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Learning in and through classroom interaction: On the convergence of language and content learning opportunities in subject-matter learning
U. Quasthoff, V. Heller, S. Prediger, K. Erath

Learning in and through classroom interaction: On the convergence of language and content learning opportunities in subject-matter learning

European Journal of Applied Linguistics, 10(1), 57-85

This study uses an interdisciplinary approach to explore the interplay of linguistic and subject-matter learning. Drawing on previous linguistic work on discourse and genre acquisition, subject-matter teaching as well as the convergence of linguistic and content learning in multilingual classrooms, the study seeks to examine the following questions: (1) How can patterns of classroom talk support or hinder the acquisition of academic discourse competence and subject-matter learning? (2) How are these two learning domains related? The analyses of 120 video-recorded mathematics and German lessons in five classes (n=149 students, 10 teachers) in different German school types revealed two patterns of teacher-student-interaction, which differ in the participatory roles and the (language) learning opportunities they assign to the students. Two larger excerpts from mathematics-lessons are analyzed to illustrate the ways in which linguistic and content learning merge in the two patterns.