Research Output
Making sense of not making sense: Novice English language teacher talk
  This qualitative study critically examines the intelligibility of the teacher talk of novice native speaker English language teachers. It focuses on difficulties teachers face in adjusting their own English so that their learners can understand them. The paper uses two data sources: learners’ perceptions of recorded teacher talk and analysis of the teacher talk itself. For the teacher talk analysis, the study develops an integrated framework based on key concepts from Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). This analysis showed the complex interplay between different levels of meaning, as well as the roles played by both the immediate situational context and the broader cultural context. In particular, the analysis illustrated the crucial roles that both textual meaning (i.e. coherence and cohesion) and context play in the intelligibility of teacher talk. The broader implications of the study for research and teaching relating to intercultural discourse both inside and outside the classroom are discussed.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    09 February 2017

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher


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  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    PE English

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    428.0071 English language education

  • Funders:

    Historic Funder (pre-Worktribe)


Stanley, P., & Stevenson, M. (2017). Making sense of not making sense: Novice English language teacher talk. Linguistics and Education, 38, 1-10.



Teacher talk, Cambridge CELTA, Intelligibility, Language grading

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