This article draws upon an ethnographic analysis of classroom talk in a first year upper secondary Social Science class. It was noted that some students said that they were more silent in upper secondary school compared to secondary school and that in the transition between schools classroom talk became problematic and marginalising for them. This was for girls mainly, but also for some boys. The stronger classification of subject knowledge and enhanced pace of instruction worked as obstacles for girls’ and some boys’ participation in classroom talk. In the article this is suggested have marginalised them and favoured boys of average ability.

Keywords: classroom talk, influence, gender, upper secondary school, ethnography