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ERIC Number: ED162300
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
The Psychology of Language and the Teaching of English.
de Beaugrande, Robert
The difficulty of obtaining usable information about the mental processes involved in the use of language has been a major obstacle in the design of effective writing programs. The antipsychological, behavioristic bias of American linguistics, which prevented any study of the deeper mental processes of language production, was remediated in part by the evolution of transformational grammar, although the preoccupation was still with syntactic formation rather than with thoughts and their expression. Recent investigations in psychological research have been more promising with regard to their applicability to teaching language skills. (1) Syntax plays a limited role in the processing of language, being applied late in text production and soon forgotten in text comprehension. (2) Grammatical decisions in the formation of a single sentence cannot be made without knowledge of the overall flow of the text. (3) The concept of "frame" is now being used to classify the shared knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes prerequisite to communication; into this field the individual introduces nonexpected material in the form of news or opinion. (4) Effective writing proceeds when the writer achieves the optimum balance between what the reader already knows and what he or she is now being told. (5) Finally, good writing is not inventive, but recombinational. (DS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (30th, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 4-7, 1979)