This article examines discourse features in the instructional interactions of eight Inuit and six non-lnuit teachers of Inuit children in northern Québec. Significant differences existed between these two groups of teachers in their use of Initiation-Response-Evaluation (IRE) routines, nomination format, and teacher response to student initiations. The research distinguishes cultural factors from factors related to second language teaching. Findings suggest the cultural variability of discourse features that have significant ramifications for teacher judgments regarding students' academic and communicative competence.