ForumVol. 16, No. 2 (2016)

Navigating Collaboration: A Multimodal Analysis of Turn-Taking in Co-teaching

Allie Hope King

Teachers College, Columbia University


In a number of educational contexts, it is common for two or more teachers to co-teach, or collaborate on-site together in a classroom. Despite the popularity of this arrangement, the body of discourse-analytic literature on co-teaching remains small. A good number of the studies that have been done have analyzed the participation structures of the collaborative interaction, examining the nuanced ways the teachers participate in and adhere to various aspects of turn-taking protocols while teaching (Bloome, Carter, Christian, Otto & Shuart-Faris, 2005). In the English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom, where a native English-speaking teacher and a local English teacher co-teach, a handful of studies (e.g., Butterfield & Bhatta, 2015; Lee, 2016; Luo, 2013) have looked at how two instructors navigate the well-known Initiation-Response-Feedback (IRF) sequence. This work has shown that the collaboration can add both complexity and versatility to the ways IRF unfolds. Other work looking at interaction between novice teachers paired with expert cooperating teachers (e.g., Roth, Tobin, Carambo and Dalland, 2005) has revealed that two instructors can make use of spatial resources to facilitate more seamless turn-taking.