Teaching disciplinary discourse and implementing language-across-the-curriculum at tertiary level : problems and prospects

Caldwell, Candice Anne (1997) Teaching disciplinary discourse and implementing language-across-the-curriculum at tertiary level : problems and prospects. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




The premIse of this thesis is that "learning", particularly in terms of students and universities, is capable of being seen as a specific and developed culture. This study is a contribution to the ethnography of that learning, the ultimate aim being to produce a descriptive theory of learning as a cultural system. This research was conducted within the context of the recent proposals made by the South African Commission on Higher Education. The proposals relevant to this study were, broadly, increased access to higher education and national funding for academic staff development programmes. There are, however, serious obstacles in the way of realising the aims of the higher education system outlined by the NCHE. Given the limited time and resources available for higher education development, it is imperative that the niajor flaws and obstacles in the system be identified and addressed as soon as possible. In view of this need, it was the concern of this study to conduct research which would assist in the designing of staff development progran1l11es for academics teaching in English-medium tertiary institutions, like Rhodes University, where more than half the intake of first-year students already speaks English as a second, or other, language. Founded on the social constructionist view of knowledge, the aim of the study was to identify the needs of academic staff as well as the possible obstacles to the implementation of a "Language Across the Curriculum" policy. A genre-centred, ethnographic approach was used to access a disciplinary discourse community (the Psychology Department) in order to describe the practices of the community as well as to analyse the community's orders of discourse, particularly those which occurred at points of cont.act between lecturers and first-year students. It is argued that staff development progral11l11es should promote the use of collaborative learning, which implies a reframing of the roles of both academic staff and students.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Students, South Africa, Bridging year, Language, Discourse analysis, Curriculum
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > English Language and Linguistics
Supervisors:De Klerk, V. A. and Barkhuizen, G. P.
ID Code:3199
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:23 Aug 2012 12:36
Last Modified:23 Aug 2012 12:36
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