Steps towards improved participation? An analysis of classroom talk and the “ladder of interaction” in the Japanese context

| August 28, 2010
Title
Steps towards improved participation? An analysis of classroom talk and the ladder of interaction in the Japanese context

Authors
Tim Marchand
University of Southern Queensland, Australia
Abstract
This dissertation builds upon an action research project that set out to investigate the Immediate Method, an approach to classroom management which, according to its proponents, can solve the problem of passive students in Japan. The original study focused on one strand of the Immediate Method, the explicit instruction of meta‐ communication phrases, which are expressions of classroom language presented early and practised regularly throughout the course. One of the tentative conclusions from the previous study was that both teacher and students tacitly recognised the ladder of interaction, a model preferentially ranking learner responses to questions from the teacher. In this model, the lowest rank was assigned to silent responses, followed by speaking to a classmate in L2, addressing the teacher in L2, addressing the teacher with incorrect English, and using a correct meta ­communication phrase respectively.

It was also suggested that given time, students subjected to the Immediate Method could be expected to improve their strategic use of meta‐communication phrases, and thereby improve their own participation in class.

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Category: Thesis