By Jim King (auth.)
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Extra info for Silence in the Second Language Classroom
The teacher’s silence display appears to carry a mutually understood meaning for all classroom participants. ’ The appropriate student response is silence and attention. Usually the display is most effective as a transition device, a way to get attention and class cohesion for a new lesson or activity, marking the beginning of a new frame. (Gilmore, 1985, p. 147) Lasting anywhere between a brief pause to over ten minutes, Gilmore interprets teacher silences as dramatic devices which seem to freeze time in the classroom.
She describes this type of silence as being: … not just of the vocal apparatus but of the self: a silence, that is, which may be symptomatic of a kind of suspension between two linguistic selves, occurring in a kind of moment that is both linguistic and psychical within the complex process (itself not merely linguistic, but also psychical) of moving from one language to another and, 18 Silence in the Second Language Classroom simultaneously, from one linguistic self to another. (Granger, 2004, p.
Let us now turn our attention to another research paradigm that has provided a rich seam of data in the study of silence across cultures, namely the ethnographic approach. Saville-Troike’s framework of etic categories In her attempt to develop an integrative theory of communication which incorporates both sound and silence, Saville-Troike (1985) sets up a broad ethnographic framework for understanding silence, thereby emphasising the importance of contextual clues. Arguing that silence 22 Silence in the Second Language Classroom ‘is more context-embedded than speech, that is, more dependent on context for its interpretation’ (Saville-Troike, 1985, p.