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A. Background Language is more than just a communication tool. It is the primary method by which we do things together. It is the accumulation of sharing meanings to other people. Language is used to communicate and convey meaning from one person to another. It is used to talk to each other, write, email and send message. Language has rules which involve word structure (morphology), grammar and sentence structure (syntax), word meaning (semantics) and social appropriateness (pragmatics). It might seem natural at this point to state exactly what is meant by language, but to do so is much harder than it first appears. We all have some intuitive notion of what language is; a simple definition might be that it is a system of symbols and rules that enable us to communicate. Symbols are things that stand for other things: words, either written or spoken, are symbols. The rules specify how words are ordered to form sentences (Harley, 2001). It has been known that the use of language is very important in the process of teaching and learning. It is the main tools of communication between teacher and students. The teachers use it to transfer the knowledge to their students. The learning will not be encountered by the students without language. It is functioned as a means for the teacher to explain the lesson, ask questions, carry on the class and give instructions to the students. The dictionary gives a variety of messages about teaching. According to Cambridge International Dictionary of English, teaching means to give someone knowledge or to instruct or train someone, whereas the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines that it means

to show somebody how to do something or change somebodys ideas. It is because views are somewhat mixed as to what teachers are, and because different functions are ascribed to teaching, that we need to examine the teachers role not only in education generally, but also in the classroom itself (Harmer, 1998). Instruction is beneficial for the second language learner (Long, 1983a). It can "simplify the learning task, alter the process and sequence of acquisition, speed up the rate of acquisition" (Larsen-Freeman & Long in Glew, 1998) and improve the level and quality of ultimate attainment in a second language. Indeed, the empirical evidence that supports instructed second language acquisition (SLA) provides a rationale for the existence and development of programs and curriculum to integrate English second language (ESL) students into secondary schools. Telling students exactly what teacher wants is good teaching. It seems obvious, but if teacher is unable to communicate what s/he wants from her/his students, then theyre never going to give it to teacher. Too often when giving directions, teachers begin talking before theyre ready. They think out loud. They hem and haw. They hesitate. They appear unsure of themselves. Okay, um, lets see, heres what were gonna do And they wonder why their students struggle to follow directions. Its best to compose yourself first, decide what it is you really want your students to do, and then give it to them straight. When I say go I want you to stand up, push in your chair, and line up for lunch. This is good. This is excellent. The teacher informs her students that she is going to use the go signal, which improves listening and keeps them from moving too soon, and then tells them precisely what she wantssimple, direct, and effective. But what if you need to give your students directions to be carried out over a long activity? This can be a challenge for students and a major source of frustration for teachers. The students start out strong enough, but soon everything falls apart. They forget. They get confused.

They lose motivation. They become distracted. They start goofing off and misbehaving. It can make the teachers want to run screaming for the parking lot. To be an effective teacher, to keep the students on-task and to encourage independence, the teacher must be able to give unforgettable directions.

However, sometimes the message which is conveyed by the teacher in the classroom does not meet the goal. It seems that the teacher fails to deliver the lesson to his/her students. There were so many researches which have been carried out to find the answer for this problem. Some of the findings concluded that the problems come from the students who failed to understand their learning. The other researcher found that the ability of the students who were too low in acquiring the lessons in the classroom. Yet, there were also another researcher assumed that the problems came from the teachers. They were unable to deliver the lesson to their students well.

It is clear that there have been some dramatic developments in language teaching in recent years. We have re-conceptualized the nature of language, a re-evaluated the role of the learner within the learning process, and generated new insights into instructed second language acquisition. Together, these developments have led to an increasingly sophisticated view of second language teaching and learning (Nunan, 1989). Due to this teaching problem, the writer is trying to see this problem from the teachers talk, particularly in giving instruction in the classroom.

B. Problem Statement Based on the explanation above, the writer formulates research question as follow: How is the teacher talk in giving instruction in the classroom?

C. Objective of the Research Based on the problem statements stated above, the objective of the research is stated as follow: To describe, interpret and explain teacher talk occurring in the classroom.

D. Significance of the Research The result of this research is intended to give description, interpretation, and explanation on the teachers talk, particularly in giving instruction in the classroom. The result is hopefully will be useful for teachers in extending their knowledge in the classroom, especially in giving instruction. E. Scope of the Research The scope of this research is restricted to the teachers talk, especially in giving instruction in the classroom.


A. Previous related research findings There have been some researches on teachers talk carried out by different researchers. Most of the results show almost the same result and some of them are cited below. Xiou Yan (2006) who conducted a research on teacher talk and EFL in university classrooms found that students count a significant part of learning on teacher talk and their preferences towards to the ideal teacher talk greatly run contrary to the current college English teaching. For most students, teacher talk serves as the most valuable input of language exposure. Ishihara (1996) who investigated the formal instruction on the speech act of giving and responding to a compliment found that the instruction probably facilitated learners improvement not only in terms of performance, but also awareness of giving and responding to compliments. Liruso and de Debat (2002) who did their research on giving oral instruction to EFL young learners reported that teachers must plan the delivery of instructions beforehand, thinking not only of the words to be used but also the gestures and aids to demonstrate meaning. They also added that the characteristics of effective teacher commands should be brief, must refer to one task or objective at a time, are stated as directives rather than questions, use specific language and should not include negative emotion or sarcasm. Puasa (2010) revealed that on pupil talk show that the pupils generally adjusted their language option in responding to questions as the language used by the teachers in asking questions. He added that although the questions were translated into their mother tongue, pupil still assumed that the questions were actually in English.

