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Types of oral interactions

Teachers are constantly interacting with their students orally throughout the lesson, whether that is during whole-class, small group or individual interactions.

Below are a list of the oral interactions identified from studying teachers and students in the lesson.

Category of Oral Interaction Definition of Oral Interaction
1. Summarising Teacher recaps previously taught material or points made.
2. Comment on Success Criteria Teacher shares information about what they want students to learn or be able to do.
3. Discrepancy Comment Teacher identifies errors or misunderstandings or information about how to improve.
4. Progress Comment Teacher shares information about what has been done well.
5. Directive Teaching Teachers describe or explain task instructions, subject content, or give the answers.
6. Praise or Punishment Teacher makes a non-specific positive or negative comment.
7. Encouragement Teacher persuades student to participate.
8. Promotion of student-directed Learning Teacher directs students to work alone or with others.
9. Closed Questions Teacher asks a question with a narrow range of possible answers.
10. Open Questions Teacher asks a question with a range of possible responses and which makes students think.

Source: Mapplebeck and Dunlop (2019).


Consider the 10 categories of oral interaction. Which THREE do you think teachers in the study engaged in the most, and why?

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This article is from the free online course:

Feedback for Learning: Implementing Formative Assessment

National STEM Learning Centre