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Volume 18 Number 2, Summer 2021, Pages 390-744   

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Teacher Talk to Accommodate Low-Proficiency Learners in EFL Classes: A Case Study

    A. Dzo'ul Milal

Instructional design is usually focused on the presentation of materials. The principles of teachers' language-use strategies have scarcely been discussed. In an EFL context, teachers are required to use the target language to promote learners' language acquisition. What is the language like when the learners still have low language proficiency? This study aims to describe the speech features of non-native teachers of English addressed to lower-proficiency learners in EFL classes. The data were collected by observation, interview, and recording the teachers teaching English in lower classes, i.e. semester one, and its comparable counterpart of higher classes, i.e. semester five of the English Department in a public university in Malang, Indonesia, and then analyzed by describing and comparing inter-levels intra-subjects. Despite some variability among subjects, it was found that there was a tendency that the language addressed to lower-proficiency learners has specific characteristics encompassing formal, interactional, and native language features that were simpler than that to higher-proficiency learners. This study concludes a principle of instructional delivery that student's level of knowledge and language ability determined the level of teacher speech. Hence, instructional designers should also describe how a medium of instruction is used, not merely how the learning material is presented.

Keywords: comprehensible, linguistic adjustment, low-proficiency learners, teacher talk