Classroom Discourse Analysis Classroom Discourse Analysis 评分人数不足

Silencing in Classroom Talks: a Framing Analysis

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I. Introduction
In everyday classroom interactions, it’s common to see a certain group of students dominate the discussion, while others’ voices are silenced for various complicated reasons. Our ideologies and expectations can frame an intense classroom talk, they also can shape an uncomfortable talk that lead to some students’ silence. The purpose of this paper is to investigate those moments that students lose their voice during the interactions with teachers, peers and schools, to understand silenced student and to inform future teaching practices by offering opportunities and affordances to invite those voices into classroom talks. In order to find out how the students are silenced, the research question is asked: How do classroom speech events silence students? The classroom discourse analysis approach is adopted to take a closer look at the relationships between those framing resources emerging from the social context and interactional context and students’ silence.
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I. Introduction
In everyday classroom interactions, it’s common to see a certain group of students dominate the discussion, while others’ voices are silenced for various complicated reasons. Our ideologies and expectations can frame an intense classroom talk, they also can shape an uncomfortable talk that lead to some students’ silence. The purpose of this paper is to investigate those moments that students lose their voice during the interactions with teachers, peers and schools, to understand silenced student and to inform future teaching practices by offering opportunities and affordances to invite those voices into classroom talks. In order to find out how the students are silenced, the research question is asked: How do classroom speech events silence students? The classroom discourse analysis approach is adopted to take a closer look at the relationships between those framing resources emerging from the social context and interactional context and students’ silence.

II. Literature Review
In order to understand the causal relationship between social and interactional framing and the silencing during classroom interaction, this paper examined the definition of framing and asked the question of what is silencing and how many categories of silencing that occur in the classroom.
Framing
The definition given by Rymes are adopted (2009) that our interactions are framed by both interactional and social context of the utterances. Individual interactions are framed by the “interactional constraints” in a variety of ways. Our interactions are also framed by “larger social contexts which give meaning and functionality to our words” (p. 194).
Writing about the studies in her book Framing in Discourse (1993), Tannen states her point of view: “(They) make both theoretical and empirical contributions, enriching our understanding of framing at the same time that (they) show how analysis of framing adds to our understanding of conversational interaction” (p. 5). Therefore, in this paper, the framing resources in the classroom interaction discourses are examined to better understand the classroom discourses and make connection with the student participation features.
The methodology tools adopted including the framing resources analysis in social context through production format (Rymes, 2009, p.196), and framing resources analysis in interactional context through coding the school/peer language and affective/epistemic stance markers (Rymes, 2009, p. 215). The frames examined in the paper include the categories created by Achinstein. Band Barrett. A (2004): 1) classroom managerial frame, such as classroom routine/procedure, student behavior; 2) Human relation frame, such as student expression and interpersonal communication; 3) Political frame, such as attitudes/expectation about learner and need for differentiation.
Silencing
Fine (1991) states that “silencing is about who can speak, what can and cannot be spoken and whose discourse can be controlled.” (p.33) Leander (2002) argues that silence is not “a loss of discourse”, but “a rich medium of communication” (p.194). Both of them believe listening to silence is rewarding for the rich content of the silence. Schultz (2009) holds that listening the silencing acts can instruct teachers to notice when and where does silence occur and how to do with silence. (p. 109) The brief silences are marked in the transcriptions mostly in an interactional perspective and long silences that are not covered in the transcript in social standpoint.
Our identification and analysis based on the categorization of Schultz (2009) on Acts of Silencing (p. 113-115). The examples of silencing in group discussions are showcased, some students’ conversations are shutting down by more aggressive students or group leaders, including one talking over another, raising the pitch or volume, nonverbal interruption(segment 1), and criticisms against others’ opinion (segment 2,3); silencing by individuals including teachers and peers. The discussions about silencing by the enactment of school practices are covered, such as when teacher completely own the voice, and the choice that teacher only calls on certain group of students’ names created other students’ silence; and silencing through exclusion processes, for example, certain students are rebellious to detached school discourse and topics and reluctant to speak out their minds.
Concepts
Goffman(1981)’s notion of animator, author and principal to do production format analysis to concrete who is the speaker, who has the voice and how does belief show and shape the utterance are used. Part of the school languages and peer languages are pointed out to show the dominant register of the setting. Epistemic and Affective Stance markers are located to investigate how the interactional context frame the talk on the word level. (Rymes, 2009, p.195-217)

