Multimodal turn allocation in ESL peer group discussions

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16 Scopus citations


This article reports on multimodal practices used by English as a Second Language students as they work to distribute primary speakership within their peer group discussions. Following Goodwin’s participation framework, the focus is on the embodied conducts of the non-talking recipients and their nonvocal displays of emerging speakership in peer discussions. Analyses of the non-primary speakers’ gaze, gestures, touch, and bodily conduct show that the students’ turn allocation practices embody their sensitivity to the spatial and visual field of co-participants, project changing participation frameworks, and achieve incremental coordination of speaker nomination. Explorations of such nonvocal behaviors lead to a detailed understanding of the students’ embodied participation frameworks and the visible processes through which the students claim or avoid speakership during peer group discussions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-692
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Semiotics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 20 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • ESL
  • Multimodality
  • academic discussion
  • classroom interaction
  • embodiment
  • gaze
  • gesture
  • turn allocation
  • turn-taking


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