Vol. 5. No. 2 A-1 September 2001
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Language Learning Across Boundaries - Negotiating Classroom Rituals

Roger Nunn
Kochi University


When opposed to communicative language teaching, teacher-fronted classroom discourse is sometimes devalued, represented as a rigid and ritualistic process of eliciting pre-planned responses. The analysis of a data sample of 12 teacher-fronted language lessons revealed highly repetitive structuring in the flow of discourse, frequent verbatim repetition in the collective reconstruction of texts, and restrictive turn-taking norms. However these "ritual" features of discourse need to be considered alongside the essential negotiation which takes place during the continuous process of adjustment and re-adjustment between participants. This paper will use discourse analysis to redefine the relationship between ritual and negotiation in "lock-step" teaching in the light of research findings and recent re-evaluation of the notion of ritual in educational settings.

Keywords: discourse analysis,class dynamics, classroom discourse


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