The paper presents the results of a qualitative study on the discursive strategies used in class by a group of instructors who received a good assessment by students from eight educational centres: two primary schools, two secondary schools, two further-education centres, and two universities. A linguistic and discursive approach is adopted to compare a) students' opinions, b) teachers' views of their own activity, and c) teachers' actual behaviour in class. This triangulation allows us to define two broad groups of relational discursive strategies framed in a balance between social proximity and social distance: 1) strategies aimed to modulate teachers' image, and 2) strategies directed to stimulate respect for students' image. The results show that, irrespective of age, academic levels, and teachers' particular teaching style, the actions that facilitate effective communication in the classroom have more aspects in common than may previously have been considered. © 2006 by Fundación Infancia y Aprendizaje.
- Discourse analysis in class
- Discursive strategies
- Qualitative interview
- Social image
- Social proximity and distance
- Teachers' and students' beliefs