The organization of off-task talk in second language classrooms

Numa Markee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


How do we know when second/foreign language (S/FL) learners are ‘off-task’ during small group work? Teachers and learners probably know intuitively when this kind of event occurs. However, there is no empirical work on how such talk is constructed. This chapter uses conversation analysis (CA) to explicate the achievement of off-task talk in terms of its sequential placement, and examines the difficulty of maintaining such talk in the face of co-occurring on-task talk in the wider classroom. Finally, the chapter discusses the value of CA insights for second language acquisition (SLA) studies, classroom research (CR) and S/FL teacher education and training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationApplying Conversation Analysis
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780230287853
ISBN (Print)9781403942333
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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