Hearing children read: an exploration and pedagogical analysis of a teacher-child interaction in infant schools

Campbell, Robin (1982). Hearing children read: an exploration and pedagogical analysis of a teacher-child interaction in infant schools. MPhil thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f7f9


The study explores the teacher-child interaction of hearing children read in infant classrooms. A total of 156 interaction recordings from six different teachers have been collected from naturalistic settings. Additionally these interactions were observed by the writer and subsequently teacher interviews took place. The transcriptions of these recordings form the basis for a pedagogical analysis of the interaction.

A descriptive system of the teacher verbal moves used within the interaction was developed. This system indicates three main varieties of moves: pedagogical, feedback and asides. The pedagogical moves are sub-divided into areas concerned with welfare, directions, providing words, word recognition, phonics and comprehension. Feedback moves consist of both positive and negative feedback. Examples of the teacher moves are provided and analysed.

Teacher word recognition moves were especially helpful to the reader. This move was most usually provided by the teacher restarting the phrase/sentence for the child and stopping immediately before the miscued word. The move was uttered with rising intonation to indicate a question was being asked. Moves which indicated to the reader to use a phonic analysis were also helpful.

It was noted that the interactions of two teachers were dominated by asides. In such instances the interaction becomes akin to a ritualised event rather than a positive teaching activity. For other teachers the interaction provided the opportunity to observe, diagnose and teach, e.g. one teacher allowed time for the child to self-correct, made frequent use of word recognition and phonic moves, and used pre-read and post-read exchanges to develop mechanical and comprehension skills.

A series of questions for teachers to use in the analysis of hearing children read interactions is outlined. Finally, a suggestion of guidelines, which a teacher might use,when hearing children read, is put forward and forms the basis for a discussion.

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