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هام عاجل لكل طلبة E300b أرجو القراءة (إجابات نموذجية لأصعب الشباتر)


هذي إجابات نموذجية لأصعب الشباتر وايد مهم وبيفيد الكل إنشاء الله


FACULTY OF LANGUAGE STUDIES
E300 exam answer notes
9 June 2007, 6-9 p.m.




A
Question 1

There are various ways of looking at the topic of ethnography of communication. The following two questions approach it from different angles. Answer ONE of them (I or II) in essay form and in around 400 words.

I. Explain what is meant by an ethnography of communication. Outline Hymes’ fundamental notions of this theory.


In all of the essays required please give extra credit to learners who present a valid and well-organized discussion of the required topic, while sustaining a clear line of reasoning. Students who manifestجلي/ظاهر/بينt an ability to use specialized terminology in a scholarly fashion must also be rewarded together with those who show that they had consulted multiple and relevant sources.

Answer notes:

• Ethnographies of communication must not divide the communicative event or act by separating the message-form from the context of use. The ethnography of communication approaches language neither as abstracted form nor as an abstract correlate of a community, but as situated in the flux and pattern of communicative events.

Fundamental notions of this theory include:
• Ways of speaking: the relationships among speech events, acts, and styles, on the one hand, and personal abilities and roles, contexts and institutions, and beliefs, values and attitudes on the other.
• Fluent speaker: the aspect of ability that grammars are intended to model is presumably connected with fluency; the kind of person whose abilities are most closely approximated is presumably the fluent speaker. The difficulty for ethnographers is that persons differ in ability in life if not in grammars. Therefore, fluency means different profiles of ability in different communities.
• Speech community: a necessary primary concept that postulates the unit of de******ion as a social rather than linguistic entity. A speech community is defined as a community sharing knowledge of rules for the conduct and interpretation of speech.
• Speech situation: the layer of context corresponding to types of social activity that are recognizable and distinct.
• Speech event: activities or aspects of activities that are directly governed by rules or norms for the use of speech. An event may consist of a single speech act but will often comprise several.
• Speech act: the minimal term of the set just discussed, as the remarks on speech events have indicated. It represents a level distinct from the sentence and not identifiable with any single portion of other levels of grammar, or with segments of any particular size defined in terms of other levels of grammar.
• Components of speech
• Rules (relations) of speech: the local taxonomy of terms where a shift in any of the components of speaking may mark the presence of a rule e.g. from a normal tone of voice to whisper, from formal English to slang, etc.
• Functions of speech: stated in terms of relations among components e.g. a poetic function may require a certain relationship among choice of code, choice of topic and message form in a given period or society.

Students should be expected to explain the above components and layers of context in their own words, and be able to discuss the way they interact with each other.



II. In the article, “The problem of meaning in primitive languages,” Bronislaw Malinowski discusses the difficulties he faced in the course of his ethnographic re****** among Melanesian tribes in New Guinea.
Explain those fundamental difficulties and the way they relate to Malinowski’s view of language.




Answer notes:

• These difficulties were related to the fact that previous authors of extant grammars and vocabularies of Oceanic languages (mostly missionaries) who wrote for the practical purpose of facilitating the task for successors proceeded by rule of thumb whereby they gave the next-best approximation in English to a native word. Linguistic difficulties which beset the ethnographer included:
1. Scientific translation of a work does not involve giving its rough equivalent sufficient for practical purposes. Instead, translation should state exactly whether a native word corresponds to an idea at least partially existing for English speakers or whether it covers an entirely foreign concept. Words can only be translated into English not by giving their imaginary equivalent but by explaining the meaning of each of them through and exact ethnographic account of the sociology, culture and tradition of that native community.
2. Another difficulty is that the whole manner in which a native language is used is different from English. In a primitive tongue, for instance, the whole grammatical structure lacks the precision and definiteness of English while being extremely telling in certain ways. The ethnographer has to convey this deep yet subtle difference of language and of the mental attitude which lies behind it and is expressed through it.


• The general psychological problem of conveying meaning: In an attempt to give an adequate analysis of meaning, translation by simply inserting an English word for a native one should not be an option. Instead, there has to be a long and not very simple process of describing wide fields of ******, social psychology, and tribal organization which correspond to one term or another.
• The analysis of primitive linguistic text thus leads to the conclusion that language is rooted in the reality of the culture, tribal life, and ******s of the people, and it cannot be explained without constant reference to these broader contexts of verbal utterance.

