Engaging Students in Dialogical Instruction via a Talk Triangle

Prof. Feng-Ming Chi, National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan, ID LLCE2018-315;       Abstract: Dialogic Instruction (DI) is used as an instructional design and practice that provides students with frequent and sustained opportunities to engage in learning talk about various issues, and such instruction intends to get students critically engaged with each other’s ideas. This presentation reports the use of a talk triangle (TT) as a dialogical tool to explore how Taiwanese EFL (English-as-a-Foreign-Language) university students engage in TT and how such students perceive TT as a medium to enhance their dialogical ways of talking and thinking. TT is usually carried out in groups with three roles, speaker, questioner, and observer. Each student is given a card that names their role and reminds them what to do. After the conversations, the three assess the quality of the talk. The students then switch roles and begin with a new text. Fifteen students volunteered to take part in this study, and were taking an elective course entitled “Reading and Discussion” when this study was conducted. This presentation first explains the instructional procedures of TT, and then two types of data, students’ journal responses and oral interviews, were used to gauge how these students perceived TT as a medium to enhance their DI practice, and what problems they encountered in the process of practice. Some pedagogical implications generated from this work ae also addressed.

key words: dialogical instruction, a talk triangle, EFL