A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Classroom Interactional Patterns in Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka-Kaduna

Filed in Articles by on November 25, 2022

A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Classroom Interactional Patterns in Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka-Kaduna


This study is titled a Sociolinguistic Analysis of Classroom Interactional Patterns in Federal College of Forestry Mechanization Afaka.

The data was collected through the use of questionnaires and tape recordings of classroom interactions, which were analyzed using Huge Mehan’s Initiation-reply-evaluation (IRE) Sequence and John Gumperz Contextualization cues.

The study revealed that there are two basic hindrances to comprehension in College. First, the respondents find the differences in their culture and English Language as a hindrance.

Secondly, the respondents who are of the youth age bracket of between 16-30yrs, and engage mostly in the use of substandard English or Broken English, also find the use of this social behavior as a hindrance.

However, this research sees hope and a positive step toward better comprehension for the respondents through the use of John Gumperz’s contextualization cues and Hugh Mehan’s IRE Sequence.

The study finally recommends the study of Oral English as a core subject on its own from the junior secondary level. Also, the use of the IRE sequence by lecturers is recommended. This can be done through refresher courses which the lecturers can attend from time to time.


Language is one of the outstanding features that differentiate man from other creatures. It is of much higher complexity as it is based on a complex system of rules relating symbols to their meanings.

This results in an indefinite number of possible innovative utterances from a finite number of elements. Humans acquire language through social interaction, which makes the use of language become deeply entrenched in human culture.

Apart from being used to communicate and share information, it also has social and cultural uses, such as signifying group identity and social stratification.

It can also be looked at as a set of utterances that can be produced from a set of rules. When the way language is used is affected by the society in which it is used, especially in areas relating to cultural norms, expectation, and context, it 11 becomes the study of sociolinguistics.

This is a term that embraces the aspects of linguistics that evaluate the connection between language and society, and the way we use it in different social situations.

Sociolinguistics often shows the humorous relations of human speech and how the dialect of a given language describes the age, sex, and social class of the speaker.

In essence, it codes the social function of language. It has always been assumed that language plays a major role in formal education.

Most of what is taught in school are transmitted through either the teacher‟s moral presentation, or textbooks and reference materials.

Consequently, when assessments relating to the teaching are made, such assessments are typically through the medium of questions and answers in either the spoken or written mode.

It seems self-evident therefore that to succeed in school, a pupil must have an adequate command of the linguistic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

True as the foregoing is, however, such a concept of the role of language in education is seriously misleading, as it leaves out of account the essentially interactive nature of linguistic communication.

What students learn from what is presented to them depends not only on what they bring to the learning encounter in the form of their linguistic repertoire and associated knowledge of the world but also on the content and form of what is presented to them.

Even more importantly, the opportunity they are given 12 to enter into a negotiation with the teacher determines the meaning and significance of what they are expected to learn.

This is what the current study sets out to investigate, especially as it pertains to the language of academic discourse vis a vis the level of comprehension of the student.


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