• The fact that the study of any language, spoken by people living under conditions different from our own and possessing a different culture, must be carried out in conjunction with the study of their culture and of their environment highlights the intimate connection between linguistic interpretation and the analysis of the culture to which the language belongs.
• In turn, this shows that neither a word nor its meaning has an independent and self-sufficient existence. The ethnographic view of language proves the principle of Symbolic Relativity where words must be treated only as symbols and that a psychology of symbolic reference must serve as the basis for all science of language. It follows from this that the meaning of a word must always be gathered not from passive contemplation of this word but from an analysis of its functions with reference to the given culture.

• The points stated above related to problems of meaning have been associated with the definition of single words. Though ethnographic background is needed for a scientific treatment of language, it is by no means sufficient, and the problem of meaning needs a special theory of its own. Looking at language from an ethnographic perspective and using his own conception of context of situation, the writer gives an outline of a Semantic theory:
• Consideration of linguistic uses associated with practical pursuit shows that language in its primitive forms should be regarded and studied against the background of human activities and as a mode of human behaviour in practical matters.
• Consideration of linguistic uses associated with phatic communion (a type of speech in which ties of union are created by a mere exchange of words) reveals that this language does not function as a means of transmission of thought. Rather, it fulfils a social function by binding the listener to the speaker by a tie of some social sentiment.





Question 2هذا السؤال من شابتر8

What is the dominant theme of Sola and Bennett’s article “The struggle for voice: narrative, literacy, and consciousness in an East Harlem school”? Explore their findings against the background of language and literacy debates. Write an essay of around 400 words.

Answer notes

 Sola and Bennett observe that the rationale of their study is a ‘crisis’ reflected by a very serious statistic showing that 79.2% of Puerto Ricans drop out of New York schools.
 They describe the teaching of writing among Afro-American and Puerto Rican students in East Harlem, NY in relation to the quest for a “voice of their own”.
 They explore how a different approach by three teachers to students’ discourse elicits different modes of classroom participation.
 Here, the two co-authors note that, alongside sanctioned classroom activities, students’ discourse in the East Harlem school took the form of a playful ‘sub-rosa’: a type of covert discourse which could involve “nonverbal (winks, grimaces, stares, gestures, body postures and orientation) as well as verbal channels” (LLSP, p. 96)
 Sola and Bennett also evaluate the struggle in the classroom between the discourses of a fixed curriculum which runs contrary to the type of discourse found in the local community.
 They emphasize the importance of legitimizing community discourse practices as a means of assisting the students to meet their educational goals.
 There is conflict, they add, between the centripetal official school discourse and the centrifugal discourse of the local community. The former has an inward-looking and stagnant curriculum and learning objectives, while the latter is outward-looking, interactive and contemporaneous.
 In general, Sola and Bennett argue in favour of a new literacy theory based on changing the principles upon which approaches to teaching and learning literacy have been traditionally based.
 They are in favour of a more open concept of literacy which does not favour a certain dialect because it is the dialect of the ‘privileged’ sectors of the social strata.





Question 3 شابتر 10

What does Harvey Graff refer to by the “literacy myth” in his article “The legacies of literacy”? Discuss his outlook of literacy and note the components which he deems necessary for a more adequate definition of literacy. Write an essay of around 400 words.


Answer notes

 Graff refutes the belief that the acquisition of literacy has a generalized effect on socio-economic development, the social order and individuals’ lives.

 He sees the current literacy situation in the West as being based on a ‘myth’.

 However, he notes that literacy continued to develop throughout the Western history. A great part of his article is devoted to this development of Western literacy practices.

 Literacy, he said, became vital when technology was introduced to the West in the 19th century.

 One of the major tenets of his argument is that the definition of literacy must be made explicit so that it can be used comparatively over time and space.

 Literacy must be concerned with the human capacity to use a set of techniques for decoding and reproducing printed material, he adds.

 He also notes that literacy must be used in precise, historically specific material and cultural contexts.
 Moreover, Graff observes that uncontrolled literacy has been seen as “a threat to social order.” (LLSP, p. 127)
 His article provides a well-re******ed representation of literacy practices obtained from literacy sources (census, wills, deeds, inventories, depositions, etc.) in North America and Europe.

 He refers to the age of Reformation in Europe (in the 16th century AD) when literacy acquired a new meaning before the advent of technology.
 Because Sweden made reading compulsory in the 17th century, Graff stressed, “within a century, remarkably high levels of literacy among the population existed.” (LLSP, p.127)





Question 4 شابتر 12

How does Michael Stubbs view language planning in his article “Educational language planning in England and Wales: Mulicultural rhetoric and assimilationist assumptions”?
What is his main argument with regard to the results and recommendations of the various committees set up to address this issue?
Write an essay of around 400 words.

