Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough's Model by - ELT Voices

[Type text]

ELT Voices – India Volume 2 Issue 5 | October 2012 ISSN 2230-9136

ELT Research Paper 12

Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough’s Model Sepideh Mirzaee, Department of English Language, Mashhad Branch , Islamic Azad University, Iran

E-mail: [email protected]

Hadi Hamidi, Department of English, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mazandaran, Iran

E-mail: [email protected]

© Ignite (India) Publishing, Bhavnagar, Gujarat – India

www.eltvoices.in

Sepideh Mirzaee & Hadi Hamidi: Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough’s Model

Abstract During the past decade CDA has found its way to L2 studies. Wallace (1992) has been among the first who paid the most significant attention to a serious gap inherently present in most EFL classes. Wallace claims that EFL students are often marginalized as readers; their aims in interacting with written texts are believed to be the first and foremost those of language learners. This paper aims at a brief review on CDA, its different definitions based on the most significant scholars in this field, its history and principles, its implications in education and gradually it is going to speak about one of its most comprehensive model i.e. Fairclough’s Model. Keywords: Critical discourse analysis, Fairclough’s model.

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Sepideh Mirzaee & Hadi Hamidi: Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough’s Model

Based on Fairclough and Wodak (1997), Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is a quickly developing area of language study. It considers discourse as ‘a form of social practice’ and takes consideration of the context of language use to be crucial to discourse (Wodak, 2001, cited in Wang, 2006). It is specifically interested in the relation between language and power. CDA may be described as neo-Marxist; claiming that cultural and economic scopes are crucial in the generation and maintenance of power relations. It is usually agreed that CDA cannot be organized as a single method but is rather regarded as an approach, which includes different perspectives and different methods for studying the relationship between the use of language and social context (Wang, 2006).

Additionally he believes that the most widely cited view about CDA, is Fairclough and Wodak’s (1997). According to them there are eight principles of CDA. Some of these principles are as follows:

The first principle is that CDA addresses social problems. It is worth mentioning that CDA not only focuses on language and language use, but also on the linguistic characteristics of social and cultural processes. Furthermore, CDA follows a critical approach to social problems in its activities to make explicit power relationships which are often hidden. Its purposes are to gain results which are of practical significance to the social, cultural, political and even economic contexts.

The second principle is that power relations are discursive. That is CDA explains how social relations of power are exercised and negotiated in and through discourse.

The next principle is that discourse includes society and culture. This means that every case of language use makes its own contribution to reproducing and transforming society and culture, consisting of relations of power.

CDA vs. cda 183 | E L T

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Sepideh Mirzaee & Hadi Hamidi: Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough’s Model

Gee (2004, cited in Rodgers et al., 2005, p. 20) makes the distinction between the capitalized term “Critical Discourse Analysis” and “critical discourse analysis” in lowercase letters, a difference that is rather relevant to this review. He states that “CDA with capital letters refers to the kind of analysis that has been informed by Fairclough, Hodge, Kress, Wodak, van Dijk, van Leeuwen, and followers. Lowercase critical discourse analysis includes a wider array of approaches”. Different scholars are conducting critically based forms of discourse analysis but do not exclusively call their work CDA. What is “Critical” about CDA?

Fairclough (1995) states that Critical concepts in fact show relations and causes which are unseen; it also implies intrusion, for instance providing resources for those people who may be disadvantaged through change. Atkins (2002) believes that the exposure of things hidden is important, as they are not comprehensible for the people occupied.

What is Discourse in CDA?

Within a CDA tradition, discourse has been defined as language use in social practice. That is, discourse moves from side to side between reflecting and constructing the social world. By paying attention to this concept, language cannot be regarded as neutral, since it is caught up in political, social, racial, economic, religious, and cultural formations (Atkins, 2002).

CDA is what Fairclough (1992) has referred to as a textually oriented form of discourse analysis (TODA). To develop this textual analysis, Fairclough brought together the linguistic theory of Systemic Functional Linguistics proposed by Halliday (Halliday & Hasan, 1976 , as cited in Fairclough, 1992). Systemic functional linguistics (SFL) explains language use in terms of the form and function of interactions. SFL theorists hypothesize that every interaction can be understood at 184 | E L T

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Sepideh Mirzaee & Hadi Hamidi: Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough’s Model

three levels: textually, interpersonally, and situated in a wider societal context (Rodgers et al., 2005).

