University of Illinois at Chicago

Transforming Classroom Discourse: A Multi-Layered Multimodal Exploration of Student Discourse Negotiation

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posted on 2019-08-01, 00:00 authored by Adrian L Allen
Perceived power relationships and positioning in different spaces affect the way that people contribute to the development of community practices related to doing, communicating, and making meaning with one another, referred to as ‘discourse’ here. Whether or not discourse is explicitly made ‘negotiable’ in the classroom, students and teachers alike negotiate a discourse through their choices to accept, reject, transform, or resist each other’s efforts at making meaning in the classroom space. In an attempt to more thoroughly explore the discursive ‘moves’ that students make as they negotiate for the authority to transform classroom discourse, several different mediational ‘layers’ emerged for students across three different moments of negotiation in three separate classrooms: verbal language, interaction with classroom objects, and movement through time and space. Most traditional studies of discourse tend to privilege verbal language, but if we dive deeper beyond what is explicitly said, which tends to foreground the authoritative voice of the teacher, the dynamism of these transformations and the students’ agency in these moments are more readily revealed. This dissertation makes a methodological argument about discourse analysis, decisions about transcription in particular, and presents several examples of multimodal transcriptions which foreground student agency, along with some recommendations for how this approach to analyzing multimodal discourse might be useful for teachers and researchers alike.



Razfar, Aria


Razfar, Aria


Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Degree name

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Member

Morales, P. Zitlali Phillips, Nathan Xiang, Xuehua Lam, Eva

Submitted date

August 2019

Thesis type



  • en

Issue date


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