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Social semiotic approaches to pedagogic discourse


Schools in particular work with and construct ideological positionings for their ... nominalisation (eg design problem') Tenor: a different authoritative relationship ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Social semiotic approaches to pedagogic discourse

Social semiotic approaches to pedagogic discourse
  • Workshop
  • Kristina Love
  • The University of Melbourne

  • A brief history of classroom discourse analysis
  • 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 reproduction?
  • Social semiotics and teacher stance APPRAISAL

Classroom Discourse Analysis a brief history
  • Broadly interactionist (ie not linguistic)
  • Flanderss (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 section
  • Write your own transcript of this section
  • What does the transcript tell/not tell about the

Sample 2
  • Later in the same lesson
  • What are some of the patterns of language use
  • 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 hes killed a
    white person what are they implying?
  • S. That if hed killed a black person its not so
  • T. Its 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 youre in the South and
    youre a male and youve killed a white person
    and are black, youre 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
  • 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
  • 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. Im
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 lines going to S. The bottom left
vertex of the object. T. OK. Put that all
together and tell me what youre 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

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 sentences
  • 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 theory
  • The search for order in talk, which is achieved
    as one of the most important rule-governed
    activities of everyday life.
  • 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
  • The analyst becomes highly familiar with the text
    of the talk before transcribing in microscopic
  • 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 subject
  • What is the ideal pedagogic subject under
    construction here?
  • What verbal routines support this classroom
    social organisation?
  • What physical dispositions (including location
    and movement) support this classroom social

Systemic Functional Theory
  • Halliday, Hasan, Matthiessen, Martin
  • Distinctive in at least 3 ways
  • The metafunctional organisation of language
  • Language as system
  • The relationship between text and context

The metafunctional organisation of language
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
Dont specify sex
Child, brat, darling
Lexical choice, specifying sex
Specify attitude
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 polysystemicRegister
  • 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 primary
  • Morning News Genre
  • InitiationNomination(Greeting)News
  • Teacher direction -gt Student Activity -gt Teacher
  • Christies 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, 2002)

The curriculum initiation of a macrogenre in Art
  • The goal-setting stage
  • 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 reference

  • 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 couldnt 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, thats
    connected to that and it comes up.
  • 7. T. James, are you listening so that you can
    write down what theyre saying?
  • 8. S. Yeah
  • 9. S. Well, theyre joined together ... it was
    pull the top James you dont 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, its
    joined behind, theres a bit of paper so when
    you pull that it comes up and then it goes Waa
  • 14. T. Alright, just read me what youve got.
  • 15. S. Um, when you pull the top, top object it
    pulls the bottom object upwards because its
    attached behind the thing.
  • 16. T. Would somebody who just walked into this
    room, if they read that, would that actually help
    them to would they know what youre talking
  • 17. S. No.
  • 18. S. If they pull the fox up the ladder
  • 19. S. How about if you say behind the tower,
    theyre joined by

Curriculum Closure the presentation stage
  • Note
  • Students more confident use of technical
  • Students language less dependent on the context
  • ie more written-like in its use of internal
    reference and complete sentences (cf Veel)

Field in the senior Art classroom
  • Note the increased technicality and abstraction
    used in this Year 12 Visual Communication

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
  • 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
  • And allows principled comparisons between
    curriculum genres, including those across year

Methodological Principles Selection of episodes
  • Located in the Curriculum development stage of a
    Health and Physical education curriculum
  • Focus on the nature of teacher scaffolding in a
    multimodal context

Other Curriculum Macrogenres
  • Upper Secondary English
  • Whole Class Text Response Discussions
  • Foundational readingDeveloping
    ResponseConsolidatin Response
  • David and Susan visible and invisible pedagogies

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Online discussions
  • Social semiotics and the enacted curriculum in
    cyberspace transformation or reproduction?
  • Lunchtime presentation

Social semiotics and teacher stance
  • Using APPRAISAL to track the evaluative stances
    in teachers planning discourse
  • Love Arkoudis, 2006