Term of Art: Teacher Talk

“Teacher Talk: A semi-technical term in educational research and applied linguistics for the characteristic (often simplified) style of speech of teachers. In general terms, this may be prompted by the social setting of the classroom, with repetition, rephrasing for the sake of clarity, and patterns of stereotyped interaction with learners, such as question, response, and evaluation. For teachers of English as a foreign language, speech may be slower and clearer than is usual, avoiding and minimizing elided usages such as must’ve/musta and ‘sno good y’-know, repeating the same thing in several ways, and using expressions particularly associated with education, classrooms, and textbooks.”

Excerpted from: McArthur, Tom. The Oxford Concise Companion to the English Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

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