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In the introduction to the special issue on ‘Instructing embodied knowledge’, we present a general orientation into this growing field of research, providing the relevant background for the individual contributions. The starting point for the endeavor is the basic observation that practical knowledge or ‘knowing-how’ is typically of a procedural, implicit and embodied nature rather than explicit-conceptual. Given this specific nature, we highlight the fact that for transmitting this type of knowledge, instructors make use of specific multimodal practices that are adjusted to these characteristics. The notion of instructional practice furthermore emphasizes that instructing embodied knowledge is a highly collaborative process between learners and their instructors. In order to provide a broad take on the phenomenon, we review both social-interactional as well as cognitive approaches to embodied knowledge and discuss how the procedural and intercorporeal nature of this knowledge may challenge different views. Independent of the specific approach that is chosen, any account of the construction/instruction of embodied knowledge should emphasize that it is essentially (i) a social activity, (ii) involving the deployment of different semiotic resources, and (iii) using different techniques and devices, such as descriptions, directives and demonstrations. Based on a review of the literature and on the papers in the special issue, we identify a set of key questions that may help to shape the agenda for future studies in the field. The questions relate to the temporal-sequential organization of instructions, the continuum between demonstrations and performances, and the relationship between perceptual access, sensation and the acquisition of embodied knowledge.
Instructing embodied knowledge.
Multimodal approaches to interactive practices for knowledge constitution
Oliver Ehmer (University of Freiburg),
Geert Brône (University of Leuven),
For publication in Linguistics Vanguard. Introduction to the Special Issue.
Draft version 22.1.2021. Please do not quote.
1 The transfer of practical knowledge
The acquisition of knowledge, both conceptual and practical, is the cornerstone of all types of instruc-
tion, and in fact of societal dynamics as a whole.
Apart from the study of the product of acquisition,
i.e. demonstratable knowledge, uncovering the dynamic processes through which this knowledge is
passed on can provide valuable insights into (collaborative) instructional practices as well. In fact, re-
cent work in conversation analysis, interactional linguistics and sociology has focused on the acquisi-
tion and transfer of practical knowledge (e.g. knowledge related to the body, to movement and to
'doing things' understood as skills), zooming in on the intrinsically social nature of these activities.
Based on the empirical analysis of various instructional settings, it has been demonstrated that partic-
ipants interact and collaboratively organize the transmission, acquisition and constitution of
knowledge using different verbal and nonverbal resources. Among&the&phenomena&that&have&been&
studied&are&music&(Haviland 2007; Reed and Szczepek Reed 2013; Szczepek Reed et al. 2013; Reed and
Szczepek Reed 2014; Reed 2015; Sambre and Feyaerts 2017; Stevanovic 2017; Reed 2019), dance
(Müller and Bohle 2007; Keevallik 2010; Kolter et al. 2012; Müller and Ladewig 2013; Broth and
Keevallik 2014; Keevallik 2014b; 2015; Evola and Skubisz 2019), sports (Okada 2013; Evans and
Reynolds 2016; Evans and Fitzgerald 2017; von Wedelstaedt and Singh 2017; Singh 2019; Keevallik
2020), self-defense and martial arts (Schindler 2011; Stukenbrock 2014a; Schindler 2016; Stukenbrock
2017; Råman and Haddington 2018; Råman 2019), driving and flying (Melander and Sahlström 2009;
De Stefani and Gazin 2014; Levin et al. 2017; Deppermann 2018a; c; Mondada 2018; Helmer 2021),
cooking (Mondada 2014a; Raevaara 2017), handicraft (Lindwall and Ekström 2012; Heinemann and
Möller 2015), dentistry (Hindmarsh et al. 2011; Rystedt et al. 2013; Hindmarsh et al. 2014; Lindwall
and Lymer 2014), surgery (Bezemer et al. 2011; Mondada 2014c; b; e; d; Zemel and Koschmann 2014),
vocational training (Filliettaz 2007; Filliettaz et al. 2010) and visits in museums (Kesselheim 2012).
When dealing with practical knowledge, a key feature to be taken into account is that much of this
knowledge is bound to the body, and may therefore be implicit (Ryle 1949; Fuchs 2012) rather than of
an explicit conceptual nature that can be easily verbalized (see section 2 below). As a consequence,
instructors frequently rely on elaborate multimodal practices, for instance, bodily demonstrations or
simulations of the activity at stake (Goffman 1986 [1974]; Clark and Gerrig 1990; Streeck 2009; Putzier
We thus understand instruction as the 'practice(s) of teaching'. Besides this understanding of instruction being 'educa-
tion', Lindwall et al. (2015) further distinguish two other understandings, namely instruction referring to 'directives' and
instructions as 'written manuals, recipes and guidebooks'.
