Journal of Sociolinguistics

Skip to Search

Skip to Navigation

Volume 23 Issue 2 (April 2019), Pages i-iv, 119-219

Patterns of sociolinguistic variation in teacher classroom speech (pages 163-185)

Abstract This study investigates sociolinguistic variation in teacher classroom speech. Based on a spoken‐French corpus produced by 59 teachers while teaching secondary school students (aged approximately 14–17 years) in four Ontario localities, it examines five cases of variant alternations. First, the study uses two comparative corpora to establish the social marking of the variants in the wider community. Second, it examines the teachers’ repertoire and frequency of use of variants in light of their social markedness. The study shows that the teachers use the standard variants at rates above even those found in the speech of the highest social strata within the wider community. Despite this normalizing impact of the classroom, the teachers also use all the non‐standard variants found in the wider community. Further, the study examines the impact on the teachers’ variant choice exerted by their socio‐professional characteristics and the communicative functions they perform in the classroom. It shows that the teachers’ use of variants is influenced by their gender, the subject taught, and the communicative functions performed in the classroom in ways that are in line with the social markedness of the variants in the wider community.

Add This link

Bookmark and Share>