Social semiotic approaches to pedagogic discourse by yurtgc548


									Social semiotic approaches to
    pedagogic discourse

          Kristina Love
    The University of Melbourne
• A brief history of classroom discourse
• Transcription and analysis as theory
• The theory of social semiotics
• Social semiotics and the institution of
  schooling: the formation of social identities
• Social semiotics and the enacted curriculum:
  visible and invisible pedagogies
• Social semiotics and the enacted curriculum
  in cyberspace: transformation or
• Social semiotics and teacher stance:
       Classroom Discourse
      Analysis: a brief history
• Broadly interactionist (ie not linguistic)
• Flanders’s (1970) focus on teacher talk
   – Asking questions
   – Giving directions
   – Accepting feelings etc
• Barnes (1971): impact of patterns of teacher
  talk on student learning
   – Eg Teachers’ use of closed questions required
     one-word answers
   – Student learning through small group discussion
• But interpretations often idiosyncratic
                    Sample 1
• Teacher directed lesson
• Write your own
  transcript of this section
• What does the
  transcript tell/not tell
  about the interaction?
                    Sample 2
• Later in the same
• What are some of the
  patterns of language
  use here?
• How are they different
  to those identified in the
  earlier stage?
• How may the earlier
  discourse patterns have
  set up the learning
  evident here?
      Linguistic approaches
• An early ‘rank-scale’ model - Sinclair &
  Coulthard (1975)
  – Lesson
  – Transaction
  – Exchange (IRF/ IRE)
  – Move
  – Act
• Stubbs (1976, 1986)
T. Hey Dai. Just stop a minute. If he’s killed a white
   person what are they implying?
S. That if he’d killed a black person it’s not so bad.
T. It’s not so important. Who are they saying is
   probably more likely to be a killer?
S. A black person
T. A black person! So if you’re in the South and
   you’re a male and you’ve killed a white person and
   are black, you’re in trouble, big trouble. Thank
   you for reading Dai. Catherine, in your hugest
   voice, please.
            Workshop task
• Divide each turn into a ‘move’ (Initiating,
  Responding, Evaluating), including non-
  verbal moves.
• Identify the smaller functional units (‘acts’)
  within each move
• Discuss the value of the resulting description
• What else is required of a description of the
  – above the level of exchange
  – below the level of act?
        Above the exchange
• Ethnographic linguistics: Mehan (1979) and
  Cazden (1988)
• Concerned with the routines or ‘rules’ (mostly
  tacit) of classroom social organisation
  – Verbal behaviours
  – Physical dispositions
  – Patterns of movement and interaction
• Speech act theory: Gumperz & Hymes (1972)
  – Patterns of well defined classroom routines
  – eg greetings, storytelling
• But still the need for something more?
  – Veel transcript (1997)
T. What distance do you have to measure?
S. The distance.
T. Which distance?
S. The distance from the vertex.
T. Which vertex?
S. (pointing) That one.
T. Can you be more precise?
S. The top left vertex.
T. OK. So what do we measure?
S. The distance from the top left vertex.
T. Good. To where?
S. The outside of the other shape.
T. I’m not sure what you mean. Where on the other shape?
S. The bottom left hand corner.
T. OK. And what do we call that shape?
S. The object.
T. OK. So the line’s going to …
S. The bottom left vertex of the object.
T. OK. Put that all together and tell me what you’re
 measuring, what distance?
S. The distance from the top left vertex of the image
to the bottom left vertex of the object.
             Below the ‘act’
• Ethnomethodology: Scheggloff (1972, 1982),
  Sacks (1992), Jefferson (1973)
• Studies ‘human sociality’ at the micro-level
  of individuals interacting with other, rather
  than starting from a model of ‘an external
  social reality consisting of a set of fixed
  norms, beliefs and values’ (Gardner, 2000).
• The ‘object’ of the enquiry is specifically talk,
  viewed as jointly accomplished activity
• Talk emerges moment by moment in highly
  locally organised ways, with speakers and
  listeners showing split second sensitivities to
  others’ contributions
  CA analytical techniques and focus
• Turn-Taking
  –   Transitional relevance points
  –   Overlaps
  –   Latching
  –   Pauses (measured in micro-seconds)
  –   Minimal feedback/Back-channel responses
• Adjacency pairs
  –   Expansions via ‘insertion sequences’
  –   Preferred and dis-preferred responses
  –   Preliminaries
• Repairs
  – particular types of adjacency pair dealing with troubles
    of hearing, production or understanding of talk
               Some titles
• Scheggloff, E. (1982) Discourse as an
  interactional achievement: some uses of ‘uh
  hu’ and other things that come between
• Scheggloff, E. (1980) Preliminaries to
  preliminaries: can I ask you a question?
• Gardner, R. (2000) Resources for Delicate
  Manoeuvres: learning to disagree (see
  transcript conventions in appendices)
          CA and pedagogy
• Olympic swim race transcript
  – Note how the talk is co-constructed, moment by
    moment in highly locally organised ways, with
    speakers showing split second sensitivities to
    others’ contributions
  – Identify these unique accomplishments in each
    situation, rather than bringing beliefs about the
    local and institutional contexts to the analysis
• Conversation analysis and language
  teaching: minimal feedback tokens (see
  article by Rod Gardner and transcript p33)
    CA transcription and analysis as
• The search for order in talk, which is achieved as one of
  the most important rule-governed activities of everyday
• A highly empirical approach to analysis, ie analyst uses no
  assumptions or pre-conceptions (eg about institutional
  roles, gender, etc)
• Nothing is dismissed as disorderly, accidental or trivial
• The analyst becomes highly familiar with the text of the
  talk before transcribing in microscopic detail
• Context refers only to the immediate preceding and
  subsequent talk, not to the wider social context (either of
  situation or culture).
           Social semiotics
• Social practices, like CA, seen as enacted in
• But so too is the construction of various
  ideological positionings ie language is never
  neutral, serving to both realize, and silence, a
  range of values
• Schools in particular work with and construct
  ideological positionings for their ‘pedagogic
  subjects’ (Bernstein, 1996)
  The early school pedagogic
• What is the ‘ideal
  pedagogic subject’
  under construction
• What verbal routines
  support this classroom
  social organisation?
• What physical
  dispositions (including
  location and movement)
  support this classroom
  social organisation?
 Systemic Functional Theory
• Halliday, Hasan, Matthiessen, Martin
• Distinctive in at least 3 ways
• The metafunctional organisation of
• Language as system
• The relationship between text and
             The metafunctional
          organisation of language
   Experiential             Interpersonal                  Textual
Language for             Language for enacting      Language for
construing experience                               constructing text

