Conversation Analysis

Conversation Analysis Self-study Form

With all the concepts and tools in place, it’s time to record and analyze a short conversation with a single child.

My experience has shown that people are pretty bummed by their first analysis. What they imagined they could do was nothing like what they actually did, so I want to let you know that one analysis can probably lead to a depressive episode.

However, when they do a second, the sun shines down with affirmations. Please, please, please do two. Those who do a third get pretty amazing results, I’ve found.

Here is a nifty way to transcribe and code in a 6-column table.

Task Twelve

Coding a Conversation

Here is a conversation with Steven transcribed in the above format, not coded, for you to try to code using the analysis tools we have. To check how you did, you can open the Steven Coded link. The differences are what to look at. That is how people get better.

Steven conversation for practice in coding: Steven Not Coded PDF — Steven Coded PDF

Self Study PDF

Linked here opens a five-page PDF with form fields to enter directly the information and your own reflections. You simply type your answers onto the screen to save or print.

Conversation Analysis Self-study Form PDF


I listened to myself talk to my daughter; it was so shady. Then the next one recorded was flowing. Woooohooo! — Erica Martinez

This has been affecting my sleep. I have tossed and turned and talked out loud. I am learning about myself. I can see strengths and weaknesses. Listening is so very important. I just can’t wait until I feel more at ease with this. — Pati Meyer

This was completely life-changing. This has made me a better with all the elementary aged children I work with. My relationships are entirely different. — Erica Solig

Prior to this I honestly dreaded hearing my voice on a tape recorder. Now I find myself constantly recording, listening, and reflecting on the conversations I have with the children and the conversations they have with each other. I also tally the enriching conversations I have with the children in my class; it’s a great strategy. I wish this were a requirement for all teachers. I am having more and more engaging conversations at work with my co-workers, children, and parents, and it spilled over into my social life with my partner, family, and friends. I have never experienced something that had such an impact on me in such a short time. — Whitney Cook

I found changing the quality of my conversations changed the entire tone of my classroom. Children who had not normally talked to me have come out of their shells. I can tell the children feel they are both heard and understood, and it energizes my day. I also noticed that the more the children in my class feel that they are being listened to, the more they actively listen to their peers. — Nancy Dennison


Next Levels of Abstraction