2012; Müller 2014; cf. also Clark 2016b). Demonstrations are usually not simple nonverbalperfor-
mances or displays of the knowledge to be transferred, but highly structured social activities of sharing
and distributing conceptual knowledge adjusted to their instructional purpose. Apart from demonstra-
tions, instructors obviously also rely on other practices like, corrections and different kinds of direc-
tives. It is common to those practices that bodily and verbal resources are tightly coordinated to build
multimodal gestalts (Mondada 2019), e.g. holistic patterns with a temporal structure involving differ-
ent semiotic resources that are possibly coordinated across participants. In addition, since instructions
of embodied knowledge are not only bound to the body and space but also to time, systematic pat-
terns can be observed on different scales, ranging from the micro-timing of different modalities on the
level of single utterances up to large sequential and interactional patterns.
Next to a social-interactional approach to practical, embodied knowledge, other views on embodiment
and/in language have been proposed, which may generate valuable insights into the processes of in-
struction as well. A major strand in cognitive science, for instance, deals with the foundations and
ramifications of embodied cognition (Clark 1997; Lakoff and Johnson 1999; Pecher and Zwaan 2005;
Clark 2016a). This view holds that many aspects of (human) cognition are embodied in the sense that
they are rooted in and dependent on the cognizer’s physical body. In linguistics, this has been demon-
strated in the large body of research on metaphor and image schemas, which has its roots in early
work by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (Lakoff and Johnson 1980; Johnson 1987; 2018). What the
significant body of research on this topic has shown is that much of abstract thinking and abstract
linguistic knowledge depends on corporeal experience. In fact, it remains an open question, whether
abstract conceptual knowledge can be fully separated from practical knowledge, given the strong in-
terrelatedness between the two. In addition, instructional activities oft aim at making the implicit more
explicit and at transforming the practical into conceptual knowledge. Furthermore, there one can as-
sume further layers of knowledge that are not directly accessible, e.g. knowledge about, for instance
how a certain s type of dance usually looks like, the history of it, the positions and roles participants
take on etc. In the case of the embodied practical knowledge, we zoom in on here, however, the
relationship between the body and ‘knowingis more direct, and in this sense, it may be interesting to
explore the relationship between preconceptual experience, embodied cognition and embodied
This thematic issue on Instructing embodied knowledge presents a collection of concise empirical stud-
ies very much in the spirit of the Linguistics Vanguard journal that illustrate the ongoing work on
the construction, transfer and communication of practical knowledge. Although these contributions
are informed by different theoretical and methodological frameworks, including the ones mentioned
above, they are united in a common focus on the intrinsic multimodal nature of these activities, com-
bining linguistic descriptions and bodily-spatial analyses. Taken together, these studies provide an
overview of recurrent questions, challenges, commonalities and differences in the different ap-
proaches to embodied instruction. This introduction serves to situate these approaches and highlight
the particular focus of the individual contributions. In the next section, we discuss some of the chal-
lenges related to (the instruction of) embodied knowledge, on the basis of which we formulate a set
of key questions that guide the contributions to this special issue, but arguably also much of the re-
search on this topic as a whole (section 3). In section 4, we briefly describe how the individual contri-
butions relate to these key questions and formulate the main results of these studies.
2 Embodied knowledge in (inter)action
As we mentioned above, it is a widely held position that a large body of knowledge is tacit. This idea is
captured in Polanyis well-known quote “We know more than we can tell” (Polanyi 1966). By distin-
guishing between knowing and telling, a binary opposition is created that is reflected in numerous
works, including studies on embodied knowledge:
Tacit knowing vs. explicit knowledge (Polanyi 1966).
Knowledge by acquaintance vs. knowledge by description (Russell 19101911)
Knowing that vs. knowing how (Ryle 1949)
Implicit vs. explicit memory (Schacter 1987)
Practical/performative vs. semantic knowledge (Wulf et al. 2001; Foppa 2002)
Procedural vs. declarative knowledge (Engelkamp and Zimmer 2006; Anderson 2007)
When applying such oppositions to the type of embodied knowledgethat is central to the present
thematic issue, it is apparent that we are dealing with knowledge that needs to be enacted by the lived
body in order to be accessible in the interaction (be it in dance, instrument playing, singing, sports or
any other type) and in this sense defies its separation from that same body as its original habitat. In
other words, it is a form of knowledge that is non-representational in the sense that it can only be
partly ‘representedat the conceptual level (cf. declarative/semantic knowledge) without resorting to
the lived body: ‘the knowerand ‘the knownare inseparably intertwined. This basic characteristic of
embodied knowledge can be related, at least in part, to its holistic character, meaning that different
modalities of perception and experience are integrated with each other to build ‘gestalts. In other
words, we are dealing with "forms of knowing that are based on intermodal and sensorimotor gestalt
units, that means, they integrate different sense modalities and bodily movements into a holistic ex-
perience" (Fuchs 2016). Important to note, these gestalts usually exhibit a particular temporal or pro-
cedural structure, in which the different interacting resources may be guided or constrained by differ-
ent temporalities (Deppermann and Günthner 2015; Deppermann and Streeck 2018; Mondada 2019).
