Languaging dynamics of classroom interactivity: a distributed view of the pedagogic recontextualization in L2 tertiary settings

Dan Shi, Paul J. Thibault

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


The current study investigates classroom interactivity in L2 tertiary literature classrooms in Hong Kong and Taiwan when ESL/EFL students engage with and interpret literary texts in classroom talk as a pedagogic process of text recontextualization. It proposes a more ecological-based approach to language and languaging dynamics that is complementary to current social semiotic approaches to multimodality. It also aims to open up a more embodied analysis of the meaning-making process in tertiary literature classrooms. The multimodal investigation of real-time classroom interactivity based on a multi-scalar approach showcases an embodied coordination of vocalization and gesticulation as integral aspects of the dynamic whole-body sense-making activity that arises in the pedagogic process of text recontextualization. The dynamics vary from students' solo speech in individual presentation to teacher-student interactions in group discussion and to student-student interactions in role-play. The distributed language view of first-order languaging dynamics demonstrates the embodied and distributed dimensions of the real-time classroom interactivity that couples pedagogic subjects to the affordances of their pedagogic environment. It also provides insights into the impact of pedagogic activities on the multi-scalar dynamics of the meaning-making process with reference to embodied speech-gesture coordination. The paper demonstrates the value of applying an ecologically embodied perspective to multimodal studies in classroom research and stimulates a re-thinking of some of the important aspects of classroom interactivity that have received little attention thus far.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-155
Number of pages31
Issue number245
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • interactivity
  • languaging dynamics
  • multimodal interaction analysis
  • whole-body sense-making activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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