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EL DISCURSO ORAL Y ESCRITO DEL INGLÉS COMO LENGUA EXTRANJERA DENTRO DEL SISTEMA EDUCATIVO BOLIVARIANO (ORAL AND

WRITTEN DISCOURSE OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
IN THE BOLIVARIAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM)

The two main channels for language interaction are speech and writing. Speech is a natural faculty of normal human beings while writing is a human invention that appeared later in time. That is why if there is any abnormal condition that impedes so, oral language is acquired first and unconsciously by most human beings (Krashen, 1992), while written language must be learned formally. The processes of construing and processing speech and writing also vary in different ways and using any of them instead of the other brings different consequences in how our speech acts are organized, produced and understood. It is important to keep in mind that nowadays speech and writing should not be seen as two completely different and opposing channels of communication but rather as two ends of a continuum. That is so because nowadays we frequently find language samples that can hardly be classified as either oral or written. As an example of this fact consider an informal note or an e-mail where what we find is a kind of speech written down; or a scientific lecture where the lecturers usually write down everything that will be said and then presents it orally. English teachers should be aware of the differences that exist between speech and writing if they are to help their students to communicate properly through both channels, to understand their different characteristics, the contexts in which each is used and the consequences that different contextual features might have on them. The following are some of the most determinant differences between them. From the point of view of production, it is clear that spoken and written language make somewhat different demands on language-producers. The speaker has available to him the full range of 'voice quality' effects (as well as facial expression, postural and gestural systems). Armed with these he can always override the effect of the words he speaks. Thus the speaker who says 'I'd really like to', leaning forward, smiling, with a 'warm, breathy' voice quality, is much more likely to be interpreted as meaning what he says, than another speaker uttering the same words, leaning away, brow puckered, with a 'sneering, nasal' voice quality. These paralinguistic cues are denied to the writer. We will generally ignore paralinguistic features in spoken language in this book since the data we shall quote from is spoken by co-operative adults who are not exploiting paralinguistic resources against the verbal meanings of their utterances but are, rather, using them to reinforce the meaning. Not only is the speaker controlling the production of communicative systems which are different from those controlled by the writer, he is also processing that production under circumstances which are considerably more demanding. The speaker must monitor what it is that he has just said, and determine whether it matches his intentions, while he is uttering his current phrase and monitoring that, and simultaneously planning his next utterance and fitting that into the overall pattern of what he wants to say and monitoring, moreover, not only his own performance but its reception by his hearer. He has no permanent record of what he has said earlier, and only under unusual circumstances does he have notes which remind him what he wants to say next.

As the listener is present it is easier to have direct information of his understanding of the message and take the necessary steps in accordance. they tend to make frequent use of repetitions. and even change his mind about what he wants to say. paraphrases and restatements. for a variety of different reasons. modify what he is saying to make it more accessible or acceptable to his hearer. 3. Under some circumstances a face-to-face interaction is preferred but. 1983). Whereas the speaker knows that any words which pass his lips will be heard by his interlocutor and. if they are not what he intends. the writer can cross out and rewrite in the privacy of his study (Brown and Yule. of course. pause between each word with no fear of his interlocutor interrupting him. because of physical constraints they could not hear each other. he also suffers from the disadvantage of exposing his own feelings (Hatch. the major differences between speech and writing derive from the fact that one is essentially transitory and the other is designed to be permanent. if he wishes to.The writer. Because speakers are never quite sure whether their listeners are paying attention. and the second is that which 'shifts language from the oral to the visual domain' and permits words and sentences to be examined out of their original contexts. its transience and to the interlocutor presence. in others. It is interesting to observe the behavior of individuals when given a choice of conducting a piece of business in person or in writing. advantages for the speaker. Speech tends to be redundant. 4. Goody (1977) suggests that written language has two main functions: the first is the storage function which permits communication over time and space. Garcia (2005) has named the following features to establish some particular differences between speech and writing Speech: 1. take his time in choosing a particular word. 'where they appear in a very different and highly "abstract" context. In the context of teaching English as a foreign language. . Otherwise. public 'repair'. Speakers are bound to take turns to speak. It is usually improvised so it frequently contains false starts. the individual may prefer to conduct his transaction in writing. He can observe his interlocutor and. 2. Immediate context and paralinguistic features help the speaker to express the message without much cohesion. Whereas in a spoken interaction the speaker has the advantage of being able to monitor his listener's minute-by-minute reaction to what he says. on the contrary. understanding or remembering what they are saying or not. reorder what he has written. may look over what he has already written. It is usually linguistically informal and less organized which is mainly due to its improvisation. even looking it up in the dictionary if necessary. check his progress with his notes. Whereas the speaker is under considerable pressure to keep on talking during the period allotted to him the writer is characteristically under no such pressure. 6. It is transient. 1992) and of having to speak clearly and concisely and make immediate response to whichever way his interlocutor reacts. he will have to undertake active. Also. The writer has no access to immediate feedback and simply has to imagine the reader's reaction. hesitations or mistakes which can be corrected immediately. There are. 7. 5.

