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Topic Initiation in Conversation-for-Learning: Developmental and Pedagogical Perspectives
Younhee Kim
Source PublicationEnglish Teaching

The study examines interactional practices for initiating topic in naturally occurring conversation using Conversation Analysis (Button & Casey, 1984, 1985, 1988-1989 to name a few) as a methodological tool. The data of the current study is comprised of 14 hours of conversation-for-learning (Kasper & Kim, 2015) data between one American graduate student and two Korean adolescent ESL learners. It is longitudinal data where the participants have met every two weeks over the period of nine months. Between the two typical sequential environments where topic shift occurs, the current study focuses on boundaried topical movement as opposed to stepwise topical movement. The study first presents a range of practices used to initiate topic at topic-bounding sequential environments as reported in L1 English speaker conversation, including topic initial elicitors, itemized news inquiry and news announcement. Then, the study shows how participants’ relative knowledge and estimated right to the knowledge of the news/topic significantly figure in the design of topic initiation. Lastly, the study provides a developmental picture of the focal L2 learner’s topic initiating practice along the timeline and concludes with some pedagogical implications.

KeywordTopic Initiation Topic Organization Topic Shift
PublisherKorean Association of Teachers of English
Fulltext Access
Document TypeJournal article
Corresponding AuthorYounhee Kim
AffiliationNanyang Technological University
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Younhee Kim. Topic Initiation in Conversation-for-Learning: Developmental and Pedagogical Perspectives[J]. English Teaching,2017,72(1):73-102.
APA Younhee Kim.(2017).Topic Initiation in Conversation-for-Learning: Developmental and Pedagogical Perspectives.English Teaching,72(1),73-102.
MLA Younhee Kim."Topic Initiation in Conversation-for-Learning: Developmental and Pedagogical Perspectives".English Teaching 72.1(2017):73-102.
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