analysis, social organization, classroom talk

Saturday, February 27, 2010

new place, new plants

new plants
Originally uploaded by angie cat
This post celebrates my successful transition to Wagga. As you can see from the pic, I've begun setting up a bit of a garden in pots. I had to leave my own plants behind in Rockhampton because my belongings were in a container for a week due to train travel. So, it was highly likely that my plants wouldn't have survived. most went to good homes though (smile).

Of course, new plants are but one part of getting established again. I am happy to report that Angie is now OFF the leash. I always go back to walking her on a leash outside when we move. This time I only had to do it for a week before she was pulling away from me and wanting to do her own thing. I did it for about a month when we moved to Buninyong many years ago but then she was still only a feral kitten and so it was the move and the need to domesticate her that was the challenge. The leash helped outside.

When I left CQUniversity, I had to forfeit quite a lot of research incentive money because it was intended to promote me as a researcher there, right. I was able to purchase some books for my research library however and I was very grateful for that since books are so expensive. I got a few books on CA, an older one on narrative analysis that I have wanted for some time (Catherine Riessman)and Schiffrin's Discourse Markers. I wanted the latter because of my ongoing analysis of the children's digital data that I have. Since it is tricky to get at acquisition of new knowledge, I had figured that words like "oh" and "okay" were important during interactions between kids and between kids and adults when they were using the computer. For example, "oh" can indicate a change of state (for example, now knowing something you didn't know before, or getting something that wasn't clear before). anyhow, the book will be useful to me.

This week I started reading another of the books: it's Johana Rendle-Short's The Academic Presentation: Situated Talk in Action. I'm interested in this cos I recently transcribed (roughly) a recording of an academic presenting a seminar to other academics. It was fascinating and I wouldn't mind going back to it later and doing a proper CA transcript and further analysis.

Here are a few bits that I noted and liked in the first couple of chapters of the book:
"Although the subsequent analysis has limited itself to only examining the talk and nonverbal actions of the presenter, the analysis is not suggesting that the audience is a passive, non-responding group of individuals. Rather, the audience are co-authors to the talk-in-interaction, as demonstrated by the recipient design of the interactional event." (p. 10)

"Seminar talk is not therefore simply a series of written paragraph-like chunks of talk, it is a stream of utterances that are designed to be listened to by a particular audience, within a particular context. As a result, although presenters do talk for a bit, stop, and then talk for a bit more, they are not doing this because they are drawing similarities with written texts, but because they are designing their talk for recipients, and as such are orienting to an internal structure of the talk." (p. 32).

Of course, conversation analysts will seek to show that orientation and how it has consequences for the ensuing talk. Discourse markers are of great interest here as well.