in: Emerging Practices and Insights in Language Teaching and Language Teacher Education, Nuray Alagözlü,Vedat Kıymazarslan, Editor, Anı Yayıncılık, Ankara, pp.73-107, 2021
The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the importance of an EFL teacher’s classroom interactional competence (CIC henceforth) awareness and propose it as a professional skill. CIC is described as “teacher’s and learner’s ability to use interaction as a tool for mediating and assisting learning” (Walsh, 2011, p. 165). The teachers are at the heart of teaching and learning processes with their interactional awareness and skills, and therefore they are responsible for handling their interactional practices aligned with pedagogic purposes of the moment. This responsibility necessitates certain skills such as creating language learning opportunities, maximizing space for learning, and mediating learning processes by shaping learning contributions by means of feedback and these skills are part of a language teacher’s professional development.
The chapter falls into five sections. In the first section, classroom interaction in language teacher education research is explained as background to the study. In the second section, the chapter focuses on the relationship between CIC and Sociocultural Theory as the theoretical roots of the concept. In the third section, CIC awareness and the potential ways to increase it by means of professional development activities in addition to ad hoc tools are described. Following this, CIC awareness is suggested as a vehicle for sustaining classroom interaction in online L2 learning contexts as well. The chapter is finalized with implications for face-to-face and online L2 teaching environments, and an EFL teacher’s professional development.