Re: Challenge to Christie in school instruction

From: Peter Smagorinsky (
Date: Thu Sep 09 2004 - 06:27:28 PDT

I know that Gordon Wells has made the Halliday/LSV connection. see e.g.

At 07:20 PM 9/9/2004 +0700, you wrote:
>Problem-poster David Kellog asked me to forward this response to the list.
>Not sure I agree that there aren't others who are interested in
>intersections of Halliday and Vygotsky (and of course, Bernstein).
>Any takers?
>Dear Phil:
>(Can't seem to get it on XCMA--but I'm not sure anybody besides you would
>be interested as Vygotsky vs. Halliday is a somewhat specialized interest....)
>One of Christie's concrete recommendations is that classroom genres like
>the "morning news" or "show and tell" should be eliminated, and instead
>children should be given more "structured" genres. She would like the
>"instructional register" to be projected by the "regulative register".
>(Christie [2003], Classroom Discourse Analysis, London: Continuum.)
>When Hallidayans say things like this, they mean, basically, that
>registers can "project" each other rather the way that a reporting clause
>like "She said" serves to project the reported one "that she had a
>It's true that when a teacher says something like "Listen and repeat" we
>have precisely that kind of projection. It's also true on a larger scale:
>on my desk I have a transcript of a science class in which a teacher
>basically lays out the procedure and the children follow it (but the kids
>do not achieve the desired result and they will have to do the
>"experiment" all over again this Friday!).
>It's a highly monologic idea, isn't it? In Bakhtin, even when you are
>using indirect speech there is two way traffic--the projected also
>projects itself onto the projector, as when Dickens describes a character
>in the sort of language that character would have used to describe himself.
>What bothers Christie about the "morning news" and "show and tell"
>classroom genres is that they allow this kind of two way traffic. Instead,
>she thinks that primary school teaching should be much more like secondary
>school teaching.
>I don't know about secondary teaching; at my uni we do primary and nothing
>else. But doesn't this directly infringe Vygotsky's firm belief that at
>different stages of learning there are very different kinds of
>relationships between similar elements (viz. subject and object)? Doesn't
>it even go against the criticism that Mike cites, viz, that there have to
>be different classrooms genres at different levels?
>David Kellogg
>Seoul National University of Education </blockquote></x-html>

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