ForumVol. 16, No. 2 (2016)

Managing the Participation of a Young Learner: A Multimodal Teacher Practice

Lauren Carpenter

Teachers College, Columbia University


As it becomes increasingly apparent that nonverbal conduct plays an integral role in pedagogical interactions (McCafferty & Stam, 2008; Zwiers, 2007), researchers who study interaction in situ are shifting focus from solely talk toward a multimodal approach (Lazaraton, 2004; Olsher, 2004; Seo & Koshik, 2010; Taylor, 2014). From this body of research, a finding of particular interest is that teachers use nonverbal resources to manage logistics in the classroom. For example, Kääntä (2010) found that teachers allocate turns to students by obtaining mutual gaze followed by nodding. Furthermore, Cekaite (2015) found that teachers use sustained touch to get students to comply with verbal directives. This paper contributes to the growing body of research on nonverbal conduct in pedagogical interaction by examining the multimodal resources used by an English as a Second Language (ESL) tutor to manage a young student’s participation in a one-on-one interaction.