About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1626-1633
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0487

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

HOW TO UNDERSTAND A MEDIA TEXT IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM: AMBIGUITY AS A STRATEGY OF MANIPULATION

V. Ozyumenko, T. Larina

Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
Learning a foreign language is a multifaceted process, the purpose of which is to attain mastery over the skills of using the target language. The skill of reading involves working with several authentic texts including newspaper texts. Reading and understanding the language of newspapers is one of the aