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Language policing: Micro-level language policy-in-process in the foreign language classroom

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Abstract

This article examines what we call micro-level language policy-in-process – that is, how a target-language-only policy emerges in situ in the foreign language classroom. More precisely, we investigate the role of language policing, the mechanism deployed by the teacher and/or pupils to (re-)establish the normatively prescribed target language as the medium of classroom interaction in the English as a foreign language classroom of an international school in Sweden. Using ethnomethodological conversation analysis, we have identified a regular three-step sequence for language policing: (1) a (perceived) breach of the target-language-only rule, (2) an act of language policing and (3) an orientation to the target-language-only rule, usually in the guise of medium switching to the target language. Focusing primarily on teacher-to-pupil policing, where the teacher polices pupils’ (perceived) use of their L1 (Swedish), we identify three different categories of teacher-policing. These categories are based on particular configurations of features deployed in the three steps, such as initiator techniques (e.g. reminders, prompts, warnings and sanctions) and pupils’ responses to being policed (e.g. compliance or contestation).
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Classroom Discourse
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Language policing: micro-level
language policy-in-process in the
foreign language classroom
Alia Amira & Nigel Muska
a Department of Culture and Communication, Linköping
University, Linköping, Sweden.
Published online: 29 Apr 2013.
To cite this article: Alia Amir & Nigel Musk (2013) Language policing: micro-level language
policy-in-process in the foreign language classroom, Classroom Discourse, 4:2, 151-167, DOI:
10.1080/19463014.2013.783500
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19463014.2013.783500
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Language policing: micro-level language policy-in-process in the
foreign language classroom
Alia Amir* and Nigel Musk
Department of Culture and Communication, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
This article examines what we call micro-level language policy-in-process that
is, how a target-language-only policy emerges in situ in the foreign language
classroom. More precisely, we investigate the role of language policing, the
mechanism deployed by the teacher and/or pupils to (re-)establish the norma-
tively prescribed target language as the medium of classroom interaction in the
English as a foreign language classroom of an international school in Sweden.
Using ethnomethodological conversation analysis, we have identied a regular
three-step sequence for language policing: (1) a (perceived) breach of the target-
language-only rule, (2) an act of language policing and (3) an orientation to the
target-language-only rule, usually in the guise of medium switching to the target
language. Focusing primarily on teacher-to-pupil policing, where the teacher
polices pupils(perceived) use of their L1 (Swedish), we identify three different
categories of teacher-policing. These categories are based on particular congu-
rations of features deployed in the three steps, such as initiator techniques (e.g.
reminders, prompts, warnings and sanctions) and pupilsresponses to being
policed (e.g. compliance or contestation).
Keywords: conversation analysis; classroom interaction; practiced language
policy; code-switching; language policing.
Introduction
We explore here the classroom practices that establish micro-level language
policy-in-process that is, the normative, situated enforcement of a target-language-
only policy which we have termed language policing, by which we mean the mech-
anism deployed by the teacher and/or pupils to (re-)establish the target language as
the medium of classroom interaction. More specically, we examine the language-
policing practices deployed by the teacher in the English as a foreign language
(EFL) classroom of an international school in Sweden. These particular practices
are to be understood as only one method among a family of methods for doing lan-
guage policy. Although there are many other such methods, many subtle and impli-
cit and some less easily observable in interaction, such as avoiding the L1, the very
explicit nature of language policing deserves attention in its own right. Moreover, a
ne-grained exploration of the trajectories of an English-only policy-in-process has
resulted in a further sub-categorisation of language policing, which takes its point
of departure in how the teacher and pupils display their orientations to the
English-only rule in the sequential organisation of classroom interaction. This study
*Corresponding author. Email: alia.amir@liu.se
Classroom Discourse, 2013
Vol. 4, No. 2, 151167, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19463014.2013.783500
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draws heavily on recent work in the elds of both Language Policy and Planning
(LPP) and Conversation Analysis for Second Language Acquisition (CA-for-SLA),
as will shortly be made evident.
Since its inception as a scholarly eld of investigation, Language Policy and
Planning (LPP) has been conceptualised as either language policy as text or lan-
guage policy as discourse (Ball 1993, 10). More recently, Spolsky (2004, 2007)
proposed a third conceptualisation: language policy as practice. However, as
Bonacina (2010) points out, Spolsky does not indicate how practiced language pol-
icies can be investigated empirically. In order to ll this methodological gap, she
argues (2010, 15) that conversation analysis (CA) is the most appropriate approach,
as she also demonstrates in her case study of a French induction classroom in
France. One of Bonacinas main arguments favouring CA is conversation analysts
principal interest in the organisation and order of social action in everyday interac-
tion (Psathas 1995, 2), which matches Spolskys recommendation for investigating
language policy as practice: look at what people do and not at what they think
should be done or what someone else wants them to do(2004, 218). In the same
vein, Spolsky and Shohamys conceptualisation of language practices as sets of
patterns(2000, 29) resonates with the conversation analytic principle to investigate
recurrent activities that have their own structures(Young 2008, 61). This study
also adheres to these core principles of CA
1
in order to examine how teacher and
pupils actually co-construct language policy in situated interaction in the foreign
language classroom.
Besides Bonacinas (2010) above-mentioned study, there have been some empir-
ical studies that have investigated phenomena related to language policing in differ-
ent classroom contexts. In two independent studies from Finnish primary schools,
Slotte-Lüttge (2007) examines the maintenance of a monolingual classroom in a
Swedish-language school in a predominantly Finnish-speaking area, whereas Copp
Jinkerson (2011) investigates the management and contestation of the monolingual
norm in an English-language stream of an otherwise regular Finnish school. At
university level, Söderlundh (2012) studies language choices in the classroom of an
English-medium business studies course in Sweden, whereas Üstünel and Seed-
house (2005) examine what they term teacher-inducedcode-switching, highlight-
ing its function for pedagogical purposes in the English as a foreign language
classroom in Turkey.
Following Firth and Wagners seminal call (1997) to broaden the eld of second
language acquisition (SLA) research, there have been many interactional studies in
the second/foreign language classroom which have contributed to re-specifying the
research eld in conversation analytic terms (e.g. 2004 special issue of Modern
Language Journal, No. 88; Musk 2011; Hellermann 2008; Markee 2008; Markee
and Seo 2009; Pekarek Doehler 2010; Seedhouse 2004). Seedhouse (2004, 251)
posits that the major contribution which a CA methodology can make to the SLA
project is to shift its focus from the task-as-workplan to the task-in-process. In other
words, the researcher needs to question the widely taken-for-granted premise that
intended pedagogical aims and ideas translate directly into actual classroom prac-
tice as if the L2 classroom had no intervening level of interactional organisation
(Seedhouse 2004, 93). Building on Seedhouse, we introduce the term micro-level
language policy-in-process in order to contribute to the study of practised language
policy in the L2 classroom.
