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Explore The Ways In Which Spoken Language Is Used And Adapted In And For The Context Of The Classroom In The Following Extracts

1623 words - 7 pages

Every day, we use spoken language in order to communicate as well as to express our opinions on certain topics. The manner in which we communicate and use paralinguistic features varies according to the context of the situation. Moreover, spoken language is affected by our idiolect as well as our sociolect. We can relate these ideas to the setting of the school classroom. In a classroom, teachers primarily, use spoken language for bonding in order to establish or maintain personal relationships with students. In addition to that, teacher use spoken language to exchange information to develop students’ understanding and knowledge. Furthermore, teachers use spoken language for power in order ...view middle of the document...

Our expectations of power in a classroom are that teachers have the ability to raise their volume at the students in order to silence conversation and control the class. An example of this is shown when the teacher addresses a particular student; ‘Paul’, which is accompanied by a pause. The break here clearly implies she is waiting for the student to be quiet. Also, the teacher wants to get the student’s attention. This suggests that the power and the lack of verbal commentary indicate that the student is aware of the teacher’s expectations which hint at the teacher and student’s professional bond. According to the Accommodation Theory, one should adjust their speech to accommodate the person we are addressing. The student makes use of this theory by showing that he has acknowledges the teacher’s pause.
In general, we expect information exchange to be important in any classroom as this is a key element of learning. This is clearly shown in transcript B, where the teacher asks the class a question about the work they are studying; ‘what can we say about the relationship between the characters in this poem’. The teacher then addresses a particular student; ‘John’. This can suggest one of two things; the teacher is pointing out the student because they appear unsure or is not listening and the teacher wants to therefore involve the student in the lesson to ensure they develop an understanding of the work. Alternatively, the student may have raised their hand as they had come up with an answer to the teacher’s question. It is likely that the student was unsure as he replied with a pause which could suggest that the student is thinking. Furthermore, the student uses non fluency features, for example; fillers such as ‘like’ as well as hedges such as ‘maybe’. Overall, this insinuates that the student is not confident in their answer and requires more time to think as their thoughts are incoherent, which indicates that there is a lack of understanding. As the teacher recognises this, the teacher replied to the student with the following utterance; okay interesting’ before adding a tag question; ‘why do you think that’. The teacher had replied with ‘okay interesting’ as positive praise to encourage the student and the use of a tag question allowed the teacher to make the student give a more articulate answer as she has identified gaps within his understanding of the poem. By using positive praise as well as constructive criticism, the teacher is already establishing a positive bond with the student. According to Grice and the maxim of manner, one should be logical and orderly in their utterances and there should be no confusion or ambiguity. However, it is evident that this maxim is violated by the student as he is unsure of his answer. Even though a violation of conversation etiquette had occurred, it is relevant for the maxim to be violated here, given the context of the situation which is the classroom, otherwise the student would not understand the...

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