Adding a third language: An in-depth analysis of the teacher questioning processes in a Chinese classroom
This study examined interaction in a Chinese as a third language (L3) classroom to see whether and if so how, what the teachers did linguistically provided the students with conditions for successful second language acquisition (SLA). Theoretical claims, together with research evidence, have identified conditions for SLA as provision of comprehensible second language (L2) input, feedback on production, and opportunities to modify L2 output. Studies of learners' interactions in experimental and informal contexts have shown that these conditions are brought about through a process of mutual clarification requests and responses, known as negotiation for meaning. Studies of L2 classroom interaction, however, have revealed that negotiation for meaning is a scarce commodity in the L2 classroom. More typical is a process characterized by teacher questions and student responses about language form and content. In light of the pervasiveness of the questioning process in language classrooms, it was believed that an in-depth analysis of its formal and functional features might shed light on the more general research question of what the teachers did to provide conditions for SLA in the classroom under study. Data for this study were collected through participant observation, audio- and video-taping, and unstructured interviews. Two situational contexts, homework presentation and classroom discussion, were targeted. Analysis of the data revealed numerous linguistic and interactional features of the questioning process that appeared to make it effective in providing conditions for SLA. To make L3 input comprehensible to students, the teacher repeated, rephrased, paraphrased, or simplified her questions. She also appealed to different languages, by mixing, paralleling, and switching different language codes. Sometimes when students could not respond to questions because of insufficient knowledge or language, the teacher would explain and articulate these concepts for them. Feedback to students during the questioning process was shown through the teacher's reflecting on students' responses or supplying content which the students could not articulate. Finally, opportunities for modification of output were revealed when the teacher provided multiple options for the students to choose and respond to, repeated question content, modified her earlier questions, and urged the students to respond in the target language.
Tseng, David Shoou-Der, "Adding a third language: An in-depth analysis of the teacher questioning processes in a Chinese classroom" (1992). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9227778.