IRF and ISRF Sequences and their Anti-Pedagogical Value

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Qaemshahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qaemshahr, Iran

2 University of Mazandaran


Initiation, Response, and Feedback(IRF) sequences are the most frequent interaction network in any classroom contexts. IRF sequences have been examined profusely in previous studies and were reported to be negatively correlated with participation opportunities (Kasper, 2006; Cazden, 2001; Ellis, 1994).In all these studies, all contingent factors of any classroom context which might influence interaction network have been overlooked. Therefore, IRF sequences have been improvidently considered as static and inflexible interaction patterns which are unfolded invariantly in classroom. Based on video- taped data from ten English as a foreign language (EFL) classes, which were analyzed within conversation analysis framework, this study uncovered a modified version of IRF sequences labeled as ISRF (Initiation, Struggle, Response, and Feedback) sequences. Previous literature reported that IRF sequences offer very limited learning opportunities. ISRF sequences, on the other hand, have been shown in this study, to destroy even those very limited learning opportunities which IRF sequences could offer. The finding can both benefit teachers and teacher educators. It warns novice teachers to avoid applying this new interaction pattern in their classes and demands teacher educators to inform their trainees of the negative effect of ISRF sequences. 


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