Vol. 1,No. 2, July 2011

Author(s): Seyed Mahdi Araghi

Abstract: In systemic functional approach to interpersonal metafunction, Halliday defines clause as a unit of exchange, with two main constituents called Mood and Residue. Mood (sometimes called Modal element) which is the main element of clause in process of meaning exchange realizes selection of mood in clause, and it is composed of Subject and Finite. Subject is invested with modal responsibility whereas finite realizes primary tense and modality. Drawing upon theoretical framework outlined above, present research explores interpersonal metafunction of gender talk in ELT classrooms. Objective is to determine different clausal structures (Declaratives, Integratives, Imperatives and Exclamatives) used by interlocutors with different genders using Azeri as their mother tongue, Farsi (Persian) and English as their second and foreign languages respectively. This research uses oral form of teacher-student interaction in classroom context as its corpus. About twelve hours of oral conversation between students and teachers from eight randomly selected classrooms are recorded and transcribed, resulting to 3288 clauses. Our findings show that dominant Mood used by both genders is declarative of third person simple present tense causing the process of meaning exchange to be one-sided and partial. Reconstructing clausal structures used by different genders in ELT classrooms may result into students’ high language proficiency in bilingual context of situation.

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