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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published online by De Gruyter Mouton July 13, 2020

Affiliation and negative assessments in peer observation feedback for foreign language teachers professional development

Jaume Batlle ORCID logo and Paul Seedhouse ORCID logo


The growing use of peer observation in teacher professional development has created an interest in understanding how it is carried out and what the benefits are. Post-observation feedback is a crucial component of peer observation practices. This study seeks to contribute to a better understanding of peer observation feedback in foreign language teacher’s professional development. Adopting a conversation analysis perspective, we aim to establish how the interactional infrastructure is developed between observers and observees after a negative assessment during peer observation feedback. The results show that, when the observer is assessing a specific teaching action negatively and the observee expresses alignment with the observer’s position, the observer adopts an affiliative stance through the use of his/her epistemic expertise in two ways: either putting his/her self in the shoes of the observee or, in other cases, expressing the affiliative stance by appealing to the epistemic community to which they both belong.

Corresponding author: Jaume Batlle, Educació Lingüística i Literària i DCEM, University of Barcelona, Passeig de la Vall d’Hebron, 171, Barcelona, 08035, Catalunya, Spain, E-mail:

Appendix Transcription conventions

Shift to high pitch on next syllable


Rising intonation on previous syllable


Falling intonation on previous syllable




In breath


Hearable aspiration (e. g., exhale, laughter token). The more ‘h’s’ the longer the aspiration.


Top begin overlap


Top end overlap (when relevant)


Bottom begin overlap


Bottom end overlap (when relevant)


Slower than surrounding talk


Softer than surrounding talk


Emphasized talk


Smiley voice




Stretching of previous sound (the more colons, the longer the stretching)


Length of pauses in seconds


Micropause (less than 0.2 s)


Uncertain transcription


Time when the nonverbal action happens


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Published Online: 2020-07-13

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