Collaborative Planning in Process: An Ethnomethodological Perspective

Josephine Lee, Alfred Rue Burch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Following Ellis's () call for more social and process-oriented planning research, this study explores how learners approach collaborative planning tasks in the classroom as a locally contingent activity in situ. Drawing on ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, the present study focuses on a group planning stage that precedes the final task of delivering a presentation. Fine-grained analyses of the interaction reveal that group planning is essentially a nonlinear, social, and pragmatic activity wherein the students manage participant roles, resolve disputes and misunderstandings, and collectively work toward effective task completion. These findings highlight that, although the groups begin with the same task-as-workplan (Breen,; Seedhouse,), the students’ concerns are driven by locally constructed goals and plans-in-process, and as they work toward a group consensus they are required to deal with a wide range of social and interactional contingencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-575
Number of pages40
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 TESOL International Association


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