“But let me talk”: An investigation into teachers’ interaction patterns in EFL classrooms

Sedigheh Vahdat, Yazdan Choubsaz, Saleh Arizavi

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Drawing on Walsh's (2012) idea that boosting learners' contribution and interaction can play a key role in their foreign language learning, this quantitative/qualitative study tried to cast some light on the ways by which teachers, via their choice and use of language, create or block learners' contribution in direct interactions in the classroom. A total of 800 minutes of recordings from 10 teachers and their learners in EFL classes was studied utilizing a conversation analysis methodology. The interaction patterns identified in the recordings suggest that teachers could manipulate their talk either to facilitate or obstruct learners' involvement by the inserted turns they take. The findings of the study indicate that teachers need to minimize their interventions while the learners take their turns, and instead pave the way for a more interactive discourse. In addition, a 'listening culture' in classrooms should be encouraged in order to create opportunities for more classroom interactive talk. A number of implications for teachers and teacher trainers are also given.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-85
JournalIssues in Language Teaching
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • classroom interaction
  • learners' involvement
  • prospect creation
  • prospect blocking

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