Microanalyzing Discourse in the Second and Foreign Language Classrooms: A Review of the Literature

Catherine DiFelice Box


Classroom interaction has long been a rich site for scholarly research, as attested by the sizable
body of literature surrounding classroom discourse. This paper reviews three frameworks
currently informing the analysis of classroom talk, or more specifically, the qualitative
microanalysis of the turn-by-turn talk that occurs in naturally-occurring unfolding exchanges
between teachers and students, and amongst students themselves. Findings from studies working
within (1) language socialization, (2) critical discourse analysis, and (3) conversation analysis are
explored, with particular attention paid to the ways in which these frameworks complement and
complicate one another. The paper also attempts to identify areas of classroom discourse that
have yet to be fully explored, and highlights the need for further research along those lines.

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