November 15, 2019 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
City University of Hong Kong
Li Dak Sum Yip Yiu Chin Academic Building
LI-2202 (2nd Floor)

Due to unforeseeable circumstances, this seminar has been postponed to 29 November 2019.   


In this session, we’ll be looking at ongoing work which proposes a ‘third strand’, CIC, in English Language Teacher Education. Classroom Interactional Competence (CIC) is defined as ‘teachers’ and learners’ ability to use interaction as a tool for mediating and assisting learning’ (Walsh, 2013, 124). Adopting a sociocultural perspective on learning and using constructs from this theoretical perspective, I present a number of features of CIC and consider how an understanding of the construct can lead to more dialogic, engaged learning environments.

In classroom settings, there are many factors which combine to produce interaction which is conducive to learning. CIC encompasses the less easily definable – yet no less important – features of classroom interaction which can make the teaching/learning process more or less effective. CIC is concerned to account for learning-oriented interaction by considering the interplay between complex phenomena which include roles of teachers and learners, their expectations and goals; the relationship between language use and teaching methodology; and the interplay between teacher and learner language.

In the data, there are a number of ways in which CIC manifests itself. Firstly, and from a teacher’s perspective, a teacher who demonstrates CIC uses language which is both convergent to the pedagogic goal of the moment and which is appropriate to the learners. Secondly, CIC facilitates ‘space for learning’ (Walsh and Li, 2012), where learners are given adequate space to participate in the discourse, to contribute to the class conversation and to receive feedback on their contributions. Thirdly, CIC entails teachers being able to shape learner contributions by scaffolding, paraphrasing, re-iterating and so on.

We will be looking at a number of data extracts to identify instances of CIC and evaluating its significance from both a teaching/learning and teacher education perspective. We will also consider the implications of this research for materials development, assessment and curriculum design.

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Venue: Li Dak Sum Yip Yiu Chin Academic Building, LI-2202 (2nd Floor), CityU

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