III. Data Analysis
Research Settings
The transcription data are collected from two classes. The first class took place in Abraham Lincoln High School, located in San Francisco. The students are culturally and ethnically diverse, in which Asian students and Hispanic students constitute major population. The school is 74 years old and one of the top schools in the city. The theme of the history class was Reading Like a Historian: Sourcing. The topic was the Reasons Why People Opposed the Vietnam War. The history class was taught to 9th-12th Grade students in a class size of 30 people, it lasted for 38 minutes. Five activities consisted the class flow: video discussion, categorizing activity, images discussion, reading speeches and philosophical chair activity.
The second transcript is from an eighth grade literature study class. Students are taught to appreciate the novel, Giver. The teacher is a white woman. There are 24 students in the class, all of them are Americans around the age of 13. These students have been divided into eight groups. The three students in a group form a round to facilitate discussion. At the beginning of the class, the teacher asked them to pick their favorite color and offer explanation. Then the class moved on to small group discussion to complete the answer sheet. Finally, the class went into whole class discussion about the question 1-4 on the answer sheet.

Segment 1: Shutting down by peer
Daniel: What is Purple Heart?
Teacher: Does anyone know what the Purple Heart is? Damon.
Damon: Does it like that, when you are injured? Like… ((Greg whispers something, Damon similes nervously at Greg)) alright, Greg, you explain.
Greg: It’s like, highly awarding, like, high=
Teacher: =It’s a high reward in military. And it usually recognize your service when you are wounded and in fact you have done something to help your unit and you help people. So this is a very high military award.

Utterance Animator Author Principal
Alright, Greg, you explain. Damon Damon norms of classroom question and answer;
signs of willingness to speak

There are two interruptions happened in this segment. Firstly, Damon was silenced by Greg. Damon was answering the teacher’s question, and he was interrupted by Damon’s whisper. In this case, it is not sure that whether Damon failed to respond to the question and asked Greg for help or Damon was annoyed by Greg’s whispering and gave Damon the opportunity to voice. If the first case is true, Damon is silenced because that student couldn’t give a good answer should give place to good answers. If the second is true, Damon assumes that whispering is a sign that Greg knows the answer and anxious to share in class.

Utterance Animator Author Principal
=It’s a high reward in military. Teacher Greg Related contents prevail the class.
Lesson plan


Secondly, Greg was briefly silenced by the teacher. The class was moving forward pretty fast. The teacher cuts Greg’s explanation may because: 1. Greg has already said the key word “reward”, and there is no need to organize the speech perfectly. 2. The concept of “Purple star” is not ultimately closely related to the theme of the class, and border talk is useless. 3. The teacher has to be aware of the time and keeps the pace of the class, and it’s important to be organized and going as planned.

Segment 2: Shutting down by teacher
Part 1
Teacher: Um Angeline could you read us number 3?
Angeline: the vietn:The Vietnam War, direct was, um one hundred and point six:
Damon: One hundred and six point eight billion:
Angeline: ((at the same time with Damon)) One hundred and six point 8 billion (giggling about her reading mistake)
Teacher: So 106.8 billion dollars and that’s just direct, that doesn’t mean the other pieces of it. How did you categorize that one? Political? Social? Or economic?
Angeline: Economic?
Teacher: Great that was an economic one. Stephanie could you read us number 4?
Part 2
Teacher: Who would like to begin? Thank you, Angeline.
Angeline: Um, the reason why mainly people opposed the Vietnam War is just because the hippies, you know, the counter culture?
Student: Could you speak louder please?
Angeline: ((Clear her throat)) The counter culture revolution was going on, at the time, right? And then, I was thinking that, since they were all so into like making a change and being different and all that, and the mainstream culture was just like, of like a, going off to war and all that stuff, I feel like they’re just going against it and they’re trying to like be peace and not war and kind of thing.
Teacher: Could you find one piece of evidence that might, um, support that idea that people would be for the concepts of peace versus war, or maybe a statistic that convinced you of that.
Angeline: I don’t quite have it at the tip of my tongue right now.

Utterance Animator Author principal
Could you find one piece of evidence that might, um, support that idea that people would be for the concepts of peace versus war, or maybe a statistic that convinced you of that. the teacher the teacher The expectation of academic performances in school practice;
Teacher’s inherent view of Angeline

The interaction between the teacher and Angeline is especially interesting to me for the reason that the teacher tends to interrupt Angeline’s talk in all three interactions, and Angeline silenced eventually. The teacher said the utterance above in a rush and pushy manner. It almost like the teacher was sending out the signal that the class is running out of time and Angeline cannot get to the point. It’s possible that the teacher knows Angeline’s speech style and tries to change her registers. It is argued that the animator and the author is the teacher, and the utterance is framed by the expectation that, to show strong academic competence, the student should not use too many affective stance markers like I feel like, and the students’ answer should be coherent. In this case, the teacher stressed on words like “evidence” and “convince” to tip Angeline that the answer she was looking for is the evidence straightly come from the texts they just read. The underlying criticism in teacher’s evaluations may have silenced Angeline.

Segment 3: shutting down by the teacher
T: Go ahead, Eely.
E: (unintelligible)
T: Evil. oh my god, you guys have (0.1) Halloween on the brain. Go ahead.
S: Embarrass?
T: Embarrassment ((cover her face with hands)). Oh, my gosh!
(0.3)
((Teacher points to student))
S: Romantic?
T: Thank you ((clap hands)), I was hoping somebody would give me a positive connotation of the color red.
The excerpt here is an example that the teacher exerts her own subjectivity in responding to students’ answer, thus inhibiting the following participations of the student. She has, more or less, shown some tendency in judging students’ answer in a subjective way. The excerpt is chosen from the whole class discussion event in which teacher calls on some students to interact with. The teacher invites students to describe what they think of the color red. The answers given by the students are mostly words containing negative connotation such as war, dangerous, lost and evil. Then the teacher gives her judgment by saying “oh my god, you guys have Halloween on the brain”. She continues to use the exclamation like oh my gosh to express her feeling of disapproval. After this, students’ confidence and enthusiasm of sharing their words has been reduced, as can be seen in the following participations. From the following excerpt, the students reduce certainty of their answer by raising intonation as question markers. Moreover, there is even a 0.3 second silence which is not normal in the previous part of the lesson. Therefore, this part of the excerpt shows that the teacher’s attitude towards students’ answer could largely affect students’ participation.

Segment 4: Encouraged by teacher:
T: Dangerous! ((Point to the student))
S: Sort of like, adventurous?
T: Why, why adventurous?
S: Because a lot of great man that we heard of like Johnny Appleseed.
T: Oh, I love this nice connection=
S: =Have gone on adventures and died.
T: Oh my=
S: But he, like gets his minds on=
T: You know, I am not fully aware of Johnny Appleseed’s background, ((laughing)) but I can give back too on that one.

    The above excerpt is embedded in the event of whole class discussion, in which the teacher interacts with some students in the classroom to discuss about what color they chose and why. The participation pattern is mapped as follow: T-S1-T-S2-T-S3-T-S4-T-S5-T-S5-T-S5. In line ___, the teacher offers opportunity to student 5 by pointing at him. After the student gives the response, she gives feedback to follow up the conversation, giving students more agency to talk. Contrary to other students, who would normatively express their feelings and emotions toward a color, the student here gives factual talk in the emotional literature discussion by introducing the story of a great man. This goes beyond teacher’s academic expectation. However, the teacher does not enact or project the frame of answering with their own feelings onto the student, thus engaging the student’s agency in the interaction. By stating that “I love this nice connection”, the teacher gives student her feedback and encouragement. The Affective markers the teacher uses such as “love” “nice” bring more personal agency to the talk. Moreover, although the teacher acknowledges that she is not familiar with Johnny Appleseed’s story, she still give credit to the student’s answer and reframes the student’s voice as relevant to the classroom concern.

IV. Discussions and Conclusions
A.Social context reasons
Firstly, In terms of the silencing by school practice of exclusion, based on the above analysis of framing resources as feature of social context, the teacher didn’t invite opinions of students from various backgrounds. The teacher ignored the potential ethnical diversity resources. There are a considerable number of Asian American students in the class, so it’s possible that some students identify themselves as half-Vietnamese and half-American, it would be very valuable and interesting opportunities to listen to those voices on the topic of opposing Vietnam War. The solely assumed American identity may shut down students’ own opinions on the issue.
Secondly, most feedbacks of the teacher giving to the students is the evaluation of the correctness of the students’ answers. There is a system of assumed only-one right answer and limited stances on good academic performances shape the teacher-student conversation. Consequently, to fit in the expectation of one right answer, the student stopped thinking about the wide range of possibilities of answers and performances. One feature that makes this class beneficial to analyze on is not what happens in this class, rather what’s missing. There is no border talk or underlife recorded in the data. Like Fine (1987) argues, “[Silencing] constitutes a process of institutionalized policies and practices that obscures the very social, economic, and therefore experiential conditions of students’ daily lives, and that expel from written, oral, and nonverbal expression substantive and critical “talk” about these conditions.” (p. 157)

B. Interactional Context Reasons:
Firstly, according to Rex (2010), the missing of constructed student “selves” in dialogues in academic setting is a pattern of obscuring the inclusivity of classroom discourse. (p. 35) Both the teacher and the students’ avoidance of personal identity in the discussions caused exclusion, and some students are silenced in this exclusion process.
Secondly, Students’ personal texts were seen as illegitimate. The teacher shut down the students’ laughter after one student’s joking immediately. The whole class discussion language is constituted a lot of epistemic stance markers. Only 8/30 students contribute to the major part of the discussion. The rest of students may express reluctance to the organization of the class through silence. The teaching could break the frame that history class doesn’t allow affective stance and include students’ personal texts.

V. Implications
This paper has both practical and theoretical implications. Practically, our assumptions on the causal relationship between frames emerging from contexts and the silencing of students can raise the awareness of breaking ideologies with negative effects of the teachers. Teacher should take agentive roles to provide speaking opportunities that allow the students assume identity of expert participant of the classroom speech community to break the frame and further break the silence.
Theoretically, framing analysis may not be the perfect approach to take an emic view to explore how the teacher and students perceive of the silence acts. Due to the ambiguous nature of the definition of silence (Schultz, 2009, p110)) and longer silence are usually invisible in transcripts, the discourse analysis can be combined with interviews to find out not only how are the students silenced and why are the students silenced. Besides, our paper is mainly based on silencing happens in verbal communications. Gestures, postures and seats arrangement can also create silencing, and silence with distinct nonverbal expressions still can voice powerfully. Yet those aspects are not covered in this paper.

References
Achinstein, B. & Barrett, A. (2004). (Re)Framing classroom contexts: How new teachers and mentors view diverse learners and challenges of practice. Teachers College Record, 106(4), 716-746.
Fine, M. (1991). Framing dropouts : Notes on the politics of an urban public high school. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press.
Leander, K. (2002) Silencing in classroom interaction: Producing and relating social spaces, Discourse Processes, 34(2), 193-235.
Rex, L. (2003) Loss of the creature: The obscuring of inclusivity in classroom discourse, Communication Education, 52(1), 30-46.
Rymes, B. (2009). Classroom discourse analysis : A tool for critical reflection. Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press.
Schultz, K. (2009). Rethinking classroom participation : Listening to silent voices. New York: Teachers College Press.
Tannen, D. (1993). Framing in discourse. New York: Oxford University Press.
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