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Discourse analysis as an approach to intercultural competence in the Advanced EFL classroom

 

Author - Dr Sue Norton


 


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Abstract

In 1991 Michael McCarthy wrote in his Preface to Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers that discourse analysis is ‘not a method of teaching languages; it is a way of describing and understanding how language is used’ (McCarthy 1991: 2). By 1994 he had reformulated his position and, with Ronald Carter, published Language as Discourse: Perspectives for Language Teaching, which argued in favour of providing students with a metalanguage by which to analyse the language they were learning. These days, owing to the work of McCarthy, Carter, and others, the basics of discourse analysis can indeed comprise an appropriate subject matter for the advanced English learner, especially in a multicultural setting. This paper outlines one way in which discourse analysis can not only give Advanced EFL [1] learners the opportunity to sharpen their critical thinking skills, but to simultaneously examine the cultural assumptions embedded in both their target and native languages.


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