Discourse analysis models for second language teaching
The categories of the functional-notional syllabus are inadequate because, like the speech act theory on which they are based, they recognize only the social function of language and not its discourse function. A further difficulty is that illocutionary acts do not map onto single utterances as this approach to syllabus design appears to assume. Communicative acts in interactional discourse function both as illocutionary acts (they have an intentional effect on another participant) and as interactional acts (they have a role in structuring the discourse of the interaction). This paper discusses attempts by various discourse analysts to model this fact in three different ways: (1) to conflate both types of function into a single analysis (John Dore), (2) to code all utterances for both types of function keeping the two sets of analysis separate (Willis Edmonson) and (3) to code the two types of function in a manner which relates them to each other in a systematic manner (Gordon Wells, Jim Martin). Problems with each solution are discussed, but the need for language materials writers to take a broader view of language function is stressed.
Published online: 01 January 1987
Sacks, H., E.A. Schegloff and G. Jefferson