Five subtypes of directiveness were examined in the interactions of day care teachers with toddler and preschooler groups. The instructional context (book reading, play dough) yielded significant differences across all five subtypes of directiveness, indicating that these two activities elicited different types of teacher-child discourse. Book reading was characterized by significantly more behavior and response control and less conversation control in comparison with the playdough activity. Correlations between teachers' directiveness and child language productivity indicated that behavior control and turn-taking control were associated with low levels of productivity, whereas conversation control was associated with the highest levels of productivity. The results of this study confirm that instructional context is an important mediator of teachers' directiveness and suggest that subtypes of directiveness have differential effects on child language output.