Topic 28 – Macro-functions of language to express the commonest habitual communicative intentions: Establishing relationships; Asking for and giving information about things, people or actions; Expressing intellectual and emotional attitudes

1. INTRODUCTION.

1.1. Aims of the unit.

1.2. Notes on bibliography.

2. A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE NOTION OF MACROFUNCTION.

2.1. Language and communication.

2.2. Macrofunctions vs. Functions of language.

2.2.1. The functions of language.

2.2.2. Macrofunctions.

2.3. Linguistic macrofunctions and language teaching.

2.3.1. Macrofunctions and communicative competence..

2.3.2. A communicative approach to language teaching.

2.4. A typology of macrolinguistic functions.

3. INICIATING AND MAINTAINING SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP.

3.1. Attracting attention.

3.2. Greeting people.

3.3. Replying to a greeting.

3.4. Address forms.

3.5. Making introductions.

3.6. Making someone welcome.

3.7. At a meal.

3.8. Congratulating someone.

3.9. Good wishes.

3.10.Taking leave.

4. GIVING AND ASKING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT OBJECTS, PEOPLE AND

ACTIONS.

4.1. Asking for information.

4.1.1. Asking for specific information.

4.1.2. Asking for confirmation.

4.1.3. Suggestions, offers and invitations.

4.1.4. Asking someone’s opinion.

4.1.5. Assuring and repairing communication.

4.2. Giving information.

4.2.1. Giving specific information.

4.2.2. Giving opinions and advice.

4.2.3. Describing people, things and actions.

4.2.4. Identifying and specifying.

4.2.5. Answering questions.

4.2.6. Offers, invitations and refusals.

5. EXPRESSING EMOTIONAL AND INTELLECTUAL ATTITUDES.

5.1. Intellectual attitudes.

5.1.1. Agreement.

5.1.2. Disagreement.

5.1.3. Knowledge, memory and belief.

5.1.4. Modality.

5.1.5. Volition.

5.2. Emotional attitudes.

5.2.1. Happiness vs. sadness.

5.2.2. Regret and condolence.

5.2.3. Hope and expectations.

5.2.4. Disappointment.

5.2.5. Fear, anxiety and worry.

5.2.6. Suffering and relief.

5.2.7. Likes and dislikes.

5.2.8. Complaining.

5.2.9. Apologising.

6. PRESENT-DAY DIRECTIONS REGARDING COMMUNICATIVE INTENTIONS.

7. CONCLUSION.

8. BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. INTRODUCTION.

1.1. Aims of the unit.

The main aim of Unit 28 is to examine the main linguistic macrofunctions to express the most usual communicative intentions, that is, first, iniciating and maintaining social relationship; second, giving and asking for information about objects, people and actions; and finally, to express emotional and intellectual attitudes . Our aim is to offer a broad account in descriptive terms of the notion of linguistic macrofunctions and its importance in society, and especially, in the language teaching community, from its origins to present-day studies. This presentation will start by offering the most relevant bibliography in this field as a reference for the reader, and by presenting our study in seven chapters.

Chapter 2 will offer a brief introduction to the notion of macrofunction. We shall start by reviewing the communication process, where the notions of ‘communication’ and ‘language’ will be examined from its very origins in order to provide a link to the concept of communication and the description of the linguistic macrofunctions in a language teaching context. Therefore, key concepts and relevant theories related to linguistic macrofunctions will be under revision, such as first, (1) the notions of communication and language; (2) the main theories on language functions from a linguistic, pragmatic and socio-cultural point of view; and finally we shall establish (3) a typology of macrolinguistic functions which shall lead us directly to the analysis of each item.

Chapters 3, 4 and 5 will offer an insightful analysis and description of each macrolinguistic function and Chapter 6 will be devoted to present-day directions regarding communicative intentions within a classroom setting. Chapter 7 will present a conclusion to broadly overview our present study, and Chapter 8 will include all the bibliographical references involved in this study.

1.2. Notes on bibliography.

An influential introduction to the relationship of language to the concept of communication is provided by David Crystal, Linguistics (1985), as well as the study that surveys the origins and emergence of language within human biological and cultural evolution in order to understand the instrumental role of language. Among other relevant works on linguistic functions and therefore, marcrofunctions, see especially Halliday, Explorations in the Functions of Language (1975), Ferdinand de Saussure’s work under the title Cours de linguistique générale (1983) and Halliday, An Introduction to Functional Grammar (1985).

Introductions to linguistic approaches and the influence of semantics, pragmatics and sociolinguistic on language, include Hymes (1972) and Halliday (1975) whereas classic works on language in use and the negotiation of meaning in context are given by other founders of modern linguistics such as Ellis (1985). For current statistics and references, see the journals Asociación Española de Lingüística Aplicada (AESLA) listed in the section of bibliography.

For more information on educational implications regarding present European Projects (Comenius, Sócrates, Plumier), see B.O.E. (2002) and within a technological framework, see http://www.britishcouncil.org; for applications to both classroom and natural settings, see the studies and surveys on the journals of Asociación Española de Lingüística Aplicada (AESLA) published by the Universities of Alcalá, Barcelona and León, listed in the bibliography section. For further references, see Revista CERCLE del Centro Europeo de Recursos Culturales Lingüísticos y Educativos (Servicio de Programas Educativos. Consejería de Educación y Cultura).

2. A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE NOTION OF MACROFUNCTION.

In this chapter we shall offer a brief introduction to the notion of macrofunction before we present an individual description of the ones mentioned in the title in the subsequent chapters. So, we shall start at the very core of it by reviewing the communication process, where the notions of (1) ‘language’ and ‘communication’ will be examined from its very origins to its present-day situation in order to provide a link to the (2) definition of the term ‘macrofunction’ in opposition to that of ‘functions’ of language, where we shall review some key concepts and relevant theories related to both, which shall lead us to (3) the role of topics, communicative functions and semantic notions on linguistic macrofunctions. Next, we shall examine the relationship between the linguistic macrofunctions and language teaching by reviewing its relationship with (a) communicative compentence, (b) the learner and (c) the communicative approach. Finally, we shall offer (5) a typology of macrolinguistic functions which shall lead us directly to the analysis of each item.

2.1. Language and communication.

Since ancient times the way of improving communication preoccupied humans beings as they had a need to express some basic structures of the world and of human life, such as feelings, attitudes and everyday needs. Hence we may differentiate verbal and non-verbal, oral and written, formal and informal, intentional and unintentional communication and in addition, we may also find human and animal communication, and more recently, the human-computer type. So, communication processes prove quite comp lex since there is more to communication than just one person speaking and another one listening.

For most of its history, the concept of communication has always been approached from different disciplines, such as anthropology, psychology, or sociology among others, in order to provide an appropriate definition for the term. Still, communication is traditionally understood as the exchange and negotiation of information between at least two individuals through the use of verbal and non- verbal symbols, oral and written, and production and comprehension processes (Halliday 1973).

With respect to the concept of language. Halliday (1973) defined it as an instrument of social interaction with a clear communicative purpose. For Malinowsky, a relevant anthropology figure, language had only two main purposes: pragmatic and ritual. The former refers to the practical use of language, either active by means of speech or narrative by means of written texts. The latter is concerned with the use of language associated to ceremonies, and also referred to as magic.

Following Crystal (1985), one of the main characteristics of language is that it is an essential tool of communication. Hence, the importance of studying ways and means of improving communication techniques through history with a highly elaborated signaling system, both spoken and written, which has had an immense impact on our everyday life. Thus, writing a letter, having a conversation, watching a play, or reading a magazine, among others, are instances of verbal communication by means of language. However, other means should be also taken into account, such as gestures, facial expressions, body language, touch and so on, given that non-verbal symbols are also components of the communication process. When the act of communication is verbal, the

code is the language. Regarding the structured use of the auditory- vocal channel, it may result in speech, but also non-verbal communicative uses of the vocal tract are possible by means of paralanguage, such as whistling or musical effects. However, when we refer to non -verbal communication, visual and tactile modes are concerned. They may be used for a variety of linguistic purposes such as the use of sign languages.

Yet, it is within Jakobson’s model (1960), which deals with the characteristics of communication and in particular, its elements, that we find a reference to macrolinguistic functions. According to Jakobson this model can be used for a number of different purposes in the study of language and communication, and in fact, it was introduced to explain how language works in all acts of communication, be they written or oral.

These acts of communication are based on six constituent elements, where each element is primarily associated with one of the six functions of language he proposed, thus referential, emotive, conative, phatic, metalingual, and poetic. For instance, any particular act of communication takes place in a situational context whereby the referential function refers to what is being spoken of and what is being referred to; the attitude of the addresser (or encoder) is related to the emotive or expressive function through emphasis, intonation, loudness, or pace, etc. On the other hand, the response in the addressee (or decoder) is associated to the connative function. The poetic function focuses on the message by means of associations (equivalence, similarity and dissimilarity, synonyms and antonyms); repetitions of sound values, stresses, accents; and the word and phrase boundaries and relationships. The metalinguistic function is related to the use of the same codes for the message to be understood. And finally, the channel is associated to the phatic function, enabling both addresser and addressee to enter and stay in communication.

