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Book: Micro-Reflection on Classroom Communication

Chapter: Attend to Learner Voices

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.35454


To a large extent, the quality of classroom communication hinges upon the teacher’s ability to tune in and respond to emerging students’ voices. Using a great variety of transcripts from actual classroom interaction that capture a full range of interactional details, this chapter takes the readers through a four-stage process of developing an ability to engage in micro-reflection on attending student voices. (1) What we do offers a guided reading of how attending to student voices in real time requires the astuteness and agility to hear layered messages, offer tailored assistance, follow students’ leads, and work from within their world. It requires making specific responsive moves at specific times. (2) What we use leads the readers through a forensic examination of the specific features of talk, gesture, and environment drawn upon to enable the aforementioned practices. (3) What we notice offers a series of exercises that invite the readers to identify practices and their enabling features in another set of transcripts and in their own teaching. (4) What we practice provides a list of practical tasks for the readers to complete both during their teaching and as they consider recordings and observations of their own and others’ teaching with a focus on the practices and enabling features that attend to student voices.

Chapter Contributors

  • Hansun Waring ( - hwaring) 'Teachers College, Columbia University'
  • Sarah Creider ( - screider) 'New York University'