152 A. Amir and N. Musk
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In keeping with the ethnomethodological roots of CA, we see rules and norms
as generally seen but unnoticed(Garnkel 1967 [1994], 36), yet they may surface
particularly when breached, for example if we fail to respond to a greeting (Heri-
tage 1984, 106). Indeed, we are held morally accountable for such breaches, since
the underlying norms serve as a scheme of interpretation (Heritage 1984, 106) or
reference point for both the design and the interpretation of our actions. In the case
of the English-only rule, its explicit expression surfaces more readily when it is vio-
lated. Nevertheless, the English-only rule does not profoundly dene the range of
contingencies that may or may not arise in the course of action, since rules never
completely or exhaustively dene the character or legally possiblerange of con-
duct of an activity(Heritage 1984, 124). If we apply this to the English-only rule,
it remains a matter of negotiation between participants whether or not the following
empirical examples, for instance, constitute breaches of the rule in their local envi-
ronments: private pupil-to-pupil talk in Swedish at the start of an English lesson
(cf. Extract 1, lines 38) or occasional brief utterances in Swedish (cf. Extract 1,
line 31).
The empirical data of this study comprise over 20 hours of video recordings of
EFL classrooms in an international Swedish school. The data were collected in
grade 8 and 9 classes (1516 year olds) taught by one native English (American)
speaker between the years 2007 and 2010. English-language teachers in this school
prescribe a monolingual English-language policy in the EFL classroom, which is
consolidated by means of a point system. Each lesson starts with a clean slate of 40
points, which are sometimes written on the board. For each word of Swedish spo-
ken by the pupils, a point may be deducted, or in fact added if spoken by the tea-
cher. When 1000 points have been accumulated, the pupils are rewarded with a free
period to watch a movie. Here we should add the caveat that this is the policy-as-
workplan as opposed to the policy-in-process, which we shall shortly be viewing in
operation.
Central to CA methodology is the transcription of (preferably) video-recorded
data to aid the search for recurrent interactional patterns (though the transcriptions
do not replace the recordings as empirical data). To capture as much of the interac-
tion as possible, multiple video cameras were used most of the time. The transcrip-
tion conventions in this article are adopted from Jefferson (2004) and Musk (2011),
although some modications have been made to include more features relevant for
this context, especially those pertaining to code-switching. A full list of these con-
ventions can be found in the appendix.
Doing language policing
The sequential analysis of video recordings of the EFL classroom in an interna-
tional Swedish school revealed language policing practices. These practices belong
to a family of methods for doing a monolingual language policy. More specically,
language policing constitutes an explicit micro-level enactment of the target-lan-
guage-only rule which is displayed by the participantsorientation to using the
wrongmedium. Since the concept of medium is central to understanding language
policing, we digress at this point to explain the concept with reference to an organi-
sational or conversation analytic approach to code-switching in bilingual talk (e.g.
Auer 1988). Within an ethnomethodological framework, there is good reason to dis-
tinguish between language or code, as the analysts category, and medium,asa
Classroom Discourse 153
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members or participants category –‘that scheme of interpretation speakers them-
selves orient to while talking(Gafaranga 2000, 329). As Gafaranga goes on to
point out and show empirically, this medium may also be a bilingual one, that is, a
mixed medium (see also Musk 2006, 51; cf. Auers (1998) mixed code,1516).
Extending this distinction to the bilingual classroom, Bonacina and Gafaranga
(2011, 331) posit the notion of medium of classroom interaction, which can
account both for normative language choices as well as deviance from them. Sim-
ply taking the normative language choice, i.e. the policy-prescribed medium of
instruction as a scheme of interpretation, they argue, fails to account for the obser-
vable mediums or linguistic codes be they monolingual or bilingual that partici-
pants actually orient to while talking in a bilingual classroom context (331332).
To illustrate how different mediums of classroom interaction can operate in a
foreign language classroom, let us consider Extract 1, from an English class in Swe-
den (set in the schools computer laboratory). In this extract, two pairs (Rebecka &
Carina and Hanna & Malin) are about to work on a quiz with the help of the Inter-
net. Where we join the class, the teacher is adjusting Rebecka and Carinas com-
puter screen for recording purposes.
Extract 1
Participants: K = Karen (the teacher), C = Carina, R = Rebecka, H = Hanna,
M = Malin
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Here we nd more than one medium of classroom interaction among the partici-
pants. Although it is unclear whether the lesson proper has started, the teacher is
speaking only in English while adjusting the screens for the researchers. Likewise,
when the teacher answers Hannas question in lines 10 and 12 about whether they
should start their task, she delivers her reply and ensuing turns in English. This
reply not only serves as a direct response to Hannas question, but also opens up a
procedural context (Seedhouse 2004, 133), whereby the teacher provides procedural
information about the classroom activities at hand. Here it signals publicly the com-
mencement of the English lesson proper (for those who have not already started), at
the same time as issuing instructions in English and thereby implicitly establishing
English as the public medium of the classroom. Moreover, we consistently nd the
teacher speaking English both in matters directly to do with the English lesson itself
and in the management of less directly related practical matters (helping the
researchers). In fact, from all our recorded classroom data we can claim that English
is the teachers regular medium of interaction, not only here but with everyone in
all English classes. Given that the teacher is originally American and English is also
the policy-prescribed medium of instruction, this is no doubt unremarkable. How-
ever, this scheme of interpretation does not adequately account for all the mediums
of interaction we nd in this extract.
The two pairs of pupils (Rebecka and Carina and Hanna and Malin) are having
parallel exchanges in lines 38 about starting the quiz. Starting with the medium
used by the rst pair of pupils in this extract, it is immediately apparent that Carina
and Rebecka (in their private conversation) carry out all their interaction (lines 3
18) in Swedish. Furthermore, throughout their exchange there is no medium switch-
ing and no problem orientation to either their own or the other persons medium of
talk. During this extract, therefore, both of them have monolingual Swedish as their
medium of interaction.
Turning to the second pair of pupilsmedium of interaction,Malin utters in line
5 a similar question to Rebeckas in line 3 about starting the task. This results in an
initially negative response from Hanna (line 8), followed almost immediately by
Hanna checking this loudly with the teacher, who happens to be passing (line 10).
It is notable that up until halfway through line 10, the second pair (Hanna and
Malin) are also using monolingual Swedish as their medium of interaction. How-
ever, Hanna initiates a switch to English, which is characterised by a prolonged
vowel on the Swedish VI:: WE::before she substitutes it with the English pronoun
and continues in English. Hence the medium of Hannas turn up until the switch is
Classroom Discourse 155
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oriented to as a trouble source which needs rectifying.