That is to say, certain (non-)verbal actions tend to occur simultaneously whereas other actions occur
prior to others, thus projecting and somehow constraining the appearance of a following action in the
gestalt. In other words, the integration of different modalities as part of a holistic structure does not
presuppose strict simultaneity. In addition, embodied knowledge does not only pertain to individual
actions performed by individual bodies, but in many cases is also inextricably bound to bodily actions
by others. The notion of intercorporeality, which was coined by Merleau-Ponty (1945; 1964), has re-
cently received increasing attention in research on social cognition and embodied interaction (Tanaka
2015; Meyer et al. 2017). It highlights the grounding of intersubjectivity in the bodily presence of self
and other(s), thus providing a framework for the analysis of the bodily nature of social interaction.
Of course, such binary distinctions between types of knowledge e.g. knowing that and knowing how
should be interpreted as cover terms for highly diverse fields of knowledge. Regarding body
knowledge, several suggestions have been made to systematize different forms of knowledge. (cf.
Casey 2000; Fuchs 2017). Fuchs (2012) distinguishes six forms of memory of the body: procedural,
situational, intercorporeal, incorporative pain and traumatic memory. Procedural memory arguably is
the kind of body knowledge that is most often referred to, since it comprises "patterned sequences of
movement, well-practiced habits, skillful handling of instruments, as well as familiarity with patterns
of perception" (Fuchs 2012). It is also this kind of knowledge that is most subject to explicit instruc-
tional activities. It is important to note that Fuchs does not only include the bodily actions into the
notion of body knowledge but also different kinds and patterns of perception. From an interactional
perspective, the importance of perception in practices has been highlighted by Charles Goodwin (1994;
2001; 2003) in his work on professional vision (Nishizaka 2017; cf. Melander 2018). But of course, be-
sides seeing, other kinds of perception like smelling, tasting and feeling may form an integral part of
social practices and the respective body of knowledge (Nishizaka 2011; 2014; Jenkings 2017; Mondada
2019; 2020). In instructing body knowledge, the perceptive dimension deserves particular attention,
since the instructors face the task to instruct these aspects as well.
The largely procedural and intercorporeal nature of embodied knowledge is a particular challenge for
linguists aiming at a systematic analysis of embodied interaction. How can linguists deal with infor-
mation that we can generally not express by speaking? In fact, when looking at the literature on the
transmission of embodied knowledge, we find notions such asstumme Weitergabe” ‘tacit transmis-
sion(Schmidt 2008) and 'unvoluntary exhibition during performance' (Schindler 2011) to characterize
the process. Some authors even characterize certain kinds of performative knowledge as something
das nicht sprachlich übermittelt, sondern nur am eigenen Leibe erfahren werden kann” (‘that cannot
be transmitted through language, but rather only experienced through one's own body) (Fischer-
Lichte 1999). One particular locus of investigation that may be of interest to linguists is the acquisition
and transfer of embodied knowledge, for instance in teaching, training and/or coaching situations,
because this setting often requires forms of (verbal) explicitation or demonstration of the knowledge
to be transmitted and acquired. What emerges is an interesting tradeoff (or tension) between two
major ways of acquiring embodied knowledge: implicit “learning by doing” and experiencing on the
one hand and explicit “learning by synthesizing” on the other. An interactional-linguistic account may
provide valuable insights into the relationship between these learning/teaching processes by ap-
proaching the construction and instruction of embodied knowledge as (i) a social activity, (ii) involving
the deployment of different semiotic resources, and (iii) using different techniques and devices for the
communication of knowledge.
Studying the instruction of embodied knowledge as a social activity implies a focus on the collaborative
organization of the ‘learning activity, as has been shown among others in the context of driving in-
struction, dance instruction, dentistry training, surgery training, self-defense trainingand martial arts
training sessions, among many others (for references see introduction above) . It is argued, that in-
struction in those contexts is organized by communicative practices. Following Deppermann et al.
(2016) the notion of (communicative) practice highlights the materiality of the communicative situa-
tion and the use of multimodal resources in gestalt like patterns with a temporal structure. Further-
more, practices are typically related to certain participation frameworks (e.g. instructor(s) and learn-
ers) and social actions (e.g. correction, request, assessment). Practices are routinized patterns that are
reflexively bound to contexts, due to their indexical nature. In addition, practices are typically bound
to certain historical contexts. It has also been shown that practices may not only be domain specific
but also tend to occur across settings to which they are then adapted (a.o. Stukenbrock 2014b).
