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Teaching English as discourse: A challenge for the ELICOS classroom

Kettle, Margaret A. (2000) Teaching English as discourse: A challenge for the ELICOS classroom. EA Journal, 17(2), pp. 66-77.

Abstract

This paper joins a growing number of calls for a more discourse-focused approach to teaching English. One call is coming from researchers such as Firth and Wagner(1997), Miller (1997) and Peirce (1995) who challenge Second Language Acquisition (SLA) theories which guide much of our English language teaching practice. They argue that these theories and our application of them in the language classroom regard language acquisition as the process of mentally acquiring separate bits of language and view the learner as deficit. They argue that language learning is about the acquisition of discourse because language as communication is essentially a set of contextually-situated discursive practices. They contest the notion of the learner as defective communicator and instead propose a view of the learner as successful communicator, utilising his/her available linguistic resources. The paper follows some of these arguments and contrasts the theoretical principles of a discourse approach to language acquisition with those of the traditional SLA approach. The discussion looks at the application of these principles in the English language classroom and joins the calls, also coming from English language teachers such as Petrovitz (1997) and Nunan (1998), for a discourse focus in areas such as teaching grammar.

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ID Code: 8164
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author. Author contact details: m.kettle@qut.edu.au
Additional URLs:
Keywords: English language teaching, teaching grammar as discourse, teaching grammar, social approaches to second language acquisition
ISSN: 1444-4496
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400) > Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics (200401)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400) > Linguistic Structures (incl. Grammar Phonology Lexicon Semantics) (200408)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LANGUAGE STUDIES (200300) > English as a Second Language (200303)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400) > Discourse and Pragmatics (200403)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 ELICOS Association of Australia
Deposited On: 20 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 22:42

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