Designedly Incomplete Utterances and student participation

Hadar Netz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper analyzes Designedly Incomplete Utterances (DIUs), which are an instructional practice commonly used by teachers when eliciting information from students. When producing a DIU, the teacher halts his/her turn before it has reached its grammatical completion, and by doing so invites the students to complete the turn. The study is based on a qualitative analysis of a fully transcribed corpus of whole-class instruction sequences, in grades 5-8, in Virginia, USA. The main focus is the relation between DIUs and student participation. It is demonstrated that frequent use of DIUs might indeed increase student participation, but this participation seems to be by coercion, rather than by students' substantive engagement in the learning process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-73
Number of pages18
JournalLinguistics and Education
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Classroom interaction
  • Instructional sequence
  • Learning opportunity
  • Question
  • Student participation


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