Challenging and Objecting: Functions of Third Position Turns in Student-Initiated Question Sequences


Challenging and Objecting: Functions of Third Position Turns in Student-Initiated Question Sequences


Saija MERKEDepartment of Finnish Languagesaija.merke@abo.fi


ÖZET
Research on the classical IRE-sequences in the classroom context has highlighted teachers’ use of questions as teaching tools and how questioning processes serve as efficient learning tools. One especially important turn in questioning processes is the third position of the sequence which incorporates the potential to enhance learning and provide resources for students. This article examines sequences similar to the IRE-sequence – student-initiated question sequences – focusing on the third position of these sequences. In the default question sequence, the third position is used to signal an acceptance of the prior response. The analysis examines turns that signal disalignment with the teacher and may therefore communicate a challenge or an objection to the teacher. The aim is to demonstrate how the different formats of third positions are used to express fine-grained challenges concerning the granularity of knowledge and epistemic responsibilities. Thus, non-aligning dialogue particles, follow-up questions or postexpansions in third position can convey a challenging quality. The research method adopted is ethnomethodological conversation analysis. A detailed sequential analysis demonstrates that troubles encountered in mutual understanding may be related to issues of epistemicity and moral order. A central result is that question sequences provide the participants with learning tools that connect to the organisation of emotional and moral issues.


ABSTRACT
Research on the classical IRE-sequences in the classroom context has highlighted teachers’ use of questions as teaching tools and how questioning processes serve as efficient learning tools. One especially important turn in questioning processes is the third position of the sequence which incorporates the potential to enhance learning and provide resources for students. This article examines sequences similar to the IRE-sequence – student-initiated question sequences – focusing on the third position of these sequences. In the default question sequence, the third position is used to signal an acceptance of the prior response. The analysis examines turns that signal disalignment with the teacher and may therefore communicate a challenge or an objection to the teacher. The aim is to demonstrate how the different formats of third positions are used to express fine-grained challenges concerning the granularity of knowledge and epistemic responsibilities. Thus, non-aligning dialogue particles, follow-up questions or postexpansions in third position can convey a challenging quality. The research method adopted is ethnomethodological conversation analysis. A detailed sequential analysis demonstrates that troubles encountered in mutual understanding may be related to issues of epistemicity and moral order. A central result is that question sequences provide the participants with learning tools that connect to the organisation of emotional and moral issues.


ANAHTAR KELİMELER: classroom interaction, question sequences, third position turns, epistemicity


KEYWORDS: classroom interaction, question sequences, third position turns, epistemicity


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