Clarifications and Carnival. Children’s Embodied Investments in a Literacy Conversation

Helle Pia Laursen, Kirsten L. Kolstrup

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Previous studies of clarification requests in conversations involving second language users typically view such requests as important to obtain ‘comprehensible input’ or as a form of repair resulting in a sidetrack from the ongoing conversation. This article argues that clarification requests potentially have a much deeper influence on the course of interaction. Using data from a classroom literacy activity, involving three 12 year olds jointly reconstructing a text, the analysis shows how the requests become points of departures for a collective exploration of the symbolic possibilities of sign, text, body and space, through which a Bakhtinian carnivalesque and grotesque universe emerge.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClassroom Discourse
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)112-131
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • language acquisition
  • clarification requests
  • the grotesque body
  • second language conversations
  • semiotic movements
  • social meaning-making


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