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Journal of Pragmatics



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In this paper we use conversation analysis to investigate instructional interactions that occur during inflight pilot training relative to instructors' use of the formulation “I would”. The flight instructor's role is multi-dimensional compared with a classroom instructor, as s/he is simultaneously a teacher, potential co-pilot, and safety monitor. The student is flying the plane while the instructor is giving directions, instruction, advice, corrections, or even physical interventions as warranted. We found instructors used the personal hypothetical “I would” to provide explanations, instructions, and corrections of a student's actions and understandings while displaying an orientation to the student's developing autonomy and professional competence. By accomplishing these tasks through a description of what the instructor would do, the “I would” formulations enable the instructor to serve as an expert role model, display how they use their professional vision to pay attention to relevant information, and help students develop their professional vision and situation awareness. We conclude that instructor's “I would” formulations provide a mechanism for the performance of these overlapping roles and goals and facilitate teaching aeronautical decision-making.