Essay Writing Difficulties Encountered by EFL Learners

Slutan Moulay Slimane University Students as a Case Study

Essay, 2019

6 Pages

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Discourse Analysis

For the time being, discourse analysis is of primary importance. Before we dive deeper, it is of paramount importance to define it. Simply defined, according to Malcolm Coulthard, in his book "An Introduction to Discourse Analysis", discourse analysis is the analysis of language and how it is used to construct perspectives and identities, to name just a few. It is noteworthy to point out that discourse analysis is mainly based on language; in other words, discourse analysis is worthless without language, which is, according to Malcolm, a way of behaving and making others behave, meaning that others behave based on the ideas being sent to them, whereas Noam Chomsky refers to it as a nrirror of the human mind. That is to say, through language we can delineate how the human mind works.

The interrelationships between language and society are in focus when it comes to DA. Moreover, it is interested in language use in social contexts. Despite of being interested in speaking, discourse analysis is interested also in writing. Discourse analysis aims not only at detecting the rules of producing a coherent discourse but also at depicting the conversational structures. In respect of discourse, it is broken down into language and non-language. Language is used to perform social activities such as discussing, talking, advising and promising. In addition, it is used to delineate human affiliation within culture; for instance, it's believed that men are more powerful than women. This is crystal clear in our daily activities. Additionally, it is used as a means of manipulation. For instance, the teacher exercises power over his students based on his social position and knowledge. It is obvious that each one of us strives to be in a powerful position, of course, depending on discourse. When power is used to manipulate others, in this case, it is called hegemony.

Power, with no doubts, is a natural thing. As far as discourse activities are concerned, it is to be noted that our standpoints, perspectives and attitudes are taken from the social activities, which are, of course, practiced by the members of a particular society. It is a continuous process; that is, our lives are controlled by the attitudes of the ancestors. We're involved in a process of socialization.

In all societies, women are constrained by certain limits, which have nothing to do with men. Men, on the other hand, are in position of power. Whatever men do, men are men. Unlike men, women are not permitted to behave freely. They are always monitored by men (brothers, uncles, fathers, grandfathers...). According to Labour , sociologist, any society is constructed as illustrated below:

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It is noteworthy to indicate that this social situation is undiscussable, known as objective reality.

Speech community :

According to Hymes , speech community is a crowd of people sharing both linguistic resources and rules for interaction and interpretation. On the other extreme, Dorian refers to speech community as a group of people who speak the same language. The members of any speech community should be aware of the things they have in common. Each speech community has at least two styles, which share some linguistic features. Nonetheless, each style has its own lexical items and grammatical constructions. Hallidacy is of the opinion that making a clear-cut distinction between different speech communities relies basically upon the registers they use.


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Without any shadow of doubt, our daily misunderstandings are sent by language, and they could be reformed via using language.

Connections :

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The speakers A and B communicate through language, which is a set of words, each of which conveys a specific meaning

Semiotics :

The first thing that comes to our heads during talking about semiotics is the French linguist Ferdinand De Sessure. Simply defined, semiotics is the study of sings; in other words, it is interested in how different symbol systems and forms of language count.

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This refers to the following differences:

- Ethnic dialect
- Idiolects
- Geographic dialect
- Regional dialect
- Social dialect (how the social classes use language)
- Historical dialect
- Standard and non-standard

We cannot talk about discourse without context. A related point is that when a text is being produced, the production is either written or spoken.

Context of situation :

It involves the totality of cultural components surrounding the act of the text production and reception. Discourse is text production that is approached by a particular analysis in which language is a semiotic system. Whenever we’re conversing, we produce a text (word, sentence, utterance, and image) which is understood within a certain context of situation, which is relies on a set of variations classified into user-related and use-related.

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Standard and non-standard:

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Norms of interaction :

All communities have certain non-linguistic rules that govern how speech occurs; for example, French children are encouraged to be silent when visitors are present, whereas Russian children are encouraged to talk.

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It is worthy note that some events may share the same style, but they’re different in terms of purpose and participants or sitting

Tone :

All speakers have a basic choice between falling and rising tones. In all situations there’re certain norms, or rules, which determine who speaks when and to whom. Furthermore, the dominant speaker is a person who has more linguistic choices than the hearer.

Areas of reality:

1. The meaning and value of the material world: discourse analysis is not only interested in speaking but also in writing.

2. Activities: talk and act: the context delineates the meaning of certain things. Of course, this automatically leads to obtaining certain readings. The three parts of speech are: locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary.
2.1) Locutionary act : producing the utterance
2.2) Illocutionary act : it is used to convey a specific meaning (intention), or the so- called subtext (hidden meaning). In other words, the meaning is conveyed implicitly.

2.2.1) Assertive: claims and suggestions
2.2.2) Directive: request and commands
2.2.3) Expressive: thanks and apologies
2.2.4) Comissive: promises
2.2.5) Declarative: declarations

2.3) Perlocutionary act: the consequence of the utterance.

3. Identities and relationships: it is noteworthy to mention that the way of speaking determines the identity.

EX: YOU speak like a teacher

This denotes that teachers have a specific way of speaking.

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Essay Writing Difficulties Encountered by EFL Learners
Slutan Moulay Slimane University Students as a Case Study
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Bachelor of Arts El Mehdi Lalam (Author), 2019, Essay Writing Difficulties Encountered by EFL Learners, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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