UNIVERSIDAD SANTO TOMÁS VICERRECTORIA DE UNIVERSIDAD ABIERTA Y A DISTANCIA FACULTAD DE EDUCACION LICENCIATURA EN LENGUA EXTRANJERA INGLÉS DISCOURSE ANALYSIS (DA) Prepared by Edgar LuceroAPPROACHES TO DATowards an analysis of discourse1. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), Critical Discourse Studies (CDS) and CriticalLinguistics (CL) are terms that are commonly used interchangeably. However, theoryon critical discourse is mostly referred to CL, its methodology is for CDA, and all thisfield of study is CDS. This type of approach for the analysis of discourse from a criticalperspective roots in the fields of rhetoric, text linguistics, anthropology, philosophy,socio-psychology, cognitive science, literary studies, sociolinguistics, appliedlinguistics, and pragmatics (Wodak & Meyer, 2009).The difference between Conversation Analysis (CA) and CDA resides on theorientation of the problem and the way to analyze it. While CA focuses primarily on thepatterns of communication in language in use to unveil the social acts that those patternsenact, CDA studies the social phenomena in terms of the ritual and institutionalpractices by revealing structures of power and unmaking ideologies.Example:Conversation Analysis Critical Discourse AnalysisT: What is the third person singular verb form T: What is the third person singular verb formfor “go”? for “go”?S: goes S: goesT: Correct T: CorrectThis example shows the IRE sequence (social This example shows how the teacher exercisesact in the language classroom) which implies his/her power of being the requester ofrequest of knowledge, evaluation of it, and students’ knowledge, as well as being thepossible intake and/or reinforcement of that evaluator of it. This event puts the student in aknowledge. warned position which may increase his/her level of anxiety which, consequently, may modify the type of answer s/he gives.CDA deals specifically with three concepts: discourse, critical, and ideologies. Aslanguage is a social practice which use is in context, discourse is then a social practicethat implies a dialectal relationship between the particular discursive event and thesituation which frames it (Fairclough & Wodak, 1997). It means that the discursiveevent shapes the language use by making from it a social practice, as this happens, thelanguage use reveals the social practice and constructs the discursive event. Critical isthe orientation of the analysis from an outside position towards critiquing social eventsand the interconnectedness of them for changing society, and consequently, byemancipating humans from forms of domination and subordination (Fairclough, 1995).Ideologies are then the results of revealing structures of power by critiquing discursive
events. An ideology is a stable set of beliefs, values, or representations of the world thatare coherent with and related to the discursive events as they contribute to establishingand maintaining relations of power, domination, and exploitation (Fairclough, 2003;Van Dijk, 2009). Dominance is the way of enacting power by controlling context bylanguage. The strategies to exercise this power is by marginalization, exclusion,authorization, accessibility, ignoring, blocking, restricting, addressing, expressing,lexicalizing, denying, discrediting, and turn-taking. The other end produces a counter-discourse of subjugation (fighting against power) or submissiveness (accepting thepower without fighting against it) (Van Dijk, 1993).For the language classroom, CDA plays an important role by revealing the relations ofpower between the teacher-students, among the students, or between the students-teacher through the analysis of social exchanges in each classroom interaction.Therefore, CDA helps discover resistance exercised by any of the actors of theclassroom setting, in/discipline as a package of power which is exercised with intention,different types of pedagogical violence to exercise power, students’ subjugationpractices and behaviors, and the way to make sense of the ways in which the classroomactors make meaning, among others. At the educational level, CDA reveals howeducational issues are constructed and represented by the educational staff throughpublic documents, speeches, interactions, and informal sites of learning. All the analysisof these intricacies of classroom and educational settings could offer descriptions,interpretations, and explanations of how the sense of communication produces identitiesin these communities.The method of CDA is composed of four main steps: 1) Having a text or discourse to beanalyzed. This text or discourse must be authentic from any social event. 2)Interpretation from a selection of information that may portray or reveal any structure ofpower, domination, and/or exploitation. The interpretation can be done from thephonetic, morphological, syntactic, or semantic analysis. 3) Launching theory from theinterpretation and further examination of the assumptions of the information thatcontains the structures issued. 4) Operationalization which is the conceptualization ofthe selection of theoretical concepts, relations, and assumptions.Example (Adapted from the detailed analysis of typical discourse fragments (Jâger &Maier, 1989, p. 55)Step 1: The text/discourse Step 2: Interpretation[[The teacher is talking to conclude a debate Why is this excerpt typical?session about computer use]] At the end of a classroom activity in which“Thank you very much thank you thank you a lot so there is no space for the teacher to correctfinish finish finish very good for your participation students’ mistakes, nor space for providingvery good for your effort to communicate or feedback to each of them, the teacher takesexpress your ideas it was very fantastic I guess the last minutes of the class session to makethat you felt out less nervous less anxious to speak his/her voice heard in terms of students’more freely, that was the purpose of this performance, thou it is done in general terms.discussion, I just have two comments two Who talks and from what position?comments that you eh that you have to be careful The teacher from his/her position of teacher-about and two very good points, so the very good manager, controller, and evaluator of thepoints [[some SS laugh]] number one good students’ performance and the class activity.because you had very good strategies for example What is the discursive event?the dictionary, writing but as you notice you said A teacher’s feedback provision at the end of awhat you wrote and I made questions to expand class activity of debate about a topic for
