A recent trend of Communicative Language Teaching has brought a paradigm shift in English language education in Japan, and more and more efforts have been paid to promote communication in second language classrooms. However, against English teachers' expectations, carefully contrived communicative tasks often do not achieve expected outcomes due to a unique communication structure in the language classroom. Prior to the introduction of language-based or meaning-based tasks, we need to have a clear understanding of the factors which enhance or hinder an active participation in the classroom. The purpose of this paper is 1) to examine the social and cultural structure underlying the, actions and perceptions of both teachers and students in the classroom contexts and 2) to analyze a classroom discourse in an English lesson at a junior high school in terms of IRF patterns in teacher-student interactions. Consequently, a common feature of highly-ritualized teacher-controlled communication patterns has been observed.