2.2. Macrofunctions vs. Functions of language.

The distinction between macrofunctions and functions of language is determined by the type of discipline we apply, that is, given the communicative interaction aspect of language, it is absolutely necessary to establish the different purposes for which communication may serve, that is, why we use language and how. Thus, in a sentence like ‘You saw him?’, linguistics focuses on syntax and the forms of language (i.e. When asking for information we use a positive statement with falling intonation You saw him + negative tag with rising intonation didn’t you? ); semantics, on the meaning of language (a positive statement with interrogative features means ‘asking when one expects positive confirmation’), and finally, pragmatics is related to the use and function of language itself in particular contexts (as stated above) under the general title of ‘imparting and seeking information’.

2.2.1. The functions of language.

Following Jakobson (1960), the term function , is considered to be a synonym of use (at a linguistic and semantic level). However, when dealing with the use of language, it is related to the way people use language (at a pragmatic level). Therefore, when we refer to the functions of language, we are actually talking about the properties of language, and the purposes it is used for by individuals (introducing yourself, greetings, farewells, expressing personal opinion, persuade, warn, asking for directions, showing agreement or disagreement, etc), usually organized by specific topics which shall lead us to more general organizations in terms of communicative intentions, that is, macrofunctions (establishing interaction, asking for and giving information about people or things, describing people or things, narrating events, etc).

Several classifications of linguistic functions have been attempted by different scholars through different disciplines. Thus, behaviourist linguists such as Skinner claimed that language is learnt by imitation, and innatist, as Chomsky, believed that we are born with the necessary cognitive equipment to learn language. However, none of these theories offered a valid account of language since they based their theories on words and syntax. This is where functionalist theories attempted to redress the balance by concentrating on the functions or uses of language since, for a functionalist theory, the intention to communicate should be present before language itself appeared.

We may find, historically speaking, many different models of communication (Malinowski, Saussure, Bühler, Shannon, Halliday, etc) but among all the proposals we highlight the considerable impact of Jakobson’s work in all the literary and linguistic fields which dealt with the functions of language. Halliday, however, contributed to describe macro-functions (we shall see it in next section). Jakobson’s model of communicative functions allocates a communicative function to each of the components which may be active simultaneously in utterances as follows:

The emotive function focus es on the first person, and reflects the speaker’s attitude to the topic of his or her discourse. The addresser’s own attitude towards the content of the message is emphazised by means of emphatic speech or interjections. The conative function is directed towards the addressee, and it is centred on the second person. We may find in Literature where the most explicit instance is illustrated by two grammatical categories, the vocative and the imperative. The referential function refers to the context, and emphasizes that communication is always dealing with something contextual. This function can be equated with the cognitive use of language, which highlights the informational content of an utterance, and virtually eliminates the focus on the speaker or on the addressee.

The phatic function helps to establish contact between two speakers, and refers to the channel of communication. The metalinguistic function deals with the verbal code itself, that is, on language speaking of itself, as an example of metalanguage. The aim is to clarify the manner in which the verbal code is used, for instance, when the code is misunderstood and needs correction or clarification through questions such as “Sorry, what did you say?” The poetic function deals with the message as a s ignifier within a decorative or aesthetic function of language. This is achieved by means of rhetorical figures, pitch or loudness.

2.2.2. Macrofunctions.

Macrofunctions are approached by Halliday’s functional grammar model which is concerned with a sociological model, that is, the ways in which language is used for different purposes and in different situations. Halliday (1985) declared in his work An Introduction to Functional Grammar, that ‘the value of a theory lies in the use that can be made of it.’ Halliday’s functional grammar model provides a description of how the structure of English relates to the variables of the social context in which the language is functioning. In this way, it is uniquely productive as an educational resource for teaching how the grammatical form of language (linguistics) is structured to achieve purposes (semantics) in a variety of social contexts (pragmatics).

Halliday emphasizes the functions of language in use by giving prominence to a social mode of expression, as register influences the selection from a language’s system. At this point, meaning is considered as a product of the relationship between the system and its environment, constructing reality as configurations of people, places, things, qualities and different circumstances. To Halliday, language bridges from the cultural meanings of social context to sound or writing, by moving from higher orders of abstraction to lower ones, thus, semantics, lexicogrammar and phonology. Accordingly, messages combine an organization of content according to the receptive needs of the speaker and listener, and the meaning they are expressing. For Halliday, there are three macro-functions that, in combination, provide the basic functions on learning a foreign language.

Thus, the macro-functions are mainly three, the ideational, the interpersonal, and the textual. Ideational meanings, in the words of Halliday (1985), who represent our experience of phenomena in the world framed by different processes and circumstances which are set in time by means of tense and logical meanings. Interpersonal meanings are shaped by the resources of modality and mood to negotiate the proposals between interactants in terms of probability, obligation or inclination, and secondly, to establish and maintain an ongoing exchange of information by means of grammar through declaratives, questions, and commands. Textual meanings are concerned with the information as text in context at a lexicogrammatical level. Phonology is related arbitrarily to this function as its abstract wordings includes intonation, rhythm and syllabic and phonemic articulation.

On combining these interrelated functions, Halliday proposes seven basic functions on language use and they are listed as follows. Firstly, the instrumental to express desires and needs. Secondly, the regulatory where rules, instructions, orders, and suggestions are included. Thirdly, the interactional, where we may include patterns of greeting, leave-taking, thanking, good wishes, and excusing. Fourth, the pers onal function which encourages students to talk about themselves and express their feelings. Fifth, the heuristic function focuses on asking questions. Next, the imaginative function, which is used for supposing, hypothesizing, and creating for the love of sound and image. Finally, we find the informative function which emphasizes affirmative and negative statements.

Then we shall establish the difference between language functions and macrofunctions by means of the notions of topics organized into communicative functions. For instance, language functions are related to the semantic notions of ‘introductions, giving personal opinion, asking for directions, apologizing, regretting, etc’ which may belong more naturally to one or the other topic being specific ally defined (personal identification, jobs, free time, hobbies, education, health and welfare, visiting touristic places, weather, etc) whereas macrofunctions are described in terms of communicative intentions, that is, more pragmatically relevant (describing actions; asking for and giving information; socializing; emotional relations, etc). So the most usual macrofunctions are (1) iniciating and maintaining social relationship; (2) giving and asking for information about objects, people and actions; and (3) to express emotional and intellectual attitudes.

2.3. Linguistic macrofunctions and language teaching.

As stated before, historically speaking, various attempts have been made to conceptualize the nature of communication and to explore its relationship to human language regarding types, elements and purposes. For several millennia many linguists and philosophers have approached the concept of language from different domains of knowledge, such as philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and sociology among others, in order to offer an account of the prominent features of human language in opposition to other systems of communication.

According to Halliday (1975), language may be defined as an instrument of social interaction with a clear communicative purpose. Human beings are also able to reproduce and produce an infinite number of messages in any context of space and time, thanks to the arbitrariness of language which allows humans to combine sounds with no intrinsic meaning so as to form elements with meaning. The traditional transmission is another language feature since language is transmitted from one generation to the next by a process of teaching and learning. This feature is the aim of this section which links the communication process and macrofunctions to language teaching.

Similarly, in the words of Larsen-Freeman (1991), one learns to do by doing, since people learn to walk by walking and they learn to drive by driving. Therefore, it makes sense, then, that people learn to communicate by communicating, and similarly, those learners who engage in the regular use of their second language and receive the greater quantity of input will most likely demonstrate a greater ability to use their second language. Learners must actively work and practice extensively on communicating to develop skills in communication. This ability to communicate will provide an approach to the notion of communicative competence and its relationship to language teaching.

2.3.1. Macrofunctions and communicative competence.

The notion of macrofunctions is closely related to the concept of communicative competence and thererefore, to the concepts of proficiency, competence and performance, but what is for a learner to be proficient, competent and be able to perform in a foreign language? Ellis (1985) defines proficiency as the learner’s knowledge of the target language viewed as linguistic competence or communicative competence. Yet, Chomsky’s theory of transformational grammar addresses the notions of competence as the idealized native speaker’s underlying competence, referring to one’s implicit or explicit knowledge of the system of the language whereas performance addresses to an individual performance, referring to one’s actual production and comprehension of language in specific instances of language use.

However, we will highlight in this section one of the main rejections to Chomsky’s view of language, proposed by the American anthropologist Dell Hymes in his work On communicative competence (1972). Here he felt that there are rules of language use that are neglected in Chomsky’s approach, as native speakers know more than just grammatical competence. Hymes, with a tradition on sociolinguistics, had a broader view of the term which included not only grammatical competence, but also sociolinguistic and contextual competence. For Hymes, the notion of communicative competence is the underlying knowledge a speaker has of the rules of grammar including phonology, orthography, syntax, lexicon, and semantics, and the rules for their use in socially appropriate circumstances. Therefore, we understand competence as the knowledge of rules of grammar, and performance, they way the rules are used.

