Book ReviewsVol. 11, No. 1 (2011)

Conversation Analysis and Second Language Pedagogy: A Guide for ESL/EFL Teachers

Catherine Box

Teachers College, Columbia University


Conversation Analysis and Second Language Pedagogy locates itself at the nexus of research and practice, connecting the findings of conversation analysis (CA) to language teaching. In one sense, the text contributes to an existing, growing body of research that links CA to second language (L2) classroom interaction (e.g. Markee, 2000; Mori, 2002; Seedhouse, 2004; Waring, 2008). However, unlike most work in this vein, the authors are not attempting to describe verbal exchanges that occur in the L2 classroom. That is, rather than use CA to better understand how teachers and students talk, Wong and Waring aim to proffer CA as a way to teach talk. Indeed, his book specifically reaches out to ESL/EFL teachers tackling the task of improving their students’ oral proficiency. In addition to explicating basic tenets of CA findings, each chapter teems with classroom activities designed to get students speaking and analyzing talk. Thus, as the organization of the book demonstrates, the thrust of the text is twofold: (1) to introduce CA to ESL/EFL teachers, and (2) to provide them with CA-informed speaking activities for use in their classrooms.