The different uses of the pronoun ‘we’ by EFL teachers in classroom interaction

Muthi'ah Muthi'ah, Syamsul Arif Galib, Annisa Shofa Tsuraya, Multazam Abubakar, Nur Aliyah Nur, Muhammad Syahruddin Nawir

Abstract


The pronoun ‘we’ is understood only to refer to the first-person plural. In fact, the pronoun ‘we’ can also refer to other references. The primary purpose of this study is to examine the different uses of the pronoun ‘we’ by EFL teachers in classroom interaction. This study employed a qualitative approach by using three instruments: observation, audio-recorder, and interview in collecting the data. The subjects of this research are two English teachers and the second-grade students at a vocational high school in Makassar. The data were analyzed by formulating Miles et al.’s method of analysis. The result of this study shows that, in classroom interaction, the pronoun ‘we’ can refer to six distinct references: (1) ‘we’ that refers to speaker and more than one addressee, (2) ‘we’ that refers to speaker and more than one-third party, (3) ‘we’ that refers to speaker and indefinite group, (4) ‘we’ that indicates ‘you’, (5) ‘we’ that indicates ‘I’, and (6) ‘we’ that indicates “they”. From the interviews, the researchers found that both teachers have different reasons for using the pronoun ‘we’ in classroom interaction. The first teacher intends to use the pronoun to help him create an enjoyable learning environment and establish better relationships with the students. In contrast, the other teacher uses the pronoun ‘we’ to show politeness to the students. Despite the differences, they both seem to have the same intention of creating a positive learning environment.


Keywords


classroom interaction; EFL teachers; pronoun ‘we’; learning environment

Full Text:

PDF

References


Beltrán, E. V. (2000). Roles of teachers: A case study based on Diary of a language teacher (Jachim Appel 1995). Universitat Jaume I.

Brown, H. D. (1994). Principles of language learning and teaching. Prentice-Hall.

Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (1987). Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge University Press.

Brown, R., & Gilman, A. (1960). The pronouns of power and solidarity. In T. A. Sebeok (Ed.), Style in language (pp. 253–276). MIT Press.

Cysouw, M. (2005). Inclusive/exclusive forms of ‘we’. In M. Haspelmath, M. S. Dryer, D. Gil & B. Comrie (Eds.), The world atlas of language structures (pp. 162-169). Oxford University Press.

Dahnilsyah, D. (2017). The implied power through the use of personal pronouns in Obama’s speeches: Critical discourse analysis. International Journal of Educational Best Practices (IJEBP), 1(2), 59–71. https://doi.org/10.31258/ijebp.v1n2.p59-71

di Carlo, G. S. (2018). Patterns of clusivity in TED Talks: When ‘you’ and ‘I’ become ‘we’. Iberica, 35, 119–144.

Filiminova, E. (2005). Clusivity: Typology and case studies of the inclusive-exclusive distinction. John Benjamin Publishing Company.

Gay, L. R., Mills, G. E., & Airasian, P. W. (2016). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and applications. Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

Helmbrecht, J. (2002). Grammar and function of we. In A. Duszak (Ed.) Us and others: Social identities across languages (pp .31–49). John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Johnson, J., & Picciuolo, M. (2021, May 13-15). Inclusion and performativity: The power of pronouns in EMI lectures [Conference session]. Diversity and Inclusion (DIVE-IN) Conference, Bologna, Italy. https://eventi.unibo.it/convegno-parole/abstract

Julana, N. A. (2018). The patterns of classroom interaction in English speaking course [Bachelor’s thesis, UIN Ar-Raniry]. Repository of UIN Ar-Raniry. https://repository.ar-raniry.ac.id/id/eprint/3292/

Kaewrungruang, K., & Yaoharee, O. (2018). The use of personal pronoun in political discourse: A case study of the final 2016 United States presidential election debate. REFLections, 25(1), 85–96.

Kuo, C. (1999). The use of personal pronouns: Role relationships in scientific journal articles. Pergamon, English for Specific Purposes, 18(2), 121–138. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906%2897%2900058-6

Lichtenberk, F. (2005). Inclusive-exclusive in Austronesia: An opposition of unequal. Clusivity: Typology and Case Studies of the Inclusive-Exclusive Distinction, 63, 261–289. https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.63.13lic

Malamah-Thomas, A. (1987). Classroom interaction: A scheme for teacher education. Oxford University Press.

Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldana, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis (3rd ed.). SAGE Publications Inc.

Moje, E. B. (1995). Talking about science: An interpretation of the effects of teacher talk in a high school science classroom. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32(4), 349–371. https://doi.org/10.1002/TEA.3660320405

Nashruddin, N., Alam, F. A., & Harun, A. (2020). Moral values found in linguistic politeness patterns of Bugis society. Edumaspul - Jurnal Pendidikan, 4(4), 132–141.

Nurpahmi, S. (2017). Teacher talk in classroom interaction. ETERNAL: English, Language, Teaching, and Research Journal, 3(1), 35–43. https://doi.org/10.24252/Eternal.V31.2017.A4

Packard, G., Moore, S., & Mcferran, B. (2018). (I’m) Happy to help (you): The impact of personal pronoun use in customer-firm interactions. Journal of Marketing Research, 55(4), 1–79. https://doi.org/10.1509/jmr.16.0118

Pavlidou, T. S. (2014). Constructing collectivity: ‘We’across languages and contexts (1st ed.). John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Quirk, R., Greenbaum, S., Leech, G., & Svartvik, J. (1985). A comprehensive grammar of the English language. Longman Group Limited.

Reynolds-Case, A. (2012). Exploring the different ways Spanish instructors use the pronoun ‘we’ in the classroom. Arizona Working Papers in SLA & Teaching, 19, 24–35.

Richards, J. C., & Schmidt, R. (2010). Longman dictionary of language teaching and applied linguistics (4th ed.). Pearson Education Limited.

Roepcke, Y. M. (1998). Pronouns in discourse: International and U.S. TAs construct social groups and identities [Doctoral dissertation, The University of Arizona]. UA Campus Repository.

Rounds, P. L. (1987). Multifunctional personal pronoun use in an educational setting. Pergamon, English for Specific Purposes, 6(1), 13–29. https://doi.org/10.1016/0889-4906(87)90072-X

Sánchez, C. A. G., Gonzáles, B. S. G., & Martínez, C. J. L. (2013). The impact of teacher-student relationships on EFL learning. HOW Journal, 20(1), 116–129.

Scheibman, J. (2004). Inclusive and exclusive patterning of the English first person plural: Evidence from conversation. In M. Achard & S. Kemmer (Eds.). Language, culture, and mind (pp. 377-396). CSLI Publications.

Uzum, B., Yazan, B., & Selvi, A. F. (2018). Inclusive and exclusive uses of we in four American textbooks for multicultural teacher education. Language Teaching Research: SAGE Journal, 22(5), 625–647. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1362168817718576

Walsh, S. (2006). Investigating classroom discourse. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group

Yuliani, V. (2021). An analysis of teacher-student interaction on EFL class at SMP Ihsaniyah Tegal in academic year 2019-2020 [Bachlor’s thesis, Universitas Pancasakati Tegal]. UPS Repository. http://repository.upstegal.ac.id/3359/




DOI: https://doi.org/10.24815/siele.v9i1.21458

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Print ISSN: 2355-2794, Online ISSN: 2461-0275

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.