‘Pre-enactment’ in team-teacher planning talk: Demonstrating a possible future in the here-and-now

Christopher Leyland


Recent years have seen a growing body of research concerned with objects in interaction and the numerous interactional methods and functions of creating a shared vision of some non-present scene. This multimodal Conversation Analytic study of second language interaction uncovers a combination of these two foci, showing the ways in which people use objects to create a shared vision of these objects may be used in the future. This frequently used practice of ‘pre-enactment’ is uncovered from a corpus of video recorded lesson planning discussions between English ‘native’ and ‘non-native speaker’ teachers who ‘team-teach’ together in Japanese schools. To these discussions, participants bring various objects that will be used in upcoming collaborative classes, such as clocks, word cards, and other printouts. By shifting from describing to demonstrating how such objects may be used, an authentic and pervasive image of a possible future is created. This has many functions, such as informing the current planning talk and providing a platform for other important actions to take place, such as suggesting alternatives or making requests. By examining this manipulation of objects, this study considers the ways people switch between the present and a possible future in planning talk. As such, this study adds an important layer of understanding to practices utilized in future-oriented interaction, particularly those involving people who do not share a first language.

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