Turn initiators in professional encounters

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This paper investigates some of the pragmatic considerations behind the use ofturn initiators within one specific Irish-English setting, that of teacher education.During the course of their studies, student teachers have reason, andare often obliged, to engage with professionals and peers as they are initiatedinto their new community of practice (CoP) (Lave and Wenger 1991). Undermodels of social constructivism (Vygotsky 1978) and progressive education,this engagement has been increasingly conducted through the mode of spokenlanguage: face-to-face, and more recently, computer-mediated communication(CMC) (Hanson-Smith 2006). This chapter examines pragmatic turn initiatorsin a Teacher Education Discourse (TED) Corpus, consisting of spokenand online language data from MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakersof Other Languages) students in an Irish university context. The variables ofspeaker relationship, mode of communication and task orientation are exploredto determine their influence on the pragmatic functions at the beginning ofspeaker turns.


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