Successfully reported this slideshow.
You’ve unlocked unlimited downloads on SlideShare!
Towards a more dialogic approach with a class of young adult refugee learners in an adult migrant English program.
“REFLECTION IN THE WILD” (Mann & Walsh, 2017, p. 100)
What does this mean to you?
“Reflection is not something which is restricted to pre- or in-service teacher education
programmes. Indeed, we believe that the ultimate goal for teachers and teacher educators is to
integrate and embed reflection in their daily professional lives. Essentially, we are saying that
reflection is a practice which teachers might like to develop in the same way they develop
expertise in other classroom practices, such as giving instructions, providing feedback or
explaining a language point” (Mann & Walsh, 2017, p. 100).
Why this project?
“Towards a more dialogic approach with a class of young
adult refugee-background learners in an adult migrant English
• Commonwealth funded intensive English program, 510 hours
English for humanitarian entrants
• Refugee background learners (15-24) unable to attend
mainstream high school
• Critical and creative thinking for successful participation in
future Australian study and work contexts
• Examine potential of a dialogic pedagogy with these beginners
as a means of engaging students in steps towards critical
• Robin Alexander
• Two “pedagogical habits: … recitation and pseudo-
enquiry” (Alexander, 2008, p. 93)
• “Talk is the foundational act of language” (Resnick,
Michaels & O’Connor, 2010, p. 163)
• Spoken interactions facilitate or hinder language
From “Ferris Bueller’s Day
Why Dialogic Teaching?
Which interactions engage students and
• Teacher is “an enabler of talk for thinking” (Myhill, 2006, p. 21)
• “Nurture … the student’s engagement, confidence, independence and
responsibility” (Alexander, 2006, p. 35)
• Alexander – 5 Principles of Classroom talk
Why dialogic teaching with young adult
refugee background English learners?
Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority’s
seven general capabilities (ACARA, 2018)
3. Information and Communication Technology
4. Critical and Creative Thinking
5. Personal and Social Capability
6. Ethical Understanding
7. Intercultural Understanding
Questions I started to ask
• If argumentation can be taught at beginning levels of schooling, is
there a way to introduce same principles to beginning adult ESL
• If I change my teaching approach, will this encourage changes
towards more critical and creative thinking for these students?
• What would these changes look like?
(“in the wild”!)
• “Now I have a different framework that underpins
how I approach lesson panning and what happens in the
classroom” (Self-reflective journal entry, August 2018)
• Changes in my thinking and approach
• Students becoming more confident risk takers and
• moving towards creative and critical thinking
Preliminary Findings: Challenges and Changes
• Classroom interactive settings (Alexander, 2018;
• Routines and instructions
• Partner and group work increases individual
confidence and willingness to speak in
How has classroom talk changed?
• Introduce and model evaluative and interrogatory talk, through
purposeful teacher talk (Alexander, 2008)
• Student responses: increased questioning
• Questioning: feedback, wait time, participation cues
• “push…[them] beyond their current abilities and levels of
understanding” (Hammond, 2005, p. 9)
How can we build confidence?
• “As learners talk through a problem, or as they ‘talk their
way to understanding’, they are developing the ‘thinking’
tools for later problem-solving – tools which will eventually
become internalised and construct the resources for
independent thinking” (Hammond & Gibbons, 2005, p. 15)
Considerations for dialogic approach
in similar contexts
• Establishment of collective, supportive classroom talk and purposeful teacher
• Changes in student confidence, engagement, willingness to ask questions and “to
take risks with English and…give expression to [their] voice” (Adoniou & Macken-
Horarik 2007, p. 13)
• Remember that we are working together on the first steps towards critical
Thankyou for listeningJ
• Alexander, R. J. (2018). Developing Dialogic Teaching: genesis, process, trial. Research Papers in Education, 33(5), 1-38. doi: doi.org/10.1080/02671522.2018.1481140
• Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2018). “F-10 curriculum: General capabilities”. Sydney, Australia: Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting
Authority. Retrieved 21 October, 2018 from https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/general-capabilities/critical-and-creative-thinking/
• Adoniou, M., & Macken-Horarik, M. (2007). Scaffolding literacy meets ESL: Some insights from ACT classrooms. TESOL in Context, 17(1), 5.
• Alexander, R. (2008) Towards dialogic teaching (4th ed). New York: Dialogos.
• Alexander, R. (2008b) Essays on pedagogy. New York: Routledge.
• Alexander, R. (2018) Dialogic teaching in brief. Retrieved 31 October, 2018 from https://www.robinalexander.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Dialogc-teaching-in-brief-
• Chen, H. (2018) Investigating the teaching of argumentative writing in culturally diverse contexts. Paper presented at the 13th University of Sydney TESOL Research Network
Colloquium, September 2018. Sydney, Australia.
• DeCapua, A. (2018). Culture myths: Applying second language research to classroom teaching. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
• Gibbons, P. (2006). Bridging discourses in the ESL classroom. London, England: Continuum.
• Hammond, J. & Gibbons, P. (2005) “What is scaffolding?” Teachers’ Voices. NCLTR
• Mann, S., & Walsh, S. (2017). Reflective practice in English language teaching : Research-based principles and practices. New York: Routledge.
• Mohammed-Marzouk, M. R. (2012) Teaching and Learning in Iraq: A Brief History. The Educational Forum, 76(2), 259-264. doi: 10.1080/00131725.2011.653869
• Myhill, D. (2006). “Talk, talk, talk: Teaching and learning in whole class discourse.” Research Papers in Education 21(1), 19–41.
• Naidoo, L., Wilkinson, J., Adoniou, M., & Langat, K. (2018). Refugee Background Students Transitioning Into Higher Education: Navigating Complex Spaces. Singapore: Springer.
• Nystrand, M. (1997). Opening dialogue: Understanding the dynamics of language and learning in the English classroom. Language and literacy series. Williston, VT: Teachers
• Playsted, S. (2018). Self-reflective teaching journal. Toowoomba, Australia.
• Resnick, L. B., Michaels, S., & O’Connor, C. (2010). “How (Well-structured) Talk Builds the Mind.” In From Genres to Context: New Discoveries about Learning from Education
Research and Their Applications, edited by R. Sternberg and D. Preiss, 163–194. New York: Springer.
Presentation from ALAA Conference University of Wollongong November 2018