The Students’ Strategies in Online Learning Interaction: Exploring Politeness in Google Classroom during Covid-19 Pandemic

Keywords: Covid-19 Pandemic, Google Classroom, Online Learning, Online Interaction, Teacher-student Interaction, Linguistic Politeness, Positive Politeness Strategy

Abstract

Teacher-student politeness has been well-explored over the years, but mostly in direct or face-to-face communication. This study aims to fill the gap of politeness between students and educators in online learning, specifically in the sessions of one of the staple and most used educational platforms during the Covid-19 pandemic, namely Google Classroom. This study applies qualitative research method by describing the phenomenon of the language. This study observed the interaction of 36 English Literature Department students during their Google Classroom sessions from April to July 2021. The researchers analysed the students’ interaction with their lecturer according to Brown and Levinson’s politeness theory.  Five politeness strategies were identified, namely the positive politeness strategies (i.e., greeting, gratitude and address term), negative politeness (i.e., apology) and vernacular language. The gratitude and address term expression conveyed by “Thank you, Mam” is dominantly used by students to minimize threat when giving comments for every instruction created by lecturer. Results of this study showed that the students use politeness strategies to ensure the effectiveness of online learning, yet they also limit their text-based interaction with the short expressions of politeness such as “Hi, mam” or “Yes, mam”. This finding contributes to shedding light on the aspect of politeness in online interaction in Google Classroom and directs future studies to explore politeness in other contexts.

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Author Biographies

Elita Modesta Br. Sembiring, Universitas Methodist Indonesia, Medan, Indonesia

Elita Modesta Br. Sembiring was born in Tiga Juhar in 1986. As the second child of 4 children, she completed her undergraduate study from Letters Faculty, Universitas Methodist Indonesia majoring English Literature in 2009,  and her master’s degree from State University of Medan (Unimed) in 2012. Her hobby is reading novels, primarily of the fiction variety. She has been a permanent lecturer in Universitas Methodist Indonesia since 2013. Two of her researches have been funded by government. Those are funded in 2017 and 2018 (Hibah Penelitian Dosen Pemula). Her life motto is “Keep Learning in this Life”.

Srisofian Sianturi, Universitas HKBP Nommensen, Medan, Sumatera Utara

Srisofian Sianturi was born in Simatupang, 1985. As the second child of 7 children, she completed her undergraduate study from Letters Faculty, Universitas Methodist Indonesia majoring English Literature in 2009,  and her master’s degree from State University of Medan (Unimed)in 2012. Her hobby is watching movies. She has been a permanent lecturer in Universitas HKBP Nommensen since 2014. She is currently a post-doctoral student in Universitas Sumatera Utara, Indonesia.

Faido Marudut Pardamean Simanjuntak , Universitas Methodist Indonesia, Medan, Indonesia

FaidoSimanjuntak was born in Sibolga, North Sumatera, Indonesia, in 1981. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Faculty of Letters, Saint Thomas Catholic University, Medan, Indonesia, then completed his master’s degree in Linguistics, majoring in translation at Post Graduate SebelasMaret University of Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia. He has been a permanent lecturer at the Methodist University of Indonesia Medan since 2015. Teaching linguistics at this university, he found he needed a viable framework for the study of linguistics. This led him to a decision to enter a PhD program in 2018. He is currently taking his Doctoral program in Linguistics, at Cultural Science Faculty, University of Sumatera Utara. His expertises are in Translation studies and Discourse Analysis. Some of his scholarly works in these areas have been published in national, accredited national, and international journals.

Sri Ninta Tarigan, Universitas Prima Indonesia, Medan, Sumatera Utara

Sri Ninta Tarigan is a lecturer in FKIP Universitas Prima Indonesia. She has been taken her S1 in Universitas Katolik St. Thomas Medan and her Master of Humaniora in Universitas Negeri Medan. She is active writing in national journals and international journals. She is focused on linguistics and publication lecturing at campus.

Published
2021-09-11
How to Cite
Sembiring, E. M. B., Sianturi, S., Simanjuntak , F. M. P., & Tarigan, S. N. (2021). The Students’ Strategies in Online Learning Interaction: Exploring Politeness in Google Classroom during Covid-19 Pandemic. Elsya : Journal of English Language Studies, 3(3). https://doi.org/10.31849/elsya.v3i3.6725
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