what you had in your notes and you did it well, I English use.mean you had the reference here you had your How is the discursive event structured?notes here but you could expand your knowledge The teacher first thanks the students for theirin your mind, ok very good for that every time you participation in the class debate. The teacherparticipated, eh second good second good point eh highlights the students’ effort to communicateyou have improved your confidence about in English. The teacher also highlights that thespeaking and when you have improved your purpose of the activity was to make themconfidence I am aware of that and when you have speak freely. Then, the teacher remarks thatimproved your confidence you have also improved there are two aspects for the students toyour pronunciation and you have improved the way consider from the activity. First, the studentsyou construct the sentences in English and you had the chance to use notes to talk; second,didn’t even notice it and it was so so so good for this use brings more confidence for theyou I mean if I counted all your eh grammatical students when talking. Despite this confidencemistakes if I can say that they would be very few there is still accuracy trouble in the students’because you have improved your confidence and I talk. For example Spanish literal translation inam very happy because of that, and two thing that English talking, and pronunciation mistakes.you have to be careful about number one please Finally, the teacher dismissed the students.system engineer is a Spanish translation into What topics are touched in the event?English but you don’t say system engineer you The success of the activity for speakingsay computer engineer if you want to expand it promotion in the students, the good points inyou say computer science engineer and the the students’ performance; and then, the badprofession is computer science engineering con I points in theirs.n g but you don’t say system engineer, and the How do the topics relate to each participant insecond one is como se pronuncia virus en ingles? the discursive event?[[some SS say virus correctly]] vi-rus vi-rus vi-rus It relates to the teacher in the way that s/he isvi-rus vi-rus vi-rus vi-rus vi-rus, thank you very the one who is in charge of providing themuch, can you please organize the classroom respective evaluation. It relates to the studentsbefore you go.” because what the teacher says is about what[[SS stand up, tidy the classroom and go]] they do in that session. What arguments are presented? The session is successful because the students talk by using English, the students have good points for the use of the strategy of note- taking, the expansion of ideas bring some mistakes of translation and pronunciation. What strategy is used for doing it? Marginalization of individual mistakes, teacher’s authorization of providing feedback under the students’ concern for it, students’ inaccessibility to participate in the feedback provision, ignoring some other mistakes, restricting the nomination of students, addressing to all of them, expressing teacher’s opinion as the valid one What implications does this discursive event bring to the class? The students have a bitter-sweet sensation of success, they perform well but with the presence of some mistakes. It still gives the teacher the role of the good user of English, and the students still the role of learners. Apart, activities in which the students feel free to speak in English seem to promote more students’ talk. What vocabulary and style is used in the
discursive event? Direct vocabulary and style. The teacher talks steadily without being interrupted. There is a touch of concern for the students’ performance in terms of quality and quantity of language use. What identities does the discursive event form on the actors in the event? Students: receivers, learners, submissive, English practitioners. Teacher: provider, controller, manager, evaluator, English good user,Step 3: TheoryWhat is your theory of exercising power in this discursive event?Teacher’s roles of power are guaranteed and confirmed by the same students by offeringhim/her the space and the act of evaluating what happens in the class in terms of activities andtheir own performance.How is subjugation/submissiveness portrayed?The students’ acceptance of teacher’s comments on their performance without replying orhighlighting their own vision of success in the class.Step 4: ConceptualizationHow are theoretical concepts, relations, and assumptions interconnected to construct powerrelations in this discursive event?Both, the students need the teacher for confirming their level of proficiency in theirperformances in the class activities, as the teacher needs the students to exercise his/her role ofpower as an English knower and then evaluator of it during the class.ReferencesFairclough, N. (1995). Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Longman.Fairclough, N. (2003). Analysing Discourse: Text Analysis for Social Research. London: Routledge.Fairclough, N. and Wodak, R. (1997). Critical Discourse Analysis, in T. A. van Dijk (ed.). Discourse as SocialInteraction (Discourse Studies: A Multidisciplinary Introduction. Vol. 2). London: Sage, pp. 258-284.Jâger, S. & Maier, F. (2009). Theoretical and methodological aspects of Foucauldian critical discourse analysis anddispositive analysis, in Wodak, R. & M. Meyer (eds.) Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: SAGEPublications Ltd. (2nd Edition), pp. 34-61.Van Dijk, T. A. (1993. Principles of Critical Discourse Analysis. Discourse and Society 4(2):249-283.Van Dijk, T. A. (2009). Critical Discourse Studies: a sociocognitive approach, in Wodak, R. & M. Meyer (eds.)Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. (2nd Edition), pp. 62-86.Wodak, R. & M. Meyer (Eds.) (2009). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. (2ndEdition).