The verbal part of communicative competence comprises all the so-called four skills: listening, reading, speaking and writing. It is important to highlight this, since there is a very common misunderstanding that communicative competence only refers to the ability to speak. It is both productive and receptive. All of us have developed communicative competence in our native language, oral proficiency and later, possibly, written proficiency. The acquisition of communicative competence in a foreign or second language therefore takes place on the basis of the fact that we already have a native language. So we are dealing with the development of two systems that interact.

Today, communicative competence is the central aim of foreign and second language teaching, providing a number of suggestions as to how teachers can give students optimum frameworks for acquiring a good communicative competence. This notion no longer describes just a particular proficiency or skill, but makes reference to more than listening and speaking, reading and writing. It is the ability to use appropriately all aspects of ver bal and non-verbal language in a variety of contexts, as would a native speaker (Canale 1983). There are, then, two components to communicative competence under review.

The first component is linguistic competence, which involves the mastery of several features. Thus, first, the sound system and the written system in order not to sound unusual to the cultural and linguistic ear although the grammar may be perfect. Secondly, the syntax, or word order of interactions where perhaps the word meaning is correct, but the word is out-of-date or awkward, or simply that a phrase is not appropriate in the context. Thirdly, the stress, pitch, volume, and juncture as a passage from one sound to another in the stream of speech. Finally, the semantics, or meanings of words and phrases, and the how, when, where, and why they are used in a language. This usually takes place when we think of children’s amusing or embarrassing comments as they learn to communicate, or we deal with a person whose writing or speaking is different to the native language. This feature is to be found culturally implied, not explicitly taught.

The second component includes pragmatics competence which deals with knowing the appropriateness of communication formats, verbal and non- verbal responses and interactions in many contexts. Among an endless list of skills, we shall highlight first, the appropriateness of action and speech in view of the speakers’ roles, status, ages and perspectives. Secondly, the use of non- verbal codes, such as frequency and pattern of eye contact and facial expressions, or personal space and body movement. Next, another feature is to establish rapport, taking turns, and not to talk excessively, as well as initiating, contributing relevance to, and ending a conversation. Fourthly, we may highlight the fact of being comprehensible, supplying all necessary information and requesting clarification when necessary. And finally, it is important a feature that involves creating smooth changes in topic, and responding to timing and pauses in dialogue.

These pragmatics elements are so powerful that the message can become distorted if some of them are missing, making the speaker feel perplexed, uneasy or distrustful. In developing communicative competence, learners need many opportunities to communicate without having to concentrate on structure and form, as being understood is much more important than using correct vocabulary or grammar. Today’s classrooms often have a wide diversity of skills, abilities, experiences, cultures, lifestyles and languages that can provide a wonderful opportunity for learners to expand and enhance their communicative competence by means of providing our students with fully–developed experiences concerning acceptable communication.

In communicative language teaching, the emphasis is on fluency and comprehensibility as opposed to accuracy. Fluency in speaking can be thought of as the ability to generate and communicate one’s ideas intelligibly and with relative ease but not necessarily with accuracy (Canale & Swain 1980). Experiencing fluency also builds a sense of comfort, confidence, and control in those learners who lack strong pragmatics competence. We, teachers, can provide opportunities for students to develop context-sensitive behaviour in order to become more aware of, and more adept at responding appropriately to social contexts. Since pragmatics competence is a crucial survival skill in life and in the workplace, students need to develop this competence in an appropriate conversational context.

2.3.2. A communicative approach to language teaching.

The period from the 1950s to the 1980s has often been referred to as The Age of Methods , during which a number of quite detailed prescriptions for language teaching were proposed (Canale & Swain 1980). Situational Language Teaching evolved in the United Kingdom while a parallel method, Audio-Lingualism, emerged in the United States. Both methods started to be questioned by applied linguists who saw the need to focus in language teaching on communicative proficiency rather than on mere mastery of structures.

In the middle -methods period, a variety of methods were proclaimed as successors to the then prevailing Situational Language Teaching and Audio-Lingual methods. These alternatives were promoted under such titles as Silent Way, Suggestopedia, Community Language Learning, and Total Physical Response. It was in 1971 when a British linguist, D.A. Wilkins promoted a system in which learning tasks were broken down into units. This system attempted to demonstrate the systems of meanings that a language learner needs to understand and express within two types: notional categories (time, sequence, quantity or frequency) and categories of communicative function (requests, offers, complaints). In the 1980s, the rapid applic ation of these ideas by textbook writers and its acceptance by teaching specialists gave prominence to more interactive views of language teaching, which became to be know n as the Communicative Approach or simply Communicative Language Teaching.

In the 1970s and 1980s, an approach to foreign and second language teaching emerged both in

Europe and North America focusing on the work of anthropologists, sociologists, and sociolinguists. It concentrated on language as social behaviour, seeing the primary goal of language teaching as the development of the learner’s communicative competence. Parallel to the influence of the Council of Europe Languages Projects, there was an increasing need to teach adults the major languages for a better educational cooperation within the expanding European Common Market. Learners were considered to need both rules of use to produce language appropriate to particular situations, and strategies for effective communication.

The movement at first concentrated on notional-functiona l syllabuses, but in the 1980s, the approach was more concerned with the quality of interaction between learner and teacher rather than the specification of syllabuses, and concentrated on classroom methodology rather than on content. This promoted a view of language as creative and rule governed within the framework of communicative approaches. Scholars such as Hymes (1972), Halliday (1970), Canale and Swain (1980) or Chomsky (1957) leveled their contributions and criticisms at structural linguistic theories claiming for more communicative approaches on language teaching.

Among the most relevant features that Communicative Language Teaching claimed for, we will highlight a set of principles that provide a broad overview of this method. The first principle claims for students to learn a language through using it to communicate. Secondly, there is an emphasis on authentic and meaningful communication which should be the goal of classroom activities. Thirdly, fluency is seen as an important dimension of communication. Fourth, communication is intended to involve the integration of different language skills, and finally, the principle that claims for learning as a process of creative construction which involves trial and error.

However, this communicative view is considered an approach rather than a method which provides a humanistic approach to teaching where interactive processes of communication receive priority. Its rapid adoption and implementation resulted in similar approaches among which we may mention The Natural Approach, Cooperative Language Learning, Content -Based Teaching, and Task-Based Teaching. It is difficult to describe these various methods briefly and yet fairly, and such a task is well beyond the scope of this paper. However, several up-to-date texts are available that do detail differences and similarities among the many different approaches and methods that have been proposed.

2.4. A typology of macrolinguistic functions.

A typology of linguistic macrofunctions will be drawn from the fact that language functions are organized into topics which are, in turn, subordinated to a broader communicative intention (macrofunction), for instance, the language functions of ‘greetings, address forms and introductions’ are embedded within the macrolinguistic function of socialising or in other words iniciating and maintaining social relations. When stating the typology of macrofunctions, we must address two relevant points: first, the current typology stated by the European Union guidelines (The Council of Europe) and second, the rank list stated in our educational policy (B.O.E. 2002) in the different stages of ESO and Bachillerato .

First, it must be borne in mind that each macrofunction may contain further specifications depending on the approach to language learning we have stated in our educational programming, that is, what comes first (first stages of ESO) should be related to communicative activities that usually come first in real life situations (i.e. before starting a conversation people exchange greetings). However, we may assume that the rank list regarding language functions will move from the less to the more difficult to learn (i.e. expressing emphasis in the last stage of Bachillerato).

In addition, we must remember that language functions involve a large number of structural and lexical resources together with a great richness of fixed idiomatic expressions which will be taken from a wide range of grammatical categories (i.e. noun phrase, verb phrase, verb phrase with verb in the infinitive, verb phrase with verb in gerund, adjective, adverb, prepositional phrase, subordination, etc).

Therefore, macrofunctions will be described following the typology proposed in the title since it follows the guidelines established by the Council of Europe (2001) and our Spanish Educational System (B.O.E. 2002) and specially within the framework of the Educational Reform. In subsequent chapters (3, 4 and 5) we shall describe the main linguistic macrofunctions to express the most usual communicative intentio ns in terms of form (morphologically and syntactically, where needed), function (syntactically and semantically) and main uses (idiomatic expressions), in formal and informal registers, within the stages of ESO and Bachillerato: (1) iniciating and maintaining social relationship; (2) giving and asking for information about objects, people and actions; and (3) to express emotional and intellectual attitudes.

3. INICIATING AND MAINTAINING SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP.

In Chapter 3 we shall analyse the communicative intention of ‘iniciating and maintaining social relationship’ or in other words, ‘socialising’ through the phatic function, which is related to the channel in the communication process, enabling both addresser and addressee to enter and stay in communication. This macrofunction will be analysed in terms of form, function and main uses, where we can establish a further classification of language functions (van Ek & Trim, 2001). Thus (1) attracting attention, (2) greeting people, (3) replying to a greeting, (4) address forms, (5) making introductions, (6) making someone welcome, (7) at a meal, (8) congratulating someone, (9) good wishes and (10) taking leave.

3.1. Attracting attention.

Attracting attention is achieved by means of noun phrases, usually placed at the beginning of a sentence or uttered individually, like ‘Excuse me’, ‘Hallo’, ‘I say…’, ‘Hey!’, ‘Waiter!’ These nouns or noun phrases are usually pronounced with a rising intonation, often within the framework of an exclamative syntactic structure. Semantically, a quick answer is expected.

