An Exploration of English Teachers' Language Use During Lessons and the Implications Opportunities Advisor this Has for Students', Language Practice

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Addis Ababa University


This study was carried out to explore the nature of initiative language used by Grade Ten Engli sh teachers and the implication it had for students' practice opportunities in the classroom. Specifically, it was meant to investigate the kinds of eliciting and informative acts Grade Ten English teachers gave and the extent to which these affected students to practice the language; and to find out what turn allocation and feedback behaviors they used with the initi ative acts. Two Engli sh teachers and their sixty students they were teaching were the subjects of the study. The subjects were taken from one of the govenm1ent high schools in Addis Ababa. Transcriptions of audio-taped lessons were the main data used in the study. Data obtained from students' questionnaire responses, teacher interviews and notes taken from classroom observations were also used to supplement the main data. The results of the study showed that teachers ' initiative acts had a great role on students to practice controlled and discrete language items. In add ition to this, students had only the chance to provide responses, which were very short and predetermined, so licited by the teachers. They did not get opportunities to practice the language items in contexts to discover how the language items or elements work. Therefore, teachers' initiative utterances did not motivate students to use the language for communication. As far as teachers' turn allocation behavior was concerned, no consistent behavior was found. The grammar teacher, for example, had general solicit turn allocation behavior while the speaking teacher had personal solicit turn allocation behavior. Finally the finding showed that teachers used their initiative acts more frequently for the purpose of evaluative feedback behavior than discoursal feedback behavior. Therefore, it was concluded that the traditional method of language teaching, which is excessively governed by Initiation (I) by the teacher, followed by a Response (R) from a pupil and then followed by the Feedback (F) to the pupil 's response (IRF), is still an influential approach in the school. On the basis of the study, the implementation of a balanced activi ties approach, which cmmot be a continuation of the current traditional approach nor should it be a strong form of a communicative approach is recommended.



An Exploration of English Teachers