ACLC Amsterdam Centre for Language & Communication
University of Amsterdam
Research Group Institutional Discourse
Currently I am guest editor of a special issue of the open access journal Languages, together with Anne Bannink.
Title of the issue: Institutional Discourse and the Covid-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities.
Below the call for papers:
Call for Papers
Classroom Discourse Institutions are talked into being. My interest in formal discourse analysis originated in my work as a teacher & teacher trainer and my search for a coherent framework to describe, on a moment-by-moment basis, how insiders co-construct what relevantly happens in complex classroom situations. Where is 'the lesson' in all this talk? How do teachers and learners know 'where they are' at a particular moment in the flow of talk or activities - especially after 'other business' (interruptions; embeddings) have had the floor? For my PhD (1993) I zoomed in on two first English (EFL) lessons in a Dutch secondary school. I used Polanyi & Scha's Linguistic Discourse Model (1983; 1988) - and, of course, multimodal data - to trace how insiders process the nonlinear moves (POP/PUSH) that lessons at school (like most other discourse genres) are prone to. I called this attempt to model classroom data the 'Classroom Machine' (see link PhD; ch.3) : a metaphor to trace and model the (re)framing practices (online context changes) that participants in MP classroom situations orient to when making sense of each other's behaviour in class.
See: Jet van Dam van Isselt (1993) "Her name is - uh dat weet ik niet" Authenticity in the L2 classroom. PhD, University of Amsterdam. Link to separate chapters: UvA-DARE-PhD page
See also: Bannink & Van Dam 2006; Van Dam & Bannink 2017.
Ecology of Language Acquisition. This UC-LOT project originated in 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. Research Workshops were held in Amsterdam and Berkeley on integrated approaches to language acquisition and language socialization (Ecology of Language Acquisition).
See also: Claire Kramsch (ed.)(2002) Language acquisition and language socialization; ecological perspectives. London/New York:Continuum.
Jonathan Leather & Jet Van Dam (eds.) (2003) Ecology of Language Acquisition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins
Competences in Context (CiC) E-learning. Together with Anne Bannink I initiated two video-based learning environments for UvA teachers and students: 'Competences in Context' (CiC) for university teachers and 'Interactie in de klas' respectively. In selected videotaped episodes from live lectures and seminars taught by expert teachers, key moments in the transmission of skills or the management of complex multiparty situations were identified and annotated for the benefit of less experienced colleagues.
Educational Ethnography: Everyday Practices. In this project Anne Bannink and myself developed a learning environment for the analysis of task-oriented interactions at school and at the university. Competencies in Context, an electronic tool for novice university teachers, applies theoretical (discourse) notions to authentic video data: actual lectures taught by experienced teachers at the University of Amsterdam. The website is used as teaching material in the BKO (Basic Teacher Qualification) course.
See also: J. van Dam van Isselt (2009). Mixed genres in lecture room discourse. In Botma, Bert and Jacqueline van Kampen (eds.) Linguistics in the Netherlands 2009, pp.39-50. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
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 based 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.
See also: Jet van Dam and Anne Bannink (2017) The first English (EFL) lesson: Initial settings or the emergence of a playful classroom culture. In Bell, Nancy (2017) Multiple perspectives on language play; pp. 245-281. The Hague: De Gruyter, Mouton.
Discourse Structure; Classroom Discourse
van Dam van Isselt, H.R. (1993), " Her name is - uh dat weet ik niet"; Authenticity in the L2 classroom. PhD dissertation, University of Amsterdam. UvA-DARE-PhD page
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 Sociolinguistische Conferentie (pp125- 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.
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).
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)