it is widely accepted that it is only by analyzing language use in natural contexts that we can draw reliable conclusions about what is grammatically possible. Thus. the act would not be a real locutionary act but just a noise without any meaning. 6. That act has a signification or a literal meaning which is conveyed by its particular syntactic structure and wording. 2) as a boyfriend‟s excuse to his girlfriend‟s invitation to . As the readers are absent and usually unknown it is difficult for the writer to predict and take the necessary steps to guide their understanding. The locutionary act is the act of saying or writing something in a language. otherwise. It has to be more formal from the linguistic point of view because of its permanence. we have tried to understand how speakers might be able to produce an infinitive number of sentences given a very finite set of rules for sentences. The Illocutionary Act is the intention that we have when we utter something. 1969) explains how communication functions in social interactions. of sentence meaning. It is permanent so it can be stored and carries more prestige. connectives and cohesive devises. of the possibility to plan it ant of the absence of the interlocutor. it could be taken 1) as a father‟s negative answer to his son‟s request for money. Aware of this situation. appropriate and really used in a language. titles. it can be analyzed syntactically. 1962 and Searle. graphics. Nowadays it is understood that discourse in any channel is a social phenomena rather than a linguistic one and that communicative behavior is constructed. but the problem with assigning function to sentences is that speaker intention and sentence meaning are not always the same. the Theory of Speech Acts (Austin. punctuation marks. etc. feasible. we ought to be able to assign several functions to utterances. That llocutionary act should be constructed in conformity to the rules of the language that we are speaking if we want to be understood. The locutionary act “I don’t have any money” can be understood in different ways depending on the context where it was produced. we need to go beyond its signification. But if communication is to be successful we need to know more than that. The absence of paralinguistic features is somehow supplied by drawings. So. Speaker intent may be more or less. For example. 3. morphologically. how is it that we come to understand what people mean when they say something. an illocutionary and a perlocutionary act. This theory states that anything that we say or write constitutes an speech act and that in every speech act we utter. 4. it can be classified as an active and simple negative sentence conjugated in the present tense. no utterance is completely context free in terms of meaning or function. As teachers of language. Subtitles. letter type. It tends to avoid redundancy so it becomes more grammatically structured and lexically dense. the real value that it takes because of the context where it is uttered. 2. acquired and learnt in social interactions. 5. or actually the opposite.Writing: 1. three different acts are simultaneously performed: a locutionary. In this sense. phonetically. we need to know the contextual illocutionary value of that illocution. the number of things we do with words is limited. It is planned and can be analyzed and corrected after its production. For example a locution such as “I don’t have any money” can be understood as someone giving information about his/her financial actual condition.

