How does just chatting become a purposeful conversation?

Session description

Candy Van Olst

Session details:

In a classroom of more advanced learners, learning to talk and talking to learn become indistinguishable. Building purposeful conversations that prompt learning is not an innate skill. I'll define the elements of purposeful conversations that need to be taught and practised in order to develop the ability to initiate and maintain conversations that foster a wide range of social and academic skills.


Great talk, many thanks!

Thank you Kim. It means a lot to know you enjoyed it.

Erica Santos's picture

The player is not working.

Thank you for your comment. It should be working now.

Please refresh the page.

Monika / IATEFL Online Team

Anthony Gaughan's picture

Hi Candy, great talk.  Enjoying it a lot, but thought I'd pause to ask a question about what you precisely mean when you say that to think critically we need language.

Would what I say below be a fair summary?

a) thinking critically is a function of overall cognitive development;

b) the expression of critical thinking is a function of linguistic development;

c) thinking critically and expressing complex linguistic utterences both place heavy demands on cognitive processing capacity;

d) this capacity is limited under real-time conditions;

e) as a result, when operating under real-time conditions, there is an opportunity cost - the learner can either think critically, or express accurately, fluently and complexly, but they can't do both to the full degree they might be capable under less demanding conditions (i.e. when under less cognitive load);

f) unless their general linguistic competence is already adequate to expressing the complexity of their critical thinking (i.e. unless there is in fact less cognitive load); 

g) therefore, learners need to practice applying linguistic resources under critically demanding real-time conditions in order to exercise appropriately and thereby develop their linguistic competence;

h) and in doing so reduce the degree of cognitive load required to formulate their ideas in language, thus freeing up further capactiy for actual thinking.

Thanks again; wish I could have been there to applaud synchronously the many moments in this talk when you've had me clapping at my laptop!