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Pupils doing language policy: Micro-interactional insights from the English as a foreign language classroom
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Language and Culture. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Modern Languages. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we examine instances of the methods pupils deploy to do language policy in an English as a foreign language classroom in Sweden, where there is a locally practised English-only rule. Although we exemplify some more tacit methods of constructing a monolingual classroom (Slotte-Lüttge 2007), we focus primarily on instances where pupils police other pupils and on occasion even the teacher, when they are perceived not to be upholding the rule. This blatantly explicit method of pupils doing language policy, which we term language policing, generally serves to (re-)establish and maintain English as the medium of interaction and instruction. The data for this study consists of video-recordings of 18 EFL lessons in an International Swedish school and was collected in grade 8 and 9 classes (15-16 year olds) between the years 2007-2010.

In order to reveal the interactional orientations of the participants in situ (Seedhouse, 1998:101), conversation analysis has been used to identify and analyse naturally occurring cases of pupils doing language policy. By discussing the analyses with reference to different policing trajectories, how participants employ a range of initiator techniques, and the nature and distribution of their policing methods, for example, we compare and contrast the general features of pupil-initiated policing with teacher policing. We also relate language policing practices to the maintenance of a monolingual classroom and conclude that establishing and maintaining the English-only rule “sufficient[ly] for all practical purposes” is a routine matter (cf. Zimmerman 1971: 227), since little language policing is needed to maintain it. In cases where the language rule is breached both pupils and teacher play an active role in (re-)establishing the monolingual classroom.

Keyword [en]
Conversation Analysis, practiced language policy, language policing, English as a Foreign Language (EFL), codeswitching, monolingual policy
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100200OAI: diva2:660719
Available from: 2013-10-30 Created: 2013-10-30 Last updated: 2013-10-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Doing Language Policy: A Micro-Interactional Study of Policy Practices in English as a Foreign Language Classes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Doing Language Policy: A Micro-Interactional Study of Policy Practices in English as a Foreign Language Classes
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Att göra språkpolitik : en mikrointeraktionell studie av språkpolitisk praktik i engelskundervisning
Abstract [en]

This study investigates foreign language classroom talk and micro-level language policy-in-process from an ethnomethodological conversation analytic perspective. The study is based on 20 hours of video recordings from 20 lessons in an English as a Foreign Language classroom (EFL) in grades 8 and 9 of an international compulsory school in Sweden between the years 2007 and 2010. The main purpose of the study is to shed light on some of the distinguishing features of how a target-language-only policy is materialised in situ in a foreign language classroom. The study demonstrates the relative ease with which teachers and pupils uphold a strict language policy in the classroom, but also the considerable interactional work that is done, by both teachers and pupils, in cases where upholding the policy becomes problematic. An interactional phenomenon which arises in such cases is language policing, where the teacher or pupils restore the policy-prescribed linguistic order. Such sequences are analysed in detail. The study increases our understanding of how language policy is lived out in practice, through interaction in the classroom.

Abstract [sv]

I denna studie undersöks klassrumsinteraktionen i undervisning i främmande språk och språkpolitisk praktik på mikronivå i ett etnometodologiskt och samtalsanalytiskt perspektiv. Studien bygger på 20 timmars videoinspelningar av 20 lektioner i engelska i årskurs 8 och 9 i en internationell grundskola i Sverige. Inspelningarna utfördes mellan 2007 och 2010. Studiens huvudsyfte är att belysa några särdrag i hur en målspråksexklusiv språkpolitik materialiseras in situ i undervisning i främmande språk. Studien påvisar att en sådan språkpolitik är förhållandevis enkel att upprätthålla i den dagliga interaktionen men den dokumenterar också det betydande interaktionella arbete som utförs, av både lärare och elever, i problematiska fall där språkpolitiken äventyras. Ett interaktionellt fenomen som uppträder i sådana fall är language policing, interaktiva sekvenser där lärare eller elever återupprättar den språkpolitiska ordningen. Sådana sekvenser analyseras i detalj. Denna studie bidrar till att öka vår förståelse av hur språkpolitik görs i praktiken, i den dagliga interaktionen i klassrummet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 83 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 597Studies in Language and Culture, ISSN 1403-2570 ; 23
Conversation analysis, ethnomethodology, language policy, practiced language policy, language policing, classroom discourse, EFL, TEFL, codeswitching, Samtalsanalys, etnometodologi, språkpolitik, language policing, klassrumsinteraktion, engelskundervisning, kodväxling
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100202 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-100734 (DOI)978-91-7519-466-0 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-11-29, Key 1, House Key, Campus Valla, Linköping Univeristy, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2013-10-30 Created: 2013-10-30 Last updated: 2013-11-15Bibliographically approved

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