Balance Competing Demands

Micro-Reflection on Classroom Communication - A FAB Framework - Hansun Zhang Waring

Hansun Zhang Waring [+-]
Teachers College, Columbia University
Hansun Zhang Waring is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Education at Columbia University Teachers College.
Sarah Creider [+-]
New York University
Sarah Creider is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Multilingual Multicultural Studies in the Department of Teaching and Learning at New York University. She has been an adjunct in the TESOL and Applied Linguistics programs at Teachers College, Columbia University and at Hunter College, and was the interim director of the TESOL Certificate Program at Teachers College, Columbia University.


The classroom is an environment replete with competing demands: the drive to promote participation, for example, may compete with the necessity of order, the mandate to evaluate, or the very essential goal of ensuring learning. Using a great variety of transcripts from actual classroom interaction that capture a full range of interactional details, this chapter takes the readers through a four-stage process of developing an ability to engage in micro-reflection on balancing competing demands. (1) What we do offers a guided reading to help teachers become sensitized to the multiple demands that plague classroom communication and to show how a delicate balance may be achieved via such practices as embedding conversation in IRF (Initiation-Response-Feedback), assimilating learner voice, alluding to the institutional frame, and finally, deploying a multimodal solution.(2) What we use leads the readers through a forensic examination of the specific features of talk, gesture, and environment drawn upon to enable the aforementioned practices. (3) What we notice offers a series of exercises that invite the readers to identify practices and their enabling features in another set of transcripts and in their own teaching. (4) What we practice provides a list of practical tasks for the readers to complete both during their teaching and as they consider recordings and observations of their own and others’ teaching with a focus on the practices and enabling features that balance competing demands.

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Waring, Hansun; Creider, Sarah. Balance Competing Demands. Micro-Reflection on Classroom Communication - A FAB Framework. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. Jan 2021. ISBN 9781781797365. Date accessed: 14 Oct 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35455. Jan 2021

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