Pre-service Teachers’ Comparative Analyses of Teacher-/Parent- Child Talk: Making Literacy Teaching Explicit and Children’s Literacy Learning Visible

Shirley O'Neill, Deborah Geoghegan


This paper reports on the results of a meta-analysis of first year pre-service teachers’ investigations of two transcripts of teacher/student talk. The first is set in the home environment and the second in the classroom. Working with specific tools of analysis and knowledge of the role of talk in literate, cultural and social practices they identified evidence of effective literacy pedagogy. They presented their findings in the genre of a written comparative analysis. The results showed the discourse analysis task helped them understand the vital role of the adult’s talk in scaffolding children’s learning in each context and raised awareness of how the adults’ cognitive “moves” impacted on the scaffolding of literacy learning. Outcomes highlighted the need for teacher preparation courses to focus on the way classroom discourse relates to pedagogy and children’s literacy learning by providing exemplary teaching episodes, and studying the pedagogical language competencies involved.


literacy pedagogy; classroom discourse analysis; explicit literacy teaching; pre-service teacher education; teacher-talk

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