Answer notes

 The negative tone of this article towards the topic of language planning in England and Wales is immediately felt as soon as one starts to read the article: line 2 dubs the common attitude in Britain to the learning of other languages as one of ‘apathy’.
 In the next paragraph, Stubbs says: ”I will conclude , pessimistically, that the basic attitudes are unchanged and that there are major attempts to further strengthen the dominant position of standard English in Britain, rather than to attempt a balanced relationship between English and other languages.” (LLSP, p. 156)
 Having clearly outlined the direction in which the discussion will proceed in his article, Stubbs proceeds to outline the details which led to his gloomy outlook.
 He begins by maintaining that although government statements say much about providing opportunities for children to study a wider range of languages, much of this looks like “empty rhetoric”, when measured against the lack of resources and the absence of overall language planning.
 The notion of multicultural education in the UK is described by Stubbs as “depressingly vague and ambiguous.” (LLSP, p. 156)
 BNC (before the national curriculum of 1988), he notes, the literacy situation was better because educational authorities were free to implement independent policies regarding education.
 ANC (after the national curriculum), the power of drawing educational policies became centralized and thus less open to diversification.
 The author’s attitude towards the various government committees formed to draw up language teaching plans is very much the same.
 Commenting on the Swan Report (concerned with the education of minority groups’ children), Stubbs says the recommendations of this committee have hardly been put into effect.” (LLSP, p. 159)
 In a similar vein, Stubbs shrugs off the results reached by other committees. The Kingman report ( 1988) is described as “taking an authoritarian, national unity position, ethnocentric and nostalgic, with the covert function of strengthening and protecting English.” (LLSP, p. 160)
 The following major problems are reported by Stubbs as preventing improvement of language learning curricula: (LLSP, pp. 162-3)
- Failure of the national curriculum to provide for the study of more than one language.
- Lack of teaching resources.
- Acute teacher shortages.
- Inadequate funding, and
- Considerable drainage of resources.


Question 5 شابتر 13

With reference to Gauri Viswanathan’s article “The beginnings of English literary study in India under British rule”, explain how and why English literature came to be taught in India during Britain’s rule. Concentrate on the factors and institutions that influenced English literacy in that country. Write an essay of around 400 words.

Answer notes

 Viswanathan begins her article by putting forward the hypothesis that historically the humanistic purposes for the teaching of literature, in Britain as well as in the colonies, were also to do with the exercise of socio-political control. The aim of her study is noted at the beginning of the article (2nd paragraph) where she proposes to cast light on the “historical process by which literature was made serviceable to British political interests – a process, I may add, is replete with numerous ironies, contradictions, and anomalies.” (LLSP, p.173)
 She observes that English literature was introduced to India in 1813, when the Charter Act was issued in England renewing the East India Company’s (EIC) Charter to conduct commercial operations in India. A concomitant event was the relaxing of controls over missionary work in India.
 The reason given by the British Parliament for introducing English literary works was to ‘civilize the natives’.
 Viswanathan, however, notes that this was “far from being the central motivation.” (LLSP, p. 173) The real motivation, she claims, is to improve the native Indians’ welfare in compensation for the excesses of the EIC servants.
 The British Parliament, Viswanathan says, was dismayed at the growing power of the EIC in India. MPs wondered how a company could assume their political role.
 In the last quarter of the eighteenth century, the Parliament stepped in and “began to take a serious and active interest in Indian political affairs.” (LLSP, p. 174)
 This action was accompanied by an ‘Orientalism’ movement approved as an official policy of the British government to encourage knowledge and understanding of local Indian culture, language and literature.
 An opposing movement, Anglicism, soon emerged calling for the promotion of English, rather than Indian culture, language, and literature.
 The proponents of Orientalism put up vehement resistance saying that Anglicism will antagonize the Indian population and lead to their “alienation from British rule.” (LLSP, p. 174)
 The appointment of Lord Charles Cornwallis as Governor-General of India in 1786 marked a sharp shift towards Anglicism and a concomitant departure from Orientalism. His theory was to rely on political principles and laws, rather than men, to hold the government together.
 This shift led to a reduction of interest in the life of the local Indian community. Moreover, Cornwallis excluded all natives from responsible posts. This way, he thought, he was protecting the Europeans from ‘decadent’ influence.
 Cornwallis’ successors, however, were not indifferent to Orientalism. Suddenly, the Indian character assumed more importance. This led to an opposing movement.
 As missionary influence grew, an inevitable clash between European and Indian educational strategies and planning became inescapable. The main issue was simply what the indigenous population should study: English or Indian literary works.
 British administrators saw the study of English literature as a way to reinforce British rule in India, by representing British values as being objective, universal and rational.
 Viswanathan concludes her paper by saying that English literature was introduced to India as a result of (A) historical and political pressures; (B) tension between the Parliament and EIC; (C) tensions between the Parliament and missionaries; and (D) clashes between EIC and Indian elite classes.