In case 1. Every act of language is then a speech act involving three different acts and. the girl could forget about going to the movie. This is obvious in some ritualized expressions where saying is equivalent to doing. as such. In speech act theory it is supposed that when we speak or write we do things with words (we suggest. which is the listener‟s level. In case 2. This illustrates how the same language form can acquire different interpretations and how context makes this possible and helps to disambiguate the value of the speaker‟s illocution or intention. apologize. the third case could give rise to different possibilities. This theory is then much more realistic than the traditional linear model of communication since it permits us to explain more acceptably the difficulties that typically occur in natural communication at different levels: at the locutionary level which is the message level. 3) as someone asking a classmate to pay her breakfast at the school cafeteria. Similarly. He classified them into commisive. For the understanding and production of coherent discourse it is necessary to infer the function of what is said. describe. the son could get angry with his father. every act of language can be analyzed from those three different perspectives. since the meaning is not directly expressed in our utterances. This is done by considering the form of what has been said or written and the contextual information relevant for its understanding. It is very important to understand that what this theory proposes is the existence of three separate acts existing simultaneously in every piece of language that we produce no matter what its extension.). decide going for a walk instead or offer his boyfriend to pay the ticket for him. or at a combination of some or all of them. declarative. for example a promise or a thread: . In these cases our listeners or readers have to infer our illocutionary acts taking into account the morphosyntactic characteristics of the message and the context where it is produced. In colloquial language use what is more common to use instead are utterances that express indirectly what we mean. a priest or a lawyer. expressive and representative acts. The use of such ritualistic utterances operates properly only in situations were certain conditions are given and when the one who speaks is socially or academically invested with the authority necessary for saying them. at the illocutionary level which is the speaker‟s level and at the perlocutionary level. The three possible illocutionary forces given to the locution “I don’t have any money” in our example could produce different effects in the listener. Commisive Illocutionary Acts: They are utterances in which the speaker commits himself to do something in the future. But in ordinary life situations they are never or seldom used. The Perlocutionary Act is the effect produced in the listener or reader when they listen or read a locutionary act. define. form or topic are. The philosopher Searle (1965) established a classification which is useful for inferring the possible illocutionary force or value of an utterance in a given discourse. etc.the movie or. could try to get the money he needs from his mother or could just decide not to do what he had planned with the money he was asking for. like is the case of a judge.

for example a claim.If you don’t pay the bill we’ll call the police I’ll bring you a bunch of flowers on your birthday Declarative: They are utterances whose function is to get the listener to do something. while in B and C two expressive illocutionary acts have been coded indirectly using a question and a declarative sentence respectively. come here and sit down in front of me B. Don‟t you see I love you? C. requests or a commands: Please come in Would you please close the window? Why don’t you read the text throughout before discussing it? Expressive: An expressive speech act is one in which the speaker expresses feelings and attitudes about something. It is the speaker or the writer the one who decides to between on for or the other. . such as in: A. a complaint. An indirect speech act is one where there is no coincidence between the type of illocutionary act and the syntactic structure of the message. for example an apology. I feel very upset because of his reaction C. a report: This is a German car. Direct speech acts are those where the locutionary act and the illocutionary act coincide. I shall phone you tomorrow at ten In all this examples the structure used expresses almost literally the illocutionary intention of the speaker: in A a declarative illocutionary act has been expressed by means of an imperative sentence. any speech act can be direct or indirect. when we thank or congratulate someone: The letter was so beautiful I’m sorry for being late I hate fish Representative: A representative speech act is on in which the speaker or writer describes states or events from the real world. however. It‟s too late for watching TV In these examples different types of illocutionary acts have been expressed indirectly: in A a declarative speech act has been coded as a question. in B and C declarative sentences has been chosen to express an expressive and a commisive speech acts respectively. The rain destroyed the crops In addition. speakers and writers chose not to code their messages directly but indirectly. Alice. With extraordinary frequency. Examples of declarative acts are suggestions. Could you open the window? Please B. The following examples illustrate this point: A.

