ERIC Number: ED256176
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Oct-26
Reference Count: 0
What Constitutes 'Genuine' Communication in the Adult L2 Classroom? A Search for a Definition through Classroom Observation Research. Final Report.
Coyle, Joseph M.; Bisgyer, Delia M.
To develop a more accurate and functional definition of "real communication" in the second language classroom, research into the language of teachers and students in their interactions was undertaken through classroom observation. The results show that the assumption that second language classroom language can be described as focusing either on form or on message does not reflect a third language category, "restricted" language, such as that of many teacher questions. This form focuses completely on message but transfers no information. It is suggested that the existence of this category may explain in part why teachers are unable to move into true communicative teaching but have stayed in an approach dominated by restricted language questions, which limits student participation to responding to questions. Examination of one unusual classroom interaction pattern led to development of a classroom activity/approach, entitled "The Teacher is Unprepared Approach," in which the interaction language must be unrestricted and the discourse pattern must correspond to that of native-speaker interaction. The approach is found to work because the conversational initiative lies with the students and all of the language generated is unrestricted. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Washington Consulting Group, Inc., Washington, DC.