Morroccan classroom discourse and critical discourse analysis : the impact of social and cultural practice
The aim of this study is to display the important contribution which a critical analysis makes to our understanding of students/teachers relationship through the analysis of their discursive practices. The work focuses specifically on interaction within Moroccan classrooms at the secondary school level, involving students aged between 12-14 years old. The data source consists of transcripts of audio-recordings of classroom lessons in which both teachers and students are engaged in the interaction, which is supplemented by interviews with teachers. In order to examine power relations between teachers and students, this research presents a detailed analysis of the linguistic features used by teachers. Such discourse features are IRF patterns, modality, politeness, Q/A and interruption. Although the analysis of the discoursal features of such interactions is of interest, it alone does not explain the nature of the relationship between pupils/ teachers. For this to be achieved, one may go further to conduct a structured interview analysis to explain such relations and establish a dialectic relationship between institutional practice and social practice (Fairclough 1992b). The effects which are traceable in the discourse of participants are not only related to the teacher/student relationship but also reflect the social order of which the educational institution is a part. The social order has impact on the educational institution which in turn affects the student/teacher relationship. This relationship in turn confirms the social order (Candlin 1997). The research provides a detailed analysis of the discursive practice and describes specific ways in which teachers dominate students' interaction. It traces teachers' control and dominance of the classroom practices to the overwhelming social beliefs of the participants. It concludes that specific social practices on the part of students and teachers produce particular discourse practices in the classroom. These discourse practices hinder the ongoing interaction. Both students' and teachers', assumptions and social beliefs of the classroom practices contribute to creating an atmosphere of control and dominance in the classroom. This research provides suggestions to overcome this crisis. It believes that a change in the classroom practice requires a change in the social practice and vice versa.