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Teacher talk and managing social relations in Philippine university classrooms

Victoria, Mabelle



Language is at the ‘centre of what happens in the classroom’ (Manke, 1997: xvi). Indeed, it can be said that the classroom is a ‘universe of language’ (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1994: 19) where what is taught and learnt is done through spoken or written discourse. Within the classroom context, teachers have discursive rights, and are traditionally seen to hold the seat of power. They introduce lesson content, check for understanding, distribute speaking turns, nominate speakers, decide who can have the floor, and evaluate students’ answers. They are institutionally sanctioned to give or withhold praise, commend or criticize, and express approval or disapproval.
The findings of the current investigation can add to our understanding of how social relationships are established, maintained and shaped through talk. Given the importance that language plays in teaching and learning, significant insights can be gained from an awareness of how specific linguistic devices can be used strategically to create a supportive, non-threatening classroom environment. The main aim of this article is to provide insights into how the Filipino university lecturers in the study used language to mitigate face threatening acts (e.g. correcting students’ mistakes, issuing a challenge or disagreement and giving orders) thus preserving students’ self-esteem and making the classroom a safe place for learning.


Victoria, M. (2013). Teacher talk and managing social relations in Philippine university classrooms. English Language Teacher Education and Development, 15(Winter), Article 5

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 12, 2012
Publication Date Feb 12, 2013
Deposit Date Sep 15, 2016
Publicly Available Date Sep 15, 2016
Journal English language Teacher Education and Development
Publisher British Council
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue Winter
Article Number 5
Keywords Teacher talk, Philippine Higher Education, Classroom Discourse
Public URL


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