From the findings above it is clear that teacher talk plays a dominant role in the classroom, particularly in giving instruction. As Ellis in Xiou () stated that all dimensions of classroom process, from giving instruction to questioning or disciplining students, providing the feedback, involve teacher talk. This phenomenon makes the teacher talk as an important part to be observed more in order to meet the teaching and learning process goal.

B. Some Pertinent Ideas It is only through language that we can communicate with each other, share our ideas, tell people what we have experienced, express our wishes and desires, solve complex problems by drawing on information we read or hear, and, above all, communicate in the workplace and across cultures with people from other countries. To achieve these objectives, however, we need to learn language as communication not just as a list of facts to be memorized or a set of symbols to be manipulated, (Nunan, 1989). The role of the teacher in classroom is very important to gain this goal.

1. Teacher Talk Teacher talk is central in the language class not only for classroom organization and for the process of acquisition (Nunan, 1991 in Scarfella,1992) but also as a means for controlling student behavior (Allwright & Bailey, 1991). Research has shown that teachers tend to do most of the talking. In FLL contexts, teacher talk is generally the only source of comprehensible input and live target language model. Several aspects of teacher talk have been the focus of research: amount of teacher talk as compared to that of students, code switching, speech modifications, types of questions used (Nunan, 1991), error treatment, (Ellis, 1994), and the functional

distribution of teacher talk in relation to pedagogical and functional moves (Chaudron, 1988); however, to our knowledge, scarce attention has been paid to the delivery of oral instructions specially in second or foreign language contexts. Studies of classroom interaction have shown that it has a well-defined structure (Coulthard, 1977) and that pedagogic discourse differs from natural discourse. Teachers modify their speech during instruction in a way that resembles caregiver talk but with some peculiar and distinct features at the level of phonology, lexis, syntax, and discourse. In general terms teacher speech is modified in a variety of ways under the influence of the task and the proficiency level of the learner. Some of the main characteristics of the register are higher pitch, exaggerated intonation, short sentences, frequent repetitions and recurrent use of questions (Scarcella and Oxford, 1992). In his review of the research on teacher speech, Caulthard (1988) identifies the

following modifications: lower rate of speech, more frequent pauses, exaggerated pronunciation, basic vocabulary, low degree of subordination, use of declaratives and statements, and repetition. In other words, teacher talk used with students is simpler, shorter and it is pronounced more carefully than typical speech (Osborne, 1999: 11). The underlying hypothesis is that modified speech is "more comprehensible, and therefore, potentially more valuable for acquisition" (Nunan, 1991: 191). Gile's Speech Accommodation Theory states that speakers make adjustments to their speech as a result of their attitude towards the interlocutor. Teachers' modification of their speech would be a case of convergence -speech is modified to make it more similar to that of the interlocutor. Many researchers have tried to demonstrate the benefits of simplified input. Krashen (198S) states that for acquisition to occur the student should be exposed to large amounts of comprehensible input. For him, optimal input for language acquisition is a little beyond the leaner's current level of language proficiency (i+1).

Input may be made comprehensible by the use of verbal and nonverbal clues. Hatch (1983 as cted in Scarcefla and Oxford, 1992) mentions some of the characteristics of simplified input at the different linguistic levels: pronunciation (fewer reduced vowels and contractions, slow rate and longer pauses); vocabulary (less slang and fewer idioms, fewer pronoun forms, use of gestures and pictures); grammar (shorter utterances, repetitions and restatements, more collaborative completions; discourse (requests for clarification, more frames, such as ok, salient conversation components). Enright in Scarcefla (1992) explains that teachers adapt their language in different ways to address children: nonverbal adaptation through gestures, mimes, etc; contextual (visual and auditory aids); para-verbal (speaking clearly, slowing pace, using pauses) and discourse (rephrasing, repetition,). In our observations, we have detected an oversimplification and overmodification of teacher speech that results in phonological distortion and unidiomaticity. We consider that teachers could instead use more contextual aids or discourse strategies such as rephrasing or repetition. 1.1. The role of teacher talk in foreign language learning

There is no learning without teaching. So as a tool of implementing teaching plans and achieving teaching goals, teacher talk plays a vital important role in language learning. Quite a few researches have discussed the relationship between teacher talk and language learning. As Nunan (1991) points out: Teacher talk is of crucial importance, not only for the organization of the classroom but also for the processes of acquisition. It is important for the organization and management of the classroom because it is through language that teachers either succeed or fail in implementing their teaching plans. In terms of acquisition, teacher talk is important because it is probably the major source of comprehensible target language input the learner is likely to

receive. The amount and type of teacher talk is even regarded as a decisive factor of success or failure in classroom teaching. (Hakansson in Xiou, 2006) According to SLA theory, plenty of and high-quality input is the necessary element for successful language learning. There is no learning without input. If the second language is learnt as a foreign language in a language class in a non-supportive environment instruction is likely to be the major or even the only source of target language input (Stern in Xiou, 2006). Here instruction refers to teacher instruction -- teacher talk. Classroom is the chief source for language learner in most places and the only source in some places, teacher talk serves as the major target language input for the language learners. Stern proposed a teaching-learning model which identified two principle actors, the language teacher and the language learner.


The features of teacher talk

Most of the researches on teacher talk mainly focus on its features and TT has many kinds of features. According to some scholars (Hu Xuewen, Dai Weidong & Li Ming in Xiou, 2006), teacher talk is regarded as a special simplified code with double features. The first one refers to the form of teacher talk, such as the speed, pause, repetition, modifications of teacher talk. The second one, which refers to the features of the language that teachers use to organize and control classes, includes the following aspects: the quality and quantity of teacher talk; the questions teachers use; interactional modifications and teachers feedback. In China, some scholars call the first one the formal features of teacher talk and the second one the functional features of teacher talk (Hu Xuewen in Xiou, 2006).

