Discourse analysis and the project of english language learning

Lukmani, Yasmeen (2015) Discourse analysis and the project of english language learning. Language and Language Teaching, 4 (1). pp. 58-62. ISSN 2277-307X

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Let us begin by asking a basic question: What do you mean by saying, ‘I know French’? Do you mean that you can pass an exam in French? Or, do you mean you can carry on a conversation in French? In other words, does knowledge of a language mean to you a focus on the production of correct sentences as such? Or, does it mean, the ability to communicate with reasonable fluency and intelligibility in speech and in writing? In practice, what you are likely to mean, for example, is whether you can ask your way to a railway station in Paris in French. However, most tests of French are likely to measure you on the ability to produce sentences involving certain verb forms or the agreement between the sentential subject and object or other features of grammar that are perceived as crucial to correct production. These tests are inevitably in the form of isolated, fully formed sentences which are not part of a context, whether in speech or writing. High scores on such tests will not ensure that you can make the jump to ask your way to a railway station or understand the answer to that question, when conversing with a monolingual French speaker in Paris. This approach to testing, with its basis in a similar approach to teaching, can lead to a mismatch between the certificate of proficiency you might have received and the ability to communicate in real life contexts.

Item Type: Articles in APF Magazines
Authors: Lukmani, Yasmeen
Document Language:
Uncontrolled Keywords: communicate with reasonable fluency, study of Linguistics, The english language, sociolinguistics
Subjects: Language
Divisions: Azim Premji University > University Publications > Language and Language Teaching
Full Text Status: Public
URI: http://publications.azimpremjifoundation.org/id/eprint/473
Publisher URL: http://apfstatic.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-...

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