Olaussen, B. (2016). Classroom Discourse: The Role of Teachers' Instructional Practice for Promoting Student Dialogues in the Early Years Literacy Program (EYLP)
Understanding that classroom discourse is important for reading comprehension and critical thinking is emerging. The aim of the present study was to analyze what teachers say and do, to promote discussion at a teacher-led station in the Early Years Literacy Program (EYLP). The EYLP is a program for reading instruction, organized at different stations. This program was chosen because a teacher-led station is the only place during the 60-minute session in which students talk with an adult. The other stations are self-instructed. We used a case study design, with video observations of two Norwegian first-grade teachers. The teaching sequences were analyzed from two theoretical perspectives: the teachers' ability to promote an "extended discourse" and the teachers' ability to use "all-purpose academic words." Extended discourse is characterized by decontextualized language use, promoting turn-taking and discussions of rare words. All-purpose academic words are abstract words adult speakers use in discussions, such as achieve, adjust, challenge etc. The results show that both teachers had positive initiations of extended discourse, but the time used for these activities was brief. Use of all-purpose academic words was scarce. How to promote classroom discourse and its consequences for students' learning is discussed.