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Volume 49, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0034-527X
  • E-ISSN: 1943-2348


Prior work in education, broadly, and in L2 education, more specifically, has documented both the difficulty and importance of integrating conversation into the language classroom, where conversation is both the means and end of language learning. Yet to be described is how the teacher plays an active role in engineering such integration and how he or she navigates a delicate balance between formal classroom talk and more casual conversation. Using the methodology of conversation analysis, I describe how one particular instructor manages to maintain an open and yet structured space that fosters connection without sacrificing control in an adult ESL classroom. In particular, I show how the balance between control and connection is achieved by embedding a conversational frame within an institutional one or reestablishing the institutional frame in the midst of talk about conversational matters. Findings of this study expand our current understanding of how learner voice may be promoted within the institutional structure of a classroom, and in particular, how conversation may be integrated into the language classroom without abandoning teacher control.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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