2
Using Gafaranga and Tor-
rass taxonomy (2002, 17), what we nd here is medium switching, which can be
accounted for in terms of practice-based preference, which in turn is rooted in the
overall order of talk.
3
In other words, by means of medium switching, Hanna is
attending to the teachers preference for English (cf. Auersparticipant-related
switching1988, 192). This preference
4
is borne out by many interactions between
Hanna and the teacher in the data. Furthermore, it is underpinned by a normative
orientation towards English as the medium of instruction, which the teacher goes
on to invoke in her act of language policing.
If we temporarily disregard the act of language policing and look at the remain-
der of their turns in this extract, English has now become Hanna and Malins med-
ium of interaction. The only Swedish word to be uttered here, nej noin line 31,
deviates from the monolingual medium and is as such an example of temporary
medium suspension
5
(Gafaranga and Torras 2002, 16), which signals local addi-
tional meaning, in this case to show disalignment with Malins action (pretending
to start by typing randomly in line 28). Malins overlapping apology, her erasure of
the randomly typed letters and her verbal signal that she is ready to start the activity
seriously (line 34) restores interactional alignment, which is also achieved linguisti-
cally by Hannas return to English from line 36. Unlike the two pairsinitial med-
ium of interaction (monolingual Swedish), Hanna and Malins medium in the
second half of this extract (monolingual English) follows the prescribed language
choice.
Now that we have established the kind of linguistic environment (in terms of
mediums of interaction) in which language policing emerges, let us turn back to
the primary focus of this paper that is, language policing itself. In our denition,
language policing constitutes the mechanism by which the teacher and/or the
pupils switch or attempt to switch the medium of talk to the policy-prescribed
medium (here English) in the foreign language classroom. Let us now examine
the prototypical trajectory of language policing. As illustrated in Figure 1,
language policing is typically carried out in a three-step sequence. The rst step is
the breach of the target-language-only rule, to which participants orient as a
Figure 1. Prototypical three-step language policing sequence.
156 A. Amir and N. Musk
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trouble source. The second step of language policing is the actual act of language
policing. In this step there is an indication that someones medium of interaction
needs rectifying. The third step in the sequence involves an orientation to the
language-policing act. In our data this is most frequently a medium-switch,
whereby the normative medium of the L2 classroom (English in our data) is
adopted or restored in the immediately preceding turns.
We now return to Extract 1 to see how a language-policing act plays out. First
we have a breach of the English-only rule (step one). Here it is notable that Hanna
has partly addressed the teacher in Swedish, before switching and thereby orienting
to the teachers preference for English (as well as the English-only rule). In addi-
tion, the teacher has been near the two pairs whose utterances are transcribed in this
extract. Up until (and, in the case of Carina, during) the teachers act of language
policing, these pupils have all been speaking Swedish quite audibly. Both factors
then occasion the teachers reminder of the policy-prescribed medium of instruction
(lines 16 and 1920) and subsequent warning (line 24) that any breaches will be
punished with the removal of points (step two). The pupilsimmediate orientation
to Karens act of policing (step three) is that Malin and Hanna medium-switch and
resume their interaction in English (as opposed to Swedish, as at the beginning of
Extract 1). Although the teachers reminder of the English-only rule is delivered in
overlap with Carinas attempt to solve item 16 on the quiz sheet (line 18), it is still
acknowledged by Rebeckas smile to Carina.
Let us now substantiate these claims further, while at the same time providing a
more detailed and nuanced picture of language policing by examining more
instances.
Sub-categories of language policing
Although our data reveal that the teacher is not the only party to initiate language
policing, for reasons of space, in the remainder of this article we will focus exclu-
sively on teacher-to-pupil policing, whereby the teacher initiates language policing
to change the medium being used by a pupil/pupils. There are nine cases in all in
our data, which can be sub-divided mainly according to whether the teacher
addresses the whole class or specic individuals. However, in cases where language
policing involves point deduction, i.e. when the punishment for violating the Eng-
lish-only rule is given, the matter of who is being addressed is less clear-cut, as will
be explained below. Any additional features are dealt with under each sub-category
below.
Teacher to pupil: general address
This sub-group of three cases has already been expounded upon to some extent in
the analysis of Extract 1 above. To generalise the features of this sub-category, one
can say that it is where the teacher issues a reminder of the English-only rule and/
or a warning to the whole class (step two of the language-policing sequence). In
Extract 1 we nd both a reminder (lines 16, 1920) and a subsequent warning (line
24), with a shift in pronoun from we(line 19) to I(line 24), which also estab-
lishes the teachers sole authority to punish any breaches. Moreover, what character-
ises this sub-category as general address is the loudness of the verbal act of
policing and the bodily orientation of the teacher towards the central space of the
Classroom Discourse 157
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room. This is of course clearest when the language policing is delivered from the
front of the class as part of the procedural context (Seedhouse 2004, 79) when gen-
eral instructions are issued. At the same time, the act of language policing may pro-
duce the procedural context. Indeed, establishing the English-only rule can
constitute one of the ways in which to both initiate a procedural context and start
the lesson, as in Extract 1.
As regards the linguistic form of this sub-category of language policing, there is
evidence of formulaic language (Wray and Perkins 2000). In Extract 1 above, for
example, the teachers reminder of the English-only rule is expressed as and youre
supposed to be speaking English with each other all the time too(lines 16 and 19).
With a different class over two years later, the teacher issues a remarkably similar
reminder: and youre supposed to be speaking English all the time. The same goes
for her warning: if I hear Swedish Im taking points away from you(line 24), which
on another occasion is expressed as: if I hear any Swedish Im taking points away.
Step three of the language-policing sequence, i.e. the outcome of the teachers
language policing, was illustrated at length in the initial analysis of Extract 1 above.
To recap briey, the upshot is that when Hanna and Malin resume their private
interaction to start the quiz, the medium switching that started with Hannas act of
self-policing in line 10 is then fully implemented by both of them from line 21 for
the remainder of the extract. Even so, it is notable that within two minutes Hanna
switches back to Swedish over several turns, which occasions Malin to perform a
discreet language-policing act, followed by Hannas immediate (but again tempo-
rary) return to English.
Teacher to pupil: specic address
In contrast to the previous sub-category of teacher-initiated language policing, here
the English-only rule is established with specic individuals who are accused (either
explicitly or implicitly) by the teacher of having violated it. In two of the four cases
belonging to this sub-category (including Extract 2), the teacher uses a formulaic
question, are you speaking English?, which also allows the pupils to contest the
teachers implied accusation (and admonition). Since the teacher happens to be on
the other side of the classroom, in both cases the teacher raises her voice and
includes the addressee(s): you guys over thereand Mikael, respectively. In
the third case, the teacher happens to be passing behind the pair who are speaking
Swedish when she admonishes them. The accusation of breaking the English-only
rule is then delivered as a whispered statement: I thought you were speaking Eng-
lish in the beginning but now I can hear youre not, which allows these two pupils
little room for contestation. Both the question format and the whispered accusation
can be seen as modulation of the potential face threat (Brown and Levinson 1978).
