Floor management in task-based interaction: The interactional role of participatory structures

Christopher Joseph Jenks

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Second language tasks are often described as classroom activities that promote greater student participation, yet many studies only discuss participation in aggregates, such as total turns at talk or total words per turn. The aim here is to demonstrate that a qualitative inquiry into tasks can equally reveal important participatory and interactional implications for the language teacher. Specifically, this study investigates the interactional role participatory structures of tasks have on floor management. Participatory structures determine how interlocutors participate in tasks, and include concepts such as one-way and two-way interaction. Floor management can be described as interlocutors' attempt to move the task forward. The findings show that the way information is distributed between interlocutors affects floor management. For example, if one interlocutor is describing a picture to another interlocutor that cannot see the picture, the interlocutor with the picture will anchor the floor according to what the picture looks like. When discussing shared information, the direction of the floor is determined by both interlocutors' understanding of how the task should be completed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-622
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • EFL
  • Floor management
  • Interaction
  • Learner-learner interaction
  • Tasks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Floor management in task-based interaction: The interactional role of participatory structures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this