Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol 2, No 5 (2012), 980-988, May 2012
doi:10.4304/tpls.2.5.980-988

Interactive Patterns and Teacher Talk Features in an EFL Reading Class in a Chinese University— A Case Study with Communicative Teaching Method

Ping Zhang

Abstract


The purpose of this case study is to explore the patterns of teacher-student interaction and the strategies that the teacher adopts to facilitate student learning and promote comprehension in a reading class in a Chinese university. The researcher made an audio-recording of one session of the reading class she taught, transcribed the recording and analyzed the teacher-student interaction, looked into teacher talk and student talk. The emphasis was on teacher-talk. The study finds that the interaction pattern in this reading class follows the IRF (Initiation-Response-Feedback) or IRE (Initiation-Response-Evaluation) pattern recognized by many researchers. In order to promote understanding and elicit student responses, the teacher consciously repeats her questions and chooses alternative and tag questions. The teacher’s feedback toward students’ responses in class is to encourage and guide the students’ inductive or deductive thinking. The research helps the teacher to find strengths and weaknesses in her way of organizing class activities and some language issues which she had not previously realized. The findings of the research may shed some light on the problems that non-native English teachers face and help them to consciously improve their instructional language as well as teaching strategies on their way of professional development.


Keywords


teacher talk; IRF or IRE patterns; repetition; self-correction; feedback

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