Onderwijs als interactieprobleem
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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The article deals with the relationship between verbal communication as a teaching objective and as a medium of teaching/learning. This relationship is of special interest for foreign language teaching/ learning aiming at ccmnunicative competence in spoken language. The article enters into the question in which ways teaching/learning ob-jects are constituted in the course of ongoing interaction, how acti-vities with regard to such objects are stimulated and steered, and what kinds of activities are defined by the participants themselves as LEARNING or count for them as such. Psycholinguistic input-(in-take) output models are being argued against, because classroom learning is not simply characterized by ready-made prestructured in-put and predetermined output, but both have first to be constituted through some strategic form of social interaction.Two examples of foreign language learning in the classroom are pre-sented: first of an EFL lesson, where the distortion of target langu-age function potential is demonstrated and the "staged" production of language prof iciency within a pedagogic interaction pattern is shown; and second of a German FL lesson, where a grammatical item is focussed and exercised. The sequence is an example of rigorous reali-zation of the I(nitiation)-R(esponse)-E(valuation) pattern as the ba-sic pattern of sequential organization in the classroom. It clearly shows how LEARNING is defined/executed as standardized response for-mats and "conditioned" chains of I-R-pairs. Many of the performed linguistic deviations(of the target language)seem due to interaction mechanisms rather than to general principles of language development.Conversational analysis of teaching-learning discourse shows that learning is not merely to be considered as a direct conventionalized consequence of ( initiating ) teaching ( acts ). On the one hand the inter-action pattern is merely a framework wherein "inner" mental processes are evoked and organized, which can manifest themselves in various forms. On the other hand there is a strong tendency for the teacher to control the entire learning process and to make expected outcomes collectively significant and thus for the learner a tendency mainly to adjust to prefabricated response formats, which at the same time serve as evidence for didactically intended cognitions. Hence, the stronger the predetermination and imposing of LEARNING by the teach-er, the more learning tends to become a mere guessing game and pure-ly mechanical.The restrictions of traditional classrooms are obvious from these examples: restrictions with regard to the experience of functional potential of the target language and with regard to the embedding of focussed learning-items into a functional perspective. These re-strictions have to be changed in order to enable learners to parti-cipate in problem-constitution, to bring in own perceptions of con-cepts/problems and to bring in own problem-solving strategies as systematic parts of language development and as systematic parts of official classroom discourse, i.e. as objects of active mutual indication and interpretation.Conversational analysis can be an important tool for the study of such "alternative" structuring of classroom interaction and its con-tribution to a more learner-centered and functionally oriented (foreign)language LEARNING.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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