Faculty of Language Studies

E300: English Language and Literacy

Specimen Answer Key for Semester II Exam
Prepared by Prof. Najib Al-Shehabi, Prof Zakaria Abu Hamdia,
Dr. Zena Abu Shakra, Dr. Faisal Al-Qahtani























Answer Key

Please note that students were asked to answer three questions: one from A (questions 1, 2), one from B (questions 3, 4) and one from C (questions 5, 6). A refers to Part 4, B to Part 5 and C to project planning and results. A, B, and C are covered in the 2nd semester.


Question 1
With respect to the teaching of literacy, several re******ers, such as Street, Sola and Bennett, Heath, Gee, Graff and others suggest that, in order to highlight the importance of acknowledging learners’ cultural practices as a major role in their educational success and social affluence, we should adopt an ‘ideological model of literacy’ instead of using the ‘dominant model’. Elaborate more on this issue basing your argument on at least two re******ers.

Answer Notes 1
1. Introduction:
a. Several re******ers have criticized the teaching of literacy in schools in the West for being a mere reflection of the dominant culture’s home practices. This dominant model of literacy, they argue, presents literacy as a set of abstract skills to be acquired by learners whose success in school is mainly based on the successful acquisition of these skills regardless of their background and cultural differences. They, therefore, have suggested using an ‘ideological model of literacy’ to refute the false, common assumption that literacy teaching in school aims at equipping the children with the necessary skills they need to prosper and develop.
2. Sola and Bennett
b. Using an ideological approach, Sola and Bennett conducted classroom re****** that focused on the teaching of writing to argue that the written texts taught in US schools are not only used to teach the writing skills, but are also a means to construct certain kinds of cultural knowledge. That is, the official schools use writing instruction not only to instill certain skills, but to shape their students into particular kinds of social beings. Moreover, the school discourse marginalizes the students’ own discourse and home community. As a result, the students are torn apart between the school’s centralizing (centripetal) forces and the diversifying (centrifugal) forces of their own communities. To conclude their argument, S&B stated that while the official schools claim that they give everyone an equal chance, they in practice encourage only the ways in which certain kinds of social and cultural position or class position are privileged. Literacy is one of the dominant ways of doing that.

