What's symmetrical? A teacher's cooperative management of learner turns in a read-aloud activity

Joan Kelly Hall*, Taiane Malabarba, Daisuke Kimura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter investigates teacher management of learner turns in an American second-grade classroom during a read-aloud activity. A readaloud is a whole-group instructional activity which involves a teacher reading aloud a book to a cohort of students as they listen (Tainio & Slotte, 2017). Using ethnomethodological conversation analysis (EMCA) and drawing on the concepts of alignment and affi liation (Steensig, 2012; Stivers, 2008; Stivers et al., 2011), we investigate how embodied practices such as gaze, facial expressions, body positioning and gestures in addition to verbal practices are used by the teacher separately and together to respond to learner turns in ways that keep the learners aff ectively engaged and, at the same time, ensure the orderly progression of the lesson. Our analysis shows that teacher cooperative management of learners' turns involves: (1) orienting to them as affi liative tokens in order to neutralize their disaligning force while still treating learners as cooperative participants in the activity; and (2) managing turns not only according to their sequential positions and the actions they project but, just as importantly, to the larger instructional project being accomplished. The study contributes to the re-specifi cation of the everyday grounds of teaching in order to broaden understandings of the specialized nature of such work (Macbeth, 2014).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Embodied Work of Teaching
PublisherChannel View Publications
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781788925501
ISBN (Print)9781788925488
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept 30
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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