Moreover, in three of the cases, the accusation is met by exchanged glances
between the offending pupils, accompanied by smiles and suppressed giggling. The
fourth case stands out from the others in that it is the only case in which an act of
policing occurs without an initial breach. Because the pupil has left her English
work at home, the teacher suggests she does her Swedish work instead. Since this
suggestion projects a potential breach of the English-only rule, the teacher delivers
a reminder to speak English in this class anyway.
Unlike the cases in which the teacher polices the whole class as part of the
procedural context, specic address typically occurs in task-oriented contexts
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(Seedhouse 2004, 153) that is, while the pupils are engaged in carrying out the
task at hand. The teachers act of policing temporarily interrupts the task and when
the task is resumed again, there is an immediate medium-switch to English. In two
of the cases, one of the pupils switches back to Swedish fairly soon after the
teachers policing act, but perhaps signicantly this switch results in language
policing by the other pupil. In the third case, where the pupils are not working in
pairs, there is no more talk for the rest of the activity. The fourth case stands out
once again, since it involves re-opening a procedural context to give instructions to
one individual.
Let us now look at the details of how the teachers specically addressed
language policing is co-constructed in Extract 2. This sequence takes place in the
computer laboratory on a separate occasion to that of Extract 1 and involves a
different web-based task. Approximately nine seconds before this extract starts, the
teacher had issued a general reminder of the English-only rule, which is demonstra-
bly acknowledged by Rebecka and Linda through their exchanged looks and
sniggering in whispered tones (cf. Extract 1, line 23).
Extract 2
Participants: K = Karen (the teacher), R = Rebecka, L= Linda
Failing to comply with the teachers reminder that they are supposed to be
speaking English all the time when [they] talk about these questions and answers,
in line 1, Linda suggests in Swedish that they write their names on the work sheet.
In the process of doing so, she manages to misspell her own name,
6
which gives
rise to giggling while she corrects it. From her position on the other side of the
Classroom Discourse 159
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computer laboratory, the teacher then issues her language-policing turn in line 12,
with an implicit accusation delivered in the form of a question as to whether Linda
and Rebecka are speaking English.
Even though Karen addresses the pair as you guysrather than by name, Linda
turns towards the teacher and, after a brief pause, responds verbally to the teachers
question in line 14. The fact that Linda responds rather than Rebecka may be
explained by Linda talking most (and in Swedish) prior to the teachers language-
policing act. Furthermore, as regards the form of the teachers language policing,
Karen self-repairs the opening of her turn, transforming it from a statement to a
question. By so doing, a bald accusation of violating the English-only rule is modu-
lated to an enquiry as to whether they are breaking it. This transformation also
opens up the possibility of denying the fact that they have broken the rule. In a cre-
ative bending of the facts, Linda says in line 14 that she has just said her name; in
line 3 she has in fact said the misspelt form of her name. After the teachers slightly
delayed and surprised news receipt (oh) indicated by the prolonged vowel and
falling intonation (in line 17), Linda turns away from the teacher, smiles, gives a
slightly suppressed giggle and exchanges amused glances with Rebecka, who then
also giggles (lines 1921). After checking the instruction sheet and clearing her
throat, Linda then continues her verbal exchange with Rebecka in English from line
23, thereby switching medium from Swedish to English in her private talk. What
Rebecka says rst, on the other hand (beyond the extract), is in Swedish. Although
it is almost inaudible, we can infer that it is in Swedish because it is immediately
policed by Linda.
Teacher to pupil: point deduction
In contrast to the previous sub-categories of teacher-to-pupil language policing, in
the two cases of this sub-group it is less clear-cut who is being addressed. Although
language policing is also delivered here in response to individuals breaching the
English-only rule, it takes the guise of a collective punishment for the whole class,
which is made public by the teacher deducting marks on the whiteboard. This pub-
lic display establishes the English-only rule in its most extreme form that is, the
teacher moves beyond reminders of the rule and warnings of sanctions to actually
carrying them out.
Rather than the examples of this sub-category sharing verbal features, step two
centres on the whiteboard, where the teacher crosses out the previous score (40
points at the beginning of a new lesson) and writes up a new score. In Extract 3
below, the teacher says the new score (39) aloud while writing it, but in the other
case she simply writes 27on the whiteboard, adjusting the score from 34
7
after
overhearing Swedish being spoken and moving from one end of the classroom over
to the whiteboard. However, in the latter case the teacher stays silent, and there is
no verbal response from the pupils either. Another signicant difference is that the
point-deduction case in Extract 3 takes place after a pupil has breached the rule
publicly (step one) in a newly established procedural context, whereas the other
breach occurs in a task-oriented context, where there is no joint focus of the pupils
attention. Moreover, the guiltypupils are not only caught speaking Swedish, but
are also engaged in off-task talk. There is also a difference in how the points are
deducted on the two occasions. In the case below, one point is removed for a whole
160 A. Amir and N. Musk
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utterance in Swedish, whereas seven points are removed in the other case, possibly
on the basis of one minus point per word of Swedish.
Extract 3 serves as an illustration of point deduction on the whiteboard visible
to the whole class. It is probably signicant for this act of language policing (step
two) that it is preceded by the teacher issuing the warning anif I hear any Swed-
ish Im taking pointsin another language-policing sequence (general address) about
40 seconds earlier. After that, the pupils disperse in order to start working on a new
project. However, the teacher subsequently interrupts the class to bring everyones
attention to protable ways of using their time.
Extract 3
Participants: K = Karen (the teacher), H =Hanna, R= Rebecka, M = Malin
In Extract 3 (as in the previous extracts), we can see that there is more than one
medium of classroom interaction. In lines 12, Karen comments publicly in English
on Malins praiseworthy act, copying the project instructions from the whiteboard.
From the opposite corner of the classroom, Hanna claims loudly and provocatively
in Swedish to have written them down already (line 4), giggling at the end of her
turn. Hannas turn is provocative in that it marks interactional disalignment on at
least two fronts: she says that Malin is not the only one to have copied down the
instructions, implying that Malins act is less praiseworthy than the teacher sug-
gests, while at the same time she displays linguistic disalignment through switching
medium.
8
Not only does Hanna signal disalignment with the teacher and speak out
of turn; she also breaks the English-only rule (step one of the policing sequence).
During Hannas out-of-turn talk, Karen briey looks at her, suspends any possible
further procedural talk and turns towards the whiteboard, ignoring the pupil who
calls for her in line 7. She then writes 39next to the number 40, which is
already written on the whiteboard, while she rather undramatically announces 39
in English (line 9). Finally, she crosses out the 40(line 10 Figure 2), thereby
completing the collective punishment of the whole class. Although this act of lan-
guage policing (step two) is in direct response to Hannas breach (step one), it also
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serves the double function of disciplining Hanna for loudly and publicly speaking
out of turn while also undermining her praise.