1.2.1. The formal features of teacher talk Gaies, Henzl , Long , Long & Sato in Xiou (2006) observed all kinds of phenomena about teacher talk, and made some comparison between the language that teachers use in and out of language classrooms. Their main findings are as follows: 1) Formal adjustsments occur at all language levels. Henzl observed adjustments in pronunciation, in lexis, and in grammar. 2) In general, ungrammatical speech modifications do not occur. 3) Interactional adjustments occur. (Ellis, 1985:145) Long and Freeman found that teacher talk is simplified in other ways -- syntactically, phonologically and semantically. In the syntactic domain, utterance length to children is shorter. In the area of phonology, speech to children is pitched higher, has more exaggerated intonation, and uses a wider pitch range. Its characterized by clearer articulation, pauses between utterances and an overall slower rate of delivery. In the semantic domain, vocabulary is more restricted, teachers carefully select the words they use according to the students proficiency and level. New words and difficult words are avoided. Chaudron in Xiou (2006), having investigated teacher talk for a long time and summarized some research results on teacher talk, proposed teacher talk in language classrooms tends to show the following modifications: 1) Rate of speech appears to be slower. 2) Pauses, which may be evidence of the speaker planning more, are possibly more frequent and longer. 3) Pronunciation tends to be exaggerated and simplified. 4) Vocabulary use is more basic.


5) Degree of subordination is slower. 6) More declaratives and statements are used than questions. 7) Teachers may self-repeat more frequently. These findings reflect some properties of teacher talk. Formal adjustment occurs at all language levels in and out of the class. Teachers choose different words to meet the need of class teaching. Ungrammatical speech modifications should not occur in teachers language in class, because teacher talk should be the model for students to imitate. Interactional adjustment occurs. Activities in class are for learning, so language in these activities is lack of real communicative information. Parker and Chaudron in Xiou (2006) conclude that the studies seem to indicate that linguistic simplifications such as simpler syntax and simpler vocabulary do not have as significant an effect on L2 comprehension as elaborative modifications. Because this research focuses on the functional features instead of the formal features of teacher talk, so the formal features of teacher talk will not be discussed any longer in the following parts.

1.2.2. The functional features of teacher talk According to second language acquisition theories, both teachers and students should participate in language classes actively. Teachers have to face two tasks in language classrooms: 1) offer enough high-quality English language input; 2) offer more opportunities for students to use the target language. So the distribution of teacher talk time, as an important factor that affect language learning, has been concerned by many scholars. An important issue is whether the amount of teacher talk influences learners L2 acquisition or foreign language learning. A great number of researchers have testified this. Researches in language classrooms have established that teachers tend to do most of the


classroom talk. Teacher talk makes up over 70 percent of the total talk (Cook, Legarreta, Chaudron, Zhao Xiaohon in Xiou, 2006). It is evident that if teachers devote large amounts of time to explanations or management instructions, student talk will be indeed severely restricted. Teacher-initiated talk will dominate the classroom, allowing little opportunity for extended student talk. In such an environment, students have little opportunity to develop their language proficiency. In order to avoid the overuse of teacher talk, many scholars tend to maximize student talk time (STT) and minimize teacher talk time (TTT) (Zhao Xiaohong, Zhou Xing & Zhou Yun in Xiou, 2006). Harmer points out that the best lessons are ones where STT is maximized. Getting students to speak -- to use the language they are learning -- is a vital part of a teachers job (Harmer, 2000: 4). American scholar Wong-Fillmore put forward her finding that is different from others after observing primary language classrooms for three years. She found all the success in SLA occurred in teacher-dominated classes. In contrast, little SLA took place in classes with too much interaction among students. Fillmore explained these results in terms of the type of input which was received in the different classrooms. In successful classrooms the teachers serve as the main source of input, the learners can receive enough and accurate input. However in student-centered classrooms, the pupils did not receive so much teacher input, and tended to use the L1 when talking among themselves. Therefore, Fillmore argued the amount of teacher talk should not be decreased blindly. If do so, she suggested two conditions to ensure successful SLA in classrooms from the 40 classes she investigated: one is the students must have high-level language proficiency so that they can communicate with their teacher and among themselves; the other is there must be enough


students who want to communicate in class. If the two conditions do not exist in classrooms, the decrease of teacher talk time wont lead to successful language learning.


Teachers questions

There is a difference between knowing and understanding: if teachers tell students information we can say that students know the information, at least temporarily; but they only know this information in the precise context in which it was told. If, on the other hand, the teacher presents information by asking questions students get the chance to see the information in a wider context, which makes the information transferable to other situations and areas of learning and therefore much deeper and useful (Alexander, 2005). Take the example of a teacher introducing the concept of the perfect tense in French [the pass compos]. One way is to explain the verb paradigm of 1st, 2nd and 3rd person in singular and plural forms; to show a detailed graphic of the verb paradigm on the screen or board; to explain that an auxiliary verb - avoir and sometimes etre - is needed along with the past participle of the verb in question in order to make a meaningful phrase or sentence, and so on. This is complicated territory for most students and even after the most expert exposition by the teacher, many students will still only have a vague grasp of the fundamental information. Contrast this with the teacher who from the start involves students directly by asking them questions. So, the teacher might ask questions such as: How many words do you see in this phrase? Which is the extra word in each phrase? If this is the phrase that means 'I played tennis', what is the phrase for 'she played tennis'? Why do you think each of these words is different, but the word for 'played' remains the same? Where have you seen this verb before? and so on.


