ERIC Number: ED344213
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
"Who Is My Audience?": Speech-Act Theory and the Composition Classroom.
Darling, Gregory J.
Students may forget that writing involves a relationship between writer and audience--a relationship foregrounded by speech-act theory. The writer should focus on what the audience is to be led to see about the subject. To be distinguished are "locution" (saying something), "illocution" (performance of an act in saying something, as in interrogation or the declaration of a verdict), and "perlocution" (the achievement of certain effects by saying something). A composition teacher may address such ideas by encouraging student writers to ask: (1) Who is my audience?; (2) What am I saying?; (3) Why am I saying it?; and (4) How am I affecting my audience, the reader? Experience in the college composition classroom illustrates that peer review and teacher comments help students grow more sensitive to the need to communicate with an audience and to anticipate its responses. Furthermore, assigning students to write letters about issues of concern to them sharpens the student writers' audience awareness. By keeping questions about the reading audience and the purposes for writing in mind, students realize the practical implications of speech act theory. (SG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Purpose (Composition); Speaking Writing Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (43rd, Cincinnati, OH, March 19-21, 1992).