3.2. Greeting people.

With respect to the language function of greeting people, semantically we may distinguish two types:

greeting strangers and acquaintances by means of noun phrases like ‘Good morning/afternoon/evening’ as a way of formal greeting + an address form (How are you? Fine thanks) or ‘Hallo’ as less formal.

Greeting friends and close acquaintances by means of nouns like ‘Hallo + address form’; and sentences like ‘How are you?’ (formal way) with the stress on ‘are’, or ‘How are you doing/getting on?’ (informal way).

3.3. Replying to a greeting.

We may reply to a greeting depending on the personal situation of the speaker. Thus, if in normal health, the expected reply is realized by a whole sentence where some sentence elements may be omitted, for instance, ‘(I’m) fine/very well (thank you) or the formal way ‘How are you?’ with the stress on ‘you’;

if in poor health, we shall reply ‘Well, so-so (thank you). How are you?’

if recovering from an illness, then we may reply ‘(Much) better, thank you. How are you?’

3.4. Address forms.

The address forms make reference to certain idiomatic expressions often used when greeting or replying to a greeting. For instance, when addressing a friend or relative first name like ‘Hallo John. How is it going?’ an acquaintance by (1) the formal title (+family name) as in ‘Of course, Dr Smith’; (2) honorific (Mr, Mrs, Miss) + family name as in ‘Good evening. Mrs Johanson, how are you today?’; and (3) noble names like ‘Sir + first name’ as in ‘A pleasure, Sir John’. a stranger (member of public, official, customer, boss, etc) in terms of formal or informal address. Thus, (1) the formal address would be realized either by using the formal title (Professor, Doctor, Captain, Sergeant, etc) as in ‘They saw nothing in the sea, Captain’ or by using a noble title such as ‘Sir or Madam’ as in ‘It is 60 euros, Sir’. On the other hand, the informal address would be realized by no address form, just by saying ‘Hallo, can I help you?/Is it OK?’ in terms of endearment when they are feelings on the part of the speaker, as in ‘My dear, dear, darling, love, sweety, honey, etc’.

3.5. Making introductions.

With respect to making introductions, we shall classify its different realizations in terms of formality and informality and also in terms of introducing yourself or being introduced. So, formal introductions are carried out either with idiomatic expressions like ‘address form + may I introduce + honorific’ as in ‘Professor Jones, may I introduce Professor Green?’ or with ‘address form + I’d like you to meet + first name + family name’ as in ‘Mrs Wik, I’d like you to meet John Prior’.

informal introductions may be realized by either specific idiomatic expressions with the following structure ‘address form + this is + first name + family name’ as in ‘Tom, this is Peter Borough’ (being especially used among young people on social occasions); or by the construction ‘first name + meet + first name’ as in ‘Cristine, meet James: James, meet Cristine’.

introducing yourself is described in terms of (1) more formal introductions are carried out by the address forms of ‘(Good morning/afternoon/evening) How do you do? as in ‘How do you do? My name is Brigitte Brando’ or ‘(Good morning/afternoon/evening) I’m/My name is + first name + family name’ as in ‘Good morning. My name is Brigitte Brando’. On the other hand, we find (2) informal introductions, often between young people, such as ‘Hallo. I’m + first name (+family name) as in ‘Hallo, I’m Rose’.

finally, when being introduced or when someone is introduced to you we also talk in terms of (1) formal introductions (i.e. How do you do); (2) informal introductions (i.e. Hallo/It’s good/I’m very pleased to meet you/Nice to meet you); and (3) when enquiring whether an introduction is needed (i.e. Do you know each other?/I think you know each other/Have you already met?).

3.6. Making someone welcome.

Making someone welcome involves the use of nouns, noun phrases or imperative sentences with rising intonation in order to express a warm welcome. For instance, on entry into someone’s home, we may say ‘Welcome!’, ‘Do come in’ or ‘Make yourself at home’.

3.7. At a meal.

We may also find idiomatic expressions when having a meal, for instance, before eating the host may say ‘God bless our food!’ or start by proposing a toast (i.e. Cheers!/Your good health) but usually there is no greeting. In addition, we may invite our guests to start serving themselves by saying ‘Please help yourself’.

3.8. Congratulating someone.

Another language function is when congratulating someone because of a great success or event. Usually, nouns, adjectives, noun and adjective phrases are used for this purpose as in ‘Congratulations!’, ‘Well done!’, ‘Brilliant!’ or ‘Well run!’ in sport competitions.

3.9. Good wishes.

Good wishes are stated depending on the situation. For instance, (1) on someone’s birthday (i.e. Happy birthday!/Many happy returns!), (2) at festival times (i.e. Merry Christmas!/Happy New Year!), (3) wishing someone success (i.e. Good/the best of luck/I hope all goes well/Cross fingers!), (4) when someones is going out or on holiday (i.e. Enjoy yourself/Have a good time) and (5) when parting from someone (i.e. Keep in touch!/Take care/Have a good trip/All the best).

3.10. Taking leave.

The language function of saying good bye or farewells is usually related and introduced together with that of greetings. Again, we find here a fixed number of idiomatic expressions used in formal, informal and colloquial contexts. So we may find

formal farewells as in ‘Good + morning/afternoon/evening/night + address form’ with a low rising intonation and note the special stress on /’good/, /,morning/, /after,noon/, /,evening/ and /,night/.

Informal farewells are carried out by sentenc es like ‘It’s been nice meeting you’ or by imperatives like ‘See you again soon’ or ‘See you + temporal adverbial (later, next week)’. In colloquial style we find ‘So long’, ‘Bye-bye!’ or ‘Cheerio!’ Note the difference in use between English and Spanish with the form ‘Goodbye’ since in English it is used if you are not expecting to meet again whereas in Spanish it is often used even when the two people are meeting again soon.

4. GIVING AND ASKING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT OBJECTS, PEOPLE AND

ACTIONS.

In Chapter 4 we shall analyse the communicative intention of ‘giving and asking for information about objects, people and actions’ or in other words, ‘imparting and seeking information’, in terms of form, function and main uses. The field of lexis will be approa ched by means of different grammatical categories depending on the student’s level (E.S.O. or Bachillerato) from basic notions to more difficult ones. Both curricula include within the section of ‘concepts’ the main ‘functions of language and grammar’ that students should handle to communicate taking into account socio- cultural aspects.

In this chapter, we shall describe then the macrofunction of giving and seeking information through the main functions of language by offering a double perspective: first, asking for information about objects, people and actions and second, giving information about objects, people and actions (van Ek & Trim, 2001). Note that on both we shall establish a further classification of language functions which are common to both le vels of E.S.O. and Bachillerato.

4.1. Asking for information.

Thus on asking for information , we address human curiosity to know about general facts, other people’s opinion or current events. The main language functions within this macrofunction are the referential and the emotive functions where both the speaker and the addressee are involved in asking and answering about objects, people and actions. Linguistically speaking, we shall namely deal with questions and, therefore, with interrogative sentences and wh- pronouns (i.e. What/Which/Where/How much/etc). This involves the use two types of questions: yes/no questions and wh-questions.

Yes/No questions work within the structures of ‘auxiliary + subject + verb’ (i.e. Do you live here?) or inversion ‘verb + subject’ with certain verbs (i.e. Is Tom here?). The speaker expects ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as a direct answer. Similarly, Wh-questions are realized within the same framework with wh- pronouns at the front (i.e. Where do you live?/Where is Tom?). We shall also deal with other grammatical categories such as nouns, adjectives within the structure ‘How + adjective’ (i.e. How old/far/exciting), determiners, quantifiers within the structure ‘How + quantifier’ (i.e. How much/many…?), prepositions within the structure ‘How + preposition’ (i.e. What for?), adverbs within the structure ‘How + adverb’ (i.e. How fast…?) and fixed expressions (i.e. What if…?/What kind of…?).

After introducing these notions as a linguistic framework for ‘asking for information’, we shall establish the following subclassification: (1) asking for specific information, (2) asking for confirmation, (3) suggestions, offers and invitations, (4) asking someone’s opinion and (5) assuring and repairing communication.

4.1.1. Asking for specific information.

When asking for specific information, we deal with the set of wh-pronouns which introduce Wh– questions in order to get information about identification of people or things (who, which, what, whose) or to ask for a piece of information (when, where, how).

For instance, in order to seek identification, we may use the following interrogative pronouns:

‘what?’ is used either to identify things (i.e. What is this parcel?) or a person’s occupation/nationality/belongings (i.e. What is his wife?). It may be also used in combination with ‘if’ to suggest something (i.e. What if we have dinner tonight?) or ‘for’ as a means to express reason (i.e. What are you phoning for?); another use is to ask for events (i.e. What happened?);

‘which?’ is used to ask for specific identification of things or people out of a number of them (i.e. Which present do you want?/Which is your brother);

‘who?’ is used to ask for a person’s identity (i.e. Who is that lady?). We may find the form ‘whom?’ where the ‘m’ indicates a preposition is included (i.e. Whom shall we phone?);

‘whose?’ indicates possession (i.e. Whose coat is this?).

