The effects of paralinguistic cues in a teacher’s responses to the students’ utterances in a moral class


This study investigated the characteristics of a teacher’s paralinguistic cues in a moral class in a Japanese elementary school. In the class, the children were told a story on friendship and were asked to give their views on it. In the study, the teacher’s responses (in particular, “that’s right,” “I see,” and “great”) to the children’s utterances were analyzed in terms of paralinguistic characteristics. The results show that the response “that’s right” was used fewer times in the learning activities during which the teacher asked the children to think deeply than the other activities. Moreover, during such activities, the teacher’s responses were made with a monotonous intonation and in a relatively low voice. Correspondingly, the children paused more often when giving their views during this activity as compared to the other activities. These results suggest that paralinguistic cues are attached consciously or unconsciously to the teacher’s responses, and they affect the behavior of the children during learning activities.

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