analysis, social organization, classroom talk

Saturday, July 25, 2009

oh okay

After a writing frenzy over the last two months, I am now going to turn my hand to some new analysis. Yes, it is time for more conversation analysis and then the article I have promised myself ie a proper CA article. From experience, it takes several months for a new line of work and so I think it will take the rest of the year to produce that. I am going to use the children in cyberspace data and data that i haven't analysed thoroughly yet.

Today I have been looking over the recording and transcript of the children doing the lizard searches. There's such a lot in that. Previously I had completed a kind of rough characterization of the work of each turn in the interaction however i saw different things today. I think that is in part because of having attended the pragmatics conference where I attended a number of CA conferences. Anyhow, my attention was taken by the use of "oh", and "okay" and "oh okay". For example, in the following roughly transcribed section you see examples of these:

[M is a young boy not quite six, L is his mother and R is the researcher (me)]

M: ((looking at R)) it's pretty hard to find some letters
R: do you need a ↑help
M: yes
R: what are you looking for
M: 'r'
R: this
M: u::::::m
M: I definitely know where that is (2.0) 'e' again
((typing and looking at keyboard))
M: 'n' errr
M: okay what's the:::r letter that faces that way okay?
R: ['b'
M: [that ?
M: ((types))oh yeah
M: oops (2.0) I need to clear one out
R: can you do that?
M: I need to do a space
R: do you know how to do it
M: nuh
R: oh
L: ooh what don't you know how to do darl?
M: ((pointing))um:::: clea::r that letter out
L: that one (0.2) it's this one remember (0.6) is that the one
M: because I need to leave a space
L: oh (0.2) oh okay (0.2) yeah that bar which the- which one are you trying to:: to spell in
M: that one (0.4) °'b'°
L: okay so it's green that's right and that's the space (0.4)and then you do the next letter
M: ↑uh ↓oh
L: °now that°

So, okay is used in interesting ways here. I may make it the focus for my analysis and have started doing some reading. Schegloff has this to say:

"As "oh" can serve a possible closure to a sequence in which informing and information figure centrally, then so can "okay" and its variants serve for sequences in which various other actions .. figure centrally. AS we shall soon see, many sequences feature both of these characteristics, and parties oriented to closure in third position in such sequences may then deploy combinations of these closing "moves"" (2007, p. 123)

Schegloff's use of 'informing' and 'information' sparked my thinking since these seem central to many aspects of the children's use of computers as suggested in the transcript above.

I did a search and came up with the following which provides some excellent leads for further reading:

Same token different actions


Sunday, July 19, 2009

To melbourne and back

I've had a busy week at the International Pragramatics Association conference in Melbourne. It was a great conference i.e. good papers, great venue (University of Melbourne), fantastic accommodation (a two-bedroom unit just 30 metres from Lygon Street that I shared with my friend and fellow conversation analyst Gillian Busch), a catchup with other friends and colleagues including my friend Kathy Roulston from the University of Georgia) AND a visit to Ballarat to see my current writing partner and friend Robyn Brandenburg and to check out my dearly beloved house in Buninyong (just near Ballarat university).

So, it was a full week and a fantastic time. There is something to be said for smallish conferences and a tight focus (in the case of this conference there were a number of conversation analysts presenting and that was very very good for making connections and for thinking more about the method/methodology).

My preparation for the conference was seriously hampered by a writing agenda over the last few months that has seen me criss cross between various bits of research (transcription, children and cyberspace and independent writing). It hasn't been the best way to work although I am pretty happy with the results (two journal articles and two conference papers for the first half of the year). I also have developed a number of draft journal articles and conference proposals that are on the go, including two for AERA for 2010. so i've been busy but all over the place and it took its toll on my leadup to the pragmatics conference.

Over the next six months I want to work on the production of a good CA paper. I will use my kidz and cyberspace data but channel my energies into getting on top of an aspect of CA analysis that emerges from my analysis of data that i haven't yet analysed. I've been working for two years to establish a core of publications and I've done that although the papers aren't all CA focused but instead addressed to a readership that encompasses literacy (so papers that draw on the application of CA to inform literacy). So now I would like to get back to CA focused work.

My focus for the next few months will be to analyse the rest of the kidz and cyberspace data, write a CA paper and develop a conference proposal for the CA conference in Mannheim in July 2010. that should keep me busy and in a tightly focused way. let's see what pans out (smile).

Thursday, July 09, 2009

check it out!