On observing student silence

Thomas Amundrud*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article uses conversation analysis (CA) to look at how students in an advanced EGAP (English for general academic purposes) course discussion test create and manage the silence of a group member during the 7-min session. This is combined with a personal narrative inquiry, coinspired by autoethnography, on the author's participation in the discourse and production of these silences. The CA findings indicate that turn allocations and interactional support in discussion test groups appear to be a significant factor in student silences, whereas the reflexive narrative indicates possible pedagogical limitations and changes to the author's practice. This study concludes by evaluating the research methods used, discussing the tensions and potentials of incorporating narrative techniques with CA and giving possible directions for further inquiry.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)334-342
    Number of pages9
    JournalQualitative Inquiry
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


    • autoethnography
    • conversation analysis
    • narrative inquiry
    • student silence
    • teaching English as a foreign language


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