Little d and Capital D in Discourse Gee (2004, as cited in Rodgers et al., 2005) distinguished between (“little d”) discourse and (“capital D”) Discourse. According to him, “capital D” Discourse refers both to language bits and to the cultural models that are associated with Discourses. For example, there is a university Discourse that consists of certain language bits that may be particular to academic world, and there are also related ways of thinking, believing, and valuing that are related to the membership in the Discourse of the university. On the other hand, “Little d” discourse refers to the linguistic elements-the language bits-that connect with such Discourses. Of course, the language bits (little d, discourse) and the social and cultural models (big D, Discourse) are related and work together to keep up interactions. The main thing to keep in mind about Discourse (both big and little d) is that they are social and political issues and have histories of participation that are related to power relations.

CDA and Different Definitions 1. Kumaravadivelu (1999, as cited in Rodgers et al, 2005, p.409): “CDA is defined as an educational application of post-structuralism”. “ideology and power that constitutes dominant discourses are hidden from ordinary people; critical linguistics seek to make these discourses visible by engaging in a type of CDA that is more issue oriented than theory oriented. The purpose is to conceptualize a framework for conducting CCDA.” 2. Rodgers (2002, as cited in Rodgers et al., 2005, p.414): “CDA offers a theory of language as a system (building on systemic functional linguistics SFL) that orders of discourse have a roughly parallel status to the grammatical aspects embedded in SFL”.

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Sepideh Mirzaee & Hadi Hamidi: Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough’s Model

CDA’s Conceptual and Theoretical Frameworks

Macro vs. Micro

Based on Vandijk (2001), Language use, discourse, verbal interaction, and communication is related to the micro-level of the social order. On the other hand, the issues of power, dominance, and inequality between social groups are usually terms related to a macro-level of analysis. This means that CDA has to bridge the distinguished "gap" between micro and macro approaches, which is of course a difference that is a kind of sociological construct in its own right. In everyday interaction and experience the macro- and micro level form one united whole. CDA’s Implications

Educational Setting

Rodgers (2004) believes that CDA contributes to the understanding of learning in two main ways. First by analyzing discourse from a critical perspective that allows a person to find out the processes of learning in more complicated ways. In fact, the analysis of the networking of language allows the analyst views into elements of learning that other theories and methods might have missed. Second in the process of conducting CDA, is that researchers’ and participants’ learning is formed. And the second way in which CDA can be fruitful regarding the educational setting is CCDA.

Critical Classroom Discourse Analysis Rymes (2008) believes that, discourse is defined generally as “language-in-use.” And discourse analysis, is the study of how language-in-use is influenced by the context of its use. In the classroom, context can range from the talk within a lesson, to students 186 | E L T

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Sepideh Mirzaee & Hadi Hamidi: Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough’s Model

and teachers’ talk. Based on him, Discourse analysis in the classroom becomes critical classroom discourse analysis when classroom researchers take the effects of such variable contexts into account in their analysis.

So, according to (Rymes, 2008, p. 17) Classroom Discourse Analysis could be paraphrased as “looking at language-in-use in a classroom context (with the understanding that this context is influenced also by multiple social contexts beyond and within the classroom) to understand how context and talk are influencing each other for the purpose of improving future classroom interactions and positively affecting social outcomes in contexts beyond the classroom.” Fairclough’s Model and Analytical Framework

Figure 1. Fairclough's Dimensions of Discourse and Discourse Analysis. (From Locke, 2004, p. 42) Rodgers et al. (2005) believe that Fairclough’s analytic framework includes three levels of analysis: the text, the discursive practice, and the sociocultural practice. From now on in order to understand the Fairclough’s model better, you can concentrate more on the figure in your hand outs. In other words, each of these discursive events has three proportions: 1-It is a spoken or written text, 2- it is an instance of discourse practice involving the production and interpretation of texts, and 187 | E L T

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Sepideh Mirzaee & Hadi Hamidi: Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough’s Model

3- it is a part of social practice. The analysis of the text consists of the study of the language structures produced in a discursive event. An analysis of the discursive practice is in fact paying attention to examining the production, consumption, and reproduction of the texts. Finally, the analysis of sociocultural practice consists of an investigation of what is happening in a particular socio-cultural framework. Based on (Rodgers et al., 2005, p.372) “Fairclough’s second dimension, discursive practice, as mentioned previously, involves the analysis of the process of production, interpretation, and consumption. This dimension is concerned with how people interpret and reproduce or transform texts. The third dimension, sociocultural practice, is concerned with issues of power. Analysis of this dimension includes exploration of the ways in which discourses operate in various domains of society” and the result of the combination of second and third dimension is text that is the first one here. In fact, CDA for Fairclough is concerned with the investigation of the relation between two assumptions about language use: that language use is both socially shaped and socially shaping. He bases this idea on Halliday’s systemic functional linguistics (SFL). According to Fairclough (1995, p.134), through the notion of multifunctionality of language in texts, he operationalizes the theoretical assumption that texts and discourses are socially constitutive: “Language use is always simultaneously constitutive of (i) social identities, (ii) social relations and (iii) systems of knowledge and beliefs”. Outline of Fairclough’s CDA ( Fairclough’s three-layer model of CDA)

