ERIC Number: ED232146
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Teaching the Placement of Given and New Information with Sentence Combining.
Houlette, Forrest; Ramsey, Paige A.
The Cooperative Principle posits four general ways in which a speaker is expected to be cooperative: (1) quantity--make a contribution no more and no less informative than is required; (2) quality--say only that which one both believes and has adequate evidence for; (3) relation--be relevant; and (4) manner--make a contribution easy to understand. Once teachers understand this principle, they can begin to discuss with their students why one sentence with its implicature is better than another sentence with its different implicature in a given context. First, however, students need to have an understanding of the placement of given and new information within a sentence. This implies an understanding of the "Given-New Contract." Under this contract, a discourse consists of sentences carefully tailored to achieve the speaker's desired effect on his or her listener. Students also need an understanding of the linguistic structures that alter the information within a given context. Teaching strategies are needed that can exercise their competence with the aim of improving their performance. Signalled and unsignalled sentence combining exercises can accomplish this goal. Signalled exercises require the students, by asking them to treat some information as given, to integrate the kernals into a context during production. Unsignalled exercises are designed to teach the linguistic markers that signal certain words or phrases as new or given. The assumption is that if the Cooperative Principle and the Given-New Contract are really a part of competence, these sentence combining exercises will affect their use. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Awareness; Linguistic Markers
Note: Expanded version of a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Council of Teachers of English (Ottawa, Ontario, May 1979).