Second-language Classroom Interaction: Questions and Answers in ESL Classes

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University of Toronto Press, 1994 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 159 pages

Greater attention has recently been given to student and teacher interaction in the second-language classroom, which includes questioning and answering, turn-taking, negotiating meaning, and investigating feedback. Ann C. Wintergerst makes a unique contribution in the area of student response to questioning techniques.

This book analyses teacher and student interaction in the context of twelve English as a Second Language lessons. Its purpose is to explore the extent of student language output. 'Teacher talk' has been investigated in numerous studies, but 'student talk' has been largely overlooked.

Research has confirmed that teacher speech predominates in the second-language classroom. Questions are one means of engaging student attention, promoting verbal responses, and evaluating student progress. They facilitate classroom interaction by establishing the topic, the speaker, and the respondent. Wintergerst analyses teacher questions, showing how some questions encourage communication while others inhibit it.

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