How can teachers facilitate productive small-group talk? An integrated taxonomy of teacher discourse moves

Liwei Wei, P. Karen Murphy, Carla Firetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Small-group discussions in which teachers and students interact with text are common in language arts classrooms. As documented in the extant literature, teacher discourse moves affect how the discussion unfolds and the resulting quality of the talk. What is not present in the literature is a unified lexicon or taxonomy for defining and classifying the various kinds of discourse moves teachers routinely enact during small-group discussions to promote comprehension. As such, the purpose of the present review is (a) to synthesize research on teacher discourse moves across the various discussion approaches that aim to promote high-level comprehension and (b) to forward an integrated taxonomy of teacher discourse moves. The taxonomy was developed and iteratively refined through card-sorting activities and used as a coding rubric for classroom discussions. This integrated taxonomy is a noteworthy advancement for practitioners to facilitate their classroom discussions and for researchers studying the effects of small-group discussions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-609
Number of pages32
JournalElementary School Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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