Vol. 21 (2013)

What de Teacher Say? Talk as a Mode of Inquiry in Curriculum Enactment in a Technical-Vocational Classroom

Sharmila Nisha Harry
The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus
Tricia Lorraine Smith
The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), Point Lisas Campus


  • Technical and Vocational Education and Training,
  • Vocational Education Teachers,
  • Secondary School Students,
  • Classroom Communication,
  • Senior Comprehensive Schools,
  • Language Usage,
  • Discourse Analysis,
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • ...More

How to Cite

What de Teacher Say? Talk as a Mode of Inquiry in Curriculum Enactment in a Technical-Vocational Classroom. (2015). Caribbean Curriculum, 21, 19-45. https://journals.sta.uwi.edu/ojs/index.php/cc/article/view/543


This article examines the modes or triadic dialogue that emerged between a technical-vocational teacher and a group of 14 fifth form students at a senior comprehensive school in Trinidad. It also explores the teacher's perspectives of the factors that influenced his talk during the practical sessions. Data collection techniques involved the use of classroom observations, as well as semi-structured follow-up interviews. Data analysis included discourse and conversation analysis, as well as the coding of data into themes and categories. The findings reveal that whole-class discussions dominated the hands-on practical sessions. In addition, greater monologic applications of the Initiation-Response-Evaluation (IRE) mode of triadic dialogue took precedence over Initiation-Response-Feedback/Follow-up (IRF) dialogic discourse. However, there was only one instance where dialogic engagement emerged from the IRF mode. Furthermore, the findings revealed that the lack of resources, time constraints, poor physical conditions, ineffetive teacher training and professional development, lack of teacher knowledge and skills, and the examination structure were the factors that influenced the teacher's classroom talk.