IRF sequences in team-teaching EFL classrooms
The Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics. Volume 2. Issue 3. December 2015


conversation analysis
classroom interaction
IRF sequences

How to Cite

Butterfield, J. L., & Bhatta, B. (2015). IRF sequences in team-teaching EFL classrooms. The Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 2(3), 176–185. Retrieved from


In classrooms, teachers often ask students known-answer questions (e.g., Schegloff, 2007), students respond, and teachers provide feedback about whether the response was correct. This sequence is often referred to as an Initiation-Response-Feedback (IRF) sequence. IRF sequences are a salient feature of classroom discourse first proposed by Sinclair and Coulthard (1975). In recent years team-teaching has become prevalent across Asia but research which investigates the interactional intricacies of team-teaching (e.g., Aline & Hosoda, 2006; J.-E. Park, 2014) is still rare. This study is one of the first to analyse how IRF sequences are performed in a team-teaching classroom and how teachers in team-teaching classrooms co-manage the interaction with the students before, after and during the IRF sequences. In addition, this study examines the process of speaker selection and the variety of forms the IRF can take, paying close attention to the interactional environment of each IRF sequence.


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