Redesigning Thinking- Practical Teaching Approaches

Dr. Pryde " G D F C " structure method video

This page focuses on an investigation of teaching methods and approaches in order to facilitate students critical thinking skills particularly geared for the 21st century. This platform discusses cross-cultural pragmatic knowledge, in particular it focuses on communicative strategies that support improving students voicing their opinions, as well how to participate in group and class discussions. I look forward to hearing from you in relation to these topics.


Below is a description of quadratic structure performed in an open class at Ritsumeikan Uji Junior and Senior High School. I look forward to hearing comments from people involved.


OPEN CLASS – 21st November – Michael Pryde

An Introduction to QUADRATIC STRUCTURE – G, D, F, C

1st Year High School Students


This class is positioned within a genre-based approach in order to specifically each students interpersonal language, as well as an awareness of how conversation is structured. The class aims at students controlling their own language, with minimal facilitation from the teacher. It is hoped that natural interaction will encourage student motivation and English language learning.



The students spend the whole 50 minutes in “lineups.” Students rotate in lines to speak to a new partner on a topic, which is chosen by a student teacher. This activity is also sometimes referred to as inside-outside conversations.

Quadratic structure

The students structure their conversation using “quadratic structure,” (Pryde, 2014) a four-tiered pattern that includes:

  1. General – (G) – a general statement answering a question, or introducing a topic.
  1. Details – (D) – the details from the general statement, such as who, what, where, who, etc.
  1. Feelings – (F) – taught as one of the most important parts of the structure, the feelings

subjectify the topic, which may include a personal narrative, or opinion based from experience.

  1. Conclusion – (C) – Comments, or passes the move to the other person.

For example:

Student 1: What did you do, today?

Student 2: I had a maths test. (G) It was a 30 minute test in the second period. (D) It was difficult, but

I think that I did alright (F). I will get my result tomorrow. What did you do? (C)

Quadratic structure supports the speakers to scaffold their information. Quadratic structure also provides the listeners with a lot of information to ask follow-up questions. As the structure becomes stylised by the students, natural and expanded conversations begin to evolve. Negotiation of words and grammar, as well as turn-taking and back-channelling become a natural output.

Students as teachers

Students are given the responsibility to guide the class. This forces students to change their language to direct action towards their peers. The students use polite forms of speech. The students as teachers do the same as the usual teacher, such as sets up the next topic, guides students into who they will speak with, e.g., individuals, groups, different directions in lines, etc. The students as teachers also walk around the room listening to conversations and then selecting two model students to speak in front of the class.



Students as teachers ask a pair to model their conversation in front of the whole class. The

Listening-    note-taking -    restructuring

The students who listen write down the model conversation in their notebooks. This is a note-taking skill. It also functions to keep a record of the conversations, so that students can see their progress after they have written many conversations. For homework, the students have to reconstruct the conversations from their notes and comment on the structure of them, i.e., whether they had G, D, F, C, what vocabulary and grammar was used, etc. The students are learning to talk about language using language. The authentic student conversations are given meaning and recycled as “students’ voices.” As you will see, this is a very student-centred classroom.


Based on the notebooks that the students submit for grading, the teacher can assess what the students are having difficulty with. Explicit feedback in the next class can quickly address this.

Thank you for coming to this class and observing.

If you have any questions, or comments, then please address them to: