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Repetition in Malawian classroom culture: the “discoursification” of text. Eddie Williams, Andrew Makocho, Paul Tho PowerPoint Presentation
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Repetition in Malawian classroom culture: the “discoursification” of text. Eddie Williams, Andrew Makocho, Paul Thompson and Grace Varela. Yr 1 ChiChewa 2 ChiChewa 3 ChiChewa 4 ChiChewa 5 English 6 English 7 English 8 English. English English English English

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slide1

Repetition in Malawian classroom culture: the “discoursification” of text.Eddie Williams, Andrew Makocho, Paul Thompson and Grace Varela

language switch in school medium subject
Yr

1 ChiChewa

2 ChiChewa

3 ChiChewa

4 ChiChewa

5 English

6 English

7 English

8 English

English

English

English

English

ChiChewa

ChiChewa

ChiChewa

ChiChewa

Language switch in schoolMediumSubject
repetition an example from year 5
Repetition: an example from Year 5

T: Right, another type of accident? Trading centre – another type of accident at a trading centre? Margie?

S: Stepping over.

T: Stepping over?

S: Sellers.

T: Sellers’ commodities. So,stepping over sellers’ commodities, good,stepping over sellers’ commodities.Say that again, say that again.

S: Stepping over sellers’ commodities.

T: Again.

S: Stepping over sellers’ commodities.

slide6
T: So, stepping over sellers’ commodities. Class, can you say that.

CL: Stepping over sellers’ commodities.

T: Again.

CL:Stepping over sellers’ commodities.

T: Stepping over sellers’ commodities. Stepping over sellers’ commodities. Stepping over nthochi stepping over bananas, OK?

CL: Yes.

T: Yes, so, that is one of the accidents, stepping over sellers’ commodities, like bananas, like clothes, et cetera. So, stepping over sellers’ commodities, stepping over sellers’ commodities.

social studies pupils book 5
Lesson 3: Accidents at Trading Centres

The following could be some of the causes of

accidents at trading centres:

Rushing to sell commodities to travellers

Falling down after stepping on fruit peels

Being hit by a speeding vehicle

Stepping over sellers’ commodities

Social Studies, Pupils’ Book 5.
standard explanations for repetition
Standard explanations for repetition:

(a) teachers lack confidence in their English and so employ repetition as a strategy to avoid unpredictable language.

(b) repetition is a function of the teaching style favoured by teachers

phase 1 research questions
Phase 1 research questions:
  • Is there as much lexical repetition where ChiChewa is the MOI as where English is the MOI?
  • Is there more repetition from text in English lessons than in ChiChewa lessons?
lexical analysis procedure
Lexical Analysis Procedure
  • Transcribe ChiChewa and English medium lessons (social science)
  • Discard grammatical words and elements to produce lists of lemmas (“base words”)
  • Calculate the Type/Token ratio per 250 lemmas
producing lemmas for english 1
Producing lemmas for English - 1
  • Tell me the name of the hills.
producing lemmas for english 2
Producing lemmas for English - 2
  • Tell me the name of the hills
  • tell namehillpl
producing lemmas for chichewa 1
Producing lemmas for ChiChewa - 1

Zinthu zimene zimaonetsa

things / which / show /

malire a dera

the boundaries / of / the area

producing lemmas for chichewa 2
Producing lemmas for ChiChewa - 2
  • Zi-nthuzi-mene zi-ma-on-etsa

pl-thing / pl-which / pl-asp-see-cause

ma-lire a dera

pl-boundary / of / area

producing lemmas for chichewa 3
Producing lemmas for ChiChewa - 3

nthu on lire dera

thing show boundary area

type token ratio
Type/Token ratio =

Number of types/number of tokens

x 100

Types = number of different words

Tokens = total number of words

data sources
Data sources
  • 8 Schools, Southern Region
  • 13 general studies lessons (C): year 4
  • 13 social studies lessons (E): year 5
type token results for teacher students
Type/Token results for teacher+students

The lower the T/T ratio figure, the higher the repetition

finding and conclusion 1
Finding and Conclusion 1:

Repetition similar in ChiChewa and English social science lessons

Repetition therefore seems a

function of teaching style

finding and conclusion 2
Finding and Conclusion 2:

Teacher talk in English has more

repetition from text (text-bound)

than teacher talk in ChiChewa

Teachers rely on text more when

teaching in English

phase 2 research question why is repetition a teaching style
Phase 2 Research Question: Why is repetition “a teaching style”?
  • Further data collected from
    • classroom participants
    • other social contexts
    • non-classroom informants
teachers responses
Teachers responses:
  • to master the language: pronunciation and understanding
  • to check if pupils have heard/understood
  • to help pupils remember facts
  • to help slow learners learn from fast learners
  • to help shy children
  • to keep children alert
  • a strategy of inefficient teachers
pupils responses
Pupils’ responses :
  • to learn or remember the language, especially pronunciation
  • to learn or remember facts
  • to help one another
adviser s responses
Adviser’s responses
  • Group repetition helps pupils to remember

BUT

  • It is a teaching technique that does not help understanding
repetition in social contexts
Repetition in Social Contexts
  • Political Meetings
  • Rites of Passage
  • Singing Hymns/Songs
  • Prayers
  • Funerals
  • Story Telling
conclusion 1
Conclusion: 1
  • Text serves as input to a classroom discourse of submission and solidarity
  • The solidarity extends both vertically and horizontally
  • “We are together” includes teacher and pupils
conclusion 2
Conclusion: 2
  • Classroom rules for creating “solidarity-oriented” discourse from text operate at a cost to rules for cognitive engagement with text
  • Great caution needed with any attempt at pedagogic innovation: the classroom is a part of society
thanks for funding support to
Thanks for funding support to

The University of Reading

and

The UK Department for International Development

and for advice on ChiChewa to

Sam Mchombo

UC Berkeley

slide36
And thanks to:

Grace Varela

Bro. Andrew Makocho