Zahra Qassemi

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The present paper reports on a study examining how English for academic proposes (EAP) teachers’ language use can contribute to opening up or obstructing learning opportunities for learners. In doing so, audio-tapes of a typical tutorial session of four EAP instructors, seven hours of recordings in all, were closely analyzed. Conversation analysis (CA) methodology was adopted to demonstrate how teachers’ intended or inadvertent online decision-makings affected learners’ participation. Results unfolded that extended teacher turn, limited wait-time, extensive repair, and teacher echo erected some obstacles in the way of learners’ participation and consequently minimized interactional space. The results also evidenced that overriding practice around material text as well as skill and system mode coupled with focus on display questions curbed the learners’ active involvement in more dialogic discussions. Furthermore, it was evidenced that the teachers’ over-reliance on L1 and translation could contribute to a less L2 exposure and communicative setting. Some implications for pertinent stakeholders and fertile grounds for further research are presented. 


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