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8.9: Summary, Key Words and References

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    Chapter summary

    Because communication in classrooms is more complex and unpredictable than in many other situations, it is important for teachers to understand its unique features and functions. It is helpful to think of classroom communication as serving a mixture of three purposes at once: content talk, procedural talk, and behavior control talk. It is also helpful to recognize that classroom communication has elements that are not only verbal, but also nonverbal and unintended.

    To be effective in using verbal communication, teachers need to use appropriate instructional strategies related to content, such as using advance organizers, relating new information to prior knowledge, and organizing new information on behalf of students. It includes strategies that assist students to communicate, such as inquiry
    learning and cooperative learning. To communicate well about procedures and about the behaviors expected of students, teachers need a variety of management techniques, such as those discussed in Chapter 7 and summarized again in Table 19. To be effective in using nonverbal communication, teachers need to use appropriate eye contact, allow ample wait time between speaking turns, and be aware of the effects of social distance on students.

    Structures of participation influence communication by facilitating particular patterns of speaking and listening, while at the same time making other patterns less convenient or disapproved. Four common participation structures are lectures, questions-and-answers, classroom discussions, and group work.

    Key Terms  
    Caring community Procedural talk
    Class discussions Questions-and-answer
    Collaborative group work Register
    Communication Social distance
    Content talk Student talk register
    Control talk Teacher talk register
    Eye contact Unintended communication
    Lecture Verbal communication
    Nonverbal communication Wait time
    Participation structures  

    On the Internet

    < > This URL offers tips for enhancing classroom communication. It is part of the more general website for Union University of Jackson, Tennessee.

    < > This website contains over 40 short papers (1-4 pages each) on a variety of topics, including many related to enhancing communication, but also some related to classroom organization and management in general. Some of the papers refer to college or university teaching, but many are quite relevant to public school teaching.

    <> This website contains a thorough discussion of nonverbal communication— more detailed than possible in this chapter, and with photos and drawings to illustrate key points. It is an image of the original in the Internet Archive

    < > This website contains many resources, among which are articles about classroom management and communication, including nonverbal communication. It is intended strictly for public school teachers. Once you get to the homepage, click on their "Newsletter" for the articles.


    Benedict, M. & Hoag, J. (2004). Seating location in large lectures: Is location related to performance? Journal of Economics Eduction, 35(3), 215-231.

    Black, L. (2004). Teacher-pupil talk in whole-class discussions and processes of social positioning in primary classrooms. Language and Education, i8(i), 347-360.

    Bloome, D., Carter, S., Christian, B., Otto, S., & Shuart-Faris, N. (2005). Discourse analysis and the study of classroom language. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Burns, C. & Myhill, D. (2004). Interactive or inactive? A consideration of the nature of interaction in whole- class instruction. Cambridge Journal of Education, 34(1), 35-49.

    Cazden, C. (2001). Classroom discourse: The language of teaching and learning, 2 nd edition. Westport, CT: Heinemann.

    Chami-Sather, G. & Kretschmer, R. (2005). Lebanese/Arabic and American children's discourse in group- solving situations. Language and Education, ig{i), 10-22.

    Christensen, N. (2006). The nuts and bolts of running a lecture course. In A. DeNeef & C. Goodwin (Eds.), The academic's handbook, 3 rd edition, pp. 179-186. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

    Cohen, E., Brody, C, & Sapon-Shevin, M. (2004). Teaching cooperative learning. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

    Collins, J. & Michaels, S. (2006). Speaking and writing: Discourse strategies and the acquisition of literacy. In J. Cook-Gumperz (Ed.), The social construction of literacy, 2 nd edition,245~263. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Dallimore, E., Hertenstein, J., & Piatt, M. (2006). Nonvoluntary class participation in graduate discussion courses: Effects of grading and cold calling. Journal of Management Education, 30(2), 354-377.

    DePaulo, B., Lindsay, J., Malone, B., Muhlenbruck, L., Charlton, K., & Cooper, H. (2003). Cues to deception. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 74-118.

    Ehrenreich, B. (2007). Dancing in the streets. New York: Henry Holt/Metropolitan Books.

    Fujita, K., Henderson, M., Eng, J., Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2006). Spatial distance and mental construal of events. Psychological Science, 17(4), 278-282.

    Global Deception Research Team. (2006). A world of lies. Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, 3X6), 60- 74.

    Goldstein, L. (1999). The relational zone: The role of caring relationships in the co-construction of mind. American Educational Research Journal, 36(3), 647-673.

    Good, T. & Brophy, J. (2002). Looking in Classrooms, 9" 1 edition. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

    Guerrero, L. (2006). Nonverbal communication in close relationships. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Hope, A. & Oliver, P. (2005). Risk, education, and culture. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company.

    Kleinke, C. (1986). Gaze and eye contact: A research review. Psychological Bulletin, ioo(i), 78-100.

    Lasswell, H. (1964). The structure and function of communication in society. In W. Schramm (Ed.), Mass communications. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

    Lemke, J. (1990). Talking science: Language, learning, and values. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.

    Mason, M., Hood, B., & Macrae, C. (2004). Look into my eyes: Gaze direction and person memory. Memory, 12(5), 637-643.

    McCarthy, A., Lee, K., Itakura, S., & Muir, D. (2006). Cultural display rules drive eye gaze during thinking. Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, 3X6), 717-722.

    McKeatchie, W. & Svinicki, M. (2005). Teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for college teachers, 12 th edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

    Mehan, H. (1979). Learning lessons: Social organization of the classroom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Neill, S. (1991). Classroom nonverbal communication. New York: Routledge.

    Noddings, N. (1992). The challenge to care in schools: An alternative approach to education. New York: Teachers College Press.

    Noddings, N. (2004). Happiness and education. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Noller, P. (2006). Nonverbal communication in close relationships. In V. Mansunov & M. Patterson (Eds.), Handbook of nonverbal communication, pp. 403-420.

    O'Connor, M. & Michael, S. (1996). Shifting participant frameworks: Orchestrating thinking practices in group discussion. In D. Hicks (Ed.), Discourse, learning, and schooling (pp. 63-103). New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Razack, S. (1998). Looking White people in the eye: Gender, race, and culture in courtrooms and classrooms. Toronto, Ontario: University of Toronto Press.

    Renshaw, P. (2004). Dialogic teaching, learning, and instruction: Theoretical roots and analytic perspectives. In J. van der Linden & P. Renshaw (Eds.), Dialogic learning: Shifting perspectives to learning, instruction, and teaching. Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic.

    Richards, K. (2006). 'Being the teacher': Identity and classroom discourse. Applied Linguistics, 2y{i), 51-77.

    Rosenfeld, P., Lambert, N., & Black, A. (1985). Desk arrangement effects on pupil classroom behavior. Journal of Educational Psychology, 77(1), 101-108.

    Slavin, R. (1995). Cooperative learning: Theory, research, and practice, 2 nd edition. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

    Tobin, K. (1987). The role of wait time in higher cognitive functions. Review of Educational Research, 57(1), 69-95.

    Toth, P. (2004). When grammar instruction undermines cohesion in L2 Spanish classroom discourse. The Modern Language Journal, 88(1), 14-30.

    Wells, G. (2006). The language experience of children at home and at school. In J. Cook-Gumperz (Ed.), The social construction of literacy, 2 nd edition, 76-109. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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