Transcription Bank: Julia Snell & Adam Lefstein

Where the transcript was published
Adam Lefstein & Julia Snell (2011). Classroom discourse: The promise and complexity of dialogic practice. In S. Ellis, E. McCartney, & J. Bourne (eds). Insight and Impact: Applied Linguistics and the Primary School. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 165-185.

Link to full transcript

How the transcript was made
By hand.

Rationale for the design
The study that framed the collection of this data was concerned with process of continuity and change in patterns of classroom interaction. The unit of analysis was discourse moves/utterances and thus the transcript privileges the spoken word (though we problematise this approach in this publication – see below – and elsewhere). Our analysis of the data combined computer-assisted systematic observation (using the software The Observer XT) with linguistic ethnographic analysis of select segments. Our focus in this paper is with the latter. In line with the tradition of micro-analysis within linguistic ethnography (see e.g. Rampton 2006), we transcribed the data broadly in line with conversation analytic techniques. With this approach, non-verbal behavior is signaled using ‘stage directions’ in parenthesis.

Purpose of the transcript
The transcript represents 2 minutes of classroom interaction. We use this extract to explore key dimensions of dialogic teaching and learning and to consider to what extent and in what ways this example of classroom discourse might be considered dialogic.

Other issues in making this transcript
We end the paper with a discussion of the limitations of our analysis, including commentary on the fact that our transcript privileges the spoken word over the non-verbal gesture and silent glare. Two key issues are identified: (1) that such a transcript obscures the fact that the quiet participants in the classroom tend to outnumber the vocal ones; and (2) that there is a lot more communication and social activity happening off-stage than is captured by a transcript focusing on centre stage teacher-pupil talk. We address these concerns by revisiting a short section of the transcript, in which much of the communication is non-verbal, using still images from the video-recording to illustrate our (re)analysis (examples of which can be found with the accompanying transcript).

It should also be noted that the transcript is only one of a number of representations we use in the paper.  The others include the pictures mentioned above (complete with arrows), a schematic structure of the conjectures and refutations in this sequence of classroom talk (included with the accompanying transcript), prose description and analysis. Readers are recommended to consult the whole chapter for a more complete view of these different modes of representation.

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