sentence structure is rigid because it depends on rules which were established before the communicative interaction. so that the resulting discourse is cohesive and coherent. a description or a dialogue. eyes. It tells us how narration. conversations and other communicative functions are typically initiated. at least unconsciously. Since this information helps us to produce and understand discourse. so rhetorical information helps the students to perceive the communicative usefulness of the language structures they have already studied. it is regularly easy for us to identify it as a narration. normal communication proceeds in a way conventionally organized to avoid overlapping and misunderstanding. how discourse is organized in L1. This information is important in communicative language learning and teaching because communication is an interactive process where speakers or writers have to make decisions that consist in choosing and organizing information with a specific communicative purpose and a specific audience in mind. When we listen to or read a piece of discourse in our native language. The identification of those patterns and those . rhetoric deals with the study of how different pieces of discourse are organized according to their communicative function. On the contrary. descriptions. What it means is that their structures are different. That is why writers and speakers organize their discourse into units larger than the sentence which differ in writing and speaking.It is very important for English teachers to keep in mind that most of our illocutionary acts in normal communication are indirect. and brain) have certain limitations. We can even predict its type after listening or reading its first or second sentences. The main differences between discourse and sentence structures are: discourse has rhetorical structure while sentences have grammatical (syntactic or semantic) structure. but this does not mean that discourse units don‟t have a regular and predictable structure. discourse structure is flexible because it depends on the communicative needs of the speakers which vary according to the contextual situation. it is our obligation to teach them the multiple and surprising ways in which the grammatical structures that they study in class are used in real life communication. b)make foreign language students conscious of the fact that discourse organization is similar among languages and c) help their students to take advantage of the knowledge they already have about how discourse is organized in their native language to improve their production and understanding of discourse in the language they are learning. Since the human systems for information processing (ears. This is why it is not enough to teach our students grammar. It has been said that discourse involves the study of language use in communication and that its units of analysis are usually units larger than the sentence. continued and ended. rhetorical genre analysis in English teaching reveals templates or scripts in the organization of discourse that is primarily monologic. Due to this. In addition to what it was said before. it is necessary that teachers: a) make foreign language students conscious of how discourse is organized in the language they are learning. practiced and used. This means that we know. Such units become patterns followed as routines for sequencing the information according to communicative conventions. the rhetoric structures of discourse are determined by the communicative needs of those who interact through language while sentence structure is governed by grammatical rules.

material.conventions helps us to understand the relation that connects a group of sentences in a given piece of discourse. definition. There is usually some problem that prevents an easy attainment of the goal. copula sentences (use of be). Physical descriptions have to do with the physical description of an object. Each of these subtypes has specific social functions which influence their grammatical and lexical characteristics and the kind and amount of information each contains. The coda may also contain a moral that summarizes or evaluates the story‟s relevance. The rhetorical structure of discourse is given by the way in which its constituent parts are organized and sequenced. Narratives also need a concluding part which is called the coda. instructions. This includes the time of the story and its spatial setting. etc. classification. volume. The physical characteristics most frequently described are dimension. phone calls or doctor-patient conversations. The thing being described can be real or unreal (fictional). Finally. so the hero develops a plan for solving the problem and achieving the goal. a part called the resolution or climax. shape. In this kind of description we find many prepositional phrases. Narratives usually begin with an orientation in order to inform listeners or readers about the world of the story. . novels. For example. In English narratives. Anyways. and texture. a place. an animal. the storyteller can begin to set up the story line. description. color. time orders. interviews. because all cultures have story telling traditions. Narration is thought to be the most universal genre. The most common communicative functions are conversation. researchers claim that there is some basic universal template for the narrative (Hatch. imperatives and modals. Commonly the information they include follows a natural spatial order since they are clearly tied together: when the main communicative function of a paragraph is to describe the physical properties of something. many different types of narrative texts: sport news. a very hard genre to set a definite template. assort of title of the story told. narratives may include an abstract. Most stories involve a hero who has a goal. These constituent units of information can be paragraphs. sections or chapters (in writing) or turns (in speech) which have an identifiable communicative function. 1992). manual or a doctor‟s prescription. there can be many different subtypes. This type of description usually contains causality and result orders. narration and argumentation. Within each type. the writer needs to refer to spatial relations. Once the story world setting is complete. presentatives (there is/there are sentences). Such openings or orientations reveal how syntax can be establish the story world. Function or process description is concerned with the use or purpose of some device and how its parts function separately and as a whole. 1992). weight. nouns and adjectives. a person. adverbs of place. and identifying or descriptive relative clauses are often to establish characters within the setting. as well as the introduction of characters and the roles they play. short stories or biographies. Description is considered by linguist. and based on such data. Story telling episodes have been collected in many languages. many varieties of instructions: cooking recipes. we can subcategorize it into types: physical descriptions function or process descriptions and emotional descriptions (Hatch. there are many different types of conversation: dialogues.

