The interactional management of learner initiatives in social studies classroom discourse

Creative Commons License

Isler N. K., Balaman U., Şahin A. E.

LEARNING CULTURE AND SOCIAL INTERACTION, vol.23, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.lcsi.2019.100341
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Keywords: Social studies, Classroom discourse, Primary education, Learner initiatives, Conversation analysis, DESIGNEDLY INCOMPLETE UTTERANCES, TURN-TAKING, L2, ORGANIZATION, OPPORTUNITIES, DISPLAYS, FEEDBACK, ENGLISH, IRF
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Social studies courses are primary school level modules that draw on a diverse set of transdisciplinary subjects such as democracy, citizenship, history, human rights, ethics, religion, and culture to facilitate the development of students' socio-cultural knowledge. In line with the course objectives, teachers are expected to create an atmosphere of active student participation and build on learner contributions in order to ensure an extensive topic coverage through repeated transitions between various subject-matter contents. Despite its central importance, the role of teachers' interactional management of social studies classroom discourse remains largely un-examined. With this in mind, this study sets out to explore how a teacher orients to student-initiated sequences and by doing so, covers a range of subjects. Using multimodal conversation analysis for the examination of video-recordings captured in social studies classrooms in Turkey, we focus on a teacher's interactional management of student participation with specific reference to the management of emergent learner initiatives. Based on the analysis of a sample case that represents recurrent instances in the dataset, we describe how the teacher attends to learner contributions by deploying diverse interactional resources. The findings have implications for primary education, classroom discourse, and social studies courses.