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Teaching Foreign Languages Workshops Home
    2: Person to Person

Examine the Topic

Introduction
Before You Watch
Analyze the Video
Examine the Topic
Put it Into Practice
Action Research Project
Reflect on Your Learning

Resources
Library Video Chart
Printouts
Assignments
Assignment Now that you have read the research and viewed the video discussion on interpersonal communication, you will examine the topic further by using an interactive video viewer to observe several teacher-student and student-student classroom interactions and analyzing the conversation patterns.

A. Teacher-Student Interactions

To conclude a lesson in which students role-played Latin American artists invited to exhibit their work in Spain, teacher Lori Langer de Ramirez has asked the students to write a formal letter of response about their decision to boycott the exhibit. In this segment, Ms. Langer de Ramirez conducts instructional conversations with groups of students as she helps them compose the letter.

 Click on the video viewer to begin Observe Interactions
View the Teacher-Student Interactions video to observe the IRE/IRF conversation patterns in the two teacher-student interactions. Be sure that the communicative actions (CAs) are TURNED OFF for this first viewing.

Identify the Communicative Actions
Next, view the video again and identify the kinds of communicative actions Ms. Langer de Ramirez is using during the interactions. You can use the Teacher-Student Interactions Transcript (PDF, 57 K) to track your responses. Select from the following list of CAs as defined by the "Classroom Discourse" article:
  • Contingency managing
  • Directing
  • Explaining
  • Feeding back
  • Initiating
  • Modeling
  • Probing question
  • Questioning
  • Task structuring
Compare Your Responses
Finally, view the video with the CAs turned on to see sample answers.


B. Student-Student Interactions

In this lesson, Ms. Tulou's students answered a series of questions on a worksheet, then walked around the room to discuss their responses in pairs and small groups. As they converse, students are aware that Ms. Tulou expects them to expand and extend their conversational interactions.

 Click on the video viewer to begin Observe Interactions
View the Student-Student Interactions video to observe the conversation patterns in the three student-student interactions. Be sure that the communicative actions (CAs) are TURNED OFF for this first viewing.

Identify the Communicative Actions
Next, view the video again and identify the kinds of communicative actions the students are using to keep the conversations going. You can use the Student-Student Interactions Transcript (PDF, 57 K) to track your responses. Select from the following list of CAs as defined by the "Classroom Discourse" article:
  • Explaining
  • Feeding back
  • Initiating
  • Questioning
  • Reacting
Compare Your Responses
Finally, view the video with the CAs turned on to see sample answers.


C. Reflect on the Activity

After comparing your analysis of the classroom interactions with the sample answers, reflect on the following questions:
  1. Which kinds of communicative actions did Ms. Langer de Ramirez use most often to extend interactions with students? Which ones do you typically use with your students? Which additional CAs might you try to incorporate or use more frequently in your classroom interactions?
  1. Which kinds of CAs did Ms. Tulou's students rely on most to extend their conversations? How might a teacher prepare his or her students to use this approach during classroom interactions?
  1. As teachers change the dominant pattern in the classroom from IRE to IRF, how might that affect student engagement in interpersonal communication?
Assignment Write a brief summary of what you learned from this activity to submit as an assignment.


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2: Person to Person > Introduction | Before You Watch | Analyze the Video
Examine the Topic | Put It Into Practice | Action Research Project | Reflect on Your Learning
Resources | Library Videos Chart | Printouts | Assignments

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