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Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, 2006
Drawn up the Sociocultural Theory and using classroom data from CRPP’s Core Project, this study examines teacher questioning discourse and its effects on student learning in Primary 5 Chinese Language classrooms in Singapore. Integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches, we use the methods of corpus linguistics and discourse analysis to identify the pattern of teacher questioning behavior and the structure and dynamics of discourse underlying how teacher questioning influence student Chinese language learning. We find that teacher questioning discourse in Chinese Language classrooms in Singapore is generally characterized by a monological recitation-based interaction. Teachers, with their tight control of classroom discourse and the predominant focus on textbook knowledge, create little space for students’ voices. The monologic discourse constrains students’ discursive construction and therefore it is limited in facilitating students’ Chinese Language learning. The study also shows that teacher questioning is a complex discourse phenomenon. To understand how teacher questioning influences second language learning, we should pay attention not only to the types of questions teachers ask, but more importantly to the process and discursive context of questioning, including the pedagogic purposes of teacher questions, teachers’ elicitation strategies, student response and teacher feedback.
Core - Panel 4
SCoRE Corpus project
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