This is the same as Richard & Lockhart in Xiou, 2006 stated that questioning is one of the most common techniques used by teachers and serves as the principal way in which teachers control the classroom interaction. The tendency for teachers to ask many questions has been observed in many investigations (Chaudron in Xiou, 2006). In some classrooms over half of class time is taken up by question-and-answer exchanges. Teachers questions have attracted considerable attention from researchers of language classroom. So effective questioning has the advantages of focusing on understanding, not just knowing, builds learning into something that can be transferred to other contexts, encourages students to engage actively and directly with the learning process, and provides both student and teacher with feedback on how effectively the information has been understood.

1.3.1. Functions of teachers questions The pervasiveness of teacher questions in the classroom can be explained by the specific functions they perform. These functions can be grouped into three broad areas: diagnostic, instructional, and motivational (Donald, K & Paul D. Eggen, 1989). As a diagnostic tool, classroom questions allow the teacher to glimpse into the minds of students to find out not only what they know or dont know but also how they think about a topic. Recent research on schema theory suggests that the structure of students existing knowledge is a powerful determinant of how new information will be learned, and that often student misconceptions and prior beliefs interfere with the learning of new material (Mayer, 1987; Donald, K & Paul D. Eggen, 1989). Through strategic questioning, the teacher can assess the current state of student thinking, identifying not only what students know but also gaps and misconceptions.


A second important function that questions perform is instructional. The instructional function focuses on the role that questions play in helping students learn new material and integrate it with the old one. Questions provide the practice and feedback essential for the development. Questions alert students to the information in a lesson. Questions are also valuable in the learning of integrated bodies of knowledge. Toward this goal, questions can be used to review previously learned material to establish a knowledge base for the new material to be learned. In addition, as the new material is being developed, questions can be used to clarify relationships within the content being discussed. A third function that classroom questions perform is motivational. Through questions teachers can engage students actively in the lesson at hand, challenging their thinking and posing problems for them to consider. From a lesson perspective, a question at the beginning can be used to capture students attention and provide a focus for the lesson. In addition, frequent and periodic questions can encourage active participation and provide opportunities in the lesson for continued student involvement. Research in this area shows student on-task behaviors are highest during teacher-led questioning sessions. Finally, at the individual level, questions can be used to draw wandering students back into the lesson or to provide an opportunity for one student to shine.

1.3.2. The types of teachers questions Most of the researches on teachers question focus on the classification of it. There are many different ways to classify questions. Barnes examined the questions asked by teachers and classified the questions into four types. The first type is questions concerning factual matters, that is, the questions beginning with what. The second type is questions of inference beginning


with how and why. The third type is open questions which do not require any inference. And the last type is questions for communication, which could affect and control the behavior of learners. Barns further classified the second type into closed questions and open questions. Questions are closed because there is only one existing answer, while to open questions there are more than one answer. Barnes also stressed that some questions seemed open, but the answers were closed. Jack C. Richards& Charles Lockhart (2000) classify the questions into three categories in terms of the purpose of questions in classrooms -- procedural, convergent, and divergent. Procedural questions have to do with classroom procedures and routines and classroom management. They are used to ensure the smooth flow of the teaching process. Unlike procedural questions, many of the questions teachers ask, such as convergent and divergent questions, are designed to engage students in the content of the lesson, to facilitate their comprehension, and to promote classroom interaction. Convergent questions encourage similar student responses, or responses which focus on a central theme. These responses are often short answers, such as yes or no or short statements. They do not usually require students to engage in high-level thinking in order to come up with a response but often focus on the recall of previously presented information. Divergent questions are quite different from convergent questions. These questions encourage diverse student responses which are not short answers and which require students to engage in higher-level thinking. They encourage students to provide their own information rather than recall previously presented information. With the growth in concern for communication in language classrooms, a further distinction has been made between display and referential questions by Long and Sato (1983). Display questions refer to ones that teachers know the answer and which are designed to


elicit or display particular structures. For example, whats the opposite of up in English? On the contrary, referential questions refer to the questions that teachers do not know the answers to, and can gain various subjective information. For example, Why dont you do your homework? Because closed questions and convergent questions have the same feature as referential questions, they are regarded as the same type of questions; so are open questions and divergent questions. It has often been observed that teachers tend to ask more display questions than referential questions (Barnes, cited from yu&yu, 2005; Long&Sato, 1983; Pica & Long, cited from Ellis, 1994). The explanation for this by Barnes is the role the teachers play. If the teachers just pass on information rather than encourage students to participate in classroom activities, they tend to ask referential question. However, Long & Sato conclude that is because the teachers emphasized much more on the form and accuracy of the language, instead of the meaning of language and communication. It must be pointed out that all their researches were conducted in teacher-dominated classrooms. In student-centered language classrooms, proportionately more referential questions were asked than display questions (Zhou Xing & Zhou Yun, 2002).

2. Instructions As regards the functional allocation of teacher talk, J. D. Ramrez et al. (1986 as cited in Chaudron, 1988) found that two-thirds of teacher explanations in elementary bilingual programs are procedural ones (i.e. ways of structuring lesson activities). Soliciting moves, in other words those intended to elicit a) a verbal response b) a cognitive response or c) a physical response are an essential element of classroom discourse (Bellack et. al., 1966 as cited in Coulthard, 1977).


