Affordances of conversation analysis for investigating EMI classroom talk

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


It has long been established that talk and interaction in classrooms have a critical role in the learning process (Vygotsky, 1978; Mercer, 2000). Therefore, it is crucial that we extend our understanding of the interactional dynamics of classroom talk. One qualitative methodology to analyse interactions is conversation analysis (CA). A CA analytical framework has been shown to be fruitful to identify interactional patterns in educational contexts and analyse verbal and multimodal resources in these interactions (Silverman, 2016). The present chapter argues that a CA approach is essential to gain insight and understanding of how interactions facilitate or hinder the learning and teaching processes in EMI contexts. It aims to demonstrate how to harness the affordances of CA in such, often multicultural and multilingual settings, by highlighting three broad areas where a CA approach can especially contribute to EMI research. First, CA has the potential to examine the interactional dynamics of classroom talk by focusing on teacher-student and student-student interactions taking an emic approach by providing insights from the participants’ perspective (Heron & Dippold, 2021). Second, EMI studies that focus on knowledge co-construction and ‘doing explanations’ can benefit from a CA methodology (Llinares & Morton, 2010). Finally, a CA analytical framework can contribute new insights into the understanding of the roles and uses of multiple languages in the EMI classroom talk, a topic that has gained considerable interest in the field (Duran et al., 2022). The chapter also discusses the foundations and main steps of CA studies and provides a critical perspective of a CA methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQualitative Research Methods in English Medium Instruction for Emerging Researchers
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Case Studies of Contemporary Research
EditorsSamantha M. Curle, Jack K. H. Pun
Place of PublicationAbingdon, U. K.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781000917017
ISBN (Print)9781032451312
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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