Institutional Discourse




In our program we investigate how institutions are discursively constructed and maintained through the linguistic and semiotic behaviors of their members. We aim to articulate specific proposals for the analysis of multimodal data in a number of professional social contexts, especially multiparty discourses that involve complex roles and participation frameworks. Having started out with a focus on educational environments and language learning, these proposals increasingly address professional communication in a range of face-to-face and technologically-mediated situations. These include (broadcast) political discourse, doctor-patient communication, educational discourses in secondary schools and university settings.

Current Projects

Educational Ethnography: Everyday Practices
This project aims to develop a (critical) discourse-based framework for the description and analysis of multiparty task-oriented interactions at school and at the university. We zoom in on dimensions and particulars of teacher and students’ behaviors that often pass under the radar of traditional research paradigms and observation categories.

Principal researchers: Anne Bannink and Jet van Dam van Isselt. Publications 1,2,5,9


Educational Ethnography: Teacher Education

In this project student teachers collect video data of authentic teaching/learning situations and reflect on constraints and affordances of the institutional discourses they are part of.  Rather than focusing on discrete dimensions of the classroom interface we invite them to adopt a more integrated, holistic view and become researchers of their own teaching practice.
Principal researchers: Anne Bannink and Jet van Dam van IsseltPublications 4,7,8


Educational Ethnography: Ego documents and life writing
Everyday school life is explored from the  pre-theoretical, situated perspective of insiders. On the basis of a collusive school diary co-authored during lessons-in-progress by two teenagers we trace the interrelatedness of multiple threads in SLA, e.g. discontinuous and complex participation modes, code-mixing practices, power games in classrooms and school corridors (‘chatting avant la lettre’).  

Principal researcher: Jet van Dam van Isselt. Publications: 6,11

Life writing

Discourses in medical settings (PhD project)
This study evaluates the effect of a screening tool for psychological stress in head and neck cancer patients by analyzing discussions between patient and physician during outpatient consultations (video data; institutional data; interview data).
Principal researcher: Manon van der Laaken.

Language in Politics
This study uses a CDA perspective on the analysis of persuasive texts in the political domain. Current projects include the framing of Europe in EU party-political broadcasts and the construction of female-friendliness in the 2012 US presidential campaign.
Principal researcher: Manon van der Laaken

Completed projects

Ecology of Language Acquisition (‘ECOLA’; LOT, UC-Berkeley).
An ecological approach to the study of language acquisition sees the individual’s cognitive processes as inextricably interwoven with their experiences in the physical and social world. Principal researchers: Jet van Dam, Jonathan Leather, Claire Kramsch, Leo Van Lier, Anne Bannink.  Publications 3,10,12,13.  

Discourses and interdiscursivity in educational settings (PhD project)
This study examines claims about the role of negotiation of meaning in SLA on the basis of interactions  between native and nonnative students in Australian and Dutch Universities who communicate via two forms of computer-mediated communication: video-conferencing and instant chat-messaging.
Principal researcher: Rose van der Zwaard.


Key Publications

 1. Bannink, A. & Van Dam, J. (2013a). The first lecture: playing upon identities and modeling academic roles. Linguistics & Education, 24(4), 556-571.

2. Bannink, A. & Van Dam, J. (2013b). Doing listening in the lecture room: a re-assessment.  Linguistics & Education, 24(4), 572-584.

3. Bannink, A. (2010). West meets East - on the necessity of local pedagogies.  Journal of Intercultural Communication, 24, 1-11.

4. Bannink, A (2009). How to capture growth? Video narratives as an instrument for assessment in teacher education. Teaching & Teacher Education, 25(2), 244-250.

5. Van Dam van Isselt, J. (2009a). Mixed genres in lecture room discourse: a structural analysis.  In: B. Botma & J. Van Kampen (Eds.), Linguistics in the Netherlands 2009 (39-50). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

6. Van Dam van Isselt, J. (2009b). Spelen met identiteiten: het schooldagboek van twee tieners 1971-1974.  Biografie Bulletin, 19, 13-21.

7. Bannink, A. & Van Dam, J. (2007a). Premature closure and guided reinvention: A case study in a web-based environment. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, vol. 13, 6, 565-586.

8. Bannink, A. & Van Dam, J. (2007b). Bootstrapping reflection on classroom conversations. Evaluation and Research in Education, 20(2), 81-100.

9. Bannink, A. & Van Dam, J. (2006). A dynamic discourse approach to classroom research.  Linguistics & Education, 17(3), 283-301.

10. Leather, J. & Van Dam, J. (Eds.) (2003). Towards an ecology of language acquisition. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

11. Van Dam, J. (2003). Language acquisition behind the scenes. In J. Leather & J. van Dam (Eds.), Ecology of language acquisition (203-221). Dordrecht: Kluwer.

12. Bannink, A. (2002). Negotiating the paradoxes of spontaneous talk in advanced L2 classes. In C. Kramsch (Ed.), Language learning and language socialization: ecological perspectives (266-289). New York: Continuum.

13. Van Dam, J. (2002). Ritual, face and play in a first English lesson: bootstrapping a classroom culture. In C. Kramsch (Ed.), Language acquisition, language socialization: ecological perspectives. London: Continuum.


Published by  ACLC

31 March 2017