- The first English (EFL) lesson
- Initial settings or the emergence of a playful classroom culture
- Book title
- Multiple Perspectives on Language Play
- Pages (from-to)
- Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton
- ISBN (electronic)
- Language Play and Creativity
- Volume (Serie)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
This discourse-based micro-ethnographic study scrutinizes the various forms of play that are a recurrent and salient feature of a first English (EFL) lesson in a Dutch secondary school context. In the first part of the lesson collective speaking formats associated with cultural games and routines in early L1-acquisition overwhelmingly have the floor. All-class chorusing, rhymes and chants create affordances for off-record and intermittent participation modes in peer-scaffolded speaking and whispering slots. They mediate the transition from (over)hearer to (co)speaker and allow learners to find their voice in the new language - on the basis of self-selection. Individual student voices (even disrespectful ones) are also dialogically modeled by the teacher for taskrelated ‘serious’ business in playful asides in the shared L1 metalanguage (duallanguage teaching strategies). Cued by prosodic shifts, rhythmic variation and other multimodal/semiotic behavioral features, these complex footing changes (Goffman 1979) and (re)framing practices are taken up by individual learners towards the end of the lesson. In the context of an IRF sequence that elicits formulaic phrases in the L2, they spontaneously create virtual identities and playful speaking roles for themselves. Instances of play may, however, present interpretive problems for next speakers. Since play is by definition parasitic on other templates or interactional norms, the challenge is to reflect online created ambiguities in the models we develop to articulate discourse complexity in multiparty classroom floors.
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