Australian Literacy Educators Association
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communication and Arts/Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
This paper presents an analysis of a series of lessons observed and recorded over nine weeks in a pre-primary classroom where children were undertaking science and technology activities. Using a functional discourse analysis, we describe how teachers use various strategies to structure the discourse to facilitate children's learning in this area. These strategies include various methods of controlling the topic and discourse participants, techniques involving questioning, ways of dealing with vocabulary and constructing inclusive relationships with children. We propose that explication of these discourse strategies is a valuable research tool for pre-service and new teachers who are evolving their own classroom communication skills and techniques.