3. Brian Street شابتر9
a. Street suggests that we should recognize and use the term “dominant literacy”. He argues that there is a dominant model of literacy in the West characterizing literacy as a set of abstract skills. It involves detached, analytical and individualized activity. This model of literacy is seen as enabling the development of the higher-order reasoning skills believed necessary for logical and rational thought, and particular kinds of texts are highly valued, e.g., the essay. For Street, this is an autonomous model that treats literacy as some kind of neutral technology, and it ignores all the historical, cultural and social factors influencing the practices and effects of reading and writing, and how they’re valued. In order to acknowledge the social and ideological embeddedness of literacy, he suggests that we need to adopt an ‘ideological model’ to examine its meaning and uses in particular contexts.
b. Street’s argument tries to locate literacy in the context of power and ideology rather than as a neutral, technical skill. For him, literacy practices are constitutive of identity and of personhood. Therefore, the forms of reading and writing we learn and use are usually associated with certain social identities, expectations about behavior and role models. Thus, Street argues that the acquisition of literacy involves more than simply learning technical skills; learning school practices means taking on, or resisting, the identities associated with those practices. Street also argues that the public discourse of neutrality and technology presents the dominant literacy as the only literacy. This, for him, disguises the fact that one cultural form is dominant while the other literacy practices are marginalized. If other literacies are recognized (e.g., those associated with the minority ethnic groups), they are presented as inadequate or failed attempts to match the proper literacy of the dominant culture. Street concludes by stating that, instead of asking how standards of functional literacy can be established in diverse contexts, we should ask how the needs of non-dominant literacies can be served by national and international providers. To answer that, he emphasizes that the concept of literacy needs to be clarified and refined, and we need to study literacy practices in diverse cultural and ideological contexts. He also adds that we need to start where people stand, to understand the cultural meanings and uses of literacy practices, and to build programs and campaigns on these rather than on our own cultural assumptions about literacy.
4. Harvey Graff
c. Graff argues that there is a myth that literacy can contribute to the economic and individual well-being. He further argues that viewing literacy in the abstract as a foundation in skills that can be developed or lost is meaningless without connection to the individuals who own these skills. Thus, understanding literacy requires realizing its use in and application to precise, historically specific cultural contexts. Data strongly suggest that a simple, linear, modernization model of literacy as a prerequisite for development, and development as a stimulant to increased levels of schooling, will not suffice. Like Street, he argues that literacy, in itself, has no generalized effect on individuals’ lives and social development.
5. James Paul Gee شابتر11
d. Gee argues that literacy is necessarily plural, and that different societies and social groups have different literacy practices. Accordingly, literacy has different social and mental effects in different social and cultural contexts. For him, literacy is a set of discourse practices: ways of using language and making sense both in speech and writing. These discourse practices are tied to the particular world views of particular social or cultural groups. Such discourse practices are integrally connected with the identity of the people who practice them: Thus, a change of discourse practice is a change of identity. Therefore, Graff argues that the discourse practices in school represent the world view of mainstream and powerful institutions in society. The English teacher is not teaching literacy or grammar, but rather he/she teaches these mainstream discourse practices and hence world views. These practices could be different from or contradictory to the discourse practices and identity of non-mainstream students. To conclude, Graff reiterates that teachers of English are not in fact teaching English and certainly not English grammar or even language. Rather, they are teaching a set of discourse practices, oral and written, connected with the standard dialect of English. Therefore, language and literacy acquisition are forms of socialization into mainstream ways of using language in speech and printing, of taking meaning, of making sense of experience. By acquiring a new set of discourse practices, students may acquire a new identity.
6. S. B. Heath: شابتر6
e. Studying children in three communities (Maintown, Roadville and Trackton), Heath managed to shift the dominant theoretical paradigm within the literacy field from a focus on skills to the recognition that these are always embedded in social practice; that is, being literate implies developing certain social practices rather than simply acquiring certain technical skills. She further managed to raise awareness of the social and cultural dimensions of all reading and writing practices. Heath suggests that the literacy practices in the Roadville and Trackton communities are very different from each other and from the Maintown practices that their children will encounter in mainstream schooling. Consequently, these children will experience more difficulties in the classroom and will be faced with unfamiliar kinds of questions about texts. She suggested that schools should change to respond to these children’s needs, rather than changing the children to meet school’s standards which are the standards of the mainstream community. She discusses ways in which schools might change: she proposes conducting ethnographic investigations by some teachers within pupils' communities to make changes in classroom practice, so that they could build more effectively on community language uses. Accordingly, she believes, these children can have a better chance of succeeding.
7. Conclusion
a. Several re******ers have studied literacy in community settings using an ideological model to explain why some children from the non-mainstream culture may fail in classroom literacy practice. Street, for example, argues for adopting literacy ‘practices’ rather than literacy ‘skills’ to indicate the social and ideological nature of reading and writing. Becoming literate does not merely mean developing the skills of decoding words and phrases, but more importantly implies taking on certain meanings, values, and views. The recognition of this is seen by some re******ers as the panacea for success in mainstream schools provided that learners adapt to it. Other re******ers, however, believe that because the dominant culture’s worldview is disguised by the way literacy is introduced in schools, some minority children are more likely to fail. Therefore, re******ers, like Street, argue that the minority communities’ cultural practices should be acknowledged rather than marginalized as inferior to the dominant model of literacy presented solely in the formal schools. Acknowledging other cultural practices can help those minority children do well in school and prosper socially.

Question 2
Discuss and compare how Hymes and Malinowski approach the issue of ‘context’ with respect to language meaning.

