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As stated in the main article, an ecological perspective of language learning and complex theory provide useful guidelines for developing materials. This lesson plan will try to incorporate those ideas and show how this could be realized through a LSS (Learner Social System).

In addition, the format borrows heavily from ideas presented by Scott Thornbury in Beyond the Sentence: Introducing Discourse Analysis. In his book he concludes that texts can be ‘progressively fine-tuned, elaborated, reformulated, critiqued, corrected, responded to and personalized.’ (2005 p.162). For an idea of how much language can be squeezed from a text checkout his dissection of the joke: ‘Did you hear the one about the two sunbathing elephants’.

Also, Grabe (2009 p.37), in his book on reading, points to the importance of discourse and states:

For purposes of reading comprehension, grammar should not be viewed as a set of arbitrary rules and structures to be learned; rather, grammar is a major discourse signaling system to provide the reader with a constant stream of information for how the text is to be understood more precisely.

So, I selected a short poem – I usually avoid them like the plague in the classroom – for my discourse analysis, and added a bit of PARSNIPs (politics, alcohol, religion, sex, narcotics, isms or pork), in this case swearing.

Is that a PARSNIP?

Lesson Plan      Student Handout 


Grabe, W (2009) Reading in a Second Language: Moving from Theory to Practice, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge

Thornbury, S (2005) Beyond the Sentence: Introducing Discourse Analysis, Macmillan Education: Oxford

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