The Discourse Theory-an SLA Theory


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I would like to share here my ppt presentation of this SLA theory. It was hard finding and putting together the right materials or articles for my report but my Professor liked this final presentation^^ Through other presentations I found online, I somehow gained the idea on what and how to report it.
I hope this will also help other MALED students researching for this topic^^
Kindly inform me if I failed to cite other sources that you know or see. Thank you very much.

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The Discourse Theory-an SLA Theory

  1. 1. By Melinda Cachero Kim May 8 & 9, 2014 MALED 207
  2. 2. Will the learner’s first language affect his second language acquisition? Will old habits get in the way of learning new habits
  3. 3. mckim05082014
  4. 4. The discourse theory has resulted from a theory of language use. The theory emphasizes that language development should be viewed within the framework of how the learner discovers the meaning capacity of language by taking part in communication.
  5. 5.  It is the technical term for “conversation”  It is derived from the Latin word “discursus” which means running to and from, and denotes written and spoken communication. mckim05082014
  6. 6.  Language can be learned by communicating with the target language speaker.  Learners discover the potential meaning of language by participating in communication.
  7. 7.  Communication is treated as the matrix of linguistic knowledge…. …. such that if we want to acquire a second language, the main ways to learn is by making a lot of interaction with the target language speaker. mckim05082014
  8. 8.  Even for the first language acquisition to be successful, interaction, rather than exposure is required.
  9. 9.  It is said that first language acquisition is related to this theory. Michael A.K. Halliday thinks that the process of first language acquisition is actually the process of learning how to communicate in that language. mckim05082014
  10. 10.  Hatch agrees with Halliday and perceives little difference between the first language acquisition process and the process of second language acquisition. She thinks that only through communication discourses can the learner acquire the second language.
  11. 11.  Phonology: Word sounds  Morphology: Word parts and meanings  Semantics: Word meanings and use  Syntax: Complete sentences and sentence structure  Discourse: Multiple sentences (paragraphs, stories, chapters, books) mckim05082014
  12. 12. It is defined by Canale and Swain (1980) in terms of the following components:  grammatical competence: words and rules  sociolinguistic competence: appropriateness  strategic competence: appropriate use of communication strategies
  13. 13. In 1983, Canale refined the above model, adding discourse competence.  Discourse competence is defined as the ability to understand and produce the range of spoken, written and visual texts that are characteristics of a language. These texts are to be well formed and clear. This also includes the ability to convey information appropriately and coherently to those who are listening to, or viewing one's texts. mckim05082014
  14. 14.  BACHMAN (1990) divides communicative competence into the broad headings of: Organizational competence which includes grammatical and discourse (textual) competencies, and Pragmatic competence which includes sociolinguistic and illocutionary competencies
  15. 15.  DEL HYMES’ description of communicative competence reflects the principles of the Discourse Theory. Communicative competence includes the following: a)knowledge of the grammar and vocabulary b) knowledge of rules of speaking c) knowledge of how to use and respond to different types of speech acts and social conventions d) knowledge of how to use language appropriately mckim05082014
  16. 16. Through the influence of communicative language teaching, it has become widely accepted that communicative competence should be the goal of language education, central to good classroom practice.
  17. 17. “Language acquisition will successfully take place when language learners “know” how and when to use the language in various settings and when they have successfully “cognized” various forms of competence such as grammatical competence (lexis, morphology, syntax and phonology) and pragmatic competence (e.g., speech acts). A language learner needs to “know” conversational strategies to acquire the language.” mckim05082014
  18. 18. It is defined as the analysis of language 'beyond the sentence'. Discourse analysts consider the larger discourse context in order to understand how it affects the meaning of the sentence.
  19. 19. For example, Charles Fillmore points out that two sentences taken together as a single discourse can have meanings different from each one taken separately. mckim05082014
  20. 20. mckim05082014
  21. 21. If you regard each sign independently, they seem quite reasonable. But taking them together as a single discourse makes you go back and revise your interpretation of the first sentence after you've read the second. mckim05082014
  22. 22. A. In second language acquisition, the rules of grammar are acquired in a natural order. This is largely influenced by the learner’s age, context of learning and learner’s L1 background.  SLA has a controlling factor called “faculty for language” that all human beings possess and which is also responsible for the first language acquisition.
  23. 23. B. When communicating with a non-native speaker, the native speaker adjusts his discourse to negotiate meaning with the speaker.  In this principle, the native speaker enables the non-native speaker to communicate while the latter uses various strategies in the negotiation of meaning. Together, they strive to overcome the communicative difficulties which are always likely to arise as a result of the learner’s limited second language resources. mckim05082014
  24. 24. C. The strategies and means used in discourses and the adjusted language input will influence the speed and order of second language acquisition in the following aspects:  1. The learner learns the grammar of the L2 in the same order as the frequency order of the various features in the input. It means the first structures that the L2 learner acquires are those that he/she is exposed to most frequently.