On the other hand, we may also ask for a piece of information when not referring to people or things, but to the notions of time, place, reason, etc. Thus:

‘when?’ is used to ask about the ‘time’ something happened, happens, is happening or will happen (i.e. When did you buy this house?).

‘where?’ is used to ask about the ‘place’ something happened, happens, is happening or will happen (i.e. Where is she going?).

‘why?’ is used to ask about ‘the reason to do something’ (i.e. Why are you here?).

‘how?’ is used to ask about ‘manner’ (i.e. How do you make an omelette?). However, it may be also used to make questions about the way a person feels, looks or the way something sounds, feels or tastes (i.e. How does he look today?/How does the song go?). Moreover, we may mention the idiomatic use of ‘how’ which may be combined with gradable adjectives (i.e. How old/fat/lucky/long/far/etc), gradable adve rbs (i.e. How fast/slowly can you drive ?) or quantifiers in order to get information about the exact amount of something with noncount nouns (i.e. How much money has she got?) and count nouns (i.e. How many cows has she got?).

Note that it is possible for wh-pronouns to appear in the same sentence (i.e. Who said what?/Who did you speak yesterday and why?)

4.1.2. Asking for confirmation.

Asking for confirmation may be classified according to the kind of confirmation we ask for. Thus: Asking for confirma tion or denials is achieved by means of first, interrogative sentences with low rising intonation, positive or negative (i.e. Did you see him?/Didn’t you see him?); and second, by means of such sentences as ‘Please, (can) you tell me whether you saw him’.

Demanding confirmation or denial is achieved by means of interrogative sentences with low falling intonation plus ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as an answer (i.e. Did you see him, yes or no?). Expecting confirmation is achieved by means of first, positive statements with falling intonation + a negative tag with rising intonation (i.e. You saw him, didn’t you?); and second, by means of negative statement with falling intonation + a positive tag with rising intonation (i.e. You didn’t see him, did you?).

Demanding confirmation by means of first, a positive statement with falling intonation + a negative tag with falling intonation (i.e. You saw him, didn’t you?); and second, by means of negative statements with falling intonation + a positive tag with falling intonation (i.e. You didn’t see him, did you?).

Querying a statement is achieved by first, repeating a statement with high rise or a sceptical fall-rise (i.e. You saw him?); second, a question tag with high rise or a sceptical fall-rise (i.e. Didn’t you?); and third by means of a Yes/No question (i.e. Are you sure you saw him?).

4.1.3. Suggestions, offers and invitations.

Similarly with giving information about suggestions, offers and invitations, the ‘asking for’ of the three namely deals with the referential, emotive and connative functions since a particular act of communication takes in a particular context whereby the referential function refers to what is being spoken of and what is being referred to; the attitude of the addresser (or encoder) is related to the emotive function through emphasis and intonation and the response in the addressee (or decoder) is associated to the connative function.

In terms of form, we deal with interrogative sentences which include introductory (or reporting) verbs, namely, ‘suggest, offer, invite, refuse’, phrasal verbs (i.e. turn down an invitation), modal auxiliary verbs (i.e. Would you like to…?/Will you marry me?/Can I help you?) and fixed expressions (i.e. Shall we…? ). Among other grammatical categories, we may mention nouns, adjectives, prepositions and their respective phrases (i.e. noun/adjective/prepositional).

According to the B.O.E statutory guidelines (2002), E.S.O. students are already asked in their first year to make suggestions (offers and invitations) and accept or refuse them by means of expressions such as ‘Why don’t we…/Shall we…?’/Would you like to…? Yet, in their third and fourth year, suggesting is realized by other higher structures such as ‘How/What about + – ing form?’ On the other hand, Bachillerato students are expected in their second year to ‘offer, invite, suggest, accept and refuse’ by means of reported speech style through questions, declarative sentences and commands.

As stated above, suggesting a joint course of actions involving speaker and addressee is achieved by means of idiomatic expressions which involve accepting (i.e. Yes, certainly, of course, I’d love to) or refusing (i.e. No, thank you; sorry, I can’t; unfortunately, I can’t). The suitable contexts where offers, invitations and refusals are given are the following:

Suggesting by means of idiomatic expressions such as ‘Shall we…?’ (i.e. Shall we dance?);

‘What/How about…?’ (i.e. What about skiing together?); ‘Why not…?’ (i.e. Why not fly here?); ‘Why don’t we…?’ (i.e. Why don’t we ask them to dinner?).

Giving instructions and orders by means of sentences like ‘Will you + bare infinitive’ (i.e. Will you stop talking, please?); ‘Will you…?’ with falling intonation (i.e. Will you please stop talking?).

Offering to do something for somebody with idiomatic expressions such as‘Can I do anything for you?’; ‘Can/Shall I + bare infinitive?’ (i.e. Shall I wash up for you?); ‘Would you like me + bare infinitive?’ (i.e. Would you like me to tell you a story?). In addition, we may add ‘Would you like + noun phrase?’ (i.e. Would you like a biscuit?), ‘Can I offer you + noun phrase?’ (i.e. Can I offer you a lift?) and ‘How about + noun phrase?’ (i.e. How about a gin and tonic after dinner?).

Inviting someone to do something by means of structures such as ‘(How) Would you like to + verb phrase’ (i.e. How would you like to come sailing?), ‘What/How about + gerund’ (i.e. What about having lunch at the beach?).

Tentative invitations, with the structures ‘You wouldn’t like to + to-infinitive + would you?’ (i.e. You wouldn’t like to stay with us, would you?) and ‘I don’t suppose you’d like to + to-infinitive, would you?’ (i.e. I don’t suppose you’d like to stay with us, would you?). Enquiring whether an offer or invitation is accepted by means of the structures ‘Can/will you + verb phrase (i.e. Will you be coming to our party after all?) and ‘Do you know whether you can/will + verb phrase?’ (i.e. Do you know (yet) whether you can come tonight?).

4.1.4. Asking someone’s opinion.

Asking someone’s opinion is realized by the following syntactic structures: (1) ‘What do you think (about/of + noun phrase)?’ (i.e. What do you think of my new husband?); (2) ‘What is your opinion/view?’; (3) ‘Where do you sta nd (on + noun phrase)?’ (i.e. Where do you stand on abortion?); and (4) ‘How do you see it?’

4.1.5. Assuring and repairing communication.

Assuring and repairing communication is used everyday by speakers in colloquial speech and on the phone , but it is namely used in classroom contexts when teaching foreign languages. So we may find a classification when we intend to hold on a conversation by means of signalling, asking for repetition, confirmation, definition, meaning and so on. For instance:

Signalling when we do not understand something (i.e. Sorry?/Pardon?).

Asking for repetition of a whole utterance with high rise intonation on ‘what?’. (i.e. What did you say, please?) or a particular word or phrase (i.e. Sorry, where does he live?).

Asking for confirmation of text (i.e. Did you say X?), of understanding (i.e. Do you mean to say + that + clause?).

Asking for clarification (i.e. What does X mean exactly?/Could you explain that again, please?).

Asking someone to spell (i.e. How do you spell that word, please?).

Asking someone to speak more slowly (i.e. Could you speak a little more slowly, please?). Asking if you have understood (i.e. Is that clear?/Is it right?).

On the phone, we find several idiomatic expressions to ask for specific information. For instance, when opening the conversation by answering the call, we ask whether one is heard and understood (i.e. Hallo?/Are you still there?) or verifying caller (i.e. Who is that calling, please?); asking for a person in an informal way (i.e. Can I speak to + personal name + please?) or in a formal way (i.e.Could you put me through to + personal name + please?); or asking for an extension (i.e. Can I have extension + number + please?).

4.2. Giving information.

Thus on giving information , we find the following subclassification: (1) giving specific information, (2) giving opinions and advice, (3) describing people, things and actions, (4) identifying and specifying, (5) answering questions and (6) offers, invitations and refusals (van Ek & Trim, 2001).

4.2.1. Giving specific information.

We may give specific information about (1) time in reply to ‘When?’ by means of temporal adverbs (i.e. soon, later), temporal phrases (i.e. next Wednesday, in two minutes) or temporal clauses (i.e. When they are ready); (2) place in reply to ‘Where?’ by means of locative adverbs (i.e. here, there), locative phrases (i.e. near here, on the wall) and locative clauses (i.e. Where you sleep); (3) manner in reply to ‘How?’ by means of manner adverbs (i.e. quietly, fast) or manner phrases (i.e. with care); (4) degree in reply to ‘How + good + it is?’ by means of adverbs of degree + adjective/adverb (i.e. very good/very well) and degree adjectives and adverbs (i.e. fair, intense, amazing); and finally (5) reason in reply to ‘Why …?’ by means of finite sentences with the structure ‘(because) + declarative sentence (i.e. Because he is ill) or ‘because of + noun phrase’ (i.e. Because of his illness). It must be borne in mind that both E.S.O. and Bachillerato cover these notions within different difficulty degrees.

