Seeing 'language and development' play out in classroom interaction

Publisher:
Wiley
Publication Type:
Chapter
Citation:
The handbook of classroom discourse and interaction, 2015, 1, pp. 475 - 489 (14)
Issue Date:
2015-04-24
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This chapter explores classroom interaction in the context of international development programs. The first part of the chapter presents a critical perspective on international development as a context for classroom interaction. From a critical perspective, development contexts—characterised by poverty, conflict, and international intervention—can be understood as domains for the workings of power and knowledge. Development contexts are seen to establish hierarchies at macro and micro levels: between donor and host nations, between provider and recipient organisations, and between teachers and students in the development classroom. Each of these parties may have different visions of development, and these visions may entail different expectations about whose interests and priorities will prevail in the language classroom. The second part of the chapter examines the ways in which these characteristics of development are played out in classroom interactions by examining a series of ethnographic accounts from a language and development program in postcolonial Timor Leste. These accounts of classroom interaction demonstrate how that different understandings of development are brought into the classroom, and point to the unfolding workings of power in classroom relationships. The chapter closes with a critical review of recent research in the arena of classroom practices in language and international development programs
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