Explore how power gender affects language use.
The main feature of the teacher’s language in the transcript is to explain, inform and consolidate information previously taught “why do we have writing in a book?” this interrogative is used to check the children’s knowledge. At the beginning of the utterance we can see that the teacher initiates the main topic of conversation, “Is this the front of the book or the back of the book?” the use of an interrogative, shows that the teacher holds a greater amount of power than the students in this situation, her power is influential, as she has the power to persuade the children into providing her with an answer. When the interrogative is not understood the teacher answers it herself, to inform the children as it is part of her occupation to teach the reception students and therefore it is suitable for her to do this.
Throughout the transcript the teacher always uses Standard English, this is fitting for the occupational context of the conversation and is a reflection of the professional and respectful conduct of the teacher who is leading by example. It’s clear to see that the teachers and students already maintain a relationship as the teacher addresses the students by their first names “Ted”, this provides a level of informality but the use of addressing someone in this way can make them feel at ease which is vital in this situation because the teacher is trying to reach an understanding with the students, the teacher doesn’t want to alienate her students with the use of full names and titles, as she wants to appear friendly and personal. The fact that the students are only 5 years old is also a key factor, if full names and titles were used, the teacher may perhaps intimidate the students. Nevertheless the students never address the teacher by their first name so it’s clear that there is a level of respect present and the understanding that the balance in power is asymmetric.
It can be seen that the teacher has a pro-active role within the conversation as they lead it and say the most, as they always initiate the topic “who’s this?” this again demonstrates the level of power they have over the students. The teacher can be seen to also, start and finish the conversation which also shows power. In contrast, it can be seen that the student’s flout Grice’s maxim of quantity as they frequently give one word answers “no”, “writing” this could be seen as rude, but because the…