4.2.2. Giving opinions and advice.

On giving opinions and advice we namely deal with declarative sentences (assertive and non- assertive) which include reporting verbs (i.e. say, claim, report, inform, admit, declare, etc) and also modal auxiliary verbs (i.e. should, ought to) and catenative verbs (you’d better, you’d rather). Among other grammatical categories, we may mention nouns , adjectives, prepositions and their respective phrases (i.e. noun/adjective/prepositional) and within adverbs we may highlight the use of connectors in order to express personal opinion or advice (i.e. in my view; from my point of view).

According to the B.O.E statutory guidelines (2002), E.S.O. students are asked in their second year to express opinions by means of likes and dislikes and also by means of fixed expression with reporting verbs (i.e. I think…). In the third year, the notion of giving advice (by means of should/shouldn’t) is included whereas in the fourth year, students are expeted to express opinion by means of conditional sentences stages and similarly, advice by means of modal auxiliary verbs (should). Moreover, the notions of temporal expressions and reported speech are included in their curriculum to ‘transmit and express other people’s opinions and ideas’.

On the other hand, Bachillerato students are expected to ‘give and ask for opinions’ as a specific content on language reflection by means of introductory (or reporting) verbs (i.e. ask, declare, aplogise, explain, tell, etc), showing preferences, likes and interests with catenative verbs (i.e. I’d rather, I’d prefer), agreement or disagreement and connectors (i.e. As far as I am concerned, in my view). In addition, the expression of ‘giving advice’ is achieved by means of modal auxiliary verbs ‘should’ and ‘had better’ and, apart from using the three types of conditional sentences, particularly the second type (i.e. If I were you,…).

4.2.3. Describing people, things and actions.

On describing people, things and actions we must identify and specify all kind of details about the object of description. In order to do so, the most common syntactic structures will be positive and negative statements (i.e. She’s got lovely brown eyes /She hasn’t got the same lovely brown eyes as her sister) although we may also find interrogative structures such as questions tags (i.e. She has got lovely brown eyes, hasn’t she?). Among the most used grammatical categories, we may mention nouns (the object to be described), adjectives (due to their descriptive nature), possessive structures (where possessive adjectives are involved), verbs, quantifiers and partitives (to indicate quality and quantity) and numbers among others.

In E.S.O. stages, first year’s students are asked to describe and compare people, places and things by using ba sic grammar notions, for instance, using simple verb structures (simple present of there is/are, have got, can), qualifying adjectives, place prepositions, and countable/uncountable nouns; second year’s students are asked to use comparative and superlative adjectives, and quantity expressions; third year’s students are asked to describe in terms of appearance and personality and about what they like or do not like and adjectives in attributive and predicative position. In addition, they are expected to describe places and certain objects’ manufacturing process by means of passive voice and adverbial phrases. In their fourth year, students should be able to describe and compare daily routines and lifestyles by means of verbal structures, such as ‘I like/love/hate + -ing’, ‘It’s too + adjective’ and connectors (and, but, because, so, such, both, etc); also, comparatives and superlatives, present tense (simple and continuous), ‘used to + infinitive’ and interrogative pronouns.

Yet, difficulty is increasing when we reach higher levels. Thus in first year Bachillerato, description is carried out in terms of appearance, personality and health and also in order to compare, contrast and differenciate between facts and opinions. Students are asked to express preference, likes and interests by using verbs + -ing forms (like, love, hate, enjoy, etc) or verbs + to-infinitive (want, need), and also verbal structures such as ‘I’d rather/I’d prefer/want + noun/pronoun + to- infinitive’, stative verbs, adjectives, phrasal verbs (look like) and relative pronouns (i.e. It is a person who…). Also, to describe actions such as customs and habits in the past (would/used to + bare infinitive, be/get used to + -ing form) or time contrasts between the present and past. In the second year, students are asked to describe people’s appearance and personality in detail both in real or imaginary characters. Regarding objects and places they will do it by means of phrasal verbs (set up, take place) and certain verbal structures such as ‘made of’ and ‘consist of’, past and present participle and idiomatic expressions.

4.2.4. Identifying and specifying.

Identifying and reporting may be realized by linguistic and non-linguistic means. Thus we can use the linguistic structures ‘demonstrative adjectives + one’ (i.e. this one, that one, these/those ones) or the sequence ‘It’s + object pronouns (i.e. It’s me, her, him, them) in reply to ‘Which one do you want?’ or ‘Who is that?’. Other structures are ‘the + (adj) one + adjunct phrase / relative clause’ as in ‘The small one with the blue buttons is the one I want’ and ‘pronoun/noun phrase + be + noun phrase’ (i.e. This is the bedroom where you will spend the night). Among the non – linguistic means indicating gesture we can use pointing, nodding and so on.

4.2.5. Answering questions.

When answering questions, we mainly use the referential and connative functions which respectively refer to what is being spoken by the addresser and what is answered by the addressee. In the stages of E.S.O., students are asked to give their opinions by means of short answers in simple present (i.e. Yes, + subject + verb / No, + subject + negative verb). Similarly, but with more difficulty, Bachillerato students have to give their opinions by means of short answers and connectors (i.e. In my view, in my opinion, from my point of view, etc). We may establishing different ways of answering questions, for instance, Responding to a request in different ways, for instance, (1) willingly (i.e. Certainly, with pleasure, of course, etc); (2) with reservations, as in ‘Yes’ (with falling-rising intonation),

‘Yes + if-clause’ (i.e. Yes, if I could), ‘Only +if -clause’ (i.e. Only if he comes) and ‘Not +unless-clause’ (i.e. Not unless he pays me soon); (3) with reluctance (i.e. Well, all right; if you like; if I must; if you insist; etc); (4) demurring, as in ‘Well’ (with falling-rising intonation), ‘I don’t really know’, ‘I’d like to (with fall-rise) but (+declarative sentence)  (i.e. I’d like to, but I don’t know if I should), ‘I can’t promise’ and so on; (5) refusing (i.e. No way; sorry; (I’m afraid) it’s impossible; not a hope) and (6) expressing defiance (i.e. I don’t believe a word).

Confirming or disconfirming, by means of the structure ‘Yes (+positive tag) (i.e. Yes, I did) and ‘No (+negative tag) (i.e. No, I didn’t); other expressions such as ‘I (don’t) think so’, ‘I believe so/not’ and certain expressions of agreement and disagreement such as ‘Exactly!’, ‘Definitely!’, ‘Yes, indeed’, ‘You’re wrong’, ‘Certainly not’, ‘I’m not so sure’ among many others.

Agreeing to a suggestion with idiomatic expressions such as ‘Yes, let’s’, ‘Why not?’, ‘That’s a really good ideal’, ‘Certainly’ and so on.

Granting or refusing permission, by means of idiomatic expressions which involve granting (i.e. Yes, certainly, of course, by all means, I suppose so, if you like) or refusing (i.e. Sorry, I’m afraid not, I’m sorry).

Accepting and declining an offer or invitation, by means of idiomatic expressions which involve accepting (i.e. Yes, certainly, of course, I’d love to) or refusing (i.e. No, thank you; sorry, I can’t; unfortunately, I can’t).

4.2.6. Offers, invitations and refusals.

On the expression of offers, invitations and their respective refusals, we namely deal with the referential, emotive and connative functions since a particular act of communication takes in a particular context whereby the referential function refers to what is being spoken of and what is being referred to; the attitude of the addresser (or encoder) is related to the emo tive function through emphasis and intonation and the response in the addressee (or decoder) is associated to the connative function.

In terms of form, we deal with declarative sentences (assertive and non-assertive) which include introductory (or reporting) verbs, namely, ‘offer, invite, refuse’, phrasal verbs (i.e. turn down an invitation), modal auxiliary verbs (i.e. Would you like to…?/Will you marry me?/Can I help you?) and fixed expressions (i.e. make an appointment, do a favour). Among other gramm atical categories, we may mention nouns, adjectives, prepositions and their respective phrases (i.e. noun/adjective/prepositional).

According to the B.O.E statutory guidelines (2002), E.S.O. students are already asked in their first year to make suggestio ns (offers and invitations) and accept or refuse them by means of expressions such as ‘Let’s…’ (in declarative sentences) and ‘Why don’t we…/Shall we…?’ (in interrogative sentences). Yet, in their third year, suggesting is realized by other higher structures (i.e. How/What about + -ing form?) as well as in their fourth year. On the other hand, Bachillerato students are expected in their second year to ‘offer, invite, suggest, accept and refuse’ by means of reported speech style through questions, declarative sentences, commands and suggestions.

As stated above, accepting and declining an offer or invitation can be achieved by means of idiomatic expressions which involve accepting (i.e. Yes, certainly, of course, I’d love to) or refusing (i.e. No, tha nk you; sorry, I can’t; unfortunately, I can’t). The suitable contexts where offers, invitations and refusals are given are the following:

Suggesting a joint course of action, involving both the speaker and the addressee by means of expressions such as ‘Let’s go’, ‘We could/might (perhaps) go by train’, etc.

Offering assistance, by means of expressions such as ‘Let me help you’.

