Starting a lesson as an interactional accomplishment

Transition from recess


  • Mehmet Ali Icbay Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University



Lesson beginning, starting lesson, ethnomethodology, conversation analysis


This paper provides a detailed description of a lesson beginning in a tenth-grade (ages 15–16) history classroom in a high school in Ankara. The teacher and students in the history class accomplish starting the lesson in approximately two minutes. This is a period that involves a series of interactional practices, and the classroom members’ orientation to these practices makes available for the participants that the lesson beginning is a locally organized and sequentially produced accomplishment. The interactional practices are explored using ethnomethodological and conversation analytic principles as applied to five successive stages of the lesson beginning: (1) the recess period, (2) the teacher’s arrival, (3) the greeting exchange, (4) the teacher’s administrative tasks and (5) the tying signal. The analysis of the interactional practices in the lesson beginning shows that this is the period of establishing and re-establishing the initial two-party classroom order. The findings also demonstrate that the lesson beginning can be viewed as a form of meeting opening. Finally, the discussion on the characteristics of the lesson beginning in the history class suggests that the beginning functions as a transition between the recess and the instruction.

Author Biography

Mehmet Ali Icbay, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University

Mehmet Ali Icbay currently works as an Associate Professor in the Department of Lifelong Learning and Adult Education at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Çanakkale, Turkey. He completed his undergraduate education on foreign language education and psychology and his graduate education on curriculum and instruction at Middle East Technical University, Ankara. His research focuses on the social organization of order in classrooms and qualitative methods in educational settings. His recent publications include the classroom order in lesson beginnings and closings, the interactional construction of laughter in panel meetings, college students’ experiences with online education during the COVID-19 pandemic and school administrators’ opinions about managing the pandemic in schools.


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How to Cite

Icbay, M. A. (2022). Starting a lesson as an interactional accomplishment: Transition from recess. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, 16(3), 289–314.