Experience is            Language is used for       Language is organised
represented in terms of interacting with others,    according to what will
happenings, participants involving meanings         be understood as
                         about participants’        meaningful texts in
and circumstances
                         roles, relationships and   distinctive contexts.

   Transitivity              Mood, Modality,              Theme,
                             Conversational              Reference,
     Language as a system
• At the lexical level
  – eg ‘My [progeny] is at home’
• Entry conditions
• Sets of possible options
• Realizations
Specify sex
                    Son, boy

Don’t specify sex
                        Child, brat, darling

  Lexical choice, specifying sex


neutral attitude

                              Child, son

Lexical choice, specifying attitude
       At the syntactic level
• Eg ‘Close the door’
• Entry conditions - Mood
• Sets of possible options - indicative
  (declarative or interrogative),
  imperative. If interrogative - wh or polar
• Realizations
           Language as

• Experiential, Interpersonal and Textual
  choices in one context of situation
• BUILT Unit 1A - cooking
• Field: Transitivity, specialised lexis
• Tenor: Mood and Modality
• Mode: Theme, Reference and Ellipsis
      Text, context and genre
•   Spoken and written text
•   Context of situation (Malinowski)
•   Context of culture
•   Genres as ‘staged, goal-driven social
    activity’ (Martin & Christie, 1987)
   Curriculum genres in early
• Morning News Genre
• Initiation^[Nomination^(Greeting)^News
• Teacher direction -> Student Activity ->
  Teacher direction
• Christie’s texts 2.1 page 38
    Curriculum Macro-genres
• Curriculum Genres and
  macro-genres are
  ‘staged, goal-driven
  activities devoted to the
  accomplishment of
  significant educational
  ends … they are
  fundamentally involved
  in the organisation of
  the discourses of
  schooling’ (Christie,
 The curriculum initiation of a
      macrogenre in Art
• The goal-setting
• Compare with the
  language of the prior
  initiating stage
  whose purpose is to
  engage students
 Curriculum development: the
       exploration stage
• Student oral
  language related to
  their roles as
• Teacher oral
  language for ‘point
  of need’ scaffolding
  and formulating
• Focus on internal
  and external
1. T. Alright, are you going to be able to actually make it?
2. S. No, we were stuck while we were doing the front one. Because, we couldn’t pull it up.
3. T. Okay, right, good.
4. S. Look, we have this behind here and then we go ‘Woo …!!’.
5. T. Alright, good. Okay, now, you need to describe … in words … on your paper how that actually works.
6. S. Well, when you pull that up, that’s connected to that and it comes up.
7. T. James, are you listening so that you can write down what they’re saying?
8. S. Yeah
9. S. Well, they’re joined together ... it was pull the top James … you don’t pull the bottom, the top.
10. T. Have you all agreed on the way it works?
11. S. Yeah, when you pull this and it comes up …
12. S. … this is attached …
13. S. … and in the middle of the tower, it’s joined behind, there’s a bit of paper so when you pull that it comes
      up and then it goes ‘Waa… !’
14. T. Alright, just read me what you’ve got.
15. S. Um, when you pull the top, top object it pulls the bottom object upwards because it’s attached behind the
16. T. Would somebody who just walked into this room, if they read that, would that actually help them to …
      would they know what you’re talking about?
17. S. No.
18. S. If they pull the fox up the ladder …
19. S. How about if you say behind the tower, they’re joined by …
20. T. Okay, that’s probably an important thing isn’t it? … that it’s a tower?
      Curriculum Closure: the
        presentation stage
• Students’ more
  confident use of
  technical terminology
• Students’ language less
  dependent on the
• ie more ‘written-like’ in
  its use of ‘internal
  reference’ and complete
  sentences (cf Veel)
      ‘Field’ in the senior Art
• Note the increased
  technicality and
  abstraction used in
  this Year 12 Visual
            Identifying abstraction
1. T. Solution to what?
2. S. To the problem being given.
3. T. Problem, solution. Somewhere in between here, this sort of stuff might
    happen (pointing to words on board - 'ideas', 'drawing with a specific
    purpose'). It might happen here. Or it might happen here. If we go along a
    continuum. Although it's rarely like that. We're not just talking about things
    are we? Anyone? I mean, you can't just go out and buy a dozen ideas.
4. S. It's a process.
5. Yep, a process (writes this on board). Alright, it's really, really important to get
    hold of that idea. We're not talking about a thing, we're talking about a
    process. So if we're going to talk about what designers do, we're not talking so
    much about a product. We're talking about a process. And that sheet that I
    gave you, there's various sorts of titles, like Art Designer, Graphic Designer,
    Fashion Designer, Interior Designer, Furniture Designer.
  Register in upper secondary
• Field: increased language demands
   – technical language (eg ‘continuum’)
   – abstraction (eg ‘product’ and ‘process’)
   – nominalisation (eg ‘design problem’)
• Tenor: a different ‘authoritative relationship
   – Contact
   – Distance
   – Affect
• Mode
   – Use of more ‘written-like’ spoken language
   – modes ‘ancilliary’ to the spoken
   Methodology and SFL theory of
      human social behaviour
• Genre makes explicit the relationship
  between language and context
• Genre provides a principled basis for making
  selections of classroom text for analysis and
• Commitment to collect and analyse the
  ‘whole’ text, not just ‘mine the data’
• Allows examination of how the whole genre
  unfolds ‘logogenetically’
• And allows principled comparisons between
  curriculum genres, including those across
  year levels
    Methodological Principles:
     Selection of ‘episodes’
• Located in the
  development stage of a
  Health and Physical
  education curriculum
• Focus on the nature of
  teacher scaffolding in a
  multimodal context
         Other Curriculum
• Upper Secondary English
• Whole Class Text Response Discussions
• Foundational reading^Developing
  Response^Consolidatin Response
• David and Susan: visible and invisible
T.        Okay, okay. Dai, now youÕreon your own ha ha, because PeterÕsnot here today, ha ha ha. Does the
Camus one change your view of capital punishment? You and Peter were              the only ones [[who supported
capitalpunishment]]. Does the Camus one change your              view?
Dai. A bit.
T.        A bit. Okay what aspects of it?
Dai. What happens to the body.
T         Did you not know that?
Dai. Yep.
T         But you still voted with, alongwith Peter, in favour of capital punishment? Because       thatÕ fairly
disgus ting [[chopping someoneÕ head off]].
Dai It wouldnÕt like that with electrocution.
T         Hm. But then, what do you imagine electrocution is like?
Dai. Fast
T         You justswitch it like that, Sir.
T         One switch and heÕ go away, thatÕs[[what you imagine]].
Dai They donÕt us.     tell
T         They donÕttell us.
        Fou n dati on al                         De ve l opi n g                        C on s ol idatin g
                                  ^               Re spon s e
                                                                           ^               Re spon s e
          Re adi n g
                                  X                                        +

