Constructing a Democratic English Language Classroom


Teaching English to immigrant students is a trending issue in the US as well as in other English-speaking countries. This paper examines how the language of an ESL teacher functions in classroom interactions. The data came from an ESL class for immigrant students in the United State. The analytical framework of the paper is based on Rymes’s (2009) notion of classroom discourse analysis. Based on detailed analysis of teacher-student interactions, this paper suggests that a democratic and beneficial learning environment can be created through teacher’s talk in the following ways: using open-ended questions, providing multiple choices for multicultural students, as well as selecting inclusive pronouns such as "we." These pedagogical practices secure an open and democratic intellectual environment where each student’s perspective is welcomed, valued and respected. Reference: Rymes, B. (2009). Classroom discourse analysis: A tool for critical reflection. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Author Information
Dingding Jia, Pennsylvania State University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2014
Stream: Language education

This paper is part of the ECLL2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon