Promoting extended student talk in an EFL classroom

Fatma Gümüşok
Middle East Technical University
Gözde Balıkçı
Keywords: classroom research, EFL classroom, extended student talk, conversation analysis, teacher questions


This study aims to analyze the way one EFL teacher maintains and promotes extended student talk in an EFL Listening and Speaking Course at tertiary level via conversation analytic perspective. Promoting extended student turns is one of the main goals of meaning and fluency contexts in language classroom discourse (Seedhouse, 2004), thus, it is of quite importance to study extended student talk in a micro-analytic and detailed way. The data were collected from an EFL class at a private university in Turkey. Listening and Speaking course was audio-recorded for nine classroom hours over five weeks. The data were transcribed using Jefferson transcription system (Jefferson, 2004). The study revealed that the participants systematically follow an organized sequential path leading to extended learner turns. The sequential unfolding of eliciting extended student talk involves alternative questions as a sequence opener and elaboration questions as follow-ups. When students initiate word search sequence, the teacher addresses students’ emergent word searches and withholds evaluation turn via minimal response tokens. In addition, on-the-spot decision making such as providing planning time stimulates extended learner talk in subsequent turns. The findings offer some suggestions for the practitioners who would like to promote extended student talk and facilitate learning opportunities in their language classes and contribute to the EFL classroom interaction research.