In an interesting article, Holmes (1983) analyzes directives in Ll classrooms in New Zealand and Britain, showing how the successful interpretation of these directives by children requires matching a complex range of linguistic forms to the social rules of the classroom. Children do not have difficulties in recognizing the controlling role of the teacher in the classroom. They "seem to learn to scan all teacher's utterances for potential directive function" (Holmes, 1983: 112) identifying those that have the force of commands and that in other contexts may be interpreted as suggestions or advice. Willes (1975 as cited in Holmes, 1983) explains that students are moved by a strong desire to please their teacher. Holmes groups teacher directives into three main categories: imperatives, interrogatives and declaratives

Speech Function: Directives



1. Imperatives

a. Base form of verb b. You + imp. c. Pres. Part. d. Verb ellipsis e. Imp + modifier f. Let+ Ist.pers. pro.

Speak louder You go on with the work Looking at me Hands up Turn around, please Jo Let 's try

a. Modals 2. Interrogatives b. Non-modals

Will you read this page for me?

People at the back are you listening?

a. Embedded agent 3. Declaratives b. Hints

I want you to draw a picture Sally, you are not saying much


Fig. 1. Syntactic forms of directives (Adopted from Holmes, 1983)

It is evident that teachers' directives may be realized in a wide array of forms. Holmes found in her data that imperatives were the most frequent type in all its variants and these were explicit enough not to cause any misunderstanding except for those that contained elliptical forms. Indirect forms did not cause much trouble either specially if they referred to required or proscribed activities. Most of the interpretation problems she found were related to contextual factors or behavioural expectations of the teacher. Some of the activities that we use in the classroom are fairly complex in terms of the way they're organized, and I doubt if there are many teachers who can honestly claim that they've never got a class totally confused by the way they've given instructions. How can you make sure that your instructions are as clear and comprehensible as possible? Sue Swift offers some guidelines... 1. Plan how you're going to give the instructions before you go into the classroom, and make sure that you can explain them within the limits of the language which the students can understand. For example, the following instruction would be fine for an intermediate class, but would lose a group of beginners: "You're going to hear a description of a famous person and you have to guess who it is." For beginners, "Listen to my description of a famous person. Who is it?" would be far more comprehensible. 2. Think too about the speed of your speech - slow down slightly if necessary - and insert pauses to allow students to take in each piece of information before you go on to the next. 3. Make sure that your instructions are fully explicit dont take anything for granted. Because we are so familiar with the activity types, we often assume that certain things are obvious. How often have you explained an activity but forgotten to say explicitly "Don't show your

information to your partner" - only to find students happily doing just that. 4. Also think about how much you're going to explain at a time. If you have a long, complicated, or two part activities, don't explain everything at once. Explain the first stage, and check that students have understood before you go on to the explanation of the next part. In some cases it is not necessary for the students to have an overview of the whole activity before they start. In this case, explain the first part, do the first part and then go on to the explanation of the second part. 5. Don't start the explanation until you have the students' full attention. Make sure they have stopped whatever they are doing, are turned towards you and are listening. 6. Even in the first lesson, use English wherever possible. "Get into pairs" won't be understood, but "You two, you two and you two" plus a gesture pushing the students together will be. 7. However, if you speak the students' language, for very complex activities it may be more efficient to use the L1 for explanations. This can be gradually phased out as the students become more proficient: a) at the beginning of the course, give the instructions in the L1, and then repeat them immediately, as simply as possible, in English. b) later on reverse the order: give the instructions in English first, and in the L1 second. c) as soon as possible, give the instructions in English only, but check comprehension by asking the students to repeat them back in their L1. 8. Avoid using the imperative in your instructions. In most situations that the students will find themselves, it will not be an appropriate form to use. In the classroom it may be, but if they have constantly heard the teacher saying "Repeat!" there's a good chance they'll use it


themselves: Native speaker: And so I was dropped right in it. Student: Repeat! Instead, use request forms - for example "Can you repeat that?" - which provide a good model for the students' own use of the language. This is especially important if the imperative is more socially acceptable in the students' own language (for example Italian) so that they are liable to transfer the use into English. 9. Always check that students have understood your instructions before starting the activity. The question "Do you understand?" is as good as useless. Students may be too shy to admit that they don't understand, or may think they understand when they actually don't. Make sure they demonstrate their understanding. This can be done by: a) asking them check questions - for example, for a roleplay : "OK, if you're student A put your hands up... Right... who are you? And what's your problem? And who is student B?" b) asking them to repeat back to you the instructions. Don't choose the strongest person in the group to do this. S/he is the one most likely to have understood and your check needs to be directed to the students who probably haven't. c) asking two students to demonstrate the activity in front of the class, or for a written exercise by eliciting the answers to the first two examples. d) not giving instructions at all but asking students to look at the activity and tell you what they think they have to do. This can be useful for activity types which are already known the students. 10. As soon as the students start the activity, go around quickly to each pair or group just to check they are on task. Don't stop to help or monitor one group until you have checked them all. If only one group has not understood, then go back and help. If several groups are off


track, then stop the activity and explain again, using the students who have understood to demonstrate to the others. 2.1. Effective Instructions

