A Study of Teacher Gesture and Speech in the Efl Classroom Context

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A Study of Teacher Gesture and Speech in the Efl Classroom Context




  1. Background

Nonverbal communication has the essential role in the English foreign language classroom especially in assisting students’ language communicative competence. In this case, nonverbal communication becomes a part of how teacher communicate verbally to the students. It also known as a part of interaction in the classroom in which affect students achievement. It is because nonverbal communication becomes the way of the teachers to attract students willingness to learn language skill. According to ( ) that yet little attention has been given teacher practical teaching techniques that will help English language teachers incorporate this essential element into their classrooms.

Many researchers show that the relationship between teachers and students can be improved if teachers make effective use of nonverbal communication. Besides, students? cognitive ability and efficiency in learning will be promoted (Cooper, 1988). When we talk about means of communication, language perhaps is the first which occurs to us. Here, language is referred to as a sign of a combination of sound and meaning. The general trend of communication studies has largely been focused on language.

 But in fact, communicative means does not just involve verbal channel, it also encompasses varieties of nonverbal forms. In the nonverbal forms, teachers attempt to use their body language, gesture, and facial expression in order to support their speech. Then, it can be stated that teachers who have a good nonverbal communication will directly engage students interest in learning English. English which is known as the international language used in the entire the world especially in Indonesia as a foreign language which categorized as the medium of instruction in the classroom.

Then, to develop their language skill, teachers should creatively interact with the students in a good verbal and nonverbal communication. Because, both dimensions of communication are importance to be applied during the learning process. Nonverbal, as the term suggests, does not involve any use of words or speech. Birdwhistell (1961) holds that information carried by verbal forms during an interaction accounts for no more than 30% while the rest is all sent through nonverbal means.

The importance of nonverbal communication can also be seen in the division of communicative language ability into language competence and strategic competence in teaching English, among which strategic competence refers to mastery of nonverbal communication in term of body language notably gesture. Samovar, L., et al (1981) positively express their view that most authorities believe that in a normal two-person conversion, the verbal rents carry less than 35% of the total social meaning of the situation and that more than 65% is carried on the nonverbal band.

 It has been clear that nonverbal communication plays a vital role as well as the oral counterparts. In this case, nonverbal communication concerning on the teacher’s gesture that occur in the EFL classroom context. When teachers communicate the language to the students, the begin to produce speech and at the same time, they act a certain gesture in order to make students understand on what teachers said. Furthermore, gesture and speech are two major aspects that cannot be separated in the process of transferring insights to the students.