analysis, social organization, classroom talk

Sunday, May 07, 2006

okay, time to talk about transcripts

I've had two lots of reviewer feedback this week. One was to do with a journal article (see previous post) and the other was about a chapter for a book. Both pieces of writing draw on my phd work and both employ Jefferson notation to record talk in transcripts. The journal article analyses talk between a teacher and individual students -just short sequences of talk. The chapter involves a longer sequence of talk between students that occurred at table during independent writing. Because there were several students seated at the table I have included all their talk in the transcript. This means that some of the talk, though important to the development of my transcript and overall analysis of independent writing, appears irrelevant to the immediate analysis at hand. That is, there are several conversations going on at the same time, although I am focused on the talk between a couple of students rather than all the talk that occurred. My focus for analysis is represented in the transcript by arrows to indicate the talk that I am addressing, but yes -the transcript is complex.

The editors's feedback has resulted in my immediate need to address the complexity of the transcript. In my thesis I took a position informed by my methodological perspective, although I have not seen any papers that address the issues of developing transcripts as I had to do - representing the talk of numerous students without knowing, beforehand, what would be of interest to my own analysis.

In relation to the feedback on my chapter, I could take out the surrounding talk that appears in the transcript of the talk between two students however the result is largely a linear appearance to the transcript that does not represent the talk that occurred. More importantly, at some stages during independent writing it was obvious that some students used the "surrounding talk" of others. What to leave out or include was a problem that i had to address. I chose to include all talk. This makes for transcripts that are difficult to read but was a better result for me than developing several versions of the same transcript. Matching those up would be a nightmare. So my chapter, uses this transcript.

While I have to attend to the feedback on the chapter I have written, it is clear to me that the issue of developing transcripts that represent multiple participants completing a range of activities is an issue for the field of Conversation Analysis.

journal article

Today I received feedback from reviewers of an article that I submitted to a journal at the end of last year. The article is entitled:

Routine Encounters during Indpendent Writing: Explicating Taken-for-granted Interaction.

This article is the first that I have written out of my PhD although draws on some newer insights about the data analysis that informed one chapter out of my thesis. The reviews were helpful and I don't feel despirited at having to make some minor rewrites. It will be a stronger paper in the end.

Friday, May 05, 2006

undoing my life as I know it

I am now officially on leave from the University of Ballarat. Using up my four weeks of accrued leave will allow me to get organised, in the sense of finding tenants for the house, finding somewhere to live in Rockhampton, and making the shift of furniture, cat and self by the 5 June. While it all seems to be about the physical matters of relocating, I am experiencing a profound sense of "not being myself". Today, I put that down to the undoing of most of what i have come to know as my daily life in Ballarat. The relocation to Queensland is a big move with the expected problems and issues. However, I didn't expect to feel such a sense of loss nor to be so aware of my daily doings - currently being disrupted on lots of levels. Consequently, while I arrange something each day that needs to be done (like finding tenants for this home in Buninyong), I have a growing sense of unreality. All my taken-for-granteds have come home to roost. How easy it is to have a pet in your own home - I lost a rental property in Rockhampton this week cos the owner was allergic to cats. Going from owner of home to potential renter of a home is horrible. Worse, I am leaving my home here and renting it out. While I think i have found wonderful tenants, I feel strange handing it over. Bottom line, for the first time in my life I feel as if my career is driving me in a specific direction that undoes some things about my life that i really like. Yet I know it has to be done because the CQU position is going to develop me further as an academic.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

hey hey my green suede shoes

Originally uploaded by angie cat.
It seems a long time since the heady days of San Franciso. I have my shoes to remind me though. I bought these shoes to do serious walking and I love 'em