Discourse analysis and syllabus design : an approach to the teaching of reading
This thesis has two main concerns. one is with the design of an EFL syllabus for Brazilian secondary schools of the public sector and the other with a preliminary evaluation of this syllabus in this context. To design the syllabus, this thesis takes into account two types of conditions: extrinsic and intrinsic conditions. The extrinsic conditions have to do with the actual characteristics of the "learning milieu" and of the general social context where this "milieu" is found. The study of these conditions point out that for a FL syllabus to be feasible and socially justifiable in this environment it must centre on the provision of reading skills. The intrinsic conditions relate to theoretical issues in applied linguistics which bear upon the internal organisation of a syllabus designed to meet this provision. These issues essentially involve research in the areas of discourse analysis, schema theories of reading comprehension, FL learning and , FL syllabus design theories. The design of the syllabus then comprises a mediating process between these two types of conditions, which results in an interactive schema theoretic reading syllabus model. The inquiry into the operation of the syllabus in the classroom involves the use of a quasi-experimental research paradigm which is complemented by non-experimental research procedures. The findings of this empirical work indicate that it is worth putting the syllabus to the test of practice through its actual realisation in the classrooms so that it can be continually evaluated and improved by teachers. The thesis concludes with the formulation of an action-research methodology for teachers' work which makes this sort of syllabus development possible.