Second, adopting a multimodal perspective on this activity requires all different semiotic resources to
be treated on a par, including gesture, posture and eye gaze (cf. Filliettaz 2007; Nishizaka 2007; San
Diego et al. 2009; Nishizaka 2011; Arnold 2012; Nishizaka 2018). Taking into account the above-men-
tioned tradeoff/tension between verbal explicitation and implicit learning by doing, a multimodal ap-
proach is particularly interested in the tight temporal coordination of bodily and verbal resources in
instructional sequences. This coordination can be studied at the micro-level of single utterances as
well larger sequential-interactional patterns (Keevallik 2013; Reed and Szczepek Reed 2013; Szczepek
Reed et al. 2013; Broth and Keevallik 2014; Mondada 2014b; Keevallik 2015; Levin et al. 2017).
And thirdly, apart from the social and multimodal nature of the activities at hand, research on the
instruction of embodied knowledge needs to zoom in on the techniques and devices that are used.
These include descriptions (as a form of explicitation), directives (which can be verbal as well as non-
verbal) (Rauniomaa 2017; Stevanovic 2017; De Stefani 2018; Deppermann 2018b; Okada 2018),
demonstrations (Goffman 1986 [1974]; Mondada 2011; Putzier 2012; Keevallik 2013; Rystedt et al.
2013; Keevallik 2014b; Putzier 2016; Råman 2019; Evans and Lindwall 2020), related concepts such as
depictions, simulations and iconic representations (Hindmarsh et al. 2014; Clark 2016b), the use of
embodied metaphors (Kolter et al. 2012; Müller and Ladewig 2013; Müller 2014), the creation of mul-
timodal viewpoints (Sambre and Feyaerts 2017 ), correction techniques and assessments (Weeks 1996;
Keevallik 2010; Muntanyola-Saura 2015; Evans and Reynolds 2016; Evans 2017; Levin et al. 2017), the
use of voice (Keevallik 2019), and on the learner's side for instance practices of displaying understand-
ing (Hindmarsh et al. 2011), the involvement in joint imagination (Nishizaka 2003; Keevallik 2014a;
Stukenbrock 2014a; 2017; von Wedelstaedt and Singh 2017), etc.
3 Key questions
Based on the brief orientation sketched above, which has shown that the instruction of embodied
knowledge may be of interest to several (sub)disciplines, we can identify a set of key questions that
may help to shape the discussion. The contributions to this special issue address (and hopefully help
to answer) some of these questions, but we hope that they may also serve as a mission statement‘
for research on this topic, shaping the agenda for future studies as well. In general, the questions can
be clustered in three groups. A first set of question deals with the way in which instructions are con-
strued, both in terms of the semiotic resources involved and the temporal-sequential organization. A
second set focuses on demonstrations as a central practice and the potentially interesting relation
between demonstration, rehearsal and actual performance. A third and final set reflects on the rela-
tionship between perceptual access, sensation and the acquisition of embodied knowledge.
Multimodality, Temporality and Context in Instructions
How are demonstrations and other kinds of instructions organized in time at different levels
of granularity/within units of different sizes (utterance, sequence, phase)?
What is the relationship between the verbal and the bodily level in instructional interaction?
For example, which verbal, vocal and nonverbal resources are used and which are their func-
tional profiles? How are descriptive, iconic and deictic resources combined and alternated?
For example, can a nonverbal depiction ‘take over froma purely verbal description? Which
aspects of meaning does the verbal level ‘addto a bodily demonstration?
Can we find multimodal gestaltsin instructions, e.g. relatively stable patterns that are con-
stant over different contexts? How are such patterns adapted to, for example, different
skills/activities, participation formats and group sizes?
Demonstration, Rehearsal, and Actual Performance in Instructional Settings
How can we capture the continuum between the demonstration/simulation of an activity and
its actual performance/doing? E.g. the difference between demonstrating a dance step, prac-
ticing this step and actually dancing.
To what extent are such differences interactionally relevant for the participants involved? Do
participants signal (gradual) differences between demonstrations and actual doings of an ac-
tivity in interaction?
Can demonstrations be realized collaboratively, e.g. as multimodal co-constructions? And if
so, which are the roles of the two demonstrators?
Seeing, Experiencing, and Knowing in Instructions
What is the relation between seeing and doing in instructional settings? As part of the instruc-
tional interaction, students/learners often first see the demonstration at hand. How is the vis-
ually accessible information structured verbally?
How do instructors distinguish between visible or otherwise perceptible skills, and communi-
cate sensations and experiences that are not visibly accessible, like body internal sensations,
intercorporeal sensations, haptic sensations, sound and music qualities and tastes? How is the
acquisition of professional perception accomplished?
How is an increase of knowledge reflected in such activities? How can we provide interactional
evidence of the learning effect of such practices? How do instructors adapt their interventions
due to (non-)progressions in ‘knowing’? Which are the implications that can be drawn for im-
proving the transmission of embodied knowledge?
