A Case Study on EFL Classroom Discourse

Mehdi Azimi Haradasht, Nader Assadi Aidinlou


The main aim of the present study is to get a deeper understanding of EFL classroom discourse. The author then tries to reveal the current state of the process of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classroom discourse in Shokouh English Language Institute in Astara, Iran. In order to achieve this goal, the paper describes and analyzes the data from the aspects of the amount of teacher talk (TT), the structure of classroom discourse, and the type of questions employed by teachers. It is found that the teacher talk exceeds students talk; IRF (initiation, response, and feedback) discourse structure is frequently used though more complex structures such as the IR [I1R1 … InRn] F structure and the IR1F1R2F2 … RnFn structure are sometimes used, too; and display questions outnumbered referential ones. It is, therefore, concluded that the students generally play a passive role in EFL classroom discourse, especially in teacher-student interaction, while it is essential to increase students’ contribution in classroom discourse and interaction. On the basis of data analysis, the author offers some tentative suggestions such as minimizing the quantity of teacher talk, replacing IRF structure with more complex structures, and using more referential questions in order to provide students with more opportunities to participate in classroom activities to improve their classroom interactional communicative skills. 


Classroom discourse, IRF pattern, EFL classroom, teacher talk, students talk.  

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