Dr Dr Robert Hatch

Teaching fellow, Biosciences Foundation
+44 (0)1483 688771
02 AY 02



MARION HERON, HARRIET TENENBAUM, ROBERT JOHN HATCH (2022)Patterns of talk in Foundation Year small group interaction: making the case for educational dialogue, In: Journal of further and higher education Routledge

The aim of the Foundation Year of university is to prepare students for their undergraduate study. Part of this preparation is enculturation into ways of speaking. Undergraduate study involves small group interaction in which students are expected to use educational dialogue to co-construct conceptual understanding and engage in critical thinking. In this study, we were interested in whether and to what extent Foundation Year Bioscience students used educational dialogue in problem-solving tasks. Seven groups were audio recorded during online group discussions at three points during the semester. Transcripts were analysed according to a framework of educational dialogue codes. While some groups engaged in educational dialogue, there was variability within group members, within the session and across sessions. Based on this small case study, we argue that Foundation Year teachers can support the development of students’ educational dialogue by raising metacognitive awareness of language and providing opportunities through task design. We conclude the paper with specific suggestions for classroom practice which are not restricted to Biosciences Foundation Year and relevant to all stages of university study and across disciplines.