April 18, 2024

Language Learning in the Classroom

by Mateusz Wiącek

In language learning classrooms, the way teachers and students talk to each other is very important. This is what we mean by “classroom language.” Language is not only the tool used for teaching and learning; it’s also the main thing we’re trying to learn.

How We Study Classroom Language

In the past, researchers watched and recorded classroom conversations to understand how language learning happens. They looked at things like how teachers talk and how students respond. Over time, they’ve gotten better at this, but sometimes they still miss how people work together in a conversation.

What Makes Classroom Language Special

Classrooms have their own rules and ways of talking. Researchers have compared how language is used in classrooms to how people talk in everyday life. They’ve found that teachers and students do different things in conversations, like asking questions or answering them. They’ve also looked at how people take turns talking and starting or ending conversations.

Breaking Down Classroom Conversations

Researchers have found that most classroom conversations follow a pattern. First, the teacher says something (Initiation). Then, the student responds (Response), and the teacher gives feedback (Feedback). Sometimes, the student responds again, making it an IRF–R sequence. But not all conversations in the classroom follow this pattern.

Looking at Different Aspects

Some studies have looked at how classrooms are set up and how that affects language use. They’ve compared situations where the teacher talks a lot to ones where students work in groups. They’ve also seen how tasks given to students can change how they talk to each other.

Other Ways of Understanding Language

Some researchers study how language helps students learn in different classroom setups. They’ve looked at things like how teachers encourage students to take responsibility for their learning. They believe that language plays a big role in how students learn new things.

Language and Learning

There are many factors that affect how language is used in classrooms, like where students come from or how motivated they are to learn. Even though there are different ideas, most researchers agree that talking and interacting in the classroom helps students learn a new language.

Using Native Language in Class

While many teachers try to use only the language students are learning, some studies show that using students’ native language can be helpful too. It can help students understand how to learn better and has been shown to be good for learning a new language.


Understanding how language works in the classroom is important for teachers and students alike. By studying how people talk and learn together, we can find better ways to help students become fluent in a new language.

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