Offering somebody something, as in ‘(Do) have + noun phrase’ (i.e. Do have another). Pressing invitations, with the structures ‘(Do) + imperative verb’ (i.e. Do spend a week at my place), ‘You (simply) must + to-infinitive’ (i.e. You must come to stay with us). Tentative invitations, with the structures ‘You wouldn’t like to + to-infinitive + would you?’ (i.e. You wouldn’t like to stay with us, would you?) and ‘I don’t suppose you’d like to + to-infinitive, would you?’ (i.e. I don’t suppose you’d like to stay with us, would you?). Declining and offer or invitation by means of (1) firm refusal (i.e. No, thank you; (I’m sorry) I can’t; It’s very kind of you + but + clause; unfortunately, I can’t, etc); (2) weak refusal inviting renewal of offer/invitation (i.e. I don’t think I really ought to/Are you sure it’s convenient; I’d like to, but …’ with fall-rise intonation).

Enquiring whether an offer or invitation is accepted (i.e. I wonder if you know whether you can come).

5. EXPRESSING EMOTIONAL AND INTELLECTUAL ATTITUDES.

Similarly to the previous chapters, in Chapter 5 we shall analyse the communicative intention of ‘expressing emotional and intellectual attitudes’ in terms of form, function and main uses. The field of lexis will be approached by means of different grammatical categories depending on the student’s level since basic notions to express emotional attitudes are introduced in earlier stages by means of adverbs (i.e. Yes, no, it’s ok, I agree, I’m not sure) to more difficult ones in Bachillerato stages (i.e. Certainly, absolutely, indeed not , beyond any doubt, I’m puzzled).

In this chapter, we shall describe then the macrofunction of expressing emotional and intellectual attitudes through the main functions of language by offering a double perspective: first, by expressing intellectual attitudes to matters of fact and second, expressing and enquiring about emotions (van Ek & Trim, 2001). Note that on both we shall establish a further classification of language functions which are common to both levels of E.S.O. and Bachillerato.

5.1. Intellectual attitudes.

On expressing intellectual attitudes to matters of fact, we namely find the expressions of (1) agreement and (2) disagreement with a statement, (3) knowledge, memory and belief, (4) modality and (5) volition.

5.1.1. Agreement.

The expression of agreement when dealing with intellectual expressions is realized by means of statements in order to show strong agreement (i.e. Exactly!/Definitely!/Yes, indeed/Just so); agreement with a positive statement (i.e. Yes + positive tag: Yes, we do) or with fixed expressions such as ‘That’s right/That’s correct’ and the more colloquial ‘OK’ and negative statements (i.e. No + negative tag: No, he didn’t) or fixed expressions such as ‘Indeed not/Certainly not/Of course not’.

Reluctant agreement (i.e. If you say so/I suppose so).

Agreement with reservations by using falling-rising intonation (i.e. I agree with you there/Up to a point, yes).

Weak agreement (i.e. Well, I see what you mean – with fall-rise intonation).

5.1.2. Disagreement.

Similarly, the expression of disagreement when dealing with intellectual expressions is realized by means of statements in order to show strong disagreement (i.e. I couldn’t agree less, you’re wrong, no way); disagreement with a negative statement (i.e. No + negative tag: No, we don’t) or with fixed expressions such as ‘That’s not right’ or fixed expressions such as ‘Not so/Certainly not/I don’t think so’.

Weak disagreement (i.e. I can’t agree/I’m not sure/I wonder if that is so).

5.1.3. Knowledge, memory and belief.

On expressing knowledge, memory and belief we can refer to people, things or facts by namely using ‘knowledge’ verbs such as ‘know, understand, think, ignore, grasp, etc’. Yet, we may establish the following classification in terms of use:

Expressing knowledge of a person, thing or fact (i.e. ‘I know/I don’t know/I think/I don’t think/etc).

Asking about knowledge (i.e. (Wh- pronoun) + do you know + clause?).

Expressing remembering or forgetting people , things, facts and actions (i.e. I (don’t) remember/I forget + wh-clause/Do(n’t) you remember + noun phrase/verb phrase). Expressing belief (i.e. It seems/appears (to me) + clause/I think/I don’t think/Maybe you’re right).

5.1.4. Modality.

We may also express modality, that is, different degrees of probability, possibility, certainty and so on. Note that probability is said to be objective since certainty is said to be subjective. However, they correlate closely and some terms (i.e. certain, perhaps) may be used for both, since the confidence with which an assertion is made depends on the probability of it being true. So we may classify mo dality in terms of use as follows:

Probability (i.e. absolutely certain, quite possibly, highly improbable, totally impossible,not very likely + to- infinitive, it is certain/probable/likely/possible/impossible + that-clause). Possibility (i.e. Is it possible + that + clause/How certain is it + that + clause/Can be Mary right?).

Necessity (i.e. ‘necessary’ in declarative sentences; ‘it isn’t necessary’ or ‘you needn’t’ in negative sentences).

Obligation (i.e. noun phrase + have to/must + verb phrase=You mus t be home before midnight).

Ability (i.e. noun phrase + can + bare infinitive= I can speak Spanish quite fluently). Permission (i.e. noun phrase + be + allowed=Smoking is(n’t) allowed here).

5.1.5. Volition.

Volition is mainly realized by expressing (1) wishes, wants and desires (i.e. I’d like + noun phrase, I want + noun phrase/to-infinitive, I want), (2) negative wishes, wants and desires (i.e. I’d like not to + verb phrase, I don’t want to + noun phrase, I wish + negative clause), (3) enquiring about w ishes, wants and desires (i.e. What would you like + clause/Do you want to…?) and (4) expressing intentions (i.e. We are thinking of + gerund=We are thinking of driving to Turkey).

5.2. Emotional attitudes.

On expressing emotional attitudes, students in E.S.O. and Bachillerato are asked to express their likes, dislikes, interests, hopes and expectations for the future (future arrangements) and so on from basic levels to more difficult structures. So within emotional attitudes, we namely find the expressions of (1) happiness and sadness, (2) regret and condolence, (3) hope and expectations, (4) fear, anxiety and worry, (5) suffering and relief, (6) likes and dislikes, (7) complaining and (8) apologising.

5.2.1. Happiness vs. sadness.

We may express happiness and sadness by both linguistic and nonlinguistic means. The expression of happiness is linked to that of surprise and excitement may be realized by non linguistic means (i.e. a smile, laughing, jumping, etc.) but we shall focus on linguistic means such as fixed expressions (i.e. This is lovely/wonderful/great/fine!), idiomatic expressions (i.e. How nice!) and syntactic structures (i.e. I feel so happy/Bliss!/ I’m delighted + to- infinitive). Similarly, the expression of sadness is realized by declarative sentences (i.e. I don’t feel happy today;I feel depressed/miserable /sad), idiomatic expressions (i.e. Oh dear!/I feel down) or questions (i.e. How are you feeling today?/Are you pleased?).

5.2.2. Regret and condolence.

We may als o express regret and condolence by both linguistic and nonlinguistic means. The expression of regret is realized by linguistic means such as fixed expressions (i.e. It’s a great shame/pity + clause), idiomatic expressions (i.e. How nice!/What a pity!) and condolences are namely realized by means of syntactic structures (i.e. I’m so sorry to hear + clause/I know how you feel/I feel the same way).

5.2.3. Hope and expectations.

In order to express hope and expectations, we namely use the introductory verbs ‘hope, expect, pla n, arrange’ in declarative sentences (i.e. I hope it stays fine), specific syntactic structures such as

‘I hope + to-infinitive’ (i.e. I hope to become a doctor) and ‘I am very + adjective + preposition + -ing form/noun phrase’ (i.e. I am very excited about visiting you/your visit) and idiomatic expressions (i.e. I hope so, I hope not, I am looking forward to + -ing form = I’m looking forward to seeing you again).

5.2.5. Fear, anxiety and worry.

We may also express fear, anxiety and worry by both linguis tic and nonlinguistic means. Non linguistic means may show fear (i.e. trembling, screaming), anxiety (i.e. biting your nails, looking both sides nervously) and worry (i.e. looking nowhere in the distance). Yet we shall focus on linguistic means such as introductory verbs (i.e. have fear, be afraid, feel anxious, worry, be worried) in declarative sentences (i.e. I have fear of spiders), specific syntactic structures such as ‘I am + adjective+ preposition (i.e. I am scared to death of that man), ‘I am + claus e’ (i.e. I am afraid he’ll come back) and ‘I am + to-infinitive’ (i.e. I am afraid to complain about my boss), idiomatic expressions (i.e. What’s the matter?/Help!) and interrogative sentences (i.e. What are you afraid of?/Why are you frightened?).

5.2.6. Suffering and relief.

Suffering involves pain, anguish and hurting, specially when dealing with people’s health. So this language function is namely found when students examine the topic of ‘Health’ under the context situation of ‘Going to the doctor’.Therefore, apart form lexis related to ‘health, body, illness, etc’, they are asked to handle several syntactic structures such as exclamations (i.e. Oh!/Ow!/Ouch!), declarative sentences (i.e. You’re hurting me!/I’m in great pain/I’ve got a(n) + illness), syntactic structures such as ‘My + noun phrase (body part) + hurt(s)’ (i.e. My leg is hurting), idiomatic expressions (i.e. That hurts!/I’ve got a headache ) and interrogative sentences (i.e. Have you got a pain?/Does it hurt?). On the other hand, relief is expressed by onomatopoeic sounds (i.e. Whew!), syntactic structures (i.e. Well, that’s that) and idiomatic expressions (i.e. Thank goodness!/What a relief!).

