TRANSITIONAL TALK: MANAGING THE FLOOR IN AN ADULT-LEARNER CLASSROOM
Kinser, Rebecca J.
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This study explores the management of conversational floor in adult-learner classrooms by describing topic transitions in recorded data from six instructors at one technical college in the Midwest. The analyzed data shows that a classroom on its face participates in the characteristics of what conversational analysts label a "singly-developed floor." This is a floor in which one speaker controls the conversation. However, the data also show traces of collaboration. These may suggest that the classroom -- specifically the adult-learner classroom but perhaps also classrooms in general -- is not primarily a singly-developed floor but may be either more of a "collaboratively-developed floor" or even a hybrid of the two. The evidence of collaboration takes the form of specific word choices in managing various types of topic shifts ("I" messages) and thematic references to time management. The analysis of the data that follows will describe the topic shifts, noting issues relevant to both the singly-and collaboratively-developed floor models and arguing for the hybridity of the classroom floor.
Adult education study and teaching