Questions have always been an important interactional tool used by teachers to activate and facilitate the learning process. This study investigates variation in the use of questions in instructional settings that differ according to communicative mode. Using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, a contrastive analysis was carried out on questions in spoken lectures versus written text materials (both print and online). The results showed that the frequency of questions was strikingly similar in both, despite the ‘virtual' interactional dimension of the written texts. Moreover, the written materials contained numerous features typically associated with face-to-face interaction (e.g., dialogic yes/no, elliptical and ‘aggressive’ questions). Speech-like questions were especially prominent in the online texts, suggesting that this new medium has a hybrid and highly interactive nature. There was marked variation in question form and function across the two corpora, apparently influenced by the interactional efforts and pedagogic aims of the lecturers and materials writers. The findings provide new insights into the role of questions in both traditional and innovative instructional channels.

Interaction in academic lectures vs. written text materials: the case of questions

CRAWFORD, BELINDA BLANCHE
2008

Abstract

Questions have always been an important interactional tool used by teachers to activate and facilitate the learning process. This study investigates variation in the use of questions in instructional settings that differ according to communicative mode. Using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, a contrastive analysis was carried out on questions in spoken lectures versus written text materials (both print and online). The results showed that the frequency of questions was strikingly similar in both, despite the ‘virtual' interactional dimension of the written texts. Moreover, the written materials contained numerous features typically associated with face-to-face interaction (e.g., dialogic yes/no, elliptical and ‘aggressive’ questions). Speech-like questions were especially prominent in the online texts, suggesting that this new medium has a hybrid and highly interactive nature. There was marked variation in question form and function across the two corpora, apparently influenced by the interactional efforts and pedagogic aims of the lecturers and materials writers. The findings provide new insights into the role of questions in both traditional and innovative instructional channels.
Crawford, BELINDA BLANCHE
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/118445
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