Thursday, April 21, 2011

The sad realization that my study is actually about grammar

...may be upon me. Probably a sociological look at a reified "correct grammar" rather than a deep look into what grammar is (I hope?), but hey: writing is full of grammar. Grammar is a contentious thing in L2 writing. For many students, it's the only thing.

If I stay at the sentence level, 'grammar' is -- maybe along with vocabulary -- kind of the only game in town. Discourse-level features? Elusive.

But remember the "can able to" example and the argument that grammar is ideological:

"I didn't want to jeopardize my case for pluralizing academic writing by extending it to
the controversial terrain of grammar. But a combination of developments in theoretical discourses, social changes, communicative advances, and pedagogical rethinking (reviewed in this article) tell me that now is the time to take my position to its logical conclusion. The moment is ripe to extend my argument of pluralizing English and academic writing into the “deep structure” of grammar."

...thus saith Canagarajah (2006).

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