summary BEYOND THE SENTENCE chapter 2- 6
Chapter 2 What makes a text?
The main characteristics of a text are: self-contained, well-formed, hang together, make sense, have a clear communicative purpose, recognizable text types and apprpriate for their conetexts of use. A text could be grammatically correct , but they have no meaning at all. For instance: we may say “the book killed him”. This is correct from a grammatical point of view. However, it does not make a “real or possible” sense. Accuracy is another main characteristic which is not present in every text. Despite this, readers might catch the meaning anyway. A text , to be a text needs a CONTEXT because the meaning may varies according to the situation; according to the context. It also needs COHERENCE: its cohesive devices are: lexical, grammatical and rhetorical cohesion ; and it needs a COMMUNICATIVE PURPOSE.
Language has different meta functions: Linguistic function or textual, ideational and interpersonal. The three of them should be the focus of a systemic functional analysis.
Reference is the way that certain elements refer to other elements: ouside elements- exophoric- and inside elements -endophoric-. Refence is achieved thorough pronouns which combined with articles are used to refer backwards, fordwards, and outwards. But we may be more general by using certain nouns, this process is called NOMINALIZATION. Nouns that used to nominalize actions and events include words such as situation, process and a way; to refer to an idea we may use theory, viewpoint.
CONJUNCTIONS are important as well. They can express different categories of logical relation inside the text, and they are addition, contrast, casual and temporal.
Chapter 6 Classroom text.
Language teaching texts needs to be intelligible and a simplification through omission and replacement with synonyms of words, should be recquired in terms of syntaxs and vocabulary in order to help studentsto get the meaning, to make the text comprehensible; in other words, easier to undertand and learnable. However, simplifying a text can turn the pros into a drawback since it might not be as communicative as it should be. So, courstext books should be as authentic as possible and should provide intrinsec motivation for learner to want to read or listen to and to enhance students with a wide variety of language input.
Teachers usually choose the simplest authentic texts or use a strategy of using Semi- Authentic texts which replicated features of authentic texts, that had been simplified linguistically by eliminating the “difficult” conditional structures. The good advice is to GRADE THE TASK rather than texts , which ought to be authentic as well: authentic texts sucha as a role play.
The usefull strategies to cope with the authentic texts are: predicition, skimming, scanning, recognition and selection. Otherwise, those trategies are critisized since they may be contraproductive , since succesfull readinginvolves a much greater degree of engagement with the text than such an approach allows.
There are three reasons to for including texts in coursebooks: a linguistic purpose , skill development and text as stimulus . There are, on the one hand, text adaptation strategies such as shortening, segmenting, simplifying, co-textualizing and glossing. On the other hand, there are task- design trategies. They are: preteaching , brainstorming, predicting, initial skimming, while reading and listening tasks.
Lerners should be exposed to texts designed to display pre.selected language, TEXT AS LINGUISTIC OBJECT- TALO and they should learnto cope with TEXTS AS VEHICLES OF INFORMATION- TAVI as well. So both pusposes ought to be combined for succesfull learning.
Text based- syllabuses suggests to focus on the text itself rather than grammar items. Text must be select and analysed for the characteristics languages feachures and according to them , the task may be designed. The text selection has to bare in mind three criterions: frecquency, usefulness and difficulty.
An example of a lesson: warm up, schema activation, text: first contact; response to text; closer reading, reconstraction, language focus: articles, verb patterns, writing, listening and speaking.
Thornbury, Scoth(2005). Beyond the sentence. Introducting discourse analysis. UK, Mc Millan education. Chapters 2 to 7