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The Interactional Organization of Academic Talk: Office hour consultations
     

The Interactional Organization of Academic Talk: Office hour consultations

by 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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Miriam A. Locher
In the past the large part of literature on academic talk and discourse focused on the context of classroom interaction or the written product of our academic endeavors. Instead, in this book on the interactional organization of academic talk, Holger Limberg gives center stage to the important activity of ‘academic office hours’ – a practice that many academics engage in on a weekly or even daily basis, having formed practices of their own. Following a conversation analytic approach, Limberg conducts a thorough and exemplary bottom up analysis of a corpus of 47 video-taped office hours in English departments at two German universities. This careful study of talk-in-interaction demonstrates the complexity of a practice that forms a ‘formally organized and institutionally situated event.’ True to an ethnographic conversation analytical approach, Limberg focuses on the different phases of academic office hours to investigate how the participants interactionally organize talk and orient towards the event as a form of institutional practice. He studies these events in their entirety, looking at the opening and closing phases, the body of the interaction, advice episodes and the co-construction of the academic concerns. This book is a welcome addition to the studies on academic talk-in-interaction and an inspiring example of a large scale conversation analytic study, which will be of interest to the research community from an academic as well as an applied point of view.
Prof. Neal Norrick
This monograph is engaging both theoretically and practically, offering insightful analyses of talk-in-interaction in academic office hours. It provides an excellent example of how practitioners of discourse analysis can meaningfully address important topics relevant to the daily lives of those around them.
Marda Rose
Limberg provides an excellent discussion of how the interaction during an office hour consultation unfolds, and this book serves as a useful example of how to perform such an analysis.
Yang Linxiu
The Interactional Organization of Academic Talk: Office Hour Consultations" provides interesting and critical insight into the genre of office hour consultations. It is of both theoretical and practical importance for teachers, students, and researchers who study talk-in-interaction. Theoretically, due to the fact that a great deal of research has focused on written academic discourse or on spoken discourse in the classroom, the book has filled a gap and opened avenues to studying the non-teaching environment. [...]
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.
Nur Yigitoglu
The volume should be particularly useful for faculty members as well as scholars from different disciplines who work in the areas of institutional talk and talk-in-interaction. In addition, it should serve as essential reading for graduate level courses on discourse analysis of instructional talk. Junior faculty members who do not have much experience of holding office hours would also benefit from this first booklength treatment of office hours. Given the fact that no other large-scale corpus of office hours has been transcribed and analyzed based on the conversation analysis framework in the way that Limberg did, Limberg’s groundbreaking work provides a much-needed model in the detailed exploration of spoken corpora of academic office hours.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789027256027
Publisher:
Benjamins, John Publishing Company
Publication date:
08/24/2010
Series:
Pragmatics & Beyond New Series
Pages:
411

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