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Participants will learn about the development of the Jefferson system - the art of “technically trapping” conversation - commonly used in conversation analytic research and be familiar with Jeffersonian transcription conventions. By the end of the course participants will have gained experience in carefully observing talk-in-interaction. Importantly they will also have gained knowledge and practical skills in how to apply the standard conventions to transcribe recordings of naturalistic talk either in their own projects or to support the analytic process for other qualitative researchers.

This course is led by Dr Rebecca Barnes, and a team of experienced and approachable tutors. It  is open to anyone who would like to understand the central elements behind the Jefferson system of transcription, how it differs from standard orthographic (verbatim) or ‘play-script’ transcripts, and to develop their own practical skills in using it to transcribe recordings of naturalistic talk. Participants do not need to have any previous experience, skills or knowledge, although involvement in, or future ambitions towards using the system would make the course more relevant.


Please note that some of the teaching sessions for this online course will involve you participating in live, interactive Zoom sessions, which will fall between the hours of 09:00 and 17:00 UK time. We are very happy to welcome bookings wherever you are internationally, but please make sure that you are able to attend video calls between these hours. Quite a bit of our teaching involves group work and the use of Zoom breakout rooms, because we believe this is the best and most effective way to teach qualitative research methods – (plus this ensures that you get plenty of opportunity to ask our qualitative experts questions!)


  1. What is Jeffersonian transcription and how does it differ from other approaches?
  2. How to use the Jefferson system to transcribe naturalistic data.
  3. Practicum and feedback.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Recall the history and central elements of the standard Jefferson system of transcription
  2. Recognise the most common conventions used in Jeffersonian transcription
  3. Apply practical skills in using the Jefferson system to transcribe recordings of talk-in-interaction

We provide:

  • Experienced, approachable tutors who actively engage with the Jefferson system
  • Access to slides, resources, software and data for you to work with
  • Information on further relevant reading, training opportunities and events