Case Study into the Classroom Questions by a Native Speaker and a Non-Native Speaker Teacher in EFL Classes

| July 3, 2013

Case Study into the Classroom Questions by a Native Speaker and a Non- Native Speaker Teacher in EFL Classes


Teacher questions, native, non-native teachers, teacher talk, classroom interaction


M. Naci Kayaoğlu

Karadeniz Technical University

Trabzon, Turkey

Bio Data

Dr. M. Naci Kayaoğlu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Karadeniz Technical University, and Founder of the Applied Linguistics Program at Karadeniz Technical University. Dr. Kayaoğlu may be reached at


There has been a continuing debate about the dichotomy between native speaker (NS) English teachers and non-native speaker (NNS) teachers. While a good many differences are observed between the two groups in error evaluation, classroom management, classroom instruction and language use, teacher questions seem to have received solely sporadic attention. Therefore, this case study with two teachers seeks to find out how and to what extent native and non-native language teachers differ from each other in terms of type of questions they employed in their classroom instruction. Classroom audio recording was used as a major data collection instrument. In addition to the classroom observation, a questionnaire was also conducted in order to obtain background information and general classroom behavior of the two teachers, one native and one non-native speaker teacher. A semi-structured interview was held with each participant with a view to exploring pedagogical purposes, if any, pursued by each informant. Overall analysis indicates that the native and non-native speaker of English teachers used different question types in their instruction to foster divergent thinking and develop higher cognitive processing. While the native-speaker teacher appeared to use more procedural and convergent questions, the non- native speaker teacher used remarkably more divergent questions. Another discrepancy between the two cases was reported in the use of personal and general solicits. One remarkable result that emerged from the findings was that it would be misleading to focus solely on types of question without analyzing the pedagogical purposes of the language classroom interaction.

[private] See page: 32-50

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Category: Monthly Editions, Volume 69