As mentioned by Fairclough, his analysis is on the basis of three elements including description, interpretation and explanation. Linguistic characteristics of texts are described, the relationship between the productive and interpretative processes of discursive practice and the texts is interpreted, and the relationship between discursive practice and social practice is maintained (Fairclough, 1995). In doing this, Fairclough attempts to establish a systematic method for exploring the relationship between text 188 | E L T

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Sepideh Mirzaee & Hadi Hamidi: Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough’s Model

and its social context. The dimensions on which the method is based are shown in Figure 1.

Conclusion

As concluding remarks, it can be stated that CDA indeed leads to improvement. Through CDA, teachers can achieve a better understanding of their teaching practice. The very beginning use of CDA is that one can detect whether his pedagogical goals go in harmony with certain interactional features and discourse that he uses in his instruction.

Considering such an issue can provide teachers with a better understanding that certain interactional features are necessary to be used for certain pedagogical goals to be achieved. Consequently appropriate adjustments can be applied which lead to a better quality of the classroom interaction and learning environment. Finally, CDA helps teacher to better understand the multi-layered and complex nature of the classroom discourse by providing them the right tool to investigate the relationship between the discourse they use and the pedagogical goals which they look for.

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Sepideh Mirzaee & Hadi Hamidi: Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough’s Model

References

Atkins, A. (2002). Critical discourse analysis: A letter to expatriates from the Rt. Hon. Sir Norman FowlerMP. Retrieved from http://www.birmingham.ac.uk. Fairclough, N. (1992). Discourse and social change. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language. New York: Longman. Fairclough, N., & Wodak, R. (1997). Critical discourse analysis. In T. van Dijk (Eds.), (pp. 258–284). Discourse as social interaction. London: Sage. Kumaravadivelu, B. (1999). Critical classroom discourse analysis. TESOL Quarterly. 33(3), 453-484. doi:10.2307/3587674 Locke, T. (2004). Critical discourse analysis. London: Continuum. Rodgers, R. (2004). An introduction to critical discourse analysis in education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Eelbaum. Rodgers, R., Malancharavil-Berkes,M., Mosley, M., Hui,D., & O’ Garro J. G. (2005). Critical discourse analysis in education: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 75(3), 365-416. Rymes, B. (2008). Classroom discourse analysis: A tool for critical reflection. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton press. Vandijk, T. (2001). Critical discourse analysis. In D. Tannen, D. Schiffrin, & H. Hamilton (Eds.), (pp. 352-371). Handbook of discourse analysis. Oxford: Blackwell. Wallace, C. (1992). Critical literacy awareness in the EFL classroom. In N. Fairclough (Ed.), Critical language awareness. Harlow: Longman. Wodak, R. (1996). Disorders of discourse. London: Longman. Wodak, R., & Meyer, M. (2001). Methods of critical discourse analysis. London: SAGE. Wang,W. (2006). Newspaper commentaries on terrorism in China and Australia: contrastive genre study (PhD thesis, university of Sydney, Sydney, Australia). Retrieved from http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au.

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Sepideh Mirzaee & Hadi Hamidi: Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough’s Model

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

1. Sepideh Mirzaee is a Ph.D. candidate of TEFL and is an instructor at Islamic Azad University (IAU), Mashhad branch, Iran. She has presented in various international conferences and published several articles in academic journals. Her areas of interests are applied linguistics, (critical) discourse analysis and language assessment.

2. Hadi Hamidi has been teaching English for about 8 years at different institutes. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate of TEFL in Islamic Azad University, Science and Research branch, Tehran, Iran. He has carried out a number of researches, translated a couple of articles, and presented a number of papers in different conferences and seminars inside and outside the country. His areas of interest include CALL, ESP and Language Assessment.

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Voices – India (Vol.2 Issue 5) | October 2012 | ISSN 2230-9136

Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough's Model by - ELT Voices

[Type text] ELT Voices – India Volume 2 Issue 5 | October 2012 ISSN 2230-9136 ELT Research Paper 12 Critical Discourse Analysis and Fairclough’s Mo...

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