Answer Notes 2
1. Bronislaw Malinowski
a. Malinowski argues that in order to understand the meaning of a word one has to look at its context within a particular utterance, and the context of that utterance within a particular situation. He describes the importance of the ‘context of situation’ to understanding of the meaning of any piece of language in use. To further explain the importance of context, he introduces the idea of ‘language as action’ to describe how language can make things happen. Language in primitive societies, he argues, is not so much an instrument for individual reflection, but rather a means of social action where it can only be appropriately understood in the given context. Studying what he calls a primitive culture, he argues that language is essentially rooted in the reality of the culture, the tribal life and ******s of a people. Language, thus, cannot be explained without constant reference to these broader contexts of verbal utterance. Therefore, he argues that studying a language from a different culture must be carried out in conjunction with the study of the culture and environment of the speakers of this language. The meaning of a word must always be gathered not from a passive contemplation of this word, but from an analysis of its functions, with reference to the relevant culture. Language and culture, thus, are inseparable. Each utterance is essentially dependent on the context of situation and the course of the activity in which the utterance is embedded. Thus, language in its primitive forms ought to be regarded and studied against the background of human activities and as a mode of human behavior in practical matters. In short, words or phrases of a given language from a given culture become meaningless if deprived from their authentic context and the social practices associated with them.
2. Dell Hymes
a. Hymes developed Malinowski’s notion of ‘context of situation’ by noting that a new theory, besides linguistics, is needed to account for the cultural and contextual aspects of language not just in so-called ‘primitive’ cultures but just as much in modern developed societies. That is, this new theory should be able to study the language in relation to culture which traditional linguistics failed to do. The new theory, according to him, should study the community’s own conventions concerning ‘ways of speaking’ in particular contexts. This theory should characterize the competent speaker as the one who knows these conventions, as well as the grammar of the language he or she is using. This theory presents context as consisting of different layers all of which contribute to the meaning of a speech act, e.g., a joke in a party.
i. These layers are
1. speech act: a joke
2. speech event: a conversation
3. speech situation: a party
4. speech community: shared understanding about what counts as a joke.
b. Like Malinowski, Hymes argues that the meaning of language comes from its context of use, that is, analyzing speech within its social context. He is particularly interested in how to analyze the social conventions governing the language practices, as well as, recognizing how these serve human purposes and needs. He further argues that if languages are divorced from the contexts and functions they serve, they become meaningless and useless. He emphasizes that there are ‘fundamental notions’ that any new language theory must deal with in order to appropriately account for context. These fundamental notions are:
i. Ways of speaking: conventions of speaking in a community.
ii. Fluent Speaker: one who has the grammatical as well as the knowledge of the community’s speaking conventions.
iii. Speech community: a community sharing knowledge of rules for the conduct and interpretation of speech, that is knowledge of both the form and its patterns of use (rules of grammar and rules of use).
iv. Speech situation: situations associated with speech, e.g., party, fights, hunts, meals, ceremonies, etc.
v. speech event: activities governed by the rules or norms for the use of speech:
1. Conversation, lecture, etc.
2. a speech event may consist of a single speech act (a joke) or several ones.
3. the same type of speech act may recur in different speech events, and the same type of speech event may recur in different contexts of situation.
a. Thus, a joke may be embedded in a private conversation, a lecture, etc.
b. A private conversation may occur in the context of a party, memorial service, etc.

3. Conclusion
a. Both Malinowski and Hymes argue that to understand a language, one must understand the context where that language is used and appropriated by its community. Focus on the form divorced from its original context is not enough to understand the language. Both emphasized that a language can only be understood if related to its context and studied according to the speaking conventions agreed upon by its original speakers.

Candidates who sustain a coherent and logical line of argument throughout should be given extra credit. More credit should be given to answers in which academic language and specialized terminology are used.




Question 3 شابتر15
Discuss the following 3 approaches to literacy with reference to the E300 course material: literacy as power, literacy as communicative form and practice, and literacy as gendered.




