Language use and Interaction in the classroom

What is and What Should

  • If teaching equals to learning, our job would have been very easy but it doesn’t.

Significance of Classroom Interaction

  • Classroom interaction contributes to language development by providing target language practice opportunities
  • Interaction is language learning. Ot is not merely the process whereby linguistic knowledge is practiced, but rather the process whereby linguistic knowledge, and linguistic ability, are themselves developed.
  • We need to provide opportunities use the language in the classroom and classroom interaction then becomes learning.
  • If the CLT or TBLT is the theoretical background, when you apply them by planning your lessons, usually we don’T expect to see any kind of mismatch.
  • If the major classroom interaction conducted by the teacher we can not define this class in the standards of TBLT and CLT.
  • We should also underline the education system and act according to learners’ age and personalities.
  • We plan our lessons and when we try to act up on the plan, it results in classroom interaction and this classroom interaction could be conflictual or cooperative.
  • Teach the students, not the plan!
    • Your plan might be excellent but if it doesn’t work out, if you sense that it is not working out, one of the very bad choices is sticking to your plan. We are in the classroom not to teach the plan but to teach to students.
    • Students will resist your plans because they are not used to it. In the traditional teaching context, when you try do communicative or intentional plan you might encounter negative feedback from especially the elder learners.
    Take these into consideration
    • Age
    • Personality
    • Language
    • Educational background

On the spot decisions vs Planning Decisions

  • If you feel that your lesson plan isn’t working out in the class, you have to do on-the-spot decisions which are spontaneous decisions regarding the situation.

Classroom Interaction

  • Teachers plan their lessons by making selections with regard what teach (syllabus), how to teach (method), and perhaps also to the nature of the social relationships they want tot encourage (atmosphere). When acted on, their plans result in classroom interaction.
  • Action by the teacher, reaction by the students, this is how classroom interaction is created. Teacher by himself cannot control the classroom interaction as its a two way interaction.
  • It is not panned in advance, it is co-produced with learners.
  • It reflects the pedagogic decisions that have been taken, and all revolves as part of the process accomplishing it.

Teacher Controlled Classroom Interaction = Initiation – Response – Evaluation (I-R-E)

  • Usually it is not authenticity.
  • Little to no contextualisation.
  • Teacher to Students interaction, no communication among the students.
  • Teacher centred classes.

The Teacher Allocated the turns by

  • Nominating
  • Signalling
  • Eye gaze
    Then selected students responds/reads her answer
    The teacher finally evaluates student’s response usually through repletion into case of a correct answer.

Teacher: What time is it? (Initiation)
Students: It’s 2 o’clock. (Response)
Teacher: Good. It’s 2 pm. (Evaluation)

Features of Teacher-Controlled Classroom Interaction

  • One-speaker-at-a-time rule rather than many-at-once.
  • Reluctance allow overlapping/simultaneous talk.
  • Rigid turn control by teacher.
  • Restriction of learners to a responding role.
  • Control of the content and direction of class-work by teacher.
  • Prevalence of teacher questioning.

Whole-Class Teaching

  • The teacher directs the whole class and usually in this way, the interaction is one way, students cannot speak until the teacher allows them too. Disadvantages
    * It is teacher-dominated, with little opportunity for active students participation.
    * Teacher stand to interact with only a small number of students int he class.
    * Teacher Action Zone: In each class there are some bright students and those students sit in the particular places in the class and opposites would sit at the back. In the whole class teaching teachers intend to communicate with the students who are seated in his action zone.
    * It assumes that all students can proceed at the same pace. However, slower students may be lost, and brighter students may be held back. Advantages
    * It enables the teacher to teach large numbers of students at the same time.
    * It can serve as a preparation for subsequent activities which can be completed individually or in groups.

Individual Work

  • When the students individually do some activity such as worksheet, this is called individual work.

Functional Distribution of Teacher Talk

  • Questioning/Eliciting
    • Any act designed produce verbal response from students.
  • Responding
    • To another speaker’s contributions/utterances
  • Presenting/Explaining
    • Any act presenting information of direct relevance to the learning task.
  • Organising/Giving Instructions
    • Any act which serves structure the learning task without contributing to the learning task itself.
  • Evaluating/Correcting
    • Any act which rates another verbal act positively or negatively.
  • Sociating
    • Any act contributing tot he establishment or maintenance of classroom rapport.
  • Directing
    • Any act encouraging non-verbal activity as an integral part of the teaching/learning task.

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