Discourse in the classroom
Johnson, Amanda (Student of English)
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While experts (Nystrand, 1997; Applebee, Langer, Nystrand, and Gamoran, 2003) have long encouraged authentic discussion as a means to promote literacy learning, teachers rarely engage students in this form of dialogic discourse and rely instead on recitations. The more monologic or presentational approaches to discussion seem to discourage students’ active involvement and engagement, which is necessary for high achievement. If teachers avoid dialogue or do not know how to promote it, they may be missing an important opportunity to get students to engage actively in their own learning; therefore, they can achieve more. The current research includes a literature review of research related to authentic discussion and literacy learning. Following an observation protocol developed by Hillocks (2009), the researcher analyzes sample high school English classes taught by one teacher to reveal discourse patterns and to conjecture about how the classroom discourse impacts students’ development as readers and writers.