Exploring the Impact of Teacher Talk in English Grammar Explanation: Using a Conversation Analysis Perspective

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Although many studies have concentrated on grammar teaching, most of them has investigated how teachers verbally teach grammar and how their talk impacts on the learning process; thus this study fills the gap in this area. This dissertation aims to explore the impact of teacher talk on learning and acquiring English grammar in a natural interaction. Together with a qualitative realistic approach, the required data were collected. Fourteen EFL teachers of both genders were recorded conversing during teaching in two schools and one institution in Dubai. During the conversation analysis method, 16 out of 22 English lessons which focus on grammar explanation were transcribed and analyzed. Students from diverse stages and with different language proficiency participated. The outcomes reveal that teacher talk enhances students’ command of English grammar learning. Besides this, they show that full-repetition and pauses are the most frequent techniques that are used in teacher talk. Wh-questions, yes/no questions and elaboration are the most-used strategies in teachers talk. These techniques and strategies help language learners to acquire the grammatical rules. When teachers engage in small talk with students, the students acquire the rules of grammar through ‘turn-management’ and the ‘next speaker selection’ procedures. It should be emphasized that these results cannot be generalized. The recommendation of this dissertation is that teachers should take into consideration the impact of their talk on improving learning. Proceeding from these results, opportunities for further research are underlined.
teacher talk, language learning, grammatical rules, English grammar, EFL teachers