What does x mean? "As contingent teacher questions in the universityConversation class

DEMİR D., Schwab G.

DEUTSCHE SPRACHE, vol.49, no.3, pp.257-278, 2021 (AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Journal Name: DEUTSCHE SPRACHE
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, Periodicals Index Online, Linguistic Bibliography, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.257-278
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This article examines pedagogical interactions in L2 conversation classes at a Turkish state university. Practical language courses such as "Oral Communication Skills" play an important role in the German language teacher training programme. On the one hand, they help learners to gain greater benefit, especially linguistically, from other courses of the programme. On the other hand, they raise the professional standards of prospective German teachers. Against this backdrop, research is required to provide empirical insights into teaching practices. However, the data for such a study are still very limited. To overcome this, we examined naturally occurring interaction in classroom contexts, using conversation analysis as our research methodology. The data are based on video recordings (15 hours and 43 minutes). The findings suggest that questions from the teacher of the type "Was heisst x?" (`What does x mean?') in non-topic-initial positions are used as recurring resources associated with certain actions in managing teacher-led speaking activities. In addition, we describe how these questions contribute to the elicitation of certain answer types and to shaping the structure of participation in the classroom.