Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 9. Number 2. June 2018                      Pp. 298-314

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Classroom Discourse Failure among Algerian Secondary School Learners 

Department of English, Faculty of Foreign Languages
Abdelhamid Ibn Badis, University, Mostaganem, Algeria

Department of English, Faculty of Foreign Languages
Abdelhamid Ibn Badis University, Mostaganem, Algeria




Teaching English to non-native speakers today necessitates conducting conversations where learners interpret and decipher linguistic and nonverbal aspects of interaction, in other words, preparing learners to use English to participate in conversations inside and outside the classroom. However, this is not the case in Algerian Secondary school English classes. Regular observation indicated almost no continuous teacher-learner conversation while lessons. This paper intends to observe language use between the teachers and students; what instruction is used and how is it dealt with by learners. The results would aim at revealing the shortage learners show in the speaking skill and confirm the effectiveness of observation for classroom evaluation. Adopting a systematic observation, six classes at secondary school level in two different cities in Algeria were observed and audio-taped through a quantitative and qualitative method. Data is analysed from the amount of teacher’s talktypes of classroom discourse structure and questioning. Based on data analysis, the findings showed that most of the talk is approximately initiated by the teacher; learners act only when asked display questions and keep silent when are challenged by influential questions. It also showed display questions dominate the classroom for they maximize learners’ participation. Yet, this learner’ short output would limit the learners’ critical reflection and lessen the classroom interaction among participants. Therefore, this paper urges teachers to adopt a student-centred approach to FL learning that enables students’ to talk more and participate in conversations negotiating meaning with their teacher and peers. For further research, the author puts forward some guidelines to build on new research.
Keywords: classroom discourse analysis, discourse structure, input and output, interaction, observation, questioning

Cite as: CHOHRA, H., HAMERLAIN, S. & (2018).  Classroom Discourse Failure among Algerian Secondary School Learners.
Arab World English Journal, 9 (2).


Houria CHOHRA is a PhD student and a secondary school English teacher. She earned her BA
in English Language, Literature and Anglo-Saxon Civilization and MA in Didactics of English
and Applied Linguistics from Abdelhamid Ibn Badis University of Mostaganem, Algeria.
Currently, she is conducting a doctoral research in areas such as Didactics, discourse, and language