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Bridging Discourses in the ESL Classroom

"Bridging Discourses in the ESL Classroom" examines the interactions between learners and teachers in a content-based classroom. It aims to identify patterns of discourse which support both second language development and curriculum learning, and the pedagogical contexts in which they occur. These interactional patterns are bridging discourses in that they build on the everyday language and prior experiences of the student in the process of developing the specialised academic registers of school. The study examines the use of these bridging discourses in two case study classrooms to show how they offer affordances for learning. This book puts forward an innovative new approach to the analysis of classroom discourse. Drawing on systemic functional linguistics and sociocultural theory, it argues that the significance of classroom talk for second language development can only be understood when it is examined within its situational, historical and sociocultural context. The book is recommended for academics and postgraduates researching applied linguistics and education.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Bridges to Where?; Talking Across Disciplines; Researching the Classroom; Patterns and Themes in Classroom Talk; Teachers and Learners Constructing New Meanings; Teaching as Mediation; Discourse Contexts for Second Language Learning; Review of Implications; References.

About the Author

Pauline Gibbons teaches postgraduate courses in TESOL at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her publications include Learning to Leam in a Second Language, (1993, Heinemann), and Scaffolding Language, Scaffolding Learning: teaching ESL children in the mainstream classroom.


"[This] detailed systematic investigation of real life classroom discourse offers great potential for teacher training purposes and also provides a valuable classroom-based research resource for anyone concerned with ESL learners' linguistic and academic growth." -Studies in Second Language Acquisition--Sanford Lakoff "Gibbons presents a compelling argument for teachers to be critically aware of their own language uses, as they enable collaborative dialogues with and amongst their students. For teachers, researchers and students in linguistics and education, this book is an invaluable resource." Barbara Lasserre, Lecturer, ELSSA

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