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ANALYSIS: THE MOVETOWARDSA DA-ORIENTED TEFL

In document Vol. 6, Issue 9, December 2016 (Page 140-142)

Abbas Bayat, Department of English Language, Malayer Branch, Islamic Azad University, Malayer, Iran.

abbasbayat305@yahoo.com

Negar Nowroozzadeh, PhD Candidate in TESL, Department of English Language, Malayer Branch, Islamic Azad University, Malayer, Iran.

nowroozzadeh@yahoo.com

Abstract

Nowadays,what hasbrought amore functionallysignificant bearingforlanguage useas asocio- linguistic meansisthenow-thriving‘cda’.the centrallocus-pointproposed bysucha view is thatlanguage can beused manipulatively to pursuecertainhidden endsand further personally sustainedinterests.the field of language teachingcan alsoavail itselfof thetheoreticalas well asthe practicalbearingsof such anextra-linguisticfield andits oncomingimports.therefore, bringingthelanguagestudentsinto contactwith the pedagogicalgroundsandpracticalimplicationsof the‘cda’is a needin today’sclassroomenvironments both withregard to its theoreticalbenefitsas wellas the functionalramificationsit might havefor ‘tefl’byteachinghow to uselanguageandits lingua-culturalsubtletiesin order fora certainextra-lingualobjectiveto be met. The present articlegoes througha review ofthe main tenetsunderlyiing‘da’ towards a ‘da-orientedapproach’to ‘TEFL’.

Key words:extra-linguisticfunctions, ‘da’,‘cda’,discourse-oriented approach,‘tefl’

1. Introduction

The main relational bond between Discourse Analysis and Teaching English as a Foreign Language is their common concern with the field of speech acts or language as acting. The application of DA in TEFL concerns the pedagogical trend which aims to inform the language practitioners on how to know and use the functional capabilities of language as a socio-linguistic means. As such, DA-oriented TEFL concerns itself not only with analyzing the socio-functional features of language as a discursive product but also with trying to bring under study the process by which a language practitioner does so and with how such a process can be taught to language learners. To do this, the DA-oriented TEFL endeavors to carry out such process-targeted discourse-analytical studies by placing the language as a socio-linguistic product within the context of use in an attempt to infer the socio-functional regularities and discursive patterns from the contextual material. Of major importance in this regard is the weight the spoken language gains in such discourse-analytical studies. Language as such is a more authentic version of natural discourse.

Vol. 6, Issue 9, December 2016 Page 141

In trying to demarcate the field of Discourse Analysis studies, M. McCarthy (1991: 5) sees DA's territory to be concern with 'the study of the relationship between language and the contexts in which it is used.' Therefore, Discourse Analysis is the study of linguistic distribution of some elements in the context of use and the influences of contextual and cultural factors in that particular use. In their Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, Richards and Schmidt (2010: 174) define the term 'discourse' as 'a general term for examples of language use, i.e. language which has been produced as the result of an act of communication. In their definition, while grammar refers to the rules a language uses to form such grammatical units as clause, phrase, and sentence, it is discourse which normally refers to such larger units of language as paragraphs, conversations, and interviews. As theon van Dijk (1997), a major figure in discourse analysis, maintains, discourse is as well agreed by discourse analysts to be 'a form of language use.' In fact, according to Paul Chilton (2005) 'many of Foucauldianauthors would, however, accept that discourse, understood as language-use, is but one (if perhaps the most salient) manifestation of social action.' In this regard, the purpose of discourse analysis is to analyze natural discourses to end up with a regularity or some norms in language use.

What Discourse Analysis in its various fronts is trying to convey is the persistence on the fact that language as a communicational product of human mind is but a form of social-action and this is probably the most important tenet amongst the proponents of this newly-established sub- discipline of applied linguistics. However, as far as it concerns the field of Discourse Analysis, what is meant by social action carried out through discourse is the implementation of socio- linguistic functions intended by the language users, what lies between the lines and is only retrievable through a reading-between-the-lines approach provided by the DA methodological formulations. Therefore, those working and formulating such DA methodology manuals, if it can be called so, have fostered and proceeded, though to a greater or lesser extent, on the assumption that the nature of language as a manifestation of social action intended by a speaker/writer can be illuminated, even unveiled, by various kinds of linguistic analysis. However, we may go on to speak also of a latter trend of discourse analysis that is CDA or critical discourse analysis which aims and endeavors to push the realm of DA a step forward toward the goal of language being exploited as a means of manipulation of political goals which are mainly associated with relations of power.

2.A Glance At Related Literature

One can distinguish and differentiate between several sub-tendencies of discourse analysis, however, the major trend of DA draws on what is historically called the field of Critical Linguistics in the literature. The proponents of Critical Linguistics are those whose early works drew on such works as George Orwell's writings for inspiration as well as those of Michael Bakhtin, and of course to a lesser extent, on the ideas of such philosophical figures as Habermas and to an even lesser extent, on Foucault for its social theory. For its linguistic theory, this trend drew at first on Chomsky’s early versions of transformational grammar (Hodge & Kress 1993 [1979]). This choice was later replaced by Halliday’s so-called systemic-functional grammar (Fairclough 1989: 13–14; Fowler 1996: 11).

There is also a second, language-oriented trend, chronologically speaking, which is called Critical Discourse Analysis, and that is most commonly associated with Fairclough, Wodak and van Dijk (cf. van Dijk 1993; Fairclough 1995; Fairclough &Wodak 1997; CaldasCoulthard&Coulthard 1996). Fairclough, in particular, is influenced by Foucault, especially in his use of the notions of ‘order of discourse’ and ‘discourse formation’. Wodak’s approach to the analysis of language in use (‘discourse’ is understood by all of these authors to be language) comes from various strands of sociolinguistics and ethnography (cf. Reisigl&Wodak 2001: Chapter 2). However, this latter trend

Vol. 6, Issue 9, December 2016 Page 142

In document Vol. 6, Issue 9, December 2016 (Page 140-142)

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