About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4576-4583
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain


J. Austin

Forman Christian College (A Chartered University) (PAKISTAN)
A teacher in most of the educational settings is considered to be Mr/Ms. know-it all - a person considered to have all the answers and solutions to all the questions and problems. But the important questions are: Is this always the case? As an educationist/instructor what is our goal/emphasis – providing answers or addressing the issue? In other words do we even realize that there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed than merely providing satisfactory answers? What is more important: finding the root of the problem and then fixing it or finding short term solutions to these sporadic problems? The answer to the aforementioned questions partially lies in the theme of the conference: ‘International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation -’ the goal here is to look at the old/perennial problems in the light of innovative ideas/new solutions!

Miscommunication or being misconstrued is indeed an old story - it happens everywhere, all the time! Chances of miscommunication even further escalate when you are a second/third language speaker of a Target language (TL). Here we are talking about English language. The best solution to every problem is to get to its root – to get to the nub of the problem--we might not always find a solution, but at least we'll know the cause and can get new apperceptions! We are indubitably people of different percepts - human interaction has the potential to contain ambiguities/mismatches. Language classroom communication is not an exception and mismatches are a part of the practice of everyday teaching. Think of a classroom situation where a teacher is lecturing the students. According to the teacher’s perception/s there is so much for the students to learn, but are those perceptions aligned with the students’ perceptions of what is available to learn? Most of the time teachers and learners do not look at the same classroom event as a potential learning event even in monolingual classrooms where there is minimal diversity; this becomes far more challenging in diversified multilingual classrooms. In other words, there can be, and often are, mismatches between teacher perception(s) and learner perception(s) of the objectives and activities of the classroom events. This gap can easily increase the gap between teacher input and learner intake and eventually results in lesser output. Perceptual mismatches are hidden; they are not easily revealed. And yet, an awareness of them is required to achieve maximum objectives of learning/teaching. In this session we will look at some sources of potential mismatches and also look at some of the strategies to minimize it. We must remember that only awareness and a concerted and cooperative effort on the part of the teacher and the learner will manifest the gap between teacher intentions and learner interpretations. As educationists and more importantly as English language teachers it’s vital for us to understand the similarities and differences in the way the teachers and students perceive classroom objectives and events to pave our path to an effective pedagogic intervention. In short, we can equip our students to be better communicators and speakers of English if we give them the tools to find out where those miscommunications have occurred and some ways to clarify them.

In the words of Harper Lee (To kill a mockingbird):
‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.’

Let’s set it new – rearranging the lens!
author = {Austin, J.},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {4576-4583}}
AU - J. Austin
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 4576
EP - 4583
ER -
J. Austin (2014) MINIMIZING PERCEPTUAL MISMATCHES – RE-ARRANGING THE LENS, ICERI2014 Proceedings, pp. 4576-4583.