Analysing Discourse 2023-24
School Of Arts, Culture And Language
Module - Semester 2
The aim of this module is to enable students to analyse discourse systematically and apply insights to language education contexts. We will use a famous framework that is refreshingly different from traditional grammar: Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG), which was created by M.A.K. Halliday specifically to look at the functions of language, rather than just the different forms and structures. Using the basic mechanisms of SFG to identify how functions are expressed through English lexicon and grammar, we will see how linguistic features work to establish relations between speakers, talk about different topics, develop themes, and build up a register. Throughout the module we will analyse instances of discourse, exploiting theory to gain insights about the meaning and significance of specific linguistic choices for the discourse area they appear in, and discussing implications for English language education. The methods for analysing discourse taught in this module are useful for several year 3 modules as well as offering an excellent basis for undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations.
Whilst lectures will provide the theoretical and conceptual foundations of SFG and SFG based discourse analysis, the workshops will be used for discussion and exercises as appropriate for each week's topic.
- Introduction: SFG and its purposes
- SFG theory: The notion of ‘clause’ and its functions
- SFG theory: Clause as exchange – the interpersonal function
- SFG theory: Clause as representation – the ideational function
- SFG theory: Clause as message – the textual function
- SFG theory: Above and below the clause
- SFG theory: Around the clause – cohesion and coherence
- Analysing cohesion in discourse: Identification
- Working with discourse: Appraisal
- Discourse analysis using SFG
- Functions of Discourse (a review): Relevance for educational contexts
-threshold -D: The answers need to be relevant to the tasks given. The answers must show basic understanding of Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG) tools and principles. The student must show evidence of being able to apply the tools and principles to the analysis of language and linguistic examples and/or data. The answers must show evidence of some background study.
-good -B: The answers must be focussed and structured. The answers must show a better-than-average standard of knowledge and understanding of SFG tools and principles. The linguistic analyses given in the assessments must be adequate to the task area, systematic, and well-motivated. The answers must show evidence of background study including primary sources.
-excellent -A: The answers must be highly focused and well-structured. The answers must show knowledge and understanding in SFG methodology and theory, beyond the basic textbooks. The answers must show original interpretation, new links between analysis issues, and/or a new approach to a problem. The answers must show evidence of extensive background study using primary sources.
- Students will be able to relate theory and analysis towards the interpretation of discourse for purposes of language education as well as research.
- Students will be able to use Systemic Functional Grammar tools to analyse instances of discourse.
- Students will have a basic understanding of the implications of specific linguistic choices in different genres and areas of discourse.
- Students will have a good understanding of the network of options that a language provides.
- Students will understand the basic mechanisms and purposes of Systemic Functional Grammar.
- Students will understand the value of understanding systematic features of English lexicogrammar for English language education.
Blackboard based exam