Answer Notes 3
Literacy as power
• The assumption which dominates most discourses about literacy is that literacy is power, with the power of literacy framed primarily in terms of economic development, equality of opportunity and the possibilities of liberty and democracy.
• Before, the conception of literacy was pluralistic with a multiplicity of literacies associated with specific skills.
• During the processes of state formation, industrialization and the movement toward mass schooling in 19th century North America, literacy began to take on symbolic and ideological dimensions that went far beyond being able to read and write.
• This makes literacy a good example of the individualizing and totalizing power of the modern state described by Foucault. This shift from literacies to literacy as ideology is integral to its use as a means of governance; whereas the state used to fear the development of literacy among the working class, by the mid 19th century, literacy was being mandated as a means of social and moral regulation in industrialized countries. Literacy was used to regulate people.
• Literacy was thus redefined in terms of the ‘functional’ tasks that must be performed in order to effectively function in life; from a pragmatic perspective, this meant measuring performance on a range of documentary-related tasks that involve complex reading skills.
• As ‘functional’ literacy definitions become more mixed with the questionable ideological uses of social science to justify forms of governance, they feed into the moralistic and jingoist (loyalist) politics which underlie claims about the high rate of illiteracy in the US.
• Based on this, there is moral panic about literacy; Bennett’s (Education Secretary) drive to establish ‘moral literacy’ as fundamental teaching of schools and colleges.
• This also makes literacy become a prerequisite to equality, to individual success; this makes it a commodity, an object to be acquired. Provision of opportunities to overcome illiteracy is seen as central to the liberty of the individual, as well as the nation. Such theories of inequality split apart the learner from context and from what is to be learned treating literacy as though it is outside the social and political relations, ideological practices, and symbolic meaning and structures in which it is embedded. In the process of establishing literacy as a universalistic formula through which equality can be realized, literacy is treated as though it occurs in a vacuum with all learners being treated the same but dichotomized as literate or illiterate, learners or non-learners and literacy as a commodity or object.
• Concealed through liberty and equality are the ethnocentrism, racism and sexism inherent in literary policies.
• More radical conceptions of literacy as power argue that literacy can empower. Those who argue for functional literacy in terms of empowerment do not challenge the dominant ideology which constructs vast numbers of people as illiterate, thereby rendering them powerless. Illiteracy is seen as the characteristic which keeps people powerless.
• Empowerment arguments are mostly directed at participation in the public spheres of national, economic, political and to some extent cultural activities without considering empowerment in the so-called private sphere of the home, including religious, family, and male/female relations. Theories of resistance have romanticized the ‘culture of the poor’ without considering how it, too, is pervaded by dominant ideology as well as differences and contradictions; power is connected to structure and conceptualized as out there, not lived in our subjectivities and the concrete relations of everyday life.
Literacy as communicative form and practice
• This approach views literacy as socially constructed in the practices of everyday interaction; literacy in this view is seen in terms of cultural and communicative practices and patterns which take place in face-to-face interactions and are situated in different types of communicative settings.
• The significance of this approach is that it recognizes a multiplicity of literacies where literacy involves different forms of communication.
• This is important because it makes it possible to ask questions about the nature of power relationships among the multiple literacies. Inquiry into relations of power thus far has been limited to showing that the literacy requirements of schooling and mainstream culture differ from and are invested with more power than those of life in the community and home.
Literacy as gendered
• Discourses about literacy whether about power, skills or social relations are strangely silent on the questions of gender or of women.
• Literacy is highly problematic for women who speak little English because the two ways of learning a second language:
1. through informal interactions in mixed language settings
2. through formal study in school situations
are both restricted to them.
• A developing feminist critique raises questions about the traditional occupations and roles for which women are being prepared through functionally-defined literacy programs since literacy is much more than a set of reading and writing skills; it cannot be separated from the content or the linguistic form of the texts read, or the social and pedagogic politics of their production and reading.

Question 4
In the article “Roles, networks and values in everyday writing” by David Barton and Sarah Padmore (Chapter 13 in Re******ing Language and Literacy in Social Context), what kinds of writing did the studied adults practise and what were the values and social meanings associated with their literacy practices?



Answer Notes 4

Writing by this group of adults is categorized according to function:

Writing to maintain the household
Writing to maintain communication with friends and family
Writing for personal purposes

In the first category, writing took the form of notes placed where they could be seen by the writer, e.g., on the fridge door.
These notes served many purposes, e.g., shopping list, appointments, daily schedules, etc.
Another household writing practice related to forms and bills, and finance matters.

In the second category, writing was concerned with communicating with friends and relatives, letters, cards
There was, for some, special time and special place for this practice; with some adults, there was a kind of stationary for this practice.

In the third category, writing seemed to have been for creative purposes, e.g., writing poems, or composing them and asking someone to write the poems.
Writing diaries was another practice by some females.

The kinds of writing people undertook reflected their roles within the family and the community, with the men tending to take responsibility for communication in the public sphere while women were more concerned with maintaining personal relationships and self-expression.

The values of these literacy practices helped some in their work;

enabled some to catch up with educated members of their parish
made some less dependent on others in literacy-based task/chores;
created a spirit of cooperation: those who could write helped those who were unable to or had difficulty;
enabled some to let their positions/needs/complaints be known in writing, e.g., writing to the newspaper, to the school authorities
expanded means of participation in community affairs.

Credit should be given to answers which follow a logical line of argument that is both relevant and convincing.



Question 5
Discuss the ethical problems concerning the relationship between the re******er and the re******ed that arise in linguistic re****** and the different ways in which re******ers have tried to mitigate these. How do ‘advocacy’ and ‘empowerment’ approaches go further in attempting to address these issues?




Answer Notes 5
Ethics
• In ethical re******, there is a concern with minimizing damage and offsetting inconvenience to the re******ed as well as acknowledging their contribution. Social scientists have long recognized the potentially exploitative and damaging effects of being re******ed especially:
1. thinking about the uses of findings which might be acceptable or the effects they might have contrary to the interests of the subjects.
2. concern over the re******ers exploiting subjects for their own purposes during the re****** process;
3. controversy over the acceptability of covert re****** in which subjects cannot give full informed consent because the re******er is deliberately misleading them as to the nature and purpose of the re******.