attitudes. on the nature of the topic but it is important to have in mind that each paragraph must add something new and important to the argument. 1983). refutation. the arguments to support the topic or ideas stated in the introduction are provided. see. Instructions can be of two types: direct or indirect. anecdotes. statement or problem is presented identified (defined. it is switched on) or a combination or both: the passive modals (first. These activities have evolved to use reading as a way of learning a „subject‟.) and causality and result order. Such arguments can be examples. idea. For doing so we need to use logical connectives. ideas or facts qualifying them positively or negatively. explanation. The aim of the argumentation can be to convince the reader or listener to agree with us (as in political argumentation) or to just present our viewpoints for or against something without necessarily attempting to persuade them. One of its principles is that reading is no longer seen as a solitary . which can sometimes only ask pupils to move information. you must switch it on). They ask them to read closely and to interpret the information carefully. again. In this type each instruction is presented separately in a sentence. a case. In the introduction. proof. In this type the instructions are connected in a paragraph that usually follows a natural time order combined with a causality and result order (Garcia. of the case under consideration. They can often go beyond the comprehension question. rather than to understand it. and conclusion (Maccoun. This is why the information presented usually follows a logical order. as well as sense verbs (feel. it must be switched on). though other natural orders are also found since writers can decide to present a description or a narrative as a justification for their opinions. A third genre is that of “how to discourse”. like in the case of DART‟s (Direct Activities Related to Texts). consider. reactions. the passive voice (first. 2005). However. Direct instructions are characterized by the use of the imperative form of the verb (switch it on). preferences. is even more flexible than the rhetorical modes presented thus far. argumentation. etc. outline of the argument. Finally. development and conclusion. statistical data or reasons depending on the nature of the topic. When we argue we explain the relations that we perceive among the concepts. which has often been defined as the process of supporting or weakening another statement whose validity is questionable or contentious. Instruction is the kind of communicative function that tells someone to do or not to do something. The prototypical rhetorical structure of an argumentative piece of discourse is: introduction. Garcia (2005) has suggested that when we argue we state our ideas and opinions directly or indirectly supporting them with our reasons. In the conclusion we must go back to the topic stated in the introduction and summarize the consequence that derives directly from the arguments analyzed. Indirect instructions are characterized by the use of modal verbs (first. The introduction is very important because the whole argument that is to follow will be built on the topic that is being introduced.Emotional descriptions include the characteristic of one‟s personality: feelings. Some activities can be put into practice to challenge pupils to engage with texts. against or neutral). perceive. In the development. They usually contain abstract nouns and adjectives. The number of paragraphs devoted to this part depends. there is a classical template of this genre that includes introduction. The way in which the central topic is going to be developed should be stated as clearly as possible as well as the author‟s attitude (for. described). Its aim is to foster independent reading and actively engage the learner with text. etc.

