Critical Discourse Analysis

Data analysis (Discourse and Language Teaching)

Data analysis project (4000 words) 65%

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Choose one topic from the list below. Your assignment should be no more than 4,000 words. Your assignment should cover background theory relevant to your topic, analysis of your data, discussion of your analysis in relation to previous research on your topic, and suggestions for teaching using your data. The teaching suggestions should include a description of the target learner group, the aim of the activity, and a sample of the material you would use in the activity, illustrating how you have used your data analysis to inform your teaching.

You should devote about one-quarter of your assignment to each of these areas.

1. Genre analysis

Collect a set of written texts (4-10) that you would like to teach. Identify:

the macro-genre
the micro-genres in the texts
the schematic stages of the macro-genre
the schematic structures of the micro-genres

Discuss your analysis in relation to background theory and classroom practice. Use these headings for your assignment:

Background theory
Description of the texts
Analysis of the texts
Discussion of the analysis
Classroom practice

You should look at 4-10 texts, depending on the length of the texts. If the texts are short, say 300-400 words each, then 8-10 texts are sufficient. If the texts are longer, say 1000 words texts, 4-5 texts are more appropriate. You must hand in copies of the texts you have analyzed for this assignment.

You need to show the schematic stages for each of your texts (in terms of the macro-genre – such as a letter to the editor, academic essay, etc) and the schematic structures of the micro-genres (such as recount, report, exposition, etc) for each of your texts, as per the handout given out in class. For examples of this kind of analysis see:

Watanabe, H. (2016). Genre analysis of writing tasks in Japanese university entrance examinations. Language Testing in Asia, 6,4, 1-14. (in electronic reserve)

Watanabe, H. (2017). An examination of written genres in English language textbooks in Japan. The Journal of Asia EFL, 14, 1, 64-80. (in electronic reserve)

Wang, W. (2007). The notions of genre and micro-genre in contrastive rhetorical research: Newspapers commentaries on the events of September 11th. University of Sydney Papers in TESOL, 2, 1, 83-117. (in electronic reserve)

Wang, W. (2004). A contrastive analysis of letters to the editor In Chinese and English. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 27, 2, 72-88. (in electronic reserve)

Useful references include:

Bawarshi, A. & M. J. Reiff, (2010). Genre: An introduction to the history, theory, research, and pedagogy. West Lafayette, IN Parlor Press.
Derewianka, B. (1991). Exploring how texts work. Sydney: Primary English Teaching Association.
Hyland, K. (2004). Genre and second language writing. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
Hyon, S. (2018). Introducing Genre and English for specific purposes. London: Routledge.
Martin, J.R. & Rose, D. (2008). Genre relations: Mapping culture. London: Equinox.
Paltridge, B. (2000). Making sense of discourse analysis. Gold Coast, Queensland: Antipodean Educational Enterprises
Paltridge, B. (2001). Genre and the language learning classroom. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press
Rose, D. (2012). Genre in the Sydney school. In J. P. Gee & M. Handford (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of discourse analysis (pp. 209-225). London: Routledge.
Rose, D. & Martin, J. R. (2012). Learning to write/reading to learn: Genre, knowledge, and pedagogy in the Sydney school. London: Equinox.
Woodward-Kron, R. (2005). The role of genre and embedded genres in tertiary students’ writing. Prospect 20, 3, 24-41.

See also Canvas for further readings

2. Multimodal discourse analysis

Collect examples of web pages from an Internet site that you regularly visit. Analyze the pages using Bateman’s (2008) Genre and Multimodality framework presented in Chapter 8 of Discourse analysis (Paltridge 2012). Or you can analyze a movie trailer using Maier’s (2011) framework, also in Chapter 8 of Discourse Analysis (Paltridge 2012). Look at Bezemer and Jewitt. (2010), Kress and van Leeuwen (2006), and Machin (2007) as further starting points for this assignment. Also Iedema (2001) and Baldry and Thibault (2005) for film genres. Discuss multimodal discourse analysis more broadly in the background section of your assignment as well as the specific framework you are using for your analysis.

