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Pedagogical Grammar in Authentic Discourse: a crosslinguistic consideration 

MIC Distinguished Lecture Series


Date: Thusday, November 17th
Time: 3pm
Location: On Zoom

In this talk we will call into question the long-practiced tradition of framing and teaching “grammar” in pedagogical contexts as a functional equivalent of morphosyntactic rules and vague appeals to rules of thumb (word order, subject verb agreement, “near synonyms”). We will instead shift the focus to grammar as conceptual representation of ideas, expectations, stances, assumptions, and perceptions using discourse and discursive patterns to re-evaluate constructs underlying traditional grammar rules. By analyzing the intersection of discourse, grammar, and meaning, we will explore the boundless potential of authentic discourse at multiple levels of L1 and L2 study through carefully selected excerpts teeming with rich inventories of lexico-grammar not typically addressed in pedagogical materials, e.g., textbooks, reference grammars, course lectures. We will examine fascinating phenomena revealing perspectives of grammar as conceptual meaning in English, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish and will explore the practice of encouraging students to notice meaning-driven patterns of language use in discourse, and to then re-evaluate and inductively re-design rules of usage based on such patterns.

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Dr. Susan Strauss

Susan Strauss

Susan Strauss is Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Applied Linguistics at Penn State, with courtesy appointments in Education and Linguistics. Her research focuses on the discourse-central relationships between language and cognition, interaction, and culture, in relation to English, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Persian, Mandarin and other languages. She is the co-author of Discourse Analysis: Putting Our Worlds into Words and Grammar, Meaning, and Concepts: A Discourse-Based Approach to English Grammar, plus three co-edited three volumes of Japanese/Korean Linguistics. Her articles appear in Modern Language Journal, Journal of Pragmatics, Linguistics, Language Sciences, Language Awareness, and Written Communication. She teaches courses in discourse analysis, linguistic anthropology, L2 writing pedagogy, discourse-functional grammar, and intercultural communication.