Important to note is that cutting across these sets of questions, there is an ongoing discussion on ter-
minological and conceptual distinctions relating to embodied knowledge. The papers in this special
issue contribute to this discussion and, reflecting the different perspectives we have collected on the
phenomenon, represent -sometimes radically- different positions. For instance, in the questions
above, we have resorted to concepts such as demonstrations, depictions, simulations and iconic rep-
resentations, which roughly refer to the same (set of) phenomena but may differ in scope or definition,
depending on the particular theoretical framework in which they are used. Rather than trying to re-
solve the terminological confusion in this introduction, which would warrant a contribution of its own,
or take a stance in the discussion, which would go against the broad spectrum we aim to present, we
refer the reader to the individual papers for further discussion. We present the key ideas of these
contributions in the following section.
4. Contributions to the special issue
Setting the scene, the opening paper of the issue distinguishes between different kinds of learnables
in instructing embodied knowledge (Szczepek Reed). A first set of papers deals with different practices
of demonstration or depiction (Hsu, Brône and Feyaerts; Keevallik; Ehmer; Singh). The second set of
papers focuses on more conceptual practices, making use of concepts like image schemas, metaphors
and metonymy (Sambre; Stevanovic). The issue concludes with two papers that widen the scope and
deal with the role of experience and epistemic access in gaining, instructing and sharing knowledge
(Reed; Kesselheim and Brandenberger)
Beatrice Szczepek Reed distinguishes two kinds of 'learning goals' or 'learnables' in vocal master-
classes. While body-focused learnables concern physical skills, concept-focused learnables concern
mental processes and concepts. While the author acknowledges that all learnables in musical classes
are both conceptualized and embodied, she shows that the two mentioned learnables are instructed
differently. In the instruction of body-focused learnables the body itself is oriented to as the 'place
where the desired action originates', by using for examples visual access to the students body, touch
and material objects as interactional resources. Concept-focused instructions are instructed though
the body as well but the body plays a similar role as in much of human interaction, and it is used as a
vehicle for communicating 'invisible processes'. Resources employed here are for example depictions
of 'to-be-imagined' mental states and explicit lexical references to concepts.
Hui-Chieh Hsu, Geert Brône & Kurt Feyaerts use the concept of depiction, as it was recently spelled
out in Clark's Staging Theory (2016), to zoom in on instructional sequences in which meaning is com-
municated by resorting to nonverbal rather than verbal resources. More specifically, they single out
the phenomenon of speech-embedded nonverbal depictions (Hsu et al. 2021), which revolves around
the staging of physical scenes, using gestures, facial expressions, vocalizations, gaze, etc. for others to
imagine the scene depicted. Based on instances collected in cello master classes, they discuss patterns
of multimodal iteration, where roughly the same meaning is communicated multiple times (possibly
for instructional purposes), using different semiotic resources and/or signaling methods. It is shown
how this phenomenon can be treated using insights from dialogic syntax (Du Bois 2014), a model de-
veloped for the analysis of parallelisms and affinities across turns in conversation.
Leelo Keevallik analyzes the role of vocalizations in the instruction of bodily skills in the particular
context of jazz dance teaching. Using sequences of multiperson interaction, involving a teacher work-
ing with a large group of students, she shows that vocal resources other than entrenched (lexical)
symbols can be used to express simultaneous body movement. Vocalizations present an interesting
case for the emergent nature of meaning, arising in and as part of the interaction, and conveying in-
dexical, embodied and sensory rather than conventionalized information. At a methodological level,
she argues that Conversation Analysis provides a suitable framework for the analysis of the transfer of
embodied knowledge in (inter)action.
Oliver Ehmer focuses on demonstrations as a resource for instructing embodied knowledge. The au-
thor highlights the fact that demonstrations are social activities in which not only the instructor but
also the learners may participate. He zooms in on one way of co-participation, namely students syn-
chronizing with the actions of instructor. Based on a corpus of dance classes in Argentine Tango two
distinct practices of synchronization in demonstrations are analyzed. In orchestrated synchroniza-
tionsthe instructors actively pursue the student's synchronization, which typically happens for the
instruction of new knowledge. In emergent synchronizations, in contrast, the instructor rather invites
than requests the studentssynchronization, a practice which is typically used to realize corrections.
The two practices of synchronization, the author argues, should be considered as prototypes with pos-
sible transitions along a continuum, constituted by various criteria such as timing, bodily-spatial for-
mation, and direction of synchronization.
Ajit Singh approaches the question how embodied knowledge is socially mediated and communica-
tively constructed by studying embodied action plans in training sessions in trampolining. Action
plans can be understood as the embodied equivalent of projections as described in Conversation
Analysis for talk-in-interaction, referring to complex embodied practices through which actors pre-
pare and coordinate further actions, in a way that is observable and thus rooted in a social and com-
municative project. The sequential analysis of a longer exercise unit in trampoline training shows
how these embodied action plans are used by both athletes and coaches for instructing, by making
use of pre-enactments (i.e. demonstrations), relevant for the subsequent performance of an exer-
cise. The social dimension of such pre-enactments becomes apparent as well because of their role in
the production of intersubjectivity: embodied action plans are directed towards a spatially present
and perceptible ‘other’ engaged in the process of knowledge communication.
