The construction of schooled discourse repertoires: An interactional sociolinguistic perspective on learning to talk in preschool

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Analysis of the discourse demands across the school year within a recurrent event, “Circle Time,” is presented to show how 3- and 4-year-old students learned to be conversationally appropriate partners within a group setting, how the teacher's interactional patterns shifted as students learned to participate in socially and academically appropriate ways within this event, and how participation in the subevents of Circle Time (Milling, Transition, Singing, Talking, and Dismissal) placed differing social and communicative demands on both teacher and students. The overtime analysis of one Circle Time subevent, Talking, is presented to illustrate how 3- and 4-year-old students, in their first school experience, construct with their teachers a schooled discourse repertoire for participating in large group discussions, and how the discourse demands on the teacher shifted across time in the Talking subevent as well as across all subevents.