Text Linguistics. Report on Grammar and Language Teaching

Submitted Assignment, 2009

18 Pages, Grade: A



Report on Grammar and Language Teaching

Chapter One: Text Linguistics
1. Genre
2. Register
3. Coherence
4. Cohesion
4.1. Reference:
4.2. Ellipsis
4.3. Substitution
4.4. Conjunctions
4.5. Lexical cohesion
4.6. Text connectives
5. Morphology
6. Word classes
7. The tenses
8. Auxiliary verbs
9. Phrases and Words
10. Sentences and Clauses
11. Types of sentences
12. Speech acts types
13. Learning tasks

Chapter Two: Current issues in grammar teaching



Report on Grammar and Language Teaching


The first part of this paper analyses a text by describing the following features: its social purpose and context; its audience; its register; its grammatical features at the level of the whole text i.e. its cohesion and coherence; its sentence or clause level grammatical features. Then it designs a series of grammar-focussed learning tasks which fit together in a cohesive learning program based on the text and the grammatical analysis of it, and which enhance the learners’ understanding of the meaning of the whole text. The second part of this paper briefly reviews current issues in the teaching of grammar in the field of TESOL.

Chapter One: Text Linguistics

The text that is going to be analyzed in this paper is the “THE CARNIVAL” (see appendix) which is retrieved from the following website: http://www.armeniaemb.org/Kids/ArmenianFairyTales/Index.htm. See appendix 1.

1. Genre

The text is a narrative type. It is a fairy tale. It gives information about a wife and her husband in unexpected development of events. Its social purpose is to entertain and give advices and proverbs that audience may use and follow in real life. To support learning, it can be used in a school curriculum as a literary narrative type which aims to entertain through telling a story. The text has the following structure:

1. Orientation, which describes a setting in time ("Once upon a time there lived"), introduces the main characters ("a husband and his wife").
2. Complication, which gives a sequence of problematic events. It begins with that "the man bought a hundred pounds of butter and rice", and then describes the wife reaction that she gave them to the young man.
3. Resolution which deals with the attempts to solve the problem "She showed him and the man mounted his horse and rode after the Carnival."
4. Coda, which gives an overall evaluation of the events. "…came back - to find both the horse and the stranger gone. He returned home and husband and wife started fighting anew..."

The audience could be teenagers or adults who are interested in reading fairy stories. Moreover, they could be ESL learners who want to learn English through entertainment.

2. Register

The text is an interactive story. The discourse of the story is multiparty in nature as it is entirely created by three participants, (a husband, a wife and a young man). The register is informal, as it is mainly a conversation between a husband and his wife, so the vocabulary and grammar are not complex and are more characteristic of spoken language and there are a lot of informal words such as "I've"; "aren't"; "I'll"; etc. The main tone of the conversation is an argument (They were always fighting about something or other.). The argument is about a hundred pounds of butter and rice. The events happened a long time ago ("Once upon a time there lived ….") and most of the conversation took place in a house ("As she was sitting by the door ", "The man hurried into the house ...").

3. Coherence

While doing discourse analysis two major fields have to be considered, the coherence and the cohesion of the text. Coherence is the overall construction and organization of a text “which can be viewed as part of top-down planning and organization” (Celce-Murcia & Olshtain 2000, p.8). The topic of this text is the Carnival. The author has made the text coherent by relating all the conversations to the topic. Though there are cases when a paragraph is not directly connected to the previous one, they serve the reason of creating a scene. There is coherence within paragraphs as well. The sentences are interconnected and they create a real picture of the situation. The coherence of the text is also kept by presenting new information, the comment or the theme, in a logical sequence. For example, in the first half of the text the scene is set where the reader may guess what the situation is: a man took the butter and rice and ran away. In the next paragraph, the husband mounted his horse and rode after him.

4. Cohesion

The next field of consideration while doing discourse analysis is the cohesion of the text, which Halliday and Hasan (1976) view as “the basis for coherence.” To support their definition of these two concepts they further state “… cohesion is the foundation on which the edifice of coherence is built. Like all foundations, it is necessary but not sufficient by itself.” (Celce-Murcia & Olshtain 2000, p.125). The cohesive ties that are used in the language to connect different linguistic items in the text create cohesion. Therefore, cohesion is the bottom-up connections in a text (Celce-Murcia & Olshtain 2000). There are grammatical and lexical ties. Grammatical ties in their turn have four categories: reference, ellipsis, substitution and conjunction. Through the bottom-up approach to text analysis many cohesive ties, both lexical and grammatical are evident which bring the texts to be cohesive.

4.1. Reference:

As Halliday and Hasan (1976) state one of the important aspects of cohesion is the ability of hearers and readers to identify the relevant portion of text as referent when they are faced with references (personal, demonstrative). One of the factors that enable them to do this is the internal cohesion within the passage that is being presupposed. In this text, endophoric (anaphoric) references are mainly used, where the reference follows the referent. The grammatical ties of the text are expressed through all types of references. There are different types of references in the text that make the cohesion of the text very clear. For example:

a. Personal references

"The man called his wife a dimwit and she returned the compliment. They were always fighting about something or other."

For example, in the above sentence the pronoun ‘his’ is an anaphoric reference for the word ’man’, the pronoun ‘she’ is an anaphoric reference for the word ’wife’ and the pronoun 'they' is an anaphoric reference for both "man" and "wife".

b. Demonstrative references

All the distinctions have some relevance to cohesion, in that they particularly determine the use of these items in endophoric (textual) reference.

Demonstrative reference is also a reference by means of the location. The speaker identifies the referent by locating it on a scale of proximity. The existential demonstrative here refers to the location of the house.

"Hey, brother, come here for a minute!"

"The man saw at once that there must be something wrong…."

The meaning of ‘there’ is anaphoric and locative. Another example: 'That’ is endophoric, cataphoric reference to following text.

"Well all I have to say is that after all we're not your servants..."

"Why so angry, my dear? That 's just I've come for."

4.2. Ellipsis

Ellipsis is the omission of a grammatically required linguistic item the existence of which is made clear by the context of the text. Celce-Murcia & Olshtain (2000) differentiate three types of ellipsis: nominal, omission of a noun; verbal, omission of a verb; and clausal, omission of a clause. The cases of ellipsis observed in the text are the following:

"You are not the Carnival by any chance, are you {the carnival}, brother?"

"Why {are you} so angry, my dear?"

"Our man, however, walked on and on and finding nobody {the man} turned round and came back"

The word ‘the man’ is an ellipsis . The author has omitted it but it is clear from the first part of the sentence that the doer of the action is the same person that is the man.

4.3. Substitution

Substitution is the use of the word ‘one’ to substitute for another word. This is to avoid the repetition of the same word in the same sentence.

"Good day, brother. Have you seen a man going this way?" "Yes, indeed, I did see one "

The word 'one' used to substitute the word 'a man'

4.4. Conjunctions

Conjunctions are the words that are used to connect different parts of sentences or different sentences. As there is a lot of conversation in this piece of discourse, there are many occurrences of the use of conjunctions. For example:

"What did you go and buy so much butter and rice for?"

"Some time passed and the woman waited and waited, but the Carnival did not come."


Excerpt out of 18 pages


Text Linguistics. Report on Grammar and Language Teaching
University of Western Sydney
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL)
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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548 KB
Academic Awards: Master of Arts (TESOL) with Distinction
text, linguistics, report, grammar, language, teaching
Quote paper
Ahmad Altasan (Author), 2009, Text Linguistics. Report on Grammar and Language Teaching, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/345370


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