Between teacher candidates’ reflection and teacher educators’ evaluation: Fluctuations in epistemic (a)symmetry in feedback conversations

Turan P., Yiğitoğlu Aptoula N.

THE MODERN LANGUAGE JOURNAL, vol.107, no.4, pp.1-24, 2023 (SSCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 107 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/modl.12886
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, Periodicals Index Online, Applied Science & Technology Source, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Linguistic Bibliography, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Psycinfo, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-24
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Evidence-based reflective practices are promoted in all recent frameworks for language teacher education (LTE). Through dialogic evidence-based feedback sessions, reflectional sequences make trainees join a virtuous cycle in which they reconsider and readjust their methods of teaching. However, research into how mentor and trainees orient to this evidence in interaction remains scarce.With this need in mind, this study investigates post-observation conversations (POCs) in a language teaching practicum. The recordings of 17 video-mediated POCs are sequentially and functionally analyzed using multimodal conversation analysis. The data suggests that the fluctuations in knowledge (a)symmetries serve as a catalyst for the progression of reflection- and evaluation-oriented sequences. The mentors strategically downgrade their epistemic position to index the trainees’ experiential knowledge and invite reflection. However, when mentors initiate evaluation-oriented sequences, they systematically insert their epistemic primacy to limit any potential resistance that would challenge their epistemic authority to evaluate. The video medium also creates unique multimodal opportunities for their mutual orientation to evidence. The findings are conducive to expanding research into reflective practice in LTE and have pedagogical and research implications for our understanding of the sequential and relational organization of epistemics in feedback conversations.