The What and How of English Language Teaching: Conversation Analysis Perspectives

  • Hansun Zhang WaringEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


This chapter outlines two ways in which conversation analysis (CA) research has contributed to the field of English language teaching (ELT). First, by providing stunning specificities of a range of interactional practices in turntaking, sequencing, overall structuring, and repair, CA research is at the forefront of delineating what is there to be taught in the first place by way of developing learners’ interactional competence. Second, classroom CA research in ELT has offered illuminating insights into how turn-taking is orchestrated, participation is managed, explanations are given, corrections are conducted, understandings are developed, multiple demands are attended to and the like. These fine-grained portrayals of teacher practices provide powerful answers to the question of how English language teaching is done in situ. Taken together then, CA has enriched, and is continuing to enrich, our understandings of the what and how of ELT.


Conversation analysis English language teaching Material development Teacher talk 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Teachers College, Columbia University, Applied Linguistics and TESOLNew YorkUSA

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