Advocacy
• While positivism is strongly committed to the idea that observations procured in a scientific manner have the status of value-free facts, it is also open to positivistically inclined re******ers to go beyond this idea of ethics and move to an advocacy position by making themselves more accountable to the re******ed.
• Advocacy is characterized by a commitment on the part of the re******er not just to do re****** on subjects but to do re****** on and for subjects. It is a way of making formal something that commonly develops in field situations when the re******er is asked to use his or her skills and authority as expert to defend subjects’ interests and get involved in campaigns such as those for healthcare and education.
• One example of an advocacy position is ‘the debt incurred’ principle suggested by Labov. According to this principle, when a community has enabled linguists to gain important knowledge, the linguist incurs a debt which must be repaid by using the said knowledge on the community’s behalf when they need it. The advocate serves the community, and that political direction is the community’s responsibility. It should be noted that while being radical, Labov’s position is still within a positivist framework whereby positivism limits Labov’s advocacy. Labov’s positivism is clear in his juxtaposition of ‘objectivity’ and ‘commitment’ in which he is worried that a re******er’s advocacy might undermine the validity of his or her findings (problem of bias). He works this out by claiming that the one reinforced or enhanced the other.

Empowering re******
• By maintaining an advocacy position, re******ers are under an obligation to defend the powerless. They could also be under further obligation to empower them to defend themselves.
• It should be noted that empowerment is not an absolute requirement on all re****** projects; there are instances where one would not wish to empower re****** subjects (e.g. while there is political value in re******ing on powerful groups, such an instance might be one where ‘re****** on’ would be a more appropriate model).
• ‘Ethical re******’ is re****** on. ‘Advocacy re******’ is re****** on and for. ‘Empowering re******’ is re****** on, for and with. The addition of ‘with’ implies the use of interactive or dialogic re****** methods ‘with’ the re******ed as opposed to the distancing or objectifying strategies positivists are constrained to use.
• Standards and constraints of positivist re****** on such as objectivity, disinterestedness, and non-interaction are not appropriate in empowering re******. As a result, alternative standards need to be proposed in that respect:
1. The use of interactive methods: persons are not objects and should not be treated as objects. If empowering re****** is re****** done with subjects as well as on them, it must seek their active cooperation which requires disclosure of the re******er’s goals, assumptions and procedures. This openness in interaction enhances the re******er’s understanding of what is observed with claims made for non-interaction as a guarantee of objectivity and validity considered philosophically naïve.
2. The importance of subjects’ own agendas: subjects have their own agendas and re****** should try to address them. Re******ed persons may have agendas of their own or things they would like the re******er to address. This might involve only fairly minor adjustments to re****** procedures.
3. The question of feedback and sharing knowledge: if knowledge is worth having, it is worth sharing. The question is whether it is or should be part of the re******er’s brief to empower people in an educational sense by giving them access to expert knowledge. There are 2 empowering strategies involved: a). intervention- empowering subjects by intervening with them. b). giving voice- a form of nonintervention whereby subjects’ own words are reproduced on a page, unmediated by authorial comment, in order to give the subject a voice and validate his/her opinions.






Question 6
Describe the insights into language study that you gained from your project re******. How did these insights develop/change your understanding of the role of language in society?

Answer Notes 6
In answering this question, students are expected to draw on their experience in undertaking re****** and reporting its results in their final TMA: the re****** project.

Answers may vary, but extra credit should be given to students who answer the second part of the question which goes beyond a mere de******ion of the findings of their project and/or of the obstacles that they encountered in carrying out their re******.

Therefore, the criteria for a good answer should be based on the student’s re****** experience (problems, solutions, etc.) as well as the benefits/insights gained from this experience.



أرجوكم الدعاء لي

إختكم فرح الشمري

التعديل الأخير تم بواسطة فرح الشمري ; 05-06-2012 الساعة 07:13 AM
فرح الشمري غير متصل   رد مع اقتباس
قديم 05-06-2012, 07:18 AM   #2
فراشه المنتدى فراشه المنتدى غير متصل
مشرف سابق
 
الصورة الرمزية فراشه المنتدى
افتراضي رد: عاجل لكل طلبة E300b أرجو القراءة


يعطيك العافيه يسلموووووووووووووووووووووووووووووو
فراشه المنتدى غير متصل   رد مع اقتباس
قديم 05-06-2012, 07:33 AM   #3
The moon face The moon face غير متصل
طالب فعال
 
الصورة الرمزية The moon face

 











افتراضي رد: عاجل لكل طلبة E300b أرجو القراءة


في ميـــــــــزآآآآآآآآن حســنآآتج ..،‘

والله يقضي حااااااااااجتج ويحقق لج اللي في بااااااااااالج يارب...،‘


مشكووووووره حبيبتي...،
The moon face غير متصل   رد مع اقتباس
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