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Dialogic discourse for formative assessment and feedback in A-Level English

Written by: Victoria Addis
9 min read
VICTORIA ADDIS, DERBY MOOR ACADEMY, UK Classroom talk encompasses a range of interactions that take place within a learning environment, from ‘procedural’ (Nystrand and Gamoran, 1991) and ‘monologic’ (Wells and Arauz, 2006; Gutiérrez, 2008) acts of recitation that centre around closed questioning and recall, to the deeper interactions that we understand as forming part of dialogic discourse, wherein ‘shared understandings are elaborated, built upon, and revised’ (Nystrand and Gamoran, 1991, p. 275). While all types of classroom talk have their place within the sphere of formative assessment, it is often closed questioning, which provides a simpler and more clearly defined set of data, that takes precedence. As Ann McCarthy has observed, however, ‘[t]he disadvantage of closed questions when working with more able pupils is that they often distract from the learning and take place when deeper learning is possible’ (2023). Furthermore, as Eaglestone (2020) has carefully

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