A discourse analysis of a classroom

MohrEric S. Mohr Despite the need to use and develop their English-language proficiency, English-language learners ELLs are often quiet during classroom discussions. The Response Protocol was developed to help teachers elicit and support the oral interactions of ELL students. In order to be proficient and productive students, English-language learners ELLs need many opportunities to interact in social and academic situations.

A discourse analysis of a classroom

These views reflect the historic separation between the study of language and the study of literature, which has led to the limited role of literature in the language classroom. However, the use of literary texts can be a powerful pedagogic tool. This article describes various approaches to teaching literature and provides a rationale for an integrated approach to teaching literature in the language classroom based on the premise that literature is language and language can indeed be literary.

Introduction As teachers of English as a Foreign Language our main concern is to help learners acquire communicative competence. For this reason we tend to focus on teaching standard forms of linguistic expression.

A discourse analysis of a classroom

However, despite acquiring linguistic accuracy, it is apparent that EFL speakers still have difficulties in comprehending the nuances, creativity and versatility which characterise even standard and transactional forms of English, as these humorous public notices demonstrate: We take your bags and send them in all directions.

It also involves acquiring the ability to interpret discourse in all its social and cultural contexts.

Focusing on Literature Language, both spoken and written, comes in a variety of discourse types and, as teachers of language, we attempt to introduce our learners to as many of these as possible. This classification of discourse types includes expressive, which focuses on personal expression letters, diaries, etc.

However, there is often reluctance by teachers, A discourse analysis of a classroom designers and examiners to introduce unabridged and authentic texts to the EFL syllabus. There is a general perception that literature is particularly complex and inaccessible for the foreign language learner and can even be detrimental to the process of language learning Or, Indeed, it is difficult to imagine teaching the stylistic features of literary discourse to learners who have a less than sophisticated grasp of the basic mechanics of English language.

The reasons why teachers often consider literature inappropriate to the language classroom may be found in the common beliefs held about literature and literary language.

Firstly, the creative use of language in poetry and prose often deviates from the conventions and rules which govern standard, non-literary discourse, as in the case of poetry where grammar and lexis may be manipulated to serve orthographic or phonological features of the language.

What this means is that the reader has to infer, anticipate and negotiate meaning from within the text to a degree that is not required in non-literary discourse. There is a perception that the use of literary discourse deflects from the straightforward business of language learning, i.

Why Teach Literature in the Language Classroom? The classification of discourse types in this way would seem to suggest that there are distinct differences between literary and non-literary discourse. This is not to say there is no difference between literary and non-literary discourse; however, Carter and Nash suggest that rather than perceiving literary discourse as separate and remote from non-literary discourse, we ought to consider the variety of text types along a continuum with some being more literary than others.

This view is part of the idea that the separation of literature from language is a false dualism since literature is language and language can indeed be literary. It is not difficult to find instances of standard transactional forms of discourse which make use of a whole array of literary devices.

A discourse analysis of a classroom

Headlines and advertisements are common examples of discourse which exploits literary language. The following examples make explicit use of alliteration, assonance, register, imagery, ellipsis and rhythm - stylistic devices which are more commonly associated with literature than with standard, transactional language.

Put a tiger in your tank — ESSO The boundaries which are thought to exist between literary and non-literary discourse are not so distinct. Indeed, as Widdowson suggests, the procedures which are used to interpret literary discourse are essentially the same for interpreting any type of discourse.

A Tool For Critical Reflection, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

Carter and Long describe the rationale for the use of the three main approaches to the teaching of literature: The Cultural Model This model represents the traditional approach to teaching literature.

Such a model requires learners to explore and interpret the social, political, literary and historical context of a specific text. By using such a model to teach literature we not only reveal the universality of such thoughts and ideas but encourage learners to understand different cultures and ideologies in relation to their own.

This model is largely rejected by those in TEFL since not only does it tend to be teacher-centred but there is little opportunity for extended language work. Such an approach enables learners to access a text in a systematic and methodical way in order to exemplify specific linguistic features e.The term classroom discourse refers to the language that teachers and students use to communicate with each other in the classroom.

Talking, or conversation, is the medium through which most teaching takes place, so the study of classroom discourse is the study of the process of face-to-face.

This course is designed to help you develop the skills and experience you need for a successful career in English teaching.

Through NSTA, you'll find leading resources for excellence in teaching and learning and experience growth through robust professional development. Plus you'll meet colleagues across all science disciplines, all grade bands and teaching stages, from the newest teacher to the veteran administrator, who share a passion for science education.

Discourse analysis provides the potential for change in classroom practice when teachers actively reflect on classroom discourse and, specifically, the roles and identities of students in classroom discourse. For the past decade, social studies, history, government, geography, and civics have been relatively neglected subjects in our school systems.

Because they are not required to be tested through the No Child Left Behind legislation, these subjects have appeared less. The analysis of classroom discourse is of value to teachers wanting to understand the dynamics of classroom communication, to discover “whether there is a proper equilibrium or an imbalance between real communication and teacher talk.” (McCarthy ).

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