The Little Words That Matter: Discourse Markers in Teacher Talk

Yeni Karlina, Suparno Suparno, Endang Setyaningsih


The aim of this paper is to discuss one specific aspect of classroom interaction and language use in language classroom, namely discourse markers (DMs). This research uses case study method. Using data obtained from two English teachers teaching six EFL classrooms in a high school in Surakarta, this study describes the occurrence and textual functions of DMs used by the teachers. The data analysis reveals that there are 19 types of DMs, either in English, Indonesian, or Javanese language, used by both teachers in their classroom talk.  This paper also provides an account of a number of textual functions fulfilled by those DMs which may contribute greatly to the coherent and smooth flow of the discourse organization generated in classroom interaction. The fact that DMs are valuable resources to facilitate the structuring of classroom discourse suggests that there should be an increasing awareness of English teachers about the use of DMs in teacher talk. 


Discourse markers; teacher talk; classroom interaction

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