11 terms

Language A Terminology

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Discourse
One of the four systems of language, the others being vocabulary, grammar and phonology, any piece of extended language, written or spoken, that has unity and meaning and purpose. One possible way of understanding 'extended' is as language that is more than one sentence. Something as short as two phrases in a conversation or as long as an entire extended essay are both examples of this and both show various features of it. Includes various features of cohesion and coherence, discourse markers, paralinguistic features (body language), conventions and ways of taking turns.
Pragmatics
Part of communicative competence that involves being able to use language in interpersonal relationships, taking into account such complexities as social distance and indirectness. As an example of indirectness, consider the conversation:
A: How was the movie?
B: Well, the sound track was ok.
A second language learner may take that at face value not having the essential knowledge that B is avoiding a direct answer because the direct answer is that the movie wasn't good. Competence in this area is thought to be difficult to teach and have serious real consequences for second language learners that include failing to get jobs and good grades.
Inductive learning
This approach to teaching language starts with examples and asks learners to find rules. Example: learners listen to a conversation that includes examples of the use of the third conditional. The teacher checks that the students understand the meaning of its use through checking learners' comprehension of the listening text, and only after this focuses on the form, using the examples from the text to elicit rules about the form, its use and its pronunciation. Commonly found in course books, and forms part of a general strategy to engage learners in what they learn. Some learners may need introduction to such approaches.
Deductive learning
This approach to teaching language starts by giving learners rules, then examples, then practice. It is a teacher-centred approach to presenting new content. This is compared with an approach that starts with examples and asks learners to find rules, and hence is more learner-centred. Example: the form and use of the third conditional is explained to learners, then they have a gap-fill exercise to complete, then prepare their own examples. May be suitable with lower level learners or with learners who are accustomed to a more traditional approach.
Consciousness raising
Part of the process a learner can go through with new language. They first become aware or conscious of the new language, then recognise and distinguish it, then produce it. Example: learners studying the contracted form 'didn't' first may become aware that the form exists in English, then recognise it when they hear it and distinguish it from other sounds, and then produce it themselves. Often a teacher decides to encourage learners to notice new language, or to recognise it, rather than produce it themselves, e.g. recognising phrasal verbs, and guessing their meaning context, or distinguishing the words said in connected speech.
PPP
A paradigm or model used to describe typical stages of a presentation of new language. The practice stage aims to provide opportunities for learners to use the target structure. Criticism of this paradigm argues that the freer 'practice' stage may not elicit the target language as it is designed to do, as in this meaning-based stage, students communicate with any language they can. Example: the teacher presents and illustrates the communicative purpose of a new structure 'If I were you...' for advice. Then learners use prompts to complete sentences with the correct forms of the verbs. They practise by giving each other advice.
TBL
An approach to language learning where learners are given interactive tasks to complete. In order to do this, they need to communicate. Once the task is complete, then the teacher discusses the language used. Example: the learners plan an itinerary for a guest who is coming to stay with their teacher. They research places to visit and timetables. They prepare a written schedule and a short guide. Once the task is completed, they discuss some of the language that has been important with the teacher. Tasks can provide an organisational structure for a teacher who believes in the Communicative Approach.
locutionary act
In speech-act theory, this is the act of making a meaningful utterance. The term was introduced by British philosopher John L. Austin in How to Do Things With Words (1962). American philosopher John Searle has replaced Austin's concept with what Searle calls the propositional act--i.e., the act of expressing a proposition.
illocutionary act
In speech-act theory, this is the way in which a sentence is used to express an attitude with a certain function or "force". For example, if a speaker says, 'I'll be there' and it is unclear whether it is a promise that has been made the speaker can make it explicit by saying 'I promise that I'll be there'". We can use sentences to "warn, congratulate, complain, predict, command, apologize, inquire, explain, describe, request, bet, marry, and adjourn. For some scholars, the term is virtually synonymous with speech act.
perlocutionary act
In speech-act theory, this is an action or state of mind brought about by, or as a consequence of, saying something. Kempson offers this summary of the three interrelated speech acts originally presented by John L. Austin in How to Do Things With Words (1962): "a speaker utters sentences with a particular meaning, and with a particular force, in order to achieve a certain effect on the hearer." For example, someone shouts 'fire' and by that act cause people to exit a building which they believe to be on fire.
speech act theory
A speech act in linguistics and the philosophy of language is an utterance that has performative function in language and communication. Kent Bach: "Almost any speech act is really the performance of several acts at once, distinguished by different aspects of the speaker's intention: there is the act of saying something, what one does in saying it, such as requesting or promising, and how one is trying to affect one's audience." The term goes back to J. L. Austin's development of performative utterances. Speech acts include such acts as promising, ordering, greeting, warning, inviting and congratulating.