Syntactical Modifications in Teacher Talk of Native and Non-Native Speakers in EFL Classrooms
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Classroom language in EFL classrooms comprises the core of communication between teachers and learners. Teacher talk plays a central role in understanding the nature of classroom language in this respect. According to Krashen input hypothesis, teacher talk also constitutes an important source of comprehensible input for the language acquisition of the learner (Krashen, 1981). To make the input comprehensible, teachers may make modifications in their vocabulary, syntax, rate of speech or discourse. Accordingly, the aim of this study is to discover whether native speakers of English and non-native speakers of English make any syntactical modifications in their teacher talk at elementary and pre-intermediate levels and to try to find out what kind of syntactical modifications they make if they modify their syntax during their speech. The study was carried out with eight EFL instructors (both NSs and NNSs) at Çağ University in Turkey using their audio-recordings, a questionnaire and interviews. Antconc 3.2.1 Programme and SPSS 17.0 Programme were used to analyse the quantitative data. The findings of the data were incorporated with the results of interviews forming the qualitative part of the study. The results of the data revealed that native speakers of English and non-native speakers of English made syntactical modifications in their teacher talk at elementary and pre-intermediate levels. They ranged from subordinate clauses to the types of sentences. The findings of the study also demonstrated that syntactical modifications in the teacher talk of native speakers and non-native speakers at both levels depended on the proficiency level of the learners although not all of these modifications formed a statistically meaningful difference.
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