Van Lier (2001) states that the interaction in the class room can be teacher-learner or learner-learner which seems symmetrical and contingent. Contingency in language is various attributes that we find out in the conversation that links what we together say explicitly or implicitly.
Contingency in the teaching language is absolutely required because it lets students have time for exposing their opinions while the others listen and then take turn. It usually can encourage students to work out together by having attention to others while they are presenting ideas. At this stage, they are introduced to the speaking atmosphere they must get involved in. On the other hand, the teachers are supposed to make any teaching modifications and find ways to help their students be more independent and confident with their language use.
The learners are sometimes reluctant to speak out as they are afraid of making mistakes and being mocked by their colleagues. Within this condition, the students might lose the thread they like to say. As a prompter, the teacher should call up them in a wise and supportive way (Harmer, 2007).
In his article Toohey (2000) examines the aims of the communication activity on which the students are engaged. He describes that the tendencies for social positioning among the participants and the chances of oral discourse provided for learners to produce meaning and develop their voice. The activities in the language teaching classroom should be open toward the social influences as the language is by nature social. The openness of it might bring more language development.
In my teaching context, the average number of students in a class is 35 up to 40. Such a big class does not give students many opportunities to practice their English except while the break time. The students’ tendency of using their L1 or mother tongue is quite high because of the uncontrolled language class atmosphere. I would suggest that the number should be deducted to maximum of 20 that might let the social discourse of either teacher-learner or learner-learner interaction present and that they should be seated into some groups within the class to performs discussion and role play.
Toohey, K. (2000). Discursive practices in Grade 2 language arts lessons: Learning English at Schools: Identity, Social Relations and Classroom Practice, Multilingual Matters. Cleveland: Buffalo.
Lier, L.V. (2001). Constraints and resources in classroom talk: issues of equality and symmetry. In C.N. Candlin & N. Mercer (eds.), English language teaching in its social context. London: Routledge.
Harmer, J. (2007). The practice of English language teaching (4th ed.). Harlow: Pearson.