The upshot of the teachers language-policing act of deducting a point is that
Hanna apologises in line 11, while at the same time switching medium to English
(step three). Hanna thereby establishes alignment with the teacher through both the
act of apology and medium switching. Nevertheless, Malin then shortly rebukes
Hanna in line 13 by glaring at her and calling out her name in an abrupt and loud
fashion, also interrupting Karen, who has subsequently become engaged in private
conversation with Rebecka from line 14 onwards. Malins rebuke can be seen as
potentially addressing two issues: rst, that Hanna has belittled the teachers praise
of Malins actions and second that she has lost the class a point. However, Malins
rebuke is short-lived; after Hannas repeated laughter (lines 15 and 17), Malins
expression turns to a big smile just as she seems to be attempting to show Hanna
two ngers. About 13 seconds beyond the end of this extract, when Hanna talks
again for the rst time, she speaks English (I am looking up the newspapers)in
reply to Malins question about what she is doing, even though her question is
posed in Swedish and they are now out of the teachers earshot.
Discussion and conclusions
This study has given a detailed account of the emergent language-policing practices
that play a part in constituting the micro-level language policy-in-process in the EFL
classroom.Thus language policing is to be seen as one particularly explicit way in
which a monolingual language policy is talked into being. At the same time, our data
reveals that pupils do not adhere to the English-only rule all the time, not least
because the normal default medium of interaction of these pupils outside the
English-language classroom is Swedish. The teacher therefore plays a key role in
(re-)establishing English as the policy-prescribed medium of classroom interaction.
Figure 2. Crossing out 40(Extract 3 line 9).
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Hence the focus in this article on teacher-to-pupil language policing, though on
occasion pupils also language-police each other and even more rarely the
teacher.
In the following, we sum up and problematise our ndings with regard to the
three-step language-policing trajectory that is regularly used as a participantsmech-
anism for dealing with talk in the wrongmedium. These steps are: (1) a (per-
ceived) breach of the target-language-only rule, (2) an act of language policing and
(3) an orientation to the language policing act. We now revisit each step in turn and
compare our ndings with those of similar studies.
In our data, language-policing is almost always preceded by a breach of the tar-
get language rule (step one). The only exception is the fourth case of specic
address, where the teacher seems to project a potential breach of the English-only
rule because a pupil is going to do some Swedish revision in the English class. It is
therefore an empirical challenge to discover whether reminders to speak English,
for example, occur in more contexts without an initial violation of the rule. More-
over, in practice there is no watertight boundary between what is a violation and
what may be a valid exception to the rule. Potential fuzziness may even be
exploited or be subject to (sometimes creative) negotiation between pupils and the
teacher (cf. Extract 2).
In step two, the initiation of other-policing is regularly explicit vis-à-vis the nat-
ure of the trouble source (always the wrongmedium). Nevertheless, the policing
act may appear in different guises, such as reminders of the rule, warnings, accusa-
tions of having spoken in the L1, reprimands and even punitive measures (e.g. point
removal), most of which are reserved for the teacher. Some of the initiator tech-
niques are characterised by formulaic language, both for issuing reminders (youre
supposed to be speaking English) and warnings (if I hear Swedish Im taking
points away). Copp Jinkersons extracts (2011, 3132) also offer some evidence of
a formulaic three-turn sequence initiated by the question what is the language (that
we use)?Although the vast majority of cases involve verbal responses, our point
removal cases both include, or in one case comprises only, adjusting the points on
the whiteboard.
The third step involves a pupils/pupilsresponse to the act of policing. In our
data this almost always entails a degree of immediate compliance with the target-
language-only rule, in that pupils medium-switch to English either in their reply to
the teacher or in their subsequent talk. Nevertheless, this compliance may also be
short term. Furthermore, there may be contestation of the validity of the language-
policing act, as in Extract 2, or more subtle resistance through giggling, whispering
in Swedish or even silence. Copp Jinkerson (2011, 3233) presents a more blatant
example, in which one pupil in an English-language stream of a Finnish school
contests the blanket requirement to stick to English in off-task talk with a peer. Yet
even here, the exchange with the teacher takes place in English. In all the cases we
have come across so far, there is some degree of orientation to the act of policing.
Although the above claims about the general trajectory of teacher-to-pupil lan-
guage policing are empirically grounded, we also acknowledge that they are primarily
based on the classes of one teacher in one particular Swedish school. We have also
scanned candidate extracts of teacherslanguage policing in the studies mentioned in
the introduction and the above three-step trajectory holds so far, but further research
is needed to extend the data base to other contexts where a target-language-only
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policy is practised. Moreover, there is a need to examine pupil-initiated language
policing, as well as the many less explicit ways of doing language policy.
Notes
1. See e.g. Seedhouse (2004) for an elaborated account of the basic principles of CA.
2. We avoid the terms repairand correctionhere, partly because they are confusingly
used in different ways even within the same research tradition (see Kelly Hall 2007 for
a broader discussion of these terms). In CA, repairis usually used to denote the
practices for dealing with problems or troubles in speaking, hearing, and understanding
the talk in conversation(Schegloff 2000, 207). Thus repairis essentially a mechanism
for solving problems to do with achieving mutual understanding (intersubjectivity). The
concept of repair has also been extended to instructional contexts in classrooms within
CA (e.g. McHoul 1990, Seedhouse 2004), but there has also been critique of this exten-
sion of the term (e.g. Macbeth 2004, Kelly Hall 2007) on account of the special instruc-
tional nature and sequential organisation of these kinds of repairs. One upshot of this
critique is that Macbeth (2004) argues that a distinction should be drawn between
repairin everyday conversation and correctionin instructional correction sequences.
However, in CA approaches to bilingual talk, repairtends to be used for the corrective
practices of establishing a mutually acceptable language/code (cf. medium repair in
Gafaranga 2000; Gafaranga and Torras 2002; and an extended discussion of repair in
Gafaranga 2013). Although language policing shares some features of repair and instruc-
tional correction, the source of the trouble is always a (perceived) wrong medium. Yet
unlike the concept of medium repair, which says nothing about which medium is to be
preferred a priori, language policing always involves an orientation to the prescribed
medium of instruction.
3. As opposed to the local order of talk, where switching medium (medium suspension)is
used as a contextualisation cue (Gumperz 1982, 131), i.e. as a local meaning-making
device similar to prosodic features. This is what we nd in line 31 of Extract 1.
4. Here preference is to be understood in CA terms, i.e. not as what the teacher would like
or prefer in everyday terms, but rather as the default medium used in interactions with
the teacher in English classes.