                                            Textual Metafunction

Organisationally overt                    Less organisat ionally overt                 Organisationally overt
t eacher direct ion of t he               t eacher direct ion of t he pacing           t eacher direct ion of t he
pacing and sequencing of                  and sequencing of t alk. Limit ed            pacing and sequencing of
t alk towards t he                        st udent -determined direct ion              t alk towards t he
construct ion of a shared                 t owards t he art iculat ion of a            construct ion of a shared
reading posit ion.                        range of moral posit ions.                   moral posit ion.

                                           Experiential Metafunction

                                           • Ext ra-text ual focus on                  • Int ra-, Inter-, and
• Int ra-text ual focus on                 class text .                                extra-t ext ual focus on
class text .                               •Explicit scaffolding of                    class text .
•Explicit scaffolding of                   'higher-level' skills of                    • Less explicit
'low-level'                                Inferencing and                             scaffolding of bot h
comprehension skills.                      argument at ion.                            lower and higher level
• Implicit scaffolding of                  • Implicit and explicit                     lit erate skills.
convergent moral                           scaffolding of bot h                        • Explicit scaffolding
st ances.
                                           convergent and divergent                    of convergent moral
                                           moral stances.                              st ances.

                                          Interpersonal Metafunction

• T eacher, as ideal                      • St udents, as emotive responders          • T eacher, as P rimary
reader, explicit ly in role               and arguers, ambiguously cast in            Knower, explicitly
as P rimary Knower,                       role as P rimary Knowers.                   scaffolding convergent
scaffolding ' basic'                      •T eacher explicitly cast in role as        moral stances.
lit erate skills.                         P rimary Knower of 'higher-level'           • St udents as Primary
• T eacher, as ideal                      skills of inferencing and                   Knowers assumed to
reader, implicit ly in role               argument at ion.                            share the t eacher's
as P rimary Knower,                       • T eacher implicit ly in role as           moral values.
scaffolding moral st ances.               P rimary Knower, scaffolding
                                          convergent moral st ances.

Fi gu re 2 Th e con tri bu ti on of e ach of th e thre e m e tafu n cti on s to th e l ogoge n e si s of Davi d's W C TRD ge nre .
       Online discussions
• Social semiotics and the enacted
  curriculum in cyberspace:
  transformation or reproduction?
• Lunchtime presentation
 Social semiotics and teacher
• Using APPRAISAL to track the
  evaluative stances in teachers’
  ‘planning’ discourse
• Love & Arkoudis, 2006 ‘

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