In the first lesson, students had not received the framework for analysis which I discussed above. I felt that it might make the class too formal and I wanted them to ‘engage’ with the text. For most of the other texts we had discussed in the course up to that point, I had given them questions specifically geared towards that particular text. In quite a few instances I found that following the questions one by one formed a hindrance to the flow of the discussion in class. In this particular lesson, then, the framework was intended to be more of a guide for myself.
However, as I will show in Chapter 5, in reality, it was very difficult to follow the framework. Whilst it had been designed to take students through the text progressively, the students themselves did not make that strict separation. Frequently, in answering one of my questions, they would bring in issues that related to one of the other points in the framework. Initially, I did say on a couple of occasions; ‘this will come later in the lesson’, but as that frequently had the effect of stopping the flow of communication, I tried to steer students back to the point under discussion – and not always with success. Cooke and Wallace call these students ‘not staying on task’ (2004: 109). This happened even more frequently in the second lesson, as the students rather than pre-empting the next questions, used the text for their own purposes to ‘talk around the text’ (ibid), as I will show in the next chapter. As a result, the framework was followed only in a very loose sense during both classes.
To prepare students for the second lesson, the cultuurtekst part of the framework, I gave students a copy of the framework and asked them to answer the questions related to Point 5 as a homework task.