Storytelling in a Meaning-and-Fluency Task in the Second Language Classroom

Emma Greenhalgh, Ray Wilkinson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter we examine storytelling sequences elicited from L2 students in a meaning-and-fluency classroom activity. The data consist of video recordings of an adult L2 English class in the UK. The teacher is a first language (L1) English speaker, and there are three students (one Spanish L1, two Arabic L1). Our observations relate to (1) the elicitation of the story, (2) its (co-)telling and (3) its receipt. We note first that these stories are always produced as a response to a question prompt from an L2 teaching resource book. Second, we explore how this launch – and the overarching pedagogic activity – can affect the internal construction of the story, particularly in the form of co-construction by the teacher. Third, we note that when receipting the story, the L2 teacher tends to focus on alignment and understanding checks (e.g., in the form of assessments and/or continuers) rather than affiliation with the teller as is often the case in everyday conversation. We thus show that while meaning-and-fluency tasks, such as the one analyzed here, may aim to encourage conversational forms of interaction between participants, institutional – specifically pedagogical – features of interaction may still be evident.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStorytelling in Multilingual Interaction
Subtitle of host publicationA Conversation Analysis Perspective
EditorsJean Wong, Hansun Zhang Waring
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780429029240
ISBN (Print)9780367139247, 9780367139216
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021

Publication series

NameESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series


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