Pedagogical critical discourse analysis
Orr, Jeffery Lee
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Journals like Second Language Writing and TESOL Quarterly have documented studies on ESOL composition, among other language oriented issues, that evoke the clinical. Student writing undergoes examinations, diagnoses, evaluations, and prescriptions. Textual prognoses include, invariably, the need for students to acquire additional proficiencies whether in the areas of lexicon, syntax, or discrete grammar. Students’ texts, accordingly, present as acutely deficient, deficient lexicosyntaxically and detached socioculturally. This study portends, then, the dawning of an alternate model, one bound not toward the annihilation of the evaluative and the prescriptive but cast instead as a proclamation that ESOL students bring, in concert with some linguistic challenges surrounding textual production in English, robust repertoires of social and historical knowledge to composition classrooms. Such student knowledge, when privileged in instructional contexts, particularly the ESOL composition classroom at the university level, reduces the deficit model of learning and reconstructs curricular models for teaching. Recasting models for learning and teaching in ESOL composition warrants a revitalization of academic literacy as a sociocultural affordance. Academic literacy affords students discursive opportunities to integrate their own cultural and historical knowledge to interpret, evaluate, synthesize and create texts. It contributes to students’ ability to textually initiate and reiterate dialogues in context within the academy and additional institutional and social realms.