Paul Sambre in his contribution challenges the concept of image schemas, a term used in cognitive
linguistics to refer to embodied prelinguistic structures that motivate patterns in language and
thought, when confronted with the instruction of embodied practices. More specifically, he argues
that the notion of high musical pitch, conceptualized in terms of an abstract embodied image schema,
needs to be replaced by a multidimensional body schema, taking into account the interplay between
speech, gesture, the performing body and the musical instrument (in this analysis the trumpet). Rather
than adopting the classical view on high pitch in terms of upward verticality, he argues that this con-
ceptualization needs to be enriched by other dimensions such as nonvertical movement or immobility,
which better reflect the natural corporeal reality of the embodied knowledge to be acquired. Such
enriched schemas may provide a more dynamic and flexible resource on which both teachers and stu-
dents can rely in the process of knowledge transmission.
Melisa Stevanovic zooms in on the use of noun metaphors of bodily behavior in the instruction of
children's music instrument playing. Combining insights from Conversation Analysis and Conceptual
Metaphor Theory, she presents a sequential analysis showing the temporal relation of the metaphor-
ical elements in the teacher’s instruction and the children’s handling of the instrument. A close reading
of video-recorded sequences shows that metaphors may serve as initial orientation points, through
which teachers can assess students’ knowledge and through which students can demonstrate that
knowledge. At the same time, the analysis reveals that metaphor turns may help teachers in initiating
correction in a complex movement sequence, but also in the formulation of an affirmative evaluation
of students’ performance. In this sense, metaphors may serve as an important instructional resource
in the transmission of embodied knowledge, transforming experiential features into an intelligible be-
havioral gestalt.
Darren J. Reed analyzes how instructors manage to claim that they have knowledge about the internal
workings of a student's body. The internal workings of ones own body and how the body feelsare a
domain of experience that inherently belong to the epistemic territory of that particular person. It is
thus a practical problem for instructors to claim knowledge about this domain, in some cases even to
know better than the person herself. Based on data from musical master classes, in which a student is
instructed in front of an audience, the author analyzes how an instructor of Alexander technique deals
with this problem. This is realized through a sequential development from an intimate contact to the
student, involving interpersonal touch, to a public display for the audience, using mimesis. In his con-
tribution the author makes a point in how Conversation Analysis may be used to methodologically deal
with invisible sensorial interactionsbetween participants and how those interactions are integrated
into multimodal patterns of sense-making.
Wolfgang Kesselheim & Christina Brandenberger zoom in on the experience and transfer of
knowledge in the context of science and technology centers. Such centers typically offer hands-on
exhibits through which visitors can discover and experience particular natural phenomena. And since
most visitors do not visit such centers alone, an interesting question is how individual, often multisen-
sorial experiences are shared with co-visitors, leading to a form of transfer of bodily experienced
knowledge in situ. The authors distinguish between two patterns of joint discoveries in this specific
setting. In the first type, the co-visitors establish a joint focus of visual attention in their common per-
ceptual space, which in this particular study is measured using mobile eye-tracking data of recorded
participants. In the second type, a co-visitor repeats the actions of another visitor that led to a partic-
ular discovery, hence creating a form of reproduction sequences that is strongly based on shared ex-
perience and intensified intercorporeality.
4 Acknowledgements
This issue is based on a symposium held at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg (Germany), Feb-
ruary 25-26, 2019, that was co-hosted by the guest editors of the volume. It was supported by a grant
from the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of Baden-Württemberg (Az: Research Seed Capital
- RiSC 2017) to Oliver Ehmer and a grant from the Flemish National Science Foundation (FWO) to Geert
Brône. Angelika Götz took care of the nitty-gritty organizational aspects in a lovely way. We would
especially like to thank Anja Stukenbrock who provided a commentary on the papers at the end of the
symposium, highlighting commonalities and perspectives. Of course, this issue would not have been
possible without the support of the external reviewers, who dedicated their precious time in reading
the manuscripts. For their helpful and highly supportive comments we would like to thank Elwys De
Stefani, Vito Evola, Beate Hampe, Henrike Helmer, Emily Hofstetter, Dorothea Horst, Silva Ladewig,
Xiaoting Li, Florence Oloff, Silke Reineke, and Ulrich von Wedelstaedt. Last but not least we would like
to thank Susanne Flach, the area editor of Linguistics Vanguard, for her professional and smooth han-
dling of the publication process.
