NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ822925
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-1354-0602
"We Learnt that Last Week": Reading into the Language Practices of Teachers
Gale, Trevor; Cosgrove, Debbie
Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, v10 n2 p125-134 Apr 2004
The messages teachers convey to their students through their use of language can often go unconsidered, yet such practices can have a significant impact on students and their schooling, and in the creation of learning difficulties. In this paper we employ a discursive and ideological approach to analysing teachers' language practices and suggest that such systematic examination is warranted given the centrality of "teacher talk" to students' schooling. We draw attention to these concerns through an analysis of a spoken text between a teacher and student in the context of "show and tell"; a dialogue drawn from a larger body of data of interviews with and observations of teachers in six Australian primary schools. The analysis attempts to uncover the meanings conveyed to the student in question, Sam, through his teacher's language practices and to demonstrate the potentially detrimental effects of these practices on his schooling. Generally, we propose that teachers frequently employ linguistic techniques to refashion students in various ways, according to the norms of schooling; norms that often do not account very well for student difference and which position them as "difficult". Specifically, we argue that Sam's teacher seems more interested in moulding Sam's behaviour to conform to the interests of the school than in valuing his heritage and contributions. (Contains 1 figure.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia