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Original Articles

The relationship between verbal teacher immediacy behaviors and student learning

Pages 40-53 | Published online: 18 May 2009

Abstract

Previous research has indicated that nonverbal teacher behaviors such as smiling, vocal expressiveness, movement about the classroom, and relaxed body position are salient low‐inference variables of a process which results in a product of increased cognitive and affective learning. This study identified a set of verbal teacher immediacy behaviors which similarly relate to increased student learning. Results indicated differentiated use of various types of verbal immediacy messages between small and larger classes, and that the impact of teacher immediacy behaviors (both verbal and nonverbal) on learning is coincidentally enhanced as class size increases. The study provides empirical definition of a specific set of low‐inference verbal variables which, in combination with previously identified nonverbal variables, clarify a single process‐product model for effective instructional interaction.

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