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The sequential analysis of instruction

posted on 2015-06-30, 13:41 authored by Oskar Lindwall, Gustav Lymer, Christian Greiffenhagen
The present chapter takes an interest in instructions and the ways in which sequential analysis under the auspices of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis can contribute to their explication. This interest is explored in four contexts: textual instructions on how to crochet, instructions in textile workshops, feedback in academic supervision, and seminars in dental education. Initially, some general features of instructions are discussed in relation to the textual instructions – the irremediable incompleteness of instructions, how the sense of instructions is found in attempts to follow them, and the ties between instructions and assessment. The remaining three cases are used to highlight some differences with regards to the organization of instructions – how instructions are formulated, how instructions are responded to, the access teachers have to student understanding, what the relevant materializations of competence are, and the temporal organization in which these instructions are embedded. The temporal-material organization of a given setting is something with which both participants and analysts have to contend. How teachers and students do that – how they for instance orient to and manage the essential absence of relevant displays of understanding as a condition of their work – is what that the sequential analysis of instruction sets out to explicate.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

The Handbook of Classroom Discourse and Interaction


142 - 157


LINDWALL. O., LYMER, G. and GREIFFENHAGEN, C., 2015. The sequential analysis of instruction. IN: MARKEE, N. (ed.). The Handbook of Classroom Discourse and Interaction. New York: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 142-157.


© Wiley-Blackwell


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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  • en


Markee, N