Epistemic Search Sequences in Peer Interaction in a Content-based Language Classroom
Jakonen, T., & Morton, T. (2015). Epistemic Search Sequences in Peer Interaction in a Content-based Language Classroom. Applied Linguistics, 36 (1), 73-94. doi:10.1093/applin/amt031
Published inApplied Linguistics
© Oxford University Press 2013. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Epistemics in interaction refers to how participants display, manage, and orient to their own and others’ states of knowledge. This article applies recent conversation analytical work on epistemics to classrooms where language and content instruction are combined. It focuses on Epistemic Search Sequences (ESSs) through which students in peer interaction collectively resolve emerging knowledge gaps while working on pedagogic tasks. ESSs are initiated when a speaker displays an ‘unknowing’ epistemic stance by making an information request about some aspect of language or the content being worked on. We examine three different types of ESS: those in which a ‘knowing’ response is accepted by the initiator of the sequence; those in which there is an ‘unknowing’ response; and those where ‘knowing’ responses are contested. The findings have implications for understanding peer interaction in content-based classrooms in three areas: the affordances of peer interaction for learning in contrast with teacher-led ‘known-answer’ sequences; how learners manage rights and responsibilities around knowing or not knowing; and how learners discover and work on their own learning objects. ...