  25. 25.  2. The learner acquires commonly occurring formulas and then later analyzes these into their component parts.  3. The learner is helped to construct sentences vertically. Learner utterances are constructed by borrowing chunks of speech from the preceding discourse. mckim05082014
  26. 26. D. The natural order of second language acquisition is the result of the learner’s learning to make discourse interactions (how to hold conversations).  This is the strongest claim for the role of interaction in SLA. It emphasizes the role of the linguistic environment, which is shaped jointly by the L2 learner and the native speaker in discourse, and plays down the role of internal processing factors.
  27. 27. A. Modes of Discourse  1. Exposition  2. Narration  3. Description  4. Argument/Persuasion mckim05082014
  28. 28. The following 4 slides show paragraphs or passages lifted from articles and books. Read each slide content carefully and determine which one is an exposition, narration, description, and argumentation or persuation….
  29. 29. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside; and Scrooge, starting up into a half- recumbent attitude, found himself face- to-face with the unearthly visitor who drew them: as close to it as I am now to you, and I am standing in the spirit at your elbow. mckim05082014
  30. 30. No baby in the past has ever been able to understand quantum physics. Kitty is going to have a baby soon. So Kitty's baby is not going to be able to understand quantum physics.
  31. 31. The Civil War was caused because of conflicts between states on the subjects of states' rights and slavery. Before the war the southern states relied on slaves to plant and harvest the crops. These southern states wanted to make decisions separate from the northern states and banded together as "The Confederates," threatening to leave the U.S. The northern soldiers were victories in the Civil War, reestablishing that states in the south had to confirm to U.S. laws, including the abolishment of slavery. mckim05082014
  32. 32. My most valuable possession is an old, slightly warped blond guitar--the first instrument I taught myself how to play. It's nothing fancy, just a Madeira folk guitar, all scuffed and scratched and finger-printed. At the top is a bramble of copper-wound strings, each one hooked through the eye of a silver tuning key. The strings are stretched down a long, slim neck, its frets tarnished, the wood worn by years of fingers pressing chords and picking notes. The body of the Madeira is shaped like an enormous yellow pear, one that was slightly damaged in shipping. The blond wood has been chipped and gouged to gray, particularly where the pick guard fell off years ago. No, it's not a beautiful instrument, but it still lets me make music, and for that I will always treasure it.
  33. 33. B. RULES OF CONVERSATION  1. Attention getting  2. Topic nomination  3. Topic development  4. Topic termination mckim05082014
  34. 34. A. It shows how written, visual and oral texts give more depth to the text when the context is understood more deeply in the relevant circumstances in the social context. B. Instructional dialogue should be closely linked to the particular scenario in a classroom. The thoughts and connections between teachers and students during the process of teaching and learning acquisition develop the rigorous nature of pedagogy.
  35. 35. C. Ideas and concepts will be mutually understood. It calls for a variety of teaching methods and teaching conditions specific to that classroom.  Accordingly, in the case of L2 acquisition, language learners are encouraged to deal with accomplishing actions, which are thought to help them acquire the target language. mckim05082014
  36. 36. “For a child to learn a second language, allow him/her to engage or participate in meaningful communication.” This theory is very useful for child or young learners.
  37. 37.  A. Children have some specific mental structure to acquire language effortlessly.  B. When a child is involved in participating in different language learners, he can get better mastery over the language. mckim05082014
  38. 38.  C. Children interact better than the adults do. They interact without any hesitations. They don’t have qualms in making mistakes.  D. Hatch shows that in child/young learners, the child will always attempt to “open the channels” by calling for an adult’s attention.
  39. 39.  A. Encourage interaction among learners  B. Be aware of the rules of conversation  C. Create situations that will allow interaction and communication mckim05082014
  40. 40.  A. There is no certain method that can be directly implemented to the learners.  B. Language can’t be learned when learners don’t have the interest to make an interaction.
  41. 41.  C. The mood or character of the learner will affect his learning. If he’s a shy person, he might not feel comfortable communicating.  D. There should be a mastery of vocabulary to be able to interact with the target language speakers.  E. It overemphasizes the role of external factors in the process of language acquisition and gives little importance to internal learner strategies (i.e., innate processes). mckim05082014
  42. 42. The Discourse Theory is similar to the Behavioristic view of language acquisition in that environmental factors and input (or positive stimulus) are at the very center in attempting to explicate the acquisition process. The Discourse Theory is of course more sophisticated than the Skinner’s views in accounting for the complex structure of communication. Yet it overstresses the role of “knowledge of competence and functions” in acquiring a language, and hence fails to notice universal principles that guide language acquisition.
  43. 43. Chandy, Molly. (2012). Discourse Theory ( languages/86266-impact-of-discourse-theory-on-language-learning-acquisition/) Discourse ( Kiymazarslan, Vedat. (2002). A Discussion of Language Acquisition Theories Leon of Leon’s Planet. Language Competence. Mao, Huaizhou and Luo, Rong (2012) The Complexity Structures of Conversational Interaction Among Participants, ISSN 1798-4799, Journal of Language Teaching and Research Vol. 3, No.5 pp.1038-1045, Sept. 2012. Modes of Discourse ( Ranjit, Kumar Jha. (2012). The Discourse Theory: A Research Paper ( Schroeder, Erica K. Definition: Discourse Competence (Michael Canale & Merrill Swain) ( ain%29) Sun, Ruquing. (2013) The Discourse Theory ( Tannen, Deborah. Discourse Analysis-What Speakers Do in a Conversation ( Tibaldo, Janet. (2013) Discourse Theory ( mckim05082014