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Title:Classroom Discourse as Linguistic Input: A Study of Student Participation, Percentage of French Used in Class, and the Communicative Orientation of Classroom Activities in Six Second-Semester French Classes
Author(s):Guthrie, Elizabeth M.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Abstract:The study was based on a model of optimal linguistic intake which posited the necessary co-occurrence of three conditions--a well-adjusted target-language message, the acquirer's attention, and focus on message content--for an optimal language-acquisition environment. The study looked at each condition in the discourse of six second-semester French classes and at the extent and circumstances of their co-occurrence.
From transcripts of two videotaped lessons per class, the following measures, corresponding to the three conditions posited, were established: (a) percentage of French used in classroom discourse, (b) percentage of student-talk in class, and (c) percentage of content-oriented activities (where language is used to exchange information and/or to maintain contact) in each lesson. Teachers were rank-ordered on each measure to find patterns of co-occurrence of the conditions.
French was spoken more than 80% of the time in five of the classes, but primarily in predictable, routine contexts. Percentages of student-talk varied between 9% and 24%, and content-oriented activities accounted for 15% to 64% of lesson phases. One of the teachers ranked high (first or second) on all measures; another was third or fourth on all three. The others all ranked first or second on one or two measures but fifth or sixth on the other(s). The six widely varying profiles of classroom interaction corresponded to six very distinct patterns of student-teacher interaction. The results suggest the need for complex and subtle accounts of interactional patterns as related to effective language-acquisition environments.
Issue Date:1987
Description:227 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8711803
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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