and some for teaching business English. Graddol (1997) states that technology lays at the heart of the globalization process affecting education work and culture. communication across borders. animation effects comes into full play in English class teaching and sets a favorable platform for reform and exploration on English teaching model in the new era. or end the text). reading. the role and status of English is that it is the language of social context. It is fair to assert that the growth of the internet at the university (as in the case of our Interactive Dialogical Learning students. sociocultural. visual. It has been tested effectively and is widely accepted for teaching English in modern world. but rather available to many. TV has been there for a long time. Use of authentic materials in the form of films. The technique can be used at any level and with any kind of text. but can involve a small group or pair of learners. listening or interpreting. Since there are more and more English learners in our country. and key subject in curriculum and language of imparting education. spoken English. media. Diagram completion (Complete an unfinished diagram or label a finished diagram) as well as Prediction activities (Write the next step or stage of a text. education. The tradition of English teaching has been drastically changed with the remarkable entry of technology. Table completion (Fill in the cells of a table that has row and column headings. Technological innovations have gone hand in hand with the growth of English and are changing the way in which we communicate. it satisfies both visual and auditory senses of the students. Some are useful for testing and distance education. One method involves multimedia in English Language Teaching (ELT) in order to create English contexts. the new era assigns new challenges and duties on the modern English teacher who wants to promote their student‟s communicative competence through rhetoric.activity. The teaching . the emerging and developing of multimedia technology and its application to teaching. business. or provide row and column headings where cells have already been filled in). different teaching methods have been implemented to test the effectiveness of the teaching process. It is true that these technologies have proved successful in replacing the traditional teaching. The types of activities a teacher can use are those on: Text completion (Fill in missing words. There are many techniques applicable in various degrees to language learning situation. Technology provides so many options as making teaching interesting and also making teaching more productive in terms of improvements. Grouping (Group segments of text according to categories). Technology is one of the most significant drivers of both social and linguistic change. featuring audio. political. At present.ADI in Spanish) has facilitated the growth of the English language and that this has occurred at a time when computers are no longer the exclusive domains of the dedicated few. With the rapid development of science and technology in our Bolivarian Higher Education System. as the number of English learners is increasing different teaching methods have been implemented to test the effectiveness of the teaching process. It‟s proved that multimedia technology plays a positive role in promoting activities and initiatives of student and teaching effect in English class. Sequencing (Arrange jumbled segments of text in a logical or time sequence). This helps students to get involved and learn according to their interests. industries. radio. phrases or sentences). It is also a crucial determinant for university entrance and processing well paid jobs in the commercial sector. library. Technology is utilized for the upliftment of modern styles. No doubt about it.

meaning that students‟ communicative competence will be further developed. it promises that the teaching quality will be improved and students‟ applied English skill scan is effectively cultivated. Here we also need to emphasize that the new technologies develop and disseminate so quickly that we cannot avoid their attraction and influence in any form. students are not too dependent on their mother tongue. we believe that in future. which is helpful and useful to ensure and fulfill an effective result of teaching and learning. the use of multimedia English teaching will be further developed. Context creation of ELT should be based on the openness and accessibility of the teaching materials and information. There are various reasons why all language learners and teachers must know how to make use of the new technology. overcoming the finance problems in setting up the infrastructure and not allowing the teachers to become technophobes. The process of English learning will be more students centered but less time consuming. It is true that one of the ultimate goals of multimedia language teaching is to promote students‟ motivation and learning interest. Therefore. Barring a few problem areas multimedia technology can be used effectively in classrooms of ELT with proper computer knowledge on the part of teachers. but will be motivated and guided to communicate with each other. During the process of optimizing the multimedia English teaching. Concerning the development of technology. . I believe that this process can fully improve students‟ ideation and practical language skills. In conclusion.principle should be to appreciate new technologies in the areas and functions where they provide something decisively new useful and never let machines takeover the role of the teacher or limit functions where more traditional ways are superior. which can be a practical way to get them involved in the language learning.