Contemporary Foreign Languages Studies ›› 2022, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (1): 141-152.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8921.2022.01.012

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An Epistemic Inquiry of Teacher Identity Construction through Content-questions in College English Teaching

PENG Zhuo(), AN Xiaocan(), MA Liwei()   

  • Online:2022-02-28 Published:2022-01-27


Questioning is a common type of discourse in English teaching, but few scholars have studied the issue of teacher identity construction by questioning in teaching. In the meanwhile, epistemics is a hot topic in Western conversation analysis, but few scholars in China have touched upon this issue. In light of this situation, this study, by means of conversation analysis, explores the types pragmatic realizationof and causes for teacher identity construction through content-questions in college English teaching from the perspective of epistemics. The study finds that teachers construct two types of identities (a real questioner and a pretending questioner while knowing the answer) by virtue of content-questions, that they construct these two identities by nine pragmatic strategies, and that they construct these identities because of the consistency or inconsistency between epistemic status and epistemic stance in the target knowledge of a content-question. This study helps to clarify the knowledge distribution of both parties in the content-question sequence in college English teaching, to reveal the causes for teachers’ interactive identities, and to inform the efficiency improvement of question-and-answer interaction in English teaching.

Key words: college English, content-questions, teachers’ identities, Epistemics, Epistemic stance

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