Teacher talk reflecting pragmatic awareness: A look at EFL and content-based classroom settings

Tarja Nikula


This paper approaches classroom interaction from a pragmatic perspective. More specifically, it concentrates on how pragmatic awareness is reflected in the use of modifying elements of talk by two teachers (both non-native speakers of English), and how their use of modifiers affects the ongoing interaction. The data come from two different classroom settings where English is either the object or the medium of study. The findings reveal an overall tendency towards directness in the teachers’ performance that is affected in complex ways both by the institutional context and the teachers’ status as nonnative speakers. The findings also suggest a need for future research to analyse classrooms as social contexts in their own right and with their own pragmatic constraints which may not correspond to those of everyday discourse in other settings.

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