ERIC Number: ED244522
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Analysis of Discourse in a TESL Practicum Class.
A pilot study of discourse in a practicum reading class for instruction in English as a second language examines miscommunication between non-native English speakers. Teachers and their students read transcripts of episodes from classroom discussions and wrote line-by-line analyses of what they understood was being said. Similarities and differences in interlocutors' interpretations of one episode indicate that miscommunication occurred in 23 percent of the instances of coherent interactive discourse. The apparent coherence of the discourse even seemed to increase miscommunication because interlocutors assumed that they understood each other and did not attempt alternative ways to comunicate or interpret verbal messages. Although spoken utterances were relevant to the topic of discourse, specific linguistic cues for comprehension were often lacking. For example, lack of elaboration and paraphrase in the teacher's explanation of the sociocultural connotation of a word resulted in the misunderstanding of students who seemed to equate this word with a similar expression and its implications according to their own culturally determined knowledge. This study provides insight into cultural effects on the perception of verbal messages, sociocultural inferences in conversation, communication strategy in interactive discourse, and linguistic and extralinguistic contexts of utterances. (Author/MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (18th, Houston, TX, March 6-11, 1984).