5. In contrast to medium switching,medium suspension constitutes a temporary suspension
from the current medium to signal local meaning rather than a bid for a new medium
(Gafaranga and Torras 2002, 16).
6. To maintain anonymity, the misspelling is based on the ctitious name Linda.
7. The video recording did not catch the beginning of the lesson, where there had evidently
been another incidence of point deduction, since 40had already been crossed out and
replaced by 34. Unfortunately, we therefore do not know whether both these cases of
point deduction had been preceded by an act of language policing.
8. This case would correspond to medium suspension (Gafaranga and Torras, 2002, 17) in
that it operates locally to signal interactional disalignment (cf. footnote 3).
Notes on contributors
Alia Amir is a researcher at Department of Culture and Communication, Linköping
University (Sweden). Her PhD research deals with micro-level policy-in-process in the EFL
classroom. Her research interests are language in education and bi-/multilingualism in
education (including policies and talk-in-interaction).
Nigel Musk (nigel.musk@liu.se) is a senior lecturer in English at the Department of Culture
and Communication, Linköping University, Sweden. His main research interests concern
language learning and bilingualism, focusing particularly on situated learning processes and
languaging practices using Conversation Analysis. Further details may be found on his
website: http://www.liu.se/ikk/medarbetare/nigel-musk.
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Appendix
Transcription conventions (adapted from Jefferson 2004 and Musk 2011).
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... Results show the presence of Turkish, English, as well as a bilingual medium before and after the policing was initiated through formulaic expressions. Unlike some secondary school contexts where the English-only policy is enforced with a strict rewards and punishment policy (Amir & Musk, 2013), speaking Turkish and the bilingual medium for the most part of the lessons was not corrected by the teachers in the current study. These findings have implications for teaching EFL to young learners, language policing and code switching in secondary contexts. ...
... In this part, the organizational take on the focus of this study i.e. the action of policing and related research on language choice in bilingual classrooms is covered. CA-based language policing studies rely on an organizational interpretation of CS (Auer, 1984, Bonacina, 2010Gafaranga, 2000), and can be defined as a mechanism used by the participants to (re-)establish the prescription of target language as a classroom interaction mode (Amir, 2013;Amir & Musk, 2013). Language policing in action in the bilingual classroom context has been studied with several foci, in subtle implicit ways (Amir, 2013;Hazel, 2015), and in explicit multimodal or verbal directives (Amir & Musk, 2013Mökkönen, 2012) as well as norm vs. rule policing (Sert & Balaman, 2018). ...
... CA-based language policing studies rely on an organizational interpretation of CS (Auer, 1984, Bonacina, 2010Gafaranga, 2000), and can be defined as a mechanism used by the participants to (re-)establish the prescription of target language as a classroom interaction mode (Amir, 2013;Amir & Musk, 2013). Language policing in action in the bilingual classroom context has been studied with several foci, in subtle implicit ways (Amir, 2013;Hazel, 2015), and in explicit multimodal or verbal directives (Amir & Musk, 2013Mökkönen, 2012) as well as norm vs. rule policing (Sert & Balaman, 2018). The following characteristics are used to categorize policing: initiator strategies, modulation, the kind and distribution of members' policing methods, and the classroom environment of the police act (Amir & Musk, 2014). ...
Article
This study explores the instances when teachers employ language policing (Amir, 2013) in the Turkish EFL young learners’ context. Language policing studies are scarce in EFL young learners’ classrooms. Hence, this study is an attempt to address the gap in the literature concerning EFL young learners’ contexts from the expanding circle and contribute to the code switching literature. Data consists of 270-minute video recordings from three different classes in two private schools in Turkey and it was analysed using Conversation Analysis. Results show the presence of Turkish, English, as well as a bilingual medium before and after the policing was initiated through formulaic expressions. Unlike some secondary school contexts where the English-only policy is enforced with a strict rewards and punishment policy (Amir & Musk, 2013), speaking Turkish and the bilingual medium for the most part of the lessons was not corrected by the teachers in the current study. These findings have implications for teaching EFL to young learners, language policing and code switching in secondary contexts.
... These sequences provide researchers with access to the otherwise seen but unnoticed (Garfinkel, 1967) enactment of language policy. That is, the construction, negotiation and renewal of the medium of the classroom interaction becomes visible in and through classroom interaction (e.g., Amir, 2015;Amir & Musk, 2013;Malabarba, 2019). 'Wrong' language choice, in turn, can then be seen not only as a promising locus for investigations into language policy in action but also, and perhaps more importantly, as a "trouble source" (Amir & Musk, 2013, p. 163) that is unique to the interactional environment of the foreign language classroom (i.e., CM-for-SLA). ...
... The analysis of Extract (12), for example, showed that language alternation can increase response relevance and, therefore, the constraints on SPP production-ultimately establishing a Catch 22 situation. In (12), T1 only alternates to the L1 after continuing to display an orientation towards the target language as the preferred medium of classroom interaction (i.e., maintaining a target-language-only policy Amir & Musk, 2013). Language alternation, in this case, can be described as somewhat of "a last resort when all other resources [i.e., prosodic, lexical, sequential] had been exhausted" (Filipi & Markee, 2018a, p. 218; see also Filipi, 2018 and also Was ist los mit dir? in Extract 35). ...
... Therefore, if a teacher is continually using German or draws on the L1 in the immediate sequential environment of a CMfor-SLA sequence as the medium of classroom interaction, a reproach initiated in German does not necessarily contextualise reproachfulness by itself (see, e.g., T4's Interessiert uns das gerade? in Extract 29). The analysis of CM-for-SLA sequences characterised by language alternations as a turn design resource provides valuable insights into how language policy is lived out in practice (Amir & Musk, 2013). This 'lived out' nature of language policy also becomes observable in the pupils' responses to L2 interrogatives. ...
Book
Strategies for successful classroom management have been readily available to practitioners for at least half a century. However, despite the vast body of knowledge available, there appears to be a great deal of scope for further research in terms of developing a more detailed understanding of the interactional details of classroom management practices. Drawing on a corpus of 58 hours of video and audio recordings in English as a Foreign Language classrooms in Germany, the book provides a micro-analytical perspective of foreign language classroom management. It contributes to the body of current research by focusing on how foreign language teachers respond to pupils’ classroom norm violations using interrogative constructions (i.e. interrogative reproaches). Through a Conversation Analytic investigation of these social actions, the paper provides valuable insights into the details of the in-situ production of classroom management strategies and their underlying interactional mechanisms.
... Since CA allows us to "look at what people do and not what they think should be done or what someone else wants them to do" (Spolsky, 2004, p. 208), it is useful for examining decisions regarding and practices related to language as interactional accomplishments and their impact on students' learning trajectories (e.g. Amir & Musk, 2013;Malabarba, 2019). For example, when there is a (potential) breach of the rule to use only the target language (TL), teachers tend to initiate an act of language policing to (re)establish and maintain the TL as the medium of classroom interaction. ...
