Classroom interaction: Turn-taking as a pedagogical strategy

  • Vuyokazi Nomlomo


This paper reports on findings of a case study which analysed classroom interaction through turn-taking in Grade 4 science lessons taught through the medium of a home language and an additional language. Data were collected by means of classroom observations in one primary school in the Western Cape, South Africa.  The paper argues that, whilst knowledge of the language of learning and teaching is a basic condition for learning in the classroom, there are other factors which impact on learners’ construction of knowledge during classroom interaction.  It concludes that turn-taking in science teaching should go beyond the mere exchange of talk or turns to a deeper and critical interrogation of what is being taught, and how it is taught to enhance learners’ scientific literacy development.

Author Biography

Vuyokazi Nomlomo
Vuyokazi Nomlomo is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa.  She specialises in Language Teaching with a special focus on African Languages for teacher development at the pre-service and in-service levels. Her research interests are in the following broad areas: language in education, linguistics, multilingualism, teacher education, classroom interaction and gender equality, poverty in education.  E-mail: