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Classroom interaction: possibilities and impossibilities

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Paul SeedhouseORCiD



Recent communicative approaches have suggested that one goal of English language teaching should be to replicate ‘genuine’ or ‘natural’ rather than ‘typical’ or ‘traditional’ classroom communication. This article argues that such a goal is both paradoxical and unattainable, and that there are serious flaws in the assumptions underlying the communicative orthodoxy concerning ELT classroom interaction. It also argues that it would be more satisfactory to take an institutional discourse approach, where classroom discourse is regarded as an institutional variety of discourse, in which interactional elements correspond neatly to institutional goals.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Seedhouse P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: ELT Journal

Year: 1996

Volume: 50

Issue: 1

Pages: 16-24

Date deposited: 17/04/2008

ISSN (print): 0951-0893

ISSN (electronic): 1477-4526

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/elt/50.1.16


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