In our observations of young EFL learner classes, the various difficulties encountered by teachers when delivering oral classroom instructions were related to both classroom management and teacher speech. Penny Ur (1991) in her book A Course in Language Teaching devotes a unit in part I to explanations and instructions. She defines instructions as "the directions that are given to introduce a learning task which entails some measure of independent student activity" (p.l6). She proposes some guidelines for giving effective explanations and instructions. Although she does not make a difference between directions for children or older students, her recommendations may well be applied to teaching children. She advises teachers to think ahead what words and illustrations to use. She also recommends making sure to have all the students' attention before giving instructions and giving them before dividing students into groups or handing out materials. The use of repetition or paraphrase as well as the presentation of the instructions in different modes is also proposed. She remarks the need to be brief in explanations, but this should also be considered when giving instructions to children and mainly if these contain a string of directives. Students according to Sinclair and Coulthard (1975 as cited in Holmes, 1983) will tend to respond to the final of a list of questions and commands. Ur (op cit.) suggests making an actual demonstration of the activity either with the full class or with one student and also checking understanding but not just by asking students if they understand but by requesting them to do something that will show their understanding. In summary, to avoid misunderstandings context is crucial (Holmes, 1983). It is necessary to provide rich contextual clues, including gestures, objects and pictures. At the same time, teachers


should try to avoid code-switching to the first language. This has an effect on students' talk for different reasons but mainly because as mentioned above teacher talk is sometimes the only live target language available to them. Nunan (1991) cites a study of target language use carried out by Zilm which revealed that an increase on the teacher's part in the use of the target language was followed by a parallel increase in the use of the foreign language by the students.

3. Speech Act Speech acts are speakers utterances which convey meanings and make listeners do specific things (Austin, 1962). The primary concept of speech acts is that various functions can be implemented by means of language. Speech acts are determined by the contexts where multiple factors affect the speakers utterances. According to Austin (1962), when saying performative utterances, a speaker is simultaneously doing something. For example, when someone says, I am hungry, he may express his hunger or is likely to a request to for something to eat. Austin indicated that people perform three different kinds of acts when speaking: 1. Locution acts: the utterances we use, which are literal meanings. 2. Illocutions acts: the intention that a speaker has or the effect that the utterances has on hearers. They are often used to perform certain function and must be perform on purpose. 3. Perlocution acts: the results of the effects produce by means of a speaker illocutionary acts. A speaker can use different locution acts to achieve the same illocutionary force or use one locution for many different purposes. For instance, when you ask someone can you pass the salt? the literal meaning concerns the hearer ability to pass the salt to the speaker. If illocutions

causes the listener to do something, they are perlocutions; in this case, the hearers passing the salt to the speaker. In brief, the locution causes illocutionary force which the speaker wants the utterance to have on listeners. One can perform his/her intention indirectly by using illocutions and then cause perlocutionary acts. The illocutionary acts in Austins (1962) original framework are what subsequent researchers called speech acts, illocutionary force, or pragmatic force (Thomas, 1995). Today most attention has focused on illocutionary acts, the speakers actual intention of the utterance. Speech acts are categorized by language functions or by their intents (Austin, 1962; Hymes, 1962). Austin classified speech acts into five types (hereinafter written in brackets), and then Searle (1969) refined his typological system: 1. Directives (verdictives): an intention to get the listener to do something, such as request, command, advice and invitation. 2. Declaratives (Exercitives): the exercising of power and rights or a completion of a change by the correspondence between the utterance and the illocutionary force, as in appointing, ordering, and warning. 3. Commisives: that the speaker undertakes or commits to do something by announcing an intention, like promising. 4. Expressives (behabitives): a psychological expression that shows the sincerity condition of certain affair, such as apology, gratitude, and congratulation. 5. Assertives (Expositives): a reference to the truth of the expressed utterance, as in argument and statement. Austin (1962) pointed out that speech acts must meet felicity conditions to carry out the intended function. Gordon and Lakoff (1971) later proposed a way of making indirect speech

acts by stating or questioning felicity conditions. Felicity conditions (Austin, 1962; Searle, 1969) are the actual conditions that must be met so as to give rise to a given speech act as intended. For example, the speaker has to be able comply with the request, and the hearer must make the thing requested in order for a request to be felicitous (Brown and Levinson, 1987). C. Conceptual Framework

Teaching and Learning Process

Classroom Talk

Teacher Talk


Fig. 2. Conceptual Framework




A. Research Design The design of this research is qualitative. Qualitative research is the collection, analysis, and interpretation of comprehensive narrative and visual data in order to gain insights into a particular phenomenon of interest (Gay, et al., 2006). The aim of the qualitative research is encouraging a deep understanding of a specific phenomenon, such as environment, a process or a belief. By using the design the researcher collected, analyzed and interpreted the data to see the teacher talk in the classroom, particularly in giving instruction..? The researcher used a grounded theory in analyzing the data; the teacher talk. Grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss in Dawson, 2002) is an inductive method, and follows the procedures from comparing incidents applicable from each category, integrating categories and their properties, improving and writing the theory. B. Operational Definitions The followings are the key-terms used in this research: 1. Instruction is a message describing how something is to be done. Instruction is likely to be the major or even the only source of target language input (Stern in Xiou, 2006). 2. Teacher talk is central in the language class not only for classroom organization and for the process of acquisition (Nunan, 1991) but also as a means for controlling student behavior (Allwright & Bailey, 1991).


C. Participant The participant in this research is a teacher at training from UNM who is doing her teaching practice in one of classes in SMA Negeri 11 Makassar.

D. Research Instrument In conducting the research, the researcher gathered the data through observation and interview. Observation is used to get the data in the classroom directly. Gay, Mills, and Airasian stated that the emphasis during the observation was on understanding the natural environment as lived by participant, without altering or manipulating it. And interview is a purposeful interaction in which one person is trying to obtain important data or information from another (Gay, et al., 2006). The interview is used to get the additional information from the participant related to language used in the classroom.

