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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
A 4 page research paper that examines classroom communication from an ethnographic viewpoint. All cultures have social rules that govern what is considered to be appropriate communication. An ethnographic approach to understanding communication focuses on the "cultural specificity of rules of communication and the totality of factors" that affect the communication process (Bonvillain 79). Research shows that instructional conversation (IC) within a classroom environment can be an effective method for raising academic achievement. However, research also indicates that gender or cultural bias can interfere with this process. Implications are discussed. Bibliography lists 3 sources.
4 pages (~225 words per page)
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communication and the totality of factors" that affect the communication process (Bonvillain 79). In other words, how people speak to each other and the logistics of the manner in which
they communicate are related directly to cultural attitudes. How we speak to each other both reflects and reinforces cultural attitudes, which includes stereotypes and biases. Research shows that instructional conversation
(IC) within a classroom environment can be an effective method for raising academic achievement (Instructional Conversations). However, research also indicates that gender or cultural bias can interfere with this process.
For example, ethnographic analysis of English reveals the distinct cultural tendency to devalue the speech of women and girls. Empirical evidence from studies with both male and female students
confirms that males are likely to talk more than females and interrupt female speech to a greater degree than women/girls interrupt men/boys (Chaika 215). As one researcher observed, in Western
society, the "right of females to speak appears to be casually infringed upon by males" (Chaika 216). Interestingly, virtually all of the subjects in these studies professed the belief
that women talk more than men and also expressed annoyance at the idea that language can be sexist in its connotation (Chaika 215). Nevertheless, linguistic analysis shows quite conclusively the
various ways in which gender bias is expressed in English. This preference for male speech extends to the classroom setting. Classroom communication, in general, reinforces the gender perceptions and preferences
of society in general. Boys tend to dominate class communication by making responses more often and by being allocated lengthier turns at speaking by the teacher (Bonvillain 370). In
a study of classroom communication, teachers (in this case, female teachers) facilitated having boys dominate classroom discussion by turning to them more often, "gazing at them, and selecting boys to