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dr. H.R. (Jet) van Dam van Isselt

Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities
Photographer: onbekend

Visiting address
  • Spuistraat 134
Postal address
  • Postbus 1641
    1000 BP Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile


    ACLC      Amsterdam Centre for Language & Communication
                    University of Amsterdam

    Research Group Institutional Discourse

    Research Interests

    Classroom Discourse
    . Institutions are talked into being. My interest in formal discourse analysis originated in my work as a teacher trainer and my search for a coherent framework to describe what relevantly happens in the course of a lesson (or, more recently, a lecture). How do experienced teachers deal with the complexities of  multiparty classroom talk on a daily basis? For my PhD (1993) I zoomed in on two very first English (EFL) lessons in a Dutch secondary school and used Polanyi & Scha's Linguistic Discourse Model (1983; 1988) to articulate what I called 'the classroom machine': a metaphor to trace and model the multiple framing and reframing  practices (i.e. online context changes) that institutional multiparty discourse is prone to (cf. also Kramsch 2002; Bannink & Van Dam 2006). 

    Ecology of language acquisition.  This joint UC-LOT project originated in our close collaboration with Claire Kramsch, Jonathan Leather, and Leo Van Lier. It addressed the tension between static closed-system models of Language Acquisition and a growing attention to its situatedness: the acquirer's extensive interaction with their environment - spatial, social, cultural and so on. Two Research Workshops were held in Amsterdam and Berkeley on integrated approaches to language acquisition and language socialization. A book on that subject, co-authored by Jonathan Leather and myself, appeared with Benjamins in 2002 (see also website Ecola).

    See also: 

    Claire Kramsch (Ed.)(2002)

    Language Acquisition and Language Socialization; Ecological Perspectives

    . London: Continuum Publishers. 

    Jonathan Leather & Jet van Dam (Eds)(2003) Ecology of Language Acquisition . Amsterdam: John Benjamins

    Website Ecola (currently asleep..)

    E-learning: UvA-ICTO projects.  Currently Anne Bannink and myself collaborate on two learning environments for the UvA, entitled 'Competences in Context'  (CiC) for university teachers and 'Interactie in de klas' respectively. CiC shows selected videotaped episodes from lectures and seminars taught by experienced and gifted professors for the benefit of their less experienced colleagues (for article and video data, link to demo below).

    J.van Dam van Isselt (2009), Mixed genres in lecture room discourse. In Botma, Bert and Jacqueline van Kampen (eds.) Linguistics in the Netherlands 26 , pp.39-50. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

    Competenties in Context Demo

    Anthropology of Education . As a visiting scholar at the Stanford University School of Education (invited by Ray McDermott) I became increasingly interested in micro-ethnographic studies and anecdotal data. This resulted in lectures and publications on a longitudinal   school diary co-authored by two teenage Dutch girls in the 1970s. A chapter in Ecology of language acquisition (2002) is devoted to these data and more in particular the language play that routinely, often collusively, goes on in classrooms. An article in Dutch, in Biografie Bulletin (2009), shows that language play is intimately related to discovering a new sense of identity - and to learning.

    Selected Publications

    Discourse Structure; Classroom   Discourse

    van Dam van Isselt, H.R.   (1993),   " Her name is - uh dat weet ikniet"; Authenticity in the L2 classroom.  PhD dissertation, University of Amsterdam.
    Bannink, A. & Van Dam, J. (2006),   A dynamic discourse approach to classroom research.   Linguistics & Education, 17(3), 283-301.
    van Dam van Isselt, Jet (1995) Participant structure and the online production of discourse context. In: den Dikken, M. & K. Hengeveld (Eds.) Linguistics in the Netherlands 12 ( pp. 61-73). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    van Dam van Isselt, H.R. (1995) Where's the lesson in all this talk? Structural features of classroom floors.In: Huls, E. & J. Klatter-Folmer (Eds.) Artikelen van de Tweede Sociolinguuistische Conferentie (pp 125-138). Delft:Eburon.  
    van Dam van Isselt, H.R.(1998) Stemmen in de klas: structurele dimensies van sprekersrollen.  Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen , 58, 193-201. 
    Language acquisition in context

    Leather, J. & J. Van Dam (Eds.) (2003). Ecology of   Language Acquisition . Amsterdam: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    Leather, J.   & J. Van Dam (2003). Towards an ecology of language acquisition. In: Ecology of Language   Acquisition (chapter 1,   pp. 1-31). Amsterdam: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    van Dam, J. (2002). Ritual, face andplay in a first English lesson: bootstrapping a classroom culture. In: Kramsch, C. (Ed.), Language Acquisition, Language Socialization: Ecological Perspectives (pp. 237-266). London: Continuum Publishers.

    Teacher Education

    Bannink, A. & Van Dam, J. (2007) Premature closure and guided reinvention: A case study in a web based environment, Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, vol.13, 6, 565-586.
    Bannink, A. & Van Dam, J. (2007), Bootstrapping reflection on classroom conversations, Evaluation and Research in Education, 20(2), 81-100.

    Anthropology of Education

    van Dam, J. (2003). Language acquisition behind the scenes: Collusion and play in educational settings. In:   Leather, J. & J. Van Dam (Eds.)(2003), Ecology of   Language Acquisition (pp. 203-221).

    Selected Lectures

    A collusive school diary: 'chatting avant la lettre'. Ethnography of Comunication Conference, June 2012 Omaha (USA)
    What counts as acquisition data in educational settings?  Language Ecology: an Interdisciplinary Symposium (UC-Berkeley)

    A Dynamic Discourse Approach to Classroom Research

    Bootstrapping Reflection on Classroom Conversations

  • Publications


    • van Dam, J., & Bannink, A. (2017). The first English (EFL) lesson: Initial settings or the emergence of a playful classroom culture. In N. Bell (Ed.), Multiple Perspectives on Language Play (pp. 245-280). (Language Play and Creativity; Vol. 1). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. [details]




    • Bannink, A., & Van Dam, J. (2007). Bootstrapping reflection on classroom interactions: discourse contexts of novice teachers' thinking. Evaluation and Research in Education, 20(2), 81-99. [details]
    • Bannink, A., & Van Dam, J. (2007). Premature closure and guided reinvention: a case study in a web-based learning environment. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 13(6), 565-586. [details]



    • Bannink, A. (Author), & van Dam van Isselt, J. (Author). (2016). Competenties in Context. Web publication/site, Retrieved from [details]
    • van Dam van Isselt, J., & Bannink, A. (2016). Bending the rules: language play, creativity and iconicity in a learners' school diary. In A. Bannink, & W. Honselaar (Eds.), From variation to iconicity: festschrift for Olga Fischer on the occasion of her 65th birthday (pp. 85-103). Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Pegasus. [details]


    • van Dam van Isselt, J. (2009). Spelen met identiteiten: het schooldagboek van twee tieners, 1971-1974. Biografie Bulletin, 19(1), 13-21. [details]
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
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