E. Technique of Collecting Data In interview, the researcher took the data by interviewing the participant to get the information needed. To get the desired data, semi-structured interview was used. This type of interview is used when the researcher wants to know specific information which can be compared and contrasted with information gained from the observation.

F. Technique of Data Analysis The gathered data were analyzed through the following procedures: 1. Open Coding


The data gathered from the interview and the recording are conceptualized and categorized line by line. In this step the researcher labeled to any description in the data which relate to the focused points. 2. Axial Coding By axial coding, the researcher related one conceptual label to another. This kind of detail is called as the subcategory. 3. Selective Coding In this part, the researcher processed the indentifying phenomenon related to the research questions. By doing this, the incomplete categories or subcategories recovered. 4. Drawing Theoretical Description After finishing exploring the relationship among categories and/or subcategories, the researcher developed a theoretical description, which in turn answered the research questions.



A. Findings This part deals with the presentation of findings and discussions. In relation to this part, the researcher found three main parts of the teacher talk in the classroom, especially in giving instruction; imperatives, interrogatives and declaratives. 1. Imperatives The first part the researcher talked about is imperatives, since the teacher used it in her instructions. The following extract shows the using of imperatives. Extract 1 (the use of imperatives) 1 T: How are you today? 2 S: Fine, and you ...? 3 T: Fine 4 Ok, you have a homework punishment, right? 5 S: Yes 6 T: When I call your name, submit your homework, ok? 7 S: Yes 8 T: Before we continue our study, I want to talk about your homework last week. 9 You want to do it on Monday, right? But its cancelled until tomorrow, right? 10 S: Yes 11 T: Last week I have told you about the grammar in spoof? 12 What is the grammar in spoof? Grammar yang digunakan dalam spoof? What is the grammar in spoof? The grammar which is used in spoof? 13 Grammar? 14 S: Simple past 15 Past continuous 16 T: Any else? Ok., right 17 Thats why Im here, I want to explain you about the grammar in spoof text. 18 You can see in the slide. 19 Were still in spoof text, right? Right? 20 S: Yes 21 T: I cant hear your voice, right?


S: Yes In the extract (1) above, the teacher was explaining a lesson in the class. It is about one

rule of grammar. When giving the instruction, the teacher used imperatives for example when she saidWhen I call your name, submit your homework in turn 6. Another example is when she said You can see in the slide in turn 18. In the interview, the teacher gave her reason why she used imperatives in giving instructions in the classroom, as stated in the following: I used imperatives in this part because I just want to make clear what I want the students to do. For example, when I said, When I call your name, submit your homework. I just want the students know that I want them to submit their homework while I call their names. This instruction is said to all the students in the classroom. (Source: Ayu)

2. Interogatives In this section, the researcher pointed out the use of declaratives in the teachers instruction. It can be seen in the following extract: Extract 2 (the use of interrogatives) 23 T: Ok, generally in a spoof text, there are three tenses used. 24 The first is simple present, simple past tense and past continuous tense. 25 Ok, you can take a note 26 Secara umum ada tiga ini, ya generally there are three, right? 27 Generally there are three tenses but mostly used is simple past tense like narrative, ya Generally there are three tenses but mostly used is simple past tense like narrative, right? 28 Lebih banyak menggunakan simple past tense tapi ada juga yang menggunakan simple present and past continuous tense. Simple past tense is mostly used, but you can also find the form of simple present and past continuous tense. 29 So I will explain all of these tenses for you. 30 Ok, we move to the next slide err 31 The first is simple present tense. 32 Ok, I wanna ask you what is simple present tense? 33 Anyone can tell what is a simple present tense according to your lesson in the previous?


35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42


Ok, ada yang bisa jelaskan what is simple present tense? Ok, raise your hand Ok, is there any of you can explain what is simple present tense? Ok, raise your hand Ok, Nur risky Pratiwi S: Tenses yang menjelaskan keadaan sekarang The tense which explains the present condition T: Tenses yang menjelaskan keadaan sekarang The tense which explains the present condition Ada yang lain? Is there anything else? The purpose of simple present tense? Any else? Ok, Tenroaji S: Simple present adalah suatu tenses untuk menjelaskan suatu peristiwa yang telah terjadi sekarang Simple present is a tense which is used to explain a condition which is happened now. T: Ok, the same with Nur Resky Pratiwi, ya? Ok, the same with Nur Resky Pratiwi, right?

In explaining the lesson in this part (extract 2), the teacher was using interrogatives. For example when she said Ok, I wanna ask you: what is simple present tense? in turn 32. Another example is in turn 33, when she said Anyone can tell, what is a simple present tense according to your previous lesson? The other explanation from the teacher can be seen in the following: I used interrogatives form in this part because I wanted to know the students previous knowledge about the lesson in which I was going to give to them. I think, by asking them about this, can help me to decide which one I have to teach them first related to the topic they are going to learn. (Sourse: Ayu)

3. Declaratives Declaratives is another form the teacher used in giving instruction in the classroom, as can be seen in the following extract:


