Re: Talk of courses and discussions

From: Ana Marjanovic-Shane (
Date: Thu Jun 02 2005 - 10:15:28 PDT

Dear Phil and all,
I would like to help put this discussion together. I'll send you a few reading items (from home; where I'll be tonight), too.
But I have a suggestion that we start first with what we have as "collective" knowledge of the topic -- or at least formulate some questions about what are we looking at -- before we get lost in the intricacies of all the readings.
The topic (How to understand language/speech from the CHAT point of view) is really vast and many of us have a lot to say including the writers of the articles. What I am proposing is to use a bit sharper focus, although it does not have to be inflexible.
If each one interested wrote ONE question down (just one) -- we would have a local universe of issues for the mini curriculum.

-----Original Message-----
From: Phil Chappell []
Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2005 02:39 PM
Subject: Re: Talk of courses and discussions


Will do with et al.

Harry just sent a very interesting paper; I have some at hand including
a lovely recent Ochs paper called Becoming a Speaker of Culture.

Ready and waiting to pull the mini curriculum together.

On 02/06/2005, at 9:23 PM, Mike Cole wrote:

> Phil et al--
> Please identify sxtarting texts and we will make them available in a
> set under the "papers
> for discussion" part of the xmca web page.
> I believe there is a chapter from Ochs and Schiefflin that is quite
> relevant here, but look to
> others for suggestions. I believe a google search of xmca will turn
> up Hasan, Halliday, Bernstein,
> and other relevant figures.  And relevant discussion.
> I think it would help, phil, if you would pull together a
> "mini-curriculum" for us to use as common
> tool.  The object is more widely share,  methinks, than you estimate.
> But finding volunteers to do some
> mediating may be a more difficult task.
> mike
> On 6/2/05, Phil Chappell <> wrote:
>> On 02/06/2005, at 5:35 AM, Ana Marjanovic-Shane wrote:
>> >  What I am interested in is developing a CHAT theory of language --
>> so
>> > all these different ways to look at it as an activity are very
>> > helpful.
>> >  Ana
>> Dear Ana, Mike, and All,
>> I'm a little hesitant to go too far here, as my own previous attempts
>> here to sow the seeds of a group object/motive of discussing AT and a
>> theory of language haven't really resulted in much - I often wonder
>> whether any mention of systemics and Michael Halliday results in an
>> impulsive "hit hit the delete" response ;-) And whither Bernstein...
>> But Ana's interest is an interest that many here have, I feel, and it
>> has often been said that the xmca community lacks a fully articulated
>> theory of language, just as the SFL community is often derided for
>> lacking a fully articulate theory of human learning. I'm struggling
>> right now with a study from the SFL "Sydney school" in an attempt to
>> make explicit a pedagogical approach that foregrounds the linguistic
>> features that afford students access to future human activity that
>> they
>> may otherwise be denied. But that is a red herring here.
>> Should anyone here wish to pursue the discussion of a theory of
>> language "for chat", I'd like to offer up the suggestion that we read
>> Gordon Well's paper: The complementary contributions of Halliday and
>> Vygotsky to a 'language-based theory of learning', and I also think
>> that the various ecological views of language may be worthwhile to
>> pursue.
>> So, any takers to assemble a couple of papers? I have an electronic
>> version of Gordon's paper that we will need to get approval to use
>> first.
>> I'll leave it there and hope there may be a couple here interested in
>> making a motive.......
>> Phil

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