ESL Teachers' Corrective Sequences and Second Language Socialization

  • Received : 20070400
  • Accepted : 20070600
  • Published : 2007.06.30


The language socialization approach states that novices are socialized into cultural norms through participating in routine, repeated interactional acts and sequences (e.g., Ochs & Schieffelin, 1984; Ochs, 1988; Schieffelin & Ochs, 1986a; 1986b; Watson-Gegeo & Gegeo, 1986). One of the cultural norms or dominant epistemological orientations in American culture is the tendency to avoid the overt display of power asymmetry in novice-expert relationship (Ochs & Schieffelin, 1984). This study examines how this cultural preference is reflected and encoded in ESL teachers' use of routine discourse patterns in corrective sequences. Eight hours of ESL classes taught by three Caucasian teachers born and educated in the U.S. were analyzed for the study. The analysis showed that the cultural tendency in question is keyed and indexed in the teacher's routine corrective discourse patterns in the form of various questioning, elicitation, and mitigation practices. Findings support that teachers' routine classroom discourse practices represent their cultural ideologies and transfer these cultural predispositions to second language learners and that they possibly socialize the learners into the target language-oriented beliefs.