The Interactional Organization of Academic Talk: Office hour consultationsby Holger Limberg
This book provides interesting and critical insights into a common university practice, the academic office hour. Office hours are a discursive site for a variety of different issues, ranging from administrative matters to course-related and study-related concerns. The study offers both an ethnographic account of this speech event within the socio-cultural context of a German university as well as a more detailed analysis of the interactional organization of academic consultations. It draws on natural recordings of entire office hour interactions in order to show how participants’ actions at different stages of the talk organize and accomplish the consultation. The analytical focus is set on the sequential activities teachers and students engage in as they conduct a consultation. This includes, for instance, how participants open an office hour talk, how they establish an agenda, how they manage advice-giving, and how they close the consultation. As such, this book will be of practical use to students and faculty members as well as scholars from different disciplines who work in the areas of institutional talk and talk-in-interaction.
Practically, this book is beneficial to all teachers and students who interact with each other face to face in the daily routine of university life. For students, the study will serve as a guide to seeking advice and receiving information from professors, instructors and tutors. Also, teachers can use it to assist them in going about informing, socializing and advising students about general academic concerns, specifically during office hour consultations. All in all, this book, which is the first on office hour consultations, is worth reading for its theoretical and practical merits. There are multiple reasons why the book can be recommended to a range of readers. It not only can serve as a course and reference book for students and researchers interested in the subject, but also sets the scene for further studies on academic talk.
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