Mohammed Alanazi, Jacquie Widin


This paper presents initial findings from a study of teacher talk (TT) in English Language secondary school classes in Saudi Arabia. The study focuses on the role of TT in English language lessons, it also investigates how TT is affected by cultural and educational factors and approaches to teaching and whether TT hinders or helps students’ language outputs. The study takes a socio-cultural perspective draws on a framework developed by Cullen (2002). The data was gathered through classroom observations and recordings of 18 EFL secondary teachers in Hafr Albatin (a region in Saudi Arabia) and interviews with the teachers. This study has identified that the IRF (initiation, response, feedback) is a common sequence in Saudi EFL classroom; the analysis focuses on the F –move and uses Cullen’s analytical approach to make a distinction between the discoursal and evaluative roles. This paper will present an overview of the way teacher talk takes place in the Saudi secondary classrooms and will show examples of where teacher talk promotes dialogue and in contrast, where teachers restrict opportunities for student output. The study makes some recommendations that may help teachers improve pedagogical talk in their classrooms also, and consequently improves students’ conversational skills. Due to the need to develop high proficiency among students, this study supports the argument that TT is one of the key issues that help students developing high proficiency.


Teacher talk; F-moves discoursal function; F-moves evaluative function; Saudi Arabia English teaching context

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