The development of discourse in a discourse of development : a case study of a group constructing a new discourse.
This thesis is a qualitative case study drawing on discourse analysis and ethnographic traditions. The aim of the study is to provide a description of the discourse consciously constructed by a group of six TESOL professionals in the interests of their own development. Once a week, the group met for one hour and took turns to act as 'Speaker'. The other five individuals acted as Understanders. The extra space given to the Speaker allowed a fuller articulation of a problem or focus than would normally be possible in other professional talk. The Understanders contributed moves to support this articulation. The description covers a two-year period (1998-2000) of this constructed discourse. Data, collected during this period, are drawn from several different sources: recordings, interviews, diaries and critical incident journals. The main recordings are of the actual Group Development Meetings (GDMs). Discussion of six transcribed GDMs demonstrates which discourse choices and decisions were important. In particular, the study looks at the key role played by 'Reflection' in this process. It is argued that Reflection is the key element in supporting the Speaker. The analysis of Reflection, which is considered from four perspectives (values, purpose, form and outcomes) draws on data from the featured cases. Issues relating to the transfer to other groups of this discourse-based approach to professional development are considered.