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Culture in teacher talk: An analysis of Chinese classroom discourse in Singapore
Other Titles: 
Jiao shi hua yu zhong de wen hua: Xin jia po han yu ke tang yu pian fen xi
Issue Date: 
Yang, Y. (2011). Culture in teacher talk: An analysis of Chinese classroom discourse in Singapore. Journal of International Chinese, 2011(3), 38-45.
The primary goal of this research is to investigate how Chinese culture is represented in teachers’ talk through a functional analysis of classroom discourse. In particular, the paper explores the way teachers’ talk is used in terms of how cultural concepts are explained and how cultural knowledge is encoded. A culture is realized as patterns of social interaction in each context of situation, which in turn are realized as patterns of discourses in each text. The culture in a Chinese classroom is surely manifested by certain patterns of classroom discourse. In this case, this research explores the realization of cultural meanings by investigating classroom discourse from two perspectives. Firstly, it identifies all the words related to culture in Chinese lesson transcripts. Secondly, it finds out classroom activities with special meanings in Chinese culture. Following this, the cultural words and activities identified in the transcripts are respectively analysed within a framework developed on the basis of the theories in Systemic Functional Linguistics. In particular, the cultural activities are examined in terms of the three dimensions of a situation, i.e. Field, Tenor and Mode. The cultural words are analysed through an identification of their ideational, interpersonal and textual functions.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in the [Journal of International Chinese] 《国际汉语学报》. The published version is available online at
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