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... It is a "task faced by every community" to create "both the objects and the tools that populate its environment" and "the skilled actors capable of not only recognizing these objects, but knowing in fine detail how to use them to constitute the activities that sustain the community" (Goodwin, 2018, p. 307). In settings in which embodied skills are at issue, such as music and sports, instructions, overwhelmingly, are shown to be multimodal accomplishments (Ehmer and Brône, 2021;Råman, 2019;Reed and Szczepek Reed, 2013). Adopting multimodal conversation analysis (Mondada, 2019;Streeck et al., 2011), the current article focuses on error-correction (Weeks, 1996a), a practice constitutive of the overall instruction (Lindwall et al., 2015), observed in a particular performance-based setting: taiko ensemble rehearsals. 1 Error-correctionda phenomenon prevalent in any kind of performance rehearsalsdis a joint achievement, in which participants address "observable-and-reportable" (Garfinkel, 1967, p. 1) failure on the part of the instruction recipient in producing the instructed action as instructed (Amerine and Bilmes, 1988), and the lack of competence exhibited therein. ...
... Instructional activities in performance-based settings, particularly, error-correction, can be a perspicuous locus for probing into such transformative operation. In fact, instructing embodied skills has been shown to be a co-operative action fundamental to our mundane lifeworld (Ehmer and Brône, 2021;Lindwall and Ekstr€ om, 2012). Take corrections in a dance lesson (Keevallik, 2010). ...
This article introduces two types of choral chanting observed in correction sequences in a performance-based setting. Drawing excerpts from video-recorded taiko ensemble rehearsals, I use multimodal conversation analysis to examine how members use in correction kuchi-shōga, a semi-conventionalized repertoire of taiko-specific ideophones. I first show a typical, collaborative case and then examine a “competitive” case, where members challenge, quasi-synchronously, each other's version of kuchi-shōga. The analysis explicates (a) how kuchi-shōga is laminated with the pointing gesture in the form of choral chanting, (b) how this configuration is contingently (re)structured upon a distinctive temporal organization characterized by the rhythmic constraints of the taiko music, and finally, (c) how these temporal constraints afford the use of choral chanting as an embodied allocation device, locally tailored to particular interactional needs. Based on Goodwin's co-operative action, I argue that kuchi-shōga is members’ resource, accumulated and sedimented through repeated transformative operations on materials inherited from (absent) predecessors. These findings contribute to literature on instructional activities, and that on rhythm and temporalities in embodied interaction, reinforcing the significance of a culturally-sensitive analysis of co-operative action in performance-based settings.
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This paper explores the role of the lived body in maritime professional training. By focusing on how instructors include students' subjective experiencing bodies as an educational resource and context for directives and demonstrations, the study aims at informing training of professionals for survival in emergency situations onboard ships. Drawing on a mobile video ethnography and on phenomenological analyses of the presence/absence of the body in experience, the study illustrates how instructors direct students' attention towards or away from their appearing corporal field depending on the stage of the training. The article documents three instructional practices incorporating students' lived embodiment during training: coping with distress by foregrounding the lived body, backgrounding the lived body for outer-directed action and imagining others'embodied experiences. The study contributes to our understanding of intercorporeal practices in instructional interaction and guidance in simulation-based vocational training.
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The framework of depicting put forward by Clark (2016) offers a schematic vantage point from which to examine iconic language use. Confronting the framework with empirical data, we consider some of its key theoretical notions. Crucially, by reconceptualizing the typology of depictions, we identify an overlooked domain in the literature: “speech-embedded nonverbal depictions,” namely cases where meaning is communicated iconically, nonverbally, and without simultaneously co-occurring speech. In addition to contextualizing the phenomenon in relation to existing research, we demonstrate, with examples from American TV talk shows, how such depictions function in real-life language use, offering a brief sketch of their complexities and arguing also for their theoretical significance.
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en This study investigates how driving school instructors adapt their instructions to constraints and affordances of different activity types. Adopting a Conversation Analytic approach and building on a comparative corpus of theoretical and practical driving lessons in German, it compares sequences of instructions of the execution of the “shoulder check” (i.e., checking the blind spot) in stationary theoretical versus mobile practical driving lessons. In theoretical lessons, the instructor uses vivid and humorous embodied instructions. In practical driving lessons, the instructor orients to the complex multi‐activity and delivers instructions in a succinct manner, considering the students’ previous knowledge and the embeddedness into the global tasks. The paper shows how instructional practices are sensitive to contextual contingencies which they reflect and treat by their situated design. RESUME es Diese Studie beschäftigt sich mit der Interaktionstypspezifik von Instruktionen in der Fahrschule und geht der Frage nach, wie Definitionen von Begriffen und Erklärungen von Lerninhalten an die Möglichkeiten und Beschränkungen verschiedener Aktivitätstypen angepasst werden. Aufbauend auf einem komparativen Korpus theoretischer und praktischer Fahrschulstunden vergleicht die konversationsanalytische Untersuchung Instruktionssequenzen zum “Schulterblick” im stationären, theoretischen vs. mobilen, praktischen Fahrunterricht. Im theoretischen Frontal‐Unterricht verwendet die Fahrlehrerin anschauliche und humorvolle, oft normative Instruktionen. Im praktischen Fahrunterricht im Auto orientiert sich die Fahrlehrerin an der komplexen Multiaktivität und verwendet konkret veranlasste, knappe Instruktionen, die sie an das Vorwissen ihrer FahrschülerInnen sowie die Gegebenheiten der Situation anpasst und in eine globalere Lernaufgabe einbettet. Der Artikel zeichnet nach, wie die Gestaltung der instruktionellen Praktiken die jeweiligen kontextuellen Bedingungen reflektiert.