5.2.7. Likes and dislikes.

We may express likes and dislikes by several means. For instance, in reply to the question ‘Do you like ballet?’ or ‘Who is your favourite singer?’, we may express liking and affection by the introductory verbs ‘like, love, enjoy, fancy, prefer, adore’ in declarative sentences ‘I like + noun phrase’ (i.e. I like your dress); specific syntactic structures such as ‘I like + – ing form’ (i.e. I like wearing your clothes), ‘I am + adjective + preposition + – ing form/noun phrase’ (i.e. I am rather

fond of loving you/my wife) and ‘I’d rather + bare infinitive + contrastive eleme nt’ (i.e. I’d rather travel by train than by car); idiomatic expressions (i.e. Coffee or tea?/Black or white?) and interrogative sentences (i.e. What are you afraid of?/Why are you frightened?).

On the other hand, if we want to answer in a negative way in order to express dislike or no interest on the issue of the question, we may use onomatopoeic sounds (i.e. Ugh!) together with a gesture showing dislike. Also, we may use introductory verbs ‘dislike, hate, can’t stand, detest’ in declarative sentences ‘I hate + noun phrase’ (i.e. I hate fish); specific syntactic structures such as ‘I can’t stand + – ing form’ (i.e. I can’t stand killing for fun); and idiomatic expressions (i.e. Fish? No way!).

5.2.8. Complaining.

Complaining is basically realized by the introductory verb ‘complain’ followed by certain prepositions ‘complain to somebody about something’ (i.e. He complained to the company about his low salary). Moreover, we may use simple structures such as ‘to make a complaint’, ‘I have a complaint’, ‘I’m sorry, but …’, etc.

5.2.9. Apologising.

We may apologise for different reasons. For instance, we may apologise for bad temper (i.e. I’m sorry I lost control/I’m sorry for my temper), asking for forgiveness (i.e. I’m so sorry for + noun phrase/-ing form=I’m so sorry for my behaviour/my misbehaving; I do apologise for arriving so late) and for disturbing somebody (i.e. I beg your pardon/Excuse me, please). We may also accept an apology by granting forgiveness (i.e. Not at all/That’s all right/ It doesn’t matter/No problem/I forgive you).

6. PRESENT-DAY DIRECTIONS REGARDING COMMUNICATIVE INTENTIONS.

This section looks at present-day approaches on the main communicative intentions known as macrofunctions within the framework of a classroom setting. This type of formal instruction in language teaching addresses the role played by our current educational system, L.O.G.S.E., in providing the foundations for attempts at real communication from an eclectic approach. Then it is relevant to mention the objectives that our current educational system searches for, such as (1) to promote an interactive groupwork in the classroom, (2) to provide students with genuine interactions in order to increase their learning in the foreign language and (3) for students to acquire a communicative competence.

It must be borne in mind that nowadays teaching a foreign language is based on communicative paradigms due to our integration into the European Union and, therefore, language teaching is organized in terms of content ‘in use’ (pragmatics) rather than ‘in form’ since the Council of Europe establishes a common reference framework in language teaching for our students to develop progressively the appropriate communicative competences in the foreign language and to communicate successfully in real situations. At present, projects such as “Comenius” and “Socrates” are intended to promote international exchanges within the European framework.

The European Council (B.O.E. 2002), and in particular the Spanish Educational System within the framework of the Educational Reform, establishes a common reference framework for the teaching of foreign languages, and claims for a progressive development of communicative competence in a specific language. Students, then, are intended to be able to carry out several communication tasks with specific communicative goals within specific contexts. In order to get these goals, several strategies as well as linguistic and discursive skills come into force in a given context. Thus, foreign language activities are provided within the framework of social interaction, personal, professional or educational fields.

According to the CEF (The Common European Framework for Reference), the first consideration when dealing with language learning and teaching is the learner’s characteristics, background, and needs, that define what is there to be taught and learned. In other words, the learners’ profile and needs determine the aims and objectives of this educational process. This process is successful when the learner has acquired language-related knowledge but has also developed skills, which will allow him/her to use the knowledge acquired in actual circumstances of social interaction (macrofunctions). So, ideally, through training, instruction, and/or personal study, the learner should come to be able to perform effectively in the whole range of language activities: receptive (reading and listening), productive (writing and speaking), and mediation (translating and interpreting).

What is noted here, however, is that not all learners are interested in becoming fully competent in the whole range of the communicative events that are entailed in the target language. It depends on each person’s needs, and this is a very important consideration when defining the objectives of the learning /teaching process. Nevertheless, ability for linguistic performance in a foreign language, no matter how imperfect it might be, is always positive. That is because even partial competence in a specific domain of a given language, can be functional in the appropriate circumstances (i.e., giving directions to tourists, or holding fixed, limited conversations during professional interactions). In fact, partial competence, in any foreign language, should not be viewed in isolation, but as an organic part of a wider, multiple competence, within a plurilingual/ pluricultural framework.

7. CONCLUSION.

As a summary of the previous discussion on the main communicative intentions, we may highlight the importance of functionalist theories on the different communication models presented in this study, following the premise that a language is learnt in order to fulfil more efficiently the functions of communication, and to develop structures out of these functions from the environment. This is the main issue within the section of language in use, which considers the role of semantics, pragmatics, and especially sociolinguistics as one of the basis of a functionalist theory of language development, as they focus more on the intent or purpose behind an utterance than on its grammar or syntax.

Therefore, we have presented a detailed account of the main communicative contexts in which the three macrofunctions may be found at work through the different communication skills, thus, productive (oral and written communication), receptive (oral and written comprehension within verbal and non-verbal codes), and interactional. So, we have not only focused on the sociolinguistic competence which leads us to social conventions and therefore, communicative intentions but also on the linguistic competence (semantic, morphosyntactic and phonological), the discourse competence (where language functions, speech acts, and conversations are to be found) and finally, the strategic competence will be included as a subcompetence of communicative competence within this educational framework. So far, students will make use of this competence in a natural and systematic way in order to achieve the effectiveness of communication

The foreign language learning process will help students improve their educational and professional life from a global perspective as it will help them develop their personality, social integration, interest topics and, in particular, to promote their intellectual knowledge. Furthermore, these aspects will allow learners to be in contact with the current scientific, humanistic and technological advances within other areas of knowledge. To sum up, the learning of a foreign language is intended to broaden the students’s intellectual knowledge as well as to broaden their knowledge on other ways of life and social organization different to their own, such as emotional attitudes.

Therefore, the very core of this study was to show that the most important pursuit of language learning, should be the achievement of plurilingual and pluricultural competences rather than perfection in all fields of linguistic performance within the framework of the European Economic Union. This practice not only would lead to the eradication of ethnocentricity from the ment ality of European citizens, but also would widen their perception of the world. It would get them acquainted with a new, contrastive way of thinking and learning. Finally, it would deepen their knowledge about the linguistic system as a whole.

8. BIBLIOGRAPHY.

– B.O.E. RD Nº 112/2002, de 13 de septiembre por el que se establece el currículo de la Educación

Secundaria Obligatoria/Bachillerato en la Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia.

– Council of Europe (1998) Modern Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment. A Common European

Framework of reference.

– Crystal, D. 1985. Linguistics . Harmondsworth, England. Penguin Books.

– Ellis, R. 1985. Understanding Second Language Acquisition. Oxford University Press.

– Halliday, M. A. K. 1975. Explorations in the Functions of Language. London: Edward Arnold.

– Halliday, M.A.K. 1985. An Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Edward Arnold.

– Hymes, D. 1972. On Communicative competence. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

– Larsen-Freeman, D. And M.H. Long. 1991. An Introduction to Second Language Acquisition Research. London: Longman.

– Saussure, F. 1916. Cours de linguistique générale (Course in General Linguistics, trans. Roy – Harris, 1983). New York: Philosophical Library.

– van Ek, J.A., and J.L.M. Trim, 2001. Vantage. Council of Europe. Cambridge University Press.

Revistas AESLA :

– De la Cruz, Isabel; Santamaría, Carmen; Tejedor, Cristina y Valero, Carmen. 2001. La Lingüística Aplicada a finales del Siglo XX. Ensayos y propuestas. Universid ad de Alcalá.

– Celaya, Mª Luz; Fernández- Villanueva, Marta; Naves, Teresa; Strunk, Oliver y Tragant, Elsa. 2001.

Trabajos en Lingüística Aplicada . Universidad de Barcelona.

– Moreno, Ana I. & Colwell, Vera. 2001. Perspectivas Recientes sobre el Discurso. Universidad de León. Revista de CERCLE, Centro Europeo de Recursos Culturales Lingüísticos y Educativos.

Web pages: http://www.britishcouncil.org

Publicado: noviembre 10, 2015 por Santiago

Etiquetas: tema 28 inglés secundaria