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The Language of Turn & Sequence - LAN00034I

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Kobin Kendrick
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2022-23 to Summer Term 2022-23

Module aims

The primary site of language use is conversation. In this module you will study the organization of conversation at the finest level of detail, both theoretically and empirically. You will be introduced to conversation analysis (CA), a data-driven method for the study of conversation and talk-in-interaction. You will learn about, and learn how to analyze, the basic mechanics of conversation, which includes

  • turn-taking—how opportunities to speak are allocated;
  • action-sequencing—how turns at talk by successive speakers form coherent courses of action;
  • repair—how speakers resolve troubles of speaking, hearing, and understanding; and
  • preference organization—biases in practices of speaking that favor social affiliation over disaffiliation.

The module combines lectures that cover the core theory and key findings of CA with hands-on practical sessions in which you will develop the skills necessary to do CA, including recording conversation, transcribing data, building collections of conversational phenomena, and writing up analyses.

Module learning outcomes

In this module you will

  • learn about the basic organization of conversation;
  • learn to apply the methods of CA to recorded conversations;
  • learn to write about language use at the finest level of detail;
  • record a conversation and use it for a research project; and
  • analyze multiple conversations and build a collection of a phenomenon of interest.

Module content

The module is the first in a trio of modules on social interaction, the others being two final year modules, Multimodality: Language and the Body (E/L66H) and Language as Action (E/L64H).


Task Length % of module mark
2000 Word Data Analysis Project
N/A 80
Submission of a collection of data extracts for the data analysis project
N/A 10
Submission of a recorded conversation
N/A 10

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Written tasks reassessment
N/A 100

Module feedback

Formative work and feedback

Students will receive immediate feedback from the module convenor and peers as they present and discuss their analyses during practical sessions. In-class exercises may be submitted for additional written feedback.

Indicative reading

Required textbook:

Clift, R. (2016). Conversation Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.