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When instructors train people in physical actions, they often demonstrate what they want the learner to do. When basketball coaches use reenactments in training sessions, we find that they organize them in two ways: (a) as a performance treating the players as passive learners (what we call “demonstration as performance”); and (b) as active co-ordinated action among the players as involved coparticipants (what we call “demonstration as enactment”). It is through this ordering of cooperative organizations that, we argue, an enactment is achieved that is maximally coherent and followable as instructions for the observing audience of learners. Data are in Australian English.
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This study presents a microanalysis of what information performers “give” and “give off” to each other via their bodies during a contemporary dance improvisation. We compare what expert performers and non-performers (sufficiently trained to successfully perform) do with their bodies during a silent, multiparty improvisation exercise, in order to identify any differences and to provide insight into nonverbal communication in a less conventional setting. The coordinated collaboration of the participants (two groups of six) was examined in a frame-by-frame analysis focusing on all body movements, including gaze shifts as well as the formal and functional movement units produced in the head–face, upper-, and lower-body regions. The Methods section describes in detail the annotation process and inter-rater agreement. The results of this study indicate that expert performers during the improvisation are in “performance mode” and have embodied other social cognitive strategies and skills (e.g., endogenous orienting, gaze avoidance, greater motor control) that the non-performers do not have available. Expert performers avoid using intentional communication, relying on information to be inferentially communicated in order to coordinate collaboratively, with silence and stillness being construed as meaningful in that social practice and context. The information that expert performers produce is quantitatively less (i.e., producing fewer body movements) and qualitatively more inferential than intentional compared to a control group of non-performers, which affects the quality of the performance.
This article develops an ethnomethodological and conversation analytic approach of sensuous practices based on video materials and multi‐modal analyses. Focusing on professional training in cheese tasting in Italy, the article shows the interplay between the bodily sensorial access to a material object and verbal descriptions of its sensorial qualities. Sensorial experience is not only configured as the body touching, smelling, or tasting a sample, nor simply orchestrated as a response following an authorized instruction; it is organized by multiple sociomaterial resources, including tasting grids as textual artifacts for enhancing and disciplining the senses. The article proposes a praxeological and interactional approach of sensoriality that integrates bodies, language, materiality, and normativity.
Utilizing the conversation analytic method, this research examines the multimodal ways in which Brazilian jiu-jitsu and aikido teachers guide their partners in demonstration sequences i.e. situations where the whole class is observing them teach a particular technique. In the data, the teachers and their partners do not negotiate the techniques prior to showing them, but rather rely on in-situ haptic cues and pragmatic knowledge of the sport to advance the demonstration sequence. Typically, the focus of the teaching is on the actions of the teacher, who normally adopts the role of the ‘tori’, the executor of the technique. This study shows that by resorting to more implicit modalities of guidance, teachers can create affordances for their partners to display their sport-specific pragmatic knowledge and pedagogical agency in a way which allows the focus of the teaching to shift to the actions of the ‘uke’, the receiver of the technique. At the core of interaction between the teachers and their partners in demonstrations are shown to be the paired actions of guiding and responding.
Am Beispiel des leistungsorientierten Nachwuchstrainings im Trampolinturnen wird untersucht, wie die Vermittlung von Körper- und Bewegungswissen durch Trainerinnen und Trainer sowie Athletinnen und Athleten gemeinsam koordiniert wird. Ausgangspunkt ist die These, dass Körper in einer Weise sinnhaft handeln und kommunizieren, die (methodisch) beobachtet, interpretiert und verstanden werden kann. Die videographische Studie verdeutlicht, dass die kommunikative Vermittlung von Körperwissen im Sport einer komplexen Orchestrierung unterschiedlicher Modalitäten unterliegt. Dabei reichen die verkörperten Wissensformen von grundlegenden Bewegungsfolgen bis hin zu Körperspannung, Zeitgefühl oder Konzentrationsfähigkeit. Anhand feingliedriger Interaktionsanalysen wird aufgezeigt, dass die gemeinsamen Abstimmungen durch Zeigen, Imaginieren, Re- und Preenactment und andere Formen der Wissenskommunikation kein Beiwerk sind, sondern in sozialer Hinsicht wesentlich für das, was sich in Trainingssituationen als kommunikative Konstruktion von Körperwissen realisiert.