Extract 3 (the use of declaratives) 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 T: Ok, number two, simple past tense also show one activity happened in the past Ya, Alda S: Simple past menyatakan kejadian yang terjadi dimasa lampau Simple past expresses a condition which is happened in the past. T: Ya, yang lain mengerti? Ok, the rest of you, do you understand? S: Mengerti Understand T: Melda, can you repeat what Alda (have) said? S: T: Artinya nomor 2, masih ada yang belum mengerti, ya? The meaning of number 2, is there any of you havent understand, yet? Bisa Alda, coba standup. Alda, stand up Jelaskan yang tadi pada teman-temannya Explain it again to your friends. Yang lain dengarkan ya? The rest of you, please listen to it S: Simple past itu digunakan untuk menyatakan kejadian yang terjadi dimasa lampau. Simple past is used to express the condition which is happened in the past. T: Ok, good errr In extract three above, the teacher continued her explanation by using declaratives. For example when she said: Melda, can you repeat what Alda (have) said? in turn 138. Another example is seen in turn 141 when she said: Alda, stand up. From the interview the teacher gave her explanation about the use of declaratives in her instruction, as told in the following: I used declaratives in this section because I wanted to be sure that all the students understand about what they had learned or what their friends had said. Besides, by pointing one of the students means that I give a chance or a turn to the students to express her idea, at least about their understanding about the lesson. (Source: Ayu)



B. Discussion As its focus, the discussion of the research findings mainly deals with three main parts in the teachers talk, especially in giving instruction in the classroom. They are imperatives, interrogatives and declaratives. 1. Imperatives From the findings above, the researcher found that the teacher used imperatives in giving instruction in the classroom. From the interview, the researcher found that the teacher used this in order to make her instruction clear for the students and also in order that the students can perform what the teacher asked them to do. As we know that an imperative sentence is more commonly known as a command. The "you" subject is understood. This means that the command is given to someone, and he understands who the speaker is talking to without the speaker saying "you." These sentences start with an action verb. They usually end with a period. But if it is a command given in an exciting situation, then an exclamation mark can be used. For example, commands may be given during a fire drill or a sporting event that would end in exclamation marks instead of periods. And in speech act theory (Searle, 1969), it is one of the directives. Directives (verdictives) is an intention to get the listener to do something, such as request, command, advice and invitation. 2. Interrogatives In the second findings the researcher found that the teacher used interrogatives as well in giving her instructions in the classroom. She explained that she used the interrogative form in order to find out the students previous knowledge about the lesson which she was about to give


to them. She added that by asking the students previous knowledge, can help her in deciding which material she ought to give them first. Interrogative sentences are also known as questions. When you use an interrogative sentence, you are expecting an answer to your question. These sentences end in question marks and usually start with a question word or an inverted subject-verb structure such as "do you go. . ." In speech act theory, Searle (1969) categorized this form in the same place with imperatives (directives). The same as in Haliday (2002), in the imperatives, the interlocutor demands the information (or goods & services, to a listener/reader; the former is a recipient of information, and the latter is a provider of information/service, as in the case of the interrogatives. 3. Declaratives The third findings the researcher found is the use of declaratives in the teachers instruction. She said that she used this form in order to ensure that all the students understand the lesson well. Pointing out the students would give a chance for them to express their idea and their understanding about the lesson, she added. One of the types of sentences we use the most in the English language is the declarative sentence. Declarative sentences, also known as statements, present a fact, an opinion, or a piece of information. They end in a period. Searle (1969) stated that declaratives (exercitives) is the exercising of power and rights or a completion of a change by the correspondence between the utterance and the illocutionary force, as in appointing, ordering, and warning. In the above extract, we can see that the teacher use this declaratives form in appointing the students to do the activities.


The three findings that the researcher found above, namely imperatives, interrogatives and declaratives, are part of the speech act classification. Speech acts are categorized by language functions or by their intents (Austin, 1962; Hymes, 1962). Austin classified speech acts into five types (hereinafter written in brackets), and then Searle (1969) refined his typological system: 1. Directives (verdictives): an intention to get the listener to do something, such as request, command, advice and invitation. 2. Declaratives (Exercitives): the exercising of power and rights or a completion of a change by the correspondence between the utterance and the illocutionary force, as in appointing, ordering, and warning. 3. Commisives: that the speaker undertakes or commits to do something by announcing an intention, like promising. 4. Expressives (behabitives): a psychological expression that shows the sincerity condition of certain affair, such as apology, gratitude, and congratulation. 5. Assertives (Expositives): a reference to the truth of the expressed utterance, as in argument and statement. The three findings above can be seen the classification number one and number three. Imperatives and interrogative are part of directives. Imperatives are anything that demand response from the students. Interrogative forms are imperative (asking what did you do today? demands that the child tell us the answer) and requests are as well (come eat your breakfast also demands a particular, known response). Imperative statements dont require a lot of thinking about (Rainbow, 2012). Whereas declaratives is seen in number two. Declarative communication is intended to be used to share experiences or make comments about the world around us. For

example, wow, thats a funny dog and I think your feet will be cold are declarative statements. Declarative communication requires the students to think about what you have said and formulate a unique response. (Think of the range of potential responses to either of the above statements as opposed to the single answer required to a direct question).



A. Conclusion Based on the findings and discussions above, the researcher would like to draw the following conclusions: 1. The teacher used three forms of instruction in the classroom, namely: imperatives, interrogatives, and declaratives. 2. Imperative was used if the teacher wanted to make the explanation clearer and understandable. 3. Interrogative was used when the teacher required to find the students previous knowledge related to the lessons. 4. Declarative was used whenever the teacher wanted to be certain in the students understanding of what they have learned. 5. The three forms of the instruction used by the teacher mostly in the classroom are part of the speech act classification. B. Suggestion Referring to the research findings in describing the teacher talk in giving instruction in the classroom, the researcher would like to state some suggestions: 1. To teachers, they should know the forms of instruction they are going to use in order to make them presented the lesson well and bring in a good understanding for the students.


2. To other researchers, who are concerned in exploring more about the teacher talk, may see the research from the students talk.


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