Tag-naxon? (Tag-Right?) in instructional talk: Opening or blocking learning opportunities

Amir Michalovich, Hadar Netz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper analyzes teachers’ use of the Hebrew tag-naxon?, which is a discourse marker (e.g. you know, yeah, okay, right) roughly equivalent to the English tag-right?. The study indicates that the use of tag-naxon? by teachers relates to the heart of what classroom talk is all about: understanding. By inviting topic expansion, tag-naxon? at the opening of a discourse unit opens opportunities for participation and by extension for learning (e.g. allowing for misunderstanding to surface). In contrast, tag-naxon? at the end of a sequence blocks opportunities for participation and by extension might block opportunities for learning. This study bears significant implications for teachers, as it touches upon their ongoing dilemma that lies at the root of the question of understanding, namely – “Can I move on?”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-75
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume137
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Classroom interaction
  • Discourse marker
  • Learning opportunity
  • Polar question
  • Tag-question

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