Document Type : Research Paper


1 University of Tehran

2 University of Mazandaran


The prevailing pattern of classroom interaction is a tripartite exchange structure known as IRF (teacher initiation, student response, teacher follow-up/feedback; Sinclair & Coulthard, 1975). Although it has its own contributions to classroom discourse, it has been criticized on several grounds, particularly for affording minimum learner participation opportunities (Kasper, 2001). An alternative practice has been promoting learner initiation and agency through moving out-of-IRF. However, when the form of interaction is teacher-fronted, IRF becomes the centerpiece and moving out of it tends to be difficult. This paper aims at exploring first what learners need to take initiatives and exercise agency in teacher-fronted interaction, and second how teachers can play a facilitative role in this process. Conversation analytic study of an EFL teacher’s naturally-occurring interaction with learners during a homework review activity demonstrates how the teacher’s extended wait-time practice affords a learner the interactional space needed to initiate a question and voice her locus of trouble. Moreover, the teacher's consistent extended wait-time practice after the learner’s initiation functions as an invitation bid for other learners to orient to the trouble and successfully negotiate it in their learner-learner interaction. Extracts of this study portray learners’ management to drive their own learning.


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