Baldry, A., and Thibault, P. J. (2005), Multimodal transcription and text analysis. London: Equinox.
Bateman, J. A. (2008), Multimodality and genre: A foundation for the systematic analysis of multimodal documents. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Bezemer, J. & Jewitt, C. (2010). Multimodal analysis: Key issues. in L. Litosseliti (Ed.), Research methods in linguistics (pp. 180-197). London: Continuum.
Iedema, R. (2001). Analyzing film and television: A social semiotic account of Hospital: An Unhealthy Business. In T. van Leeuwen & C. Jewitt (Eds.), The handbook of visual analysis (pp. 183-204). Los Angeles: Sage.
Jewitt, C. (ed), (2014). The Routledge handbook of multimodal analysis. Second edition. London: Routledge.
Kress, G. & van Leeuwen, T. (2006). Reading images: The grammar of visual design. Second edition. London: Routledge.
Machin, D. (2007). Introduction to multimodal analysis. London: Bloomsbury.
Maier, C.D. (2009). Visual evaluation in film trailers. Visual Communication, 8, 2, 159-180.
Maier, C.D. (2011). Structure and function in the generic staging of film trailers. In R. Piazza, M. Bednarek & F. Rossi (Eds.), Telecinematic discourse: Approaches to the language of films and television series (pp. 141-158). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

See also Canvas for further readings

3. Discourse and digital media

Choose ONE of the following topics:
1.Read Page’s (2012) discussion of small stories in Facebook status updates in Chapter 4 of her book. Look for examples of these on Facebook pages and consider to what extent your observations compare with her comments on them.

2.Collect a set of tweets on Twitter that contain personal and business apologies. To what extent are apologies in personal and business threads similar to or different from each other? Compare your analysis of the observations made by Page (2014) on this.

3.Collect a set of YouTube comments and analyze them according to the Initiation, Response, and Follow Up framework discussed in this chapter. Compare your analysis with Benson’s (2016) analysis of YouTube comments in Chapter 6 of his book.

4.Collect a set of text messages and examine them for spelling variation. Group them into the categories shown in Table 10. 1 in this chapter. Read Tagg et al (2014) and discuss the extent to which the examples you found fit with their argument – or not.

Benson, P. (2016), The Discourse of YouTube: Multimodal Text in a Global Age. London: Routledge. Chapter 6. Producing YouTube texts.
Jones, R., Chick, A. & Hafner, C. A. (Eds.), (2015). Discourse and Digital Practices; Doing Discourse Analysis in the Digital Age. London: Routledge
Page, R. (2012), Stories and Social Media: Identities and Interaction. London: Routledge. Chapter 4. Storytelling styles in Facebook updates.
Page, R. (2014), ‘Saying ‘sorry’: Corporate apologies posted on Twitter’, Journal of Pragmatics, 62, 30-45.
Page, R., Barton, D., Unger, J. W. & Zappavigna, M. (2014). Researching Language and Social Media. London: Routledge.
Tagg, C., Baron, A. and Rayson, P. (2014), ‘ “I didn’t spell that wrong did i. Oops” Analysis and normalization of SMS spelling variation,’ Lingvisticae Investigationes, 35, 367–388.
Unger, J. (2020). Digitally mediated discourse analysis. In C. Hart (ed) Researching Discourse: A Practical Guide to (Critical) Discourse Analysis. London: Routledge.

See also Canvas for further readings

4. Critical discourse analysis

Choose an authentic text which you feel would be useful to examine from a critical perspective. Analyze it from the point of view of genre framing, foregrounding, backgrounding, agency, and presupposition. Link your analysis to a discussion of how you feel the text aims to ‘position’ its readers. How could you use this analysis in your language teaching? Read Huckin (1997) on critical discourse analysis to help with this as well as Paltridge (2000, 2012) and Lin (2014).

Huckin, T.N. (1997). Critical discourse analysis. In T. Miller (Ed.), Functional approaches to written text: Classroom applications (pp. 78-92). Washington, DC: United States Information Agency. (in electronic reserve)
Lin, A. (2014). Critical discourse analysis in applied linguistics: A methodological review. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 34, 213-232. (in electronic reserve)
Mahboob, A. & Paltridge, B. (2012). Critical discourse analysis and critical applied linguistics. In C. Chapelle (Ed.), The encyclopedia of applied linguistics. Oxford: Wiley- Blackwell. (in electronic reserve)
Paltridge, B. (2000). Making sense of discourse analysis. Gold Coast, Queensland: Antipodean Educational Enterprises. Chapter 8.
Paltridge, B. (2012). Discourse analysis. London: Bloomsbury. Chapter 9. Critical Discourse Analysis.

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