Communicative episodes and non-verbal communication inside Hong Kong secondary classrooms

  • Albert Sei Li Chieng

    Student thesis: Coursework Masters - CDU


    This study looks at various communication situations and the accompanying non-verbal communication used within three Hong Kong Chinese secondary classrooms. Videotapes of three lessons were recorded and analysed through descriptive ethnography. A questionnaire survey of the students of these Hong Kong students and interviews with Hong Kong teachers were also conducted to investigate student and teacher perceptions of each other.

    From the classroom videotapes, many of the observed communicative situations of a lesson were categorised, described and analysed to highlight the non-verbal communication. In addition, a group of newly arrived Hong Kong Chinese students in Australia were asked to comment on the video-recordings in order to provide feedback on the researcher's interpretation. All these data were then used to construct schemata or frames for the communicative episodes of a lesson.

    This thesis unlocks the communicative episodes of the Hong Kong students and teachers and depicts the non-verbal act sequence within them. It also explores the deep yet subtle meaning of the 'silent language' of the students. Reference to the traditional Chinese teacher-student relationship is made throughout the discussion wherever appropriate. The findings should enable secondary teachers across the curriculum in western countries to be more aware and appreciative of the unfamiliar communicative skills of the Hong Kong Chinese students in their classrooms, and to incorporate this knowledge into their teaching methodologies.
    Date of Award1994
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMerridy Malin (Supervisor)

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