Beyond mere communication

Elaine Ridge

Abstract


This article argues that language teaching must involve the systematic development ofdiscourses which will empower learners to use language effectively in particular situations.At present many language teachers concerned with teaching English as a second language(now generally referred to as English as an additional language in South Africa) operatewithin a communicative teaching paradigm and tend to be concerned chiefly with creatingopportunities for enjoyable interaction. It is also significant that textbooks written forteachers in training and textbooks for learners within the outcomes-based approach adoptedin South Africa have been more concerned with procedures than with the development ofdiscourse. Illustrations from observed classroom practice or .from textbooks are used tosupport these observations. This article argues that teachers have a responsibility forsystematic development both of concepts (those which relate specifically to the area oflanguage, as well as those which are mediated through language) and discourses so they canbecome strategic tools. In sum, in order for learners to be empowered to use language in thecomplex ways necessary for successful participation in a variety of contexts, they need togain an understanding of what particular social contexts require and to be able to select andproduce the appropriate social languages or discourses necessary.

Die skrywer van hierdie artikel voer aan dat taalonderrig die sistematiese ontwikkeling van diskoerse moet insluit ten einde leerders in staat te stel om taal ef/ektief in spesifieke situasies te gebruik Tans werk baie taalonderwysers wat Engels as tweede taal (tans algemeen bekend as Engels as addisionele taal in Suid-Afrika) onderrig, binne 'n kommunikatiewe onderrigparadigma en is meestal gemoeid met die skep van geleenthede vir genotvolle interaksie. Dit is ook opvallend dat handboeke wat geskrYf is vir die opleiding van . onderwysers en die geskryf vir leerders binne die uitkomsgebaseerde benadering wat in Suid- Afrika aangeneem is, meer aandag gee aan prosedures as aan die ontwikkeling van diskoers. Dit word geillustreer deur waarnemings wat gemaak is binne die klaskamerpraktyk en vanuit handboeke. Die skrywer is van mening dat onderwysers verantwoordelik is vir die sistematiese ontwikkeling van konsepte (die wat spesifiek verwant is aan taal, asook die wat bemiddel word deur taal) asook diskoerse, sodat dit strategiese hulpmiddels kan word. Leerders moet dus verstaan wat sekere sosiale kontekste van hulle verg en moet in staat wees om die toepaslike sosiale taalgebruik of nodige diskoerse te kies en te hanteer. Dit sal leerders bemagtig om taal op komplekse maniere te gebruik ten einde suksesvol op te tree binne 'n verskeidenheid kontekste.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5785/16-2-139

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