of classroom interaction in teacher education. Against this background, this chapter provides a review of classroom interaction research with a focus on the role of teacher talk in facilitating language learning opportunities and presents how classroom interaction and teacher development are closely related by reviewing research in both initial teacher education and in-service teacher education. After presenting research on the longitudinal development of L2 CIC, it makes a case for a technology-enhanced, reflective, and micro-analytic teacher education framework, presents practical applications, and discusses future directions.