Initiating and carrying out L2 instruction by asking known-answer questions: Incongruent interrogative practices in bi- and multilingual peer interaction

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Fredrik Rusk, Fritjof Sahlström, Michaela Pörn
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Linguistics and Education
Volume number: 38
Start page: 55
End page: 67
eISSN: 1873-1864


Conversation analytic (CA) studies on second language (L2) learning show that known-answer questions posed by teachers form an integral part of the social interaction in L2 classrooms. However, studies on peers asking known-answer questions of each other when orienting to L2 learning have not been conducted. Focusing on L2 learning as social action, and using the CA framework of epistemics in interaction, this study investigates how peers use known-answer questions as interactional practices in L2 learning. In the epistemic framework, known-answer questions can be called incongruent interrogatives; the results show that they appear to initiate instructional sequences and propose epistemically asymmetric positions when peers engage in the joint activity of L2 learning. This study demonstrates that peers are capable of doing L2 learning and illustrates the need to provide students with the opportunity, and responsibility, to do L2 learning with each other.


Conversation analysis, Epistemics in interaction, Second language learning, Social interaction

Last updated on 2020-08-04 at 06:59