... These practices can be seen as the socialization of students into institutional monolingual norms regarding language use. However, in many cases, the enforcement of such policies may be met with students' resistance (Jakonen et al., 2018) or present challenges to intersubjectivity in learning rather than helping to maintain it (Amir & Musk, 2013;Malabarba, 2019). ...
... By analyzing self-repair practices of L2 speakers, the papers by Skogmyr Marian & Pekarek Doehler and Uskokovic & Taleghami Nikazm show that these orient to a "one language only" policy. Language policing having been observed mainly in classroom interaction (Amir & Musk, 2013), the fact that the speakers observed in the above-mentioned contributions orient to the "one language only" principle shows that they are treating the interactions in which they are engaged as constituting a learning environment. Contrary (perhaps) to the L2-classroom, in this setting, the orientation towards normative language use is less pervasive: word searches seem to aim at respecting the "one language only" policy rather than at producing grammatically and normatively "correct" talk (see, e.g., Skogmyr Marian & Pekarek Doehler's Ex. 1, where the speaker engaging in a word search eventually says "il y a beaucoup de [ ] pour faire shopping" / "there are many [ ] to do shopping", without ever articulating the searched-for noun and without producing the idiomatically expected partitive "pour faire du shopping"). ...
... In contrast to the face-to-face lectures and tutorials, which were conducted in English throughout in accordance with the university policy, the groups contain instances of code-switching of various kinds, as we will analyze below, although the communication remains primarily in English. There are no observable acts of language policing (Amir and Musk, 2013), be they lecturer/tutor-to-student or student-to-student. Instances of code-switching involve predominantly switches from English to Chinese in the form of different codes. ...
Article
Despite a rich body of research on face-work, how it is performed in online edu-social groups remains under-explored. Drawing on posts and comments of Facebook groups created for courses at a university in Hong Kong, together with interviews with students, tutors, and the lecturer, this article examines how code-switching is deployed as a powerful discursive resource in the performance of face-work. Notwithstanding English being the medium of instruction of the courses, code-switching is noticeable. Focusing on these participants' practices, our analysis discovers that code-switching serves primarily to signal the breakdown of the expectedly formal academic participation frame and the switch to an informal frame. Multiple layers of action frames are collaboratively and constantly designed and redesigned in these 'social network-educational spaces' (Chau and Lee, 2017), where the formal-informal, public-private, and academic-social boundaries become indistinct. Closer analysis within and across the spaces further reveals that norms of appropriateness of code-switching to achieve informality and solidarity may vary depending on a combination of individual, contextual, and temporal factors. In addition to contributing to existing literature on code-switching and face-work on Facebook, the article offers practical implications for understanding the increasingly informalized discourses in institutional contexts.
... We consider language policing across policy spaces and layers, from macro-level policy mechanisms through to micro-level classroom interactions (see Amir and Musk 2013), in an attempt to interrogate policing in terms of individual events and broader socio-political structures. Mainstream schooling refers to the typical education experience of 4-16-year olds in England, with students required to attend every working day between roughly the hours of 08:30-15:30 following a timetable which compartmentalises their educational experience into discrete subjects. ...
Article
This study investigates the occurrence of students’ language alternation practices during second language (L2) book talk. The data were collected at a voluntary book club for learning English at a university in Korea. The book club was implemented using Zoom. In this context, using multimodal conversation analysis, I highlight instances in which students successfully construct their book talk in English (their L2) but go further by providing translations in Korean (their first language), thus doing repair to deal with (potential) problems of understanding and speaking. The findings show that through these self-repair practices of translation the student-speakers are not only (1) pursuing mutual understanding with the recipients but also (2) managing their turn construction in their doing of book talk. I argue that through these language alternation practices, the students are treating the establishment of intersubjectivity as a central activity of the book talk, which reflects their anticipation of recipients’ possible difficulties in understanding the L2. The findings contribute to a better understanding of language alternation practices in a language learning context and expand our understanding of the endogenous nature of L2 book club activities conducted in a synchronous online session.
Article
This study explored the language practices of a small group of international Chinese students in an anglophone Higher Education context where English was the medium of instruction. The context was the first year of an early childhood education course at an Australian university. Building on findings from research in conversation analysis on language alternation and medium of interaction, the analyses sought to unveil the students’ classroom verbal and nonverbal practices as they switched between Mandarin and English. Findings show that students’ preferred medium was monolingual: English for discussing taskwork and Mandarin for resolving disagreement or confusion, establishing understanding, and selecting a speaker. Alternation to Mandarin was accompanied by whispering and the embodied actions of ‘hiding’ behind the laptop while co-occurring laughter was used to signal a language switch or to index trouble or a delicate situation. These findings suggest that language choice was not simply a practice for restoring the preferred medium. Rather the students continued to speak Mandarin until the interactional motivation for its use was completed, which legitimized the use of their shared language. The paper ends with recommendations to inform pedagogy that is sensitive to the linguistic needs of international students in Higher Education in anglophone contexts.
Article
With the availability of English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) courses, an increasing number of international students have been joining Swedish universities. However, the language use in Swedish EMI courses may display unique features; while many Swedish students have high English language proficiency, code-switching between Swedish and English is reported as a common practice by both lecturers and students, even when international students are present. Moreover, the term “international students” is often used to include students of various statuses and linguistic abilities, and the experiences and perspectives of short-term exchange students towards the language use in Swedish EMI courses are rarely documented. The current study investigates the perspectives of short-term exchange students from Japan enrolled in EMI courses at a university in Sweden. Questionnaire and focus group interview confirmed previous studies regarding the language-use practices in the classrooms. Moreover, the rate of speech, turn-taking, and background knowledge were found to hinder the learning and participation of the exchange students. The findings suggest the need to raise awareness of the language practices in Swedish EMI courses to students, lecturers, and other universities in order to support the learning experience of short-term exchange students.
Article
This paper explores the classroom socialisation of a mundane institutional language policy regarding the use of the target language: Japanese. Based on audiovisual recordings in a Japanese as a heritage language (JHL) classroom, it analyses episodes when teachers initiated repair on children’s novel English loanwords (i.e. English-based words pronounced in Japanese but not widely accepted and used), in ways that treated them (or sometimes the social actions performed through them) as problematic. Through a multimodal analysis of other-initiated repair turns and the sequences in which they were lodged, it examines how students responded, and whether and how teachers engaged in correction. In aiming to bridge research on classroom discourse using conversation analysis (CA) and language socialisation, the paper argues how repair and correction are practices for conveying the school language policy to ‘speak only in Japanese’. It also argues that these practices have the potential for socialising students beyond the classroom, to membership into (an imagined) Japanese society where monitoring one’s language use as a bilingual Japanese-English speaker may be important because the excessive use of English loanwords can become an object of others’ negative attitudes and evaluations.
