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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

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Volume 30, Issue 4


Learning in the contingency of talk-in-interaction

Yo-An Lee
  • Corresponding author
  • Faculty member in the English Department at Sogang University, Seoul, in South Korea.
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2010-07-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text.2010.020


This article offers a critical examination of the recent initiative that considers developmental issues to be an important agenda in CA-based studies (Brouwer and Wagner, Journal of Applied Linguistics 1: 29–47, 2004; Firth and Wagner, Modern Language Journal 91: 800–819, 2007). This initiative seems to take a narrower view of learning than what natural interactional details in CA studies allow us to see. Spoken interactions are not always stable enough to demarcate the objects of learning for theoretical predictions or pedagogical prescriptions, particularly when seen in reference to contingent pragmatic actions enacted in discourse-in-interaction. The contingency of interaction has to be treated as central if we want to recover learning as the participants experience it. This paper proposes that if the contingency of interactional details is treated as being analytically central, CA research can still tell us very useful things about the phenomena of learning because it can recover the participants' contingent sense-making practices through which the task of learning is discovered, acted on, and realized. This point is demonstrated through a close analysis of two excerpts from English as Second Language (ESL) classroom interaction.

Keywords:: conversation analysis; ethnomethodology; classroom interaction; contingency; English as a second language; talk-in-interaction; learning

About the article

British & American Language & Literature, Culture, Sogang University, Shinsu-Dong 1, Mapo-Gu, Seoul, Korea 〈

Published Online: 2010-07-22

Published in Print: 2010-07-01

Citation Information: Text & Talk - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies, Volume 30, Issue 4, Pages 403–422, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text.2010.020.

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Citing Articles

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Applied Linguistics, 2017, Volume 38, Number 2, Page 143
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Human Studies, 2011, Volume 34, Number 2, Page 209
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International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 2015, Volume 38, Number 1, Page 39
Doris Dippold
The Modern Language Journal, 2014, Volume 98, Number 1, Page 402
Yo-An Lee and John Hellermann
TESOL Quarterly, 2014, Volume 48, Number 4, Page 763
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The Modern Language Journal, 2013, Volume 97, Number 4, Page 853
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Applied Linguistics, 2015, Volume 36, Number 1, Page 73
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