Third position repair for resolving troubles in understanding teacher instructions

Badem-Korkmaz F., BALAMAN U.

Linguistics and Education, vol.60, 2020 (AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 60
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.linged.2020.100859
  • Journal Name: Linguistics and Education
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), Linguistic Bibliography, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Psycinfo
  • Keywords: Classroom discourse, Conversation analysis, Instruction-giving, Teacher talk, Third position repair, Understanding
  • TED University Affiliated: No


Teachers’ instruction-giving practices in classrooms are largely recognized as the primary condition for the smooth progression of pedagogical activities. Following the formulation of the instruction by teachers, students are expected to perform preferred actions in the next relevant place in interaction. It is also likely that potential troubles in understanding teacher instructions might arise, which leads to delays of activity completion. Such troubles are made visible in interaction through two ways: (1) students’ explicit claims of non-understanding and (2) teachers’ identification of trouble in understanding without students’ explicit claims. Using multimodal conversation analysis for the examination of video-recorded higher education English as a foreign language classroom interactions (25h), this study mainly deals with the latter in response to gaps in the literature and sets out to describe a method in particular deployed by an L2 teacher for the identification and resolution of understanding troubles in instruction-giving sequences, namely third position repairs. The findings provide insights into L2 classroom discourse.