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The recently established National Assembly for Wales (with the vision of a “truly bilingual Wales”) and bilingual schools are but two major sites in which bilingualism is reconstituting and repackaging Welsh. By close examination of the discourse(s) of language policy texts, the public discourse of one bilingual secondary school and the discussions of four focus groups composed of pupils from the same school, this study identifies three types of discourse which are particularly salient in contemporary Wales: a globalising discourse, a nationalist discourse and an ecology-of-language discourse. By collating the data from focus group discussions, language use questionnaires and language diaries, this study also identifies three categories of bilinguals based on their reported language use: Welsh-dominant bilinguals, English-dominant bilinguals and ‘floaters’ (balanced bilinguals). These three categories correlate with how individuals discursively construct Welsh and bilingualism. However, the medium of the focus group discussions (English or mixed-medium Welsh) correlates more closely with the category that is dominant in each focus group. With performativity theory as a framework, bilingualism is to be seen as a dynamic phenomenon, which is constantly being performatively (re)constituted through the situated practices of bilinguals. In short, this study examines how bilingualism in Wales is being performed, i.e. both how it is discursively constructed by various players in various sites, and how it is formed through everyday bilingual practices, not least those of young people in bilingual education. Keywords: bilingualism, bilingual education, diglossia, language practices, language policy and planning, Wales, Welsh, code-switching, performativity, discourse analysis, Conversation Analysis.
Chapter
The last two decades have been witness to the increasing influence, across several disciplines in the human sciences, of research that challenges established conceptions of learning and of language. Within socioculturally and socio-interactionally oriented research, attention has shifted away from an understanding of language learning/acquisition as an intra-psychological, cognitive process enclosed in the mind of the individual, toward a concern with how learning is anchored and configured in and through the social practices the learner engages in. This rethinking has partially gone hand-in-hand with a reconceptualisation of language: usage-based approaches to language have refuted a static, context-independent notion of linguistic knowledge, insisting on its adaptative, dynamic character. These reconceptualisations broaden the scope of thinking about language and learning, and open new possibilities for how we go about documenting learning.
Thesis
Traditionally, language policy (LP) has been conceptualised as a notion separate from that of practice. That is, language practices have usually been studied with a view to evaluate the extent to which a LP is (or is not) implemented (e.g. Martin, 2005; Johnson, 2009). Recently, however, Spolsky (2004, 2007, 2008a) has argued that policy and practice need not be seen as distinct and that, in fact, there is policy in language practices themselves (I use the term ‘practiced language policy’). Therefore, Spolsky’s claim represents a decisive development in the field of LP research. However, this proposal remains essentially programmatic since Spolsky does not indicate how practiced language policies can be investigated. The aim of this thesis is to address this methodological gap. The main claim of the thesis is that Conversation Analysis (CA) – a method specifically developed to describe conversational practices – can be used to investigate practiced language policies. In order to support this claim, a case study has been conducted on the language practices of an induction classroom for newly-arrived immigrant children in France. In the thesis, a broad view of CA is adopted, incorporating both sequential and categorisation analysis (Membership Categorisation Analysis). More specifically, I have used the conversation analytic approach to code-switching (as developed over the last few years by researchers such as Auer, 1984; Li Wei, 2002; Gafaranga, 2009; Bonacina and Gafaranga, 2010) and investigated a corpus of audio-recorded classroom interactions I collected in the above mentioned setting. Observation of these interactions revealed a number of “norms of interaction” (Hymes, 1972) the classroom participants orient to in order to go about the routine business of talking in an orderly fashion. For example, it was observed that each of the languages available can potentially be adopted as the “medium of classroom interaction” (Bonacina and Gafaranga, 2010) depending on who is doing being the language teacher. When no one is doing being the language teacher, it was observed, a key determinant of language choice is participants’ language preference. Finally, in the absence of any shared preferred language, French was adopted. The practiced language policy of this induction classroom consists of the set of such interactional norms. It is because CA can be used to discover and describe such interactional norms that this thesis claims it can be used to investigate practiced language policies in this induction classroom and in other settings as well. In summary, this thesis is primarily a contribution to the field of LP research. It starts from recent proposals in the field, especially by Spolsky (2004, 2007, 2008a), that there is policy in practices and shows how this programmatically formulated proposal can be implemented. More specifically the thesis shows that and how CA can be used to discover a practiced language policy. The research reported here has adopted a case study methodology, investigating language choice practices in a multilingual educational setting. It therefore contributes to the study of bilingual classroom talk, albeit indirectly. This is particularly the case as there has been very few, if any, studies of bilingual classroom talk which combine both sequential and categorisation analysis.
Article
Paul Seedhouse's The Interactional Architecture of the Language Classroom: A Conversation Analysis Perspective is the fourth volume in the Language Learning Monograph Series. The volumes in this series review recent findings and current theoretical positions, present new data and interpretations, and sketch interdisciplinary research programs. Volumes are authoritative statements by scholars who have led in the development of a particular line of interdisciplinary research and are intended to serve as a benchmark for interdisciplinary research in the years to come. The value of Seedhouse's interdisciplinary focus in the present volume is clear. He synthesizes research from second language acquisition (SLA), applied linguistics, and conversation analysis and helps us to see connections among language pedagogy, classroom talk, and the structures of social action. The reader is reminded that there have been other book-length treatments of second language classroom discourse from the perspective of conversation analysis, but these other books have focused on a small number of lessons or on a small number of classes. Another original contribution of the present volume is that Seedhouse recognizes the tremendous diversity of second language classrooms: Learners differ in their first language(s), whether they speak the same first language or multiple languages, their age, their geographical location, the cultural context of instruction, and so forth. And there are just as many relevant teacher variables. Seedhouse recognizes that diversity by incorporating seven distinct databases of classroom conversations in this study. By comparing talk across many classroom contexts he is able to show that irrespective of that diversity, the reflexive relationship between the pedagogical focus of the lesson and the organization of turn-taking, sequence, and repair holds. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Book
Drawing on recent socio-cultural approaches to research on language learning and an extensive corpus of classroom video recording made over four years, the book documents language learning as an epiphenomenon of peer face-to-face interaction. Advanced technology for recording classroom interaction (6 cameras per classroom) allows the research to move the focus for analysis off the teacher and onto learners as they engage in dyadic interaction. The research uses methods from conversation analysis with longitudinal data to document practices for interaction between learners and how those practices change over time. Language learning is seen in learners’ change in participation in their in social actions that occur around and within teacher-assigned language learning tasks (starting the task, non-elicited story tellings within tasks, and ending tasks). Web links are provided so the reader can see the data from the classroom that is the subject of the analyses.