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Ethnography of Communication. …to plan Second Language Instruction. How to use …. Ethnography of Communication. -is a type of discourse analysis -can be used to analyze discourse in any language -discourse means any language use for meaningful communication

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Ethnography of communication

Ethnography of Communication

…to plan Second Language Instruction

How to use …

Ethnography of communication1

Ethnography of Communication

-is a type of discourse analysis

-can be used to analyze discourse in any language

-discourse means any language use for meaningful communication

-academic tasks in school are discourse; therefore, they can be analyzed and broken down into teachable sub-tasks

Speech Community: a group of people who use the same variety of a language and who share specific rules for speaking and for interpreting speech.

Each speech community has its own codes, language forms, and norms for communicating:

-examples include, the language of the street, basketball courts, teenagers, religious groups, truck drivers, doctors, and public schools.

-the culturally shared and socially expected language variety of schools includes academic discourse

Speech Events are specific communicative situations, such as ordering a cup of coffee in a restaurant, communicating at a birthday party, participating in a funeral, writing an email to a friend, having a business meeting, and doing academic tasks at school, such as writing an essay.

Each speech event has its own culturally shared and socially expected forms of participation and communication.

Speech acts

…are influenced by …

Speech Acts

S = Setting and Scene

P = Participants

E = Ends

A = Act Sequence

K = Key

I = Instrumentalities

N = Norms of Communication

G = Genre

Specific …


By Dell Hymes

S = Setting and Scene:

Where, when, and social setting.

P = Participants:

Who is communicating with whom.

E = Ends:

What the expected outcomes and purpose of communicating are.

e.g., Phatic communication has social cohesion as its goal.

A = Act Sequence:

The order of communicating; e.g., initiating, reacting, counteracting, etc.

K = Key:

The tone of the communicative event; e.g., funeral, birthday party, business meeting.

I = Instrumentalities:

The form of communicating: Spoken, written, signals, drums, the Internet

N = Norms of Communication:

Expected socially acceptable behavior in communicating

G = Genre:

The kind communication; e.g., business letter vs. letter to a friend, poem, novel, report

Depending on the specific SPEECH COMMUNITY and the SPEECH EVENT, the SPEECH ACT will include a range of culturally shared and socially acceptable language and performance variables.

Academic Tasks in Schools are well have culturally shared and socially expected performance variables that can be taught to second language learners.


Language functions

Language forms





How it is done

Examples of academic tasks requiring formal academic language

Examples of Academic Tasks Requiring Formal, Academic Language

Paragraphs (descriptive, informative, persuasive, cause-effect, comparison, reactions, etc.)

Summaries: (plot summaries, poem summaries, articles, reports, cartoons, maps, graphs, etc.)

Report: (Biographies, book reports, author reports, etc.)

Letters (business, friendly, complaints, inquiries, etc.)

Lab reports: (Science, etc.)

Essay writing (Subject areas)

Reactions/Responses (Literary response, reacting to a work of art, expressing an opinion, etc.)

Observations and Noticing (Descriptive writing, describing people, places, things, ideas, etc.)

Reading analysis: (Poems, stories, articles, chapters, etc.)

Research projects: (reports, presentations, etc.)

And many other genres of reading analysis and writing.

The above tasks all requires specific language forms (conventions, structures, language functions, vocabulary, style, organization, and how to do it declarative and procedural knowledge and skills that can be taught using an EOC approach and scaffolding.

Culturally Shared and Socially Expected Forms are Teachable to Second Language Learners through Various Techniques and Scaffolding Strategies.

Modeling: What does it look like?

Writing Templates: A framework for completing the task.

Breaking larger tasks down into manageable sub-tasks

Teaching language functions, vocabulary, concepts, etc.

How to teach writing a plot summary and reaction to a short story

How to teach writing a plot summary and reaction to a short story

Vocabulary of short story analysis: title, author, setting, point of view, characters, conflict, resolution, theme

Language functions: “The story is about …”

Language Forms: Specific conventions and structures in the story

Content: Ideas that come up in the story

Concepts: Theme, imagery, literary elements

Organization: Give title and author first, the a brief description of the theme or plot…

Style/Rhetoric: Formal language, pragmatics knowledge, don’t use the words guys, wanna, gonna, informal language in a formal writing.

How it is done: See writing template, model, or sentence starters,… Also, be aware of spelling, paragraphing conventions, punctuation, etc., … and any other specifics of the task.

Writing template



“ _______________________________________” by _____________________

is about ______________________________________________________________. The

story takes place ______________________________________________________. The

characters in the story are ________________________, __________________________,

and _________________________. The problem in the story is _____________________

________________________________________________________. It turns out that

_______________________________________________________________. This story

shows us that ____________________________________________________. I like/don’t

like the story because ____________________________________________________. I

think ___________________________________________________________________.

Use eoc and the speaking model to analyze an academic task

Use EOC and the SPEAKING Model to Analyze an Academic Task story

Project: Think of a specific academic task

Task description using the speaking model

Task Description Using the SPEAKING Model story

SWhat class or subject area in school in which the task is to be used?

PTarget group age, language proficiency, grade, etc. Who will read or assess it?

EWhat is the purpose of the task (to inform, persuade, entertain, report, etc.)?

AHow is the task to be organized (Parts, sections, paragraphs)?

KWhat is the tone of the task (creative, analytical, responsive, academic, etc.)?

IHow is the task to be done (written, presented, visual aids, PowerPoint, etc.)?

NWhat are the procedures for accomplishing the task (step-by-step subtasks, how they are done)?

GWhat is the specific type of task (a poem, short story, Lab report, cause-effect paragraph, etc.)?

Analysis of the Task: storyWhat can/should be taught to second language students for successful completion of the task

Concepts (Connections, associations, what it is and looks like)

Vocabulary (Words, expressions, idiomsneeded to do the task )

Content (Specific details, who, what, when, where, etc.)

Organization(Sequence of presentation, what goes where)

Language functions (Procedural or How-to language)

Language forms (Conventions, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.)

Style/Rhetoric (Registers, stylistic or sophisticated forms, pragmatics)

How it is done (Step-by-step directions to accomplish the task)

Learning Activities story: Graphic organizers, writing templates, sentence starters, visual and aural aids, mini-lessons to teach sub-tasks and various learning and communication strategies related to the task can/should be developed to address each skill area identified using the SPEAKING Model in analyzing the task.Scaffolding: After students have been exposed to clear models of successful performance that (clearly point out each element of the SPEAKING Model goals and) are appropriate to their age, proficiency, and developmental levels; and after they have had sufficient guided practice in all parts of the task; they should be given opportunities to do the task independently as well as to extend the task to other meaningful activities. Finally, they need meaningful feedback on their performance of the task. Assessment: A rubric or other task performance assessment instrument (formal, informal, or alternative) can/should be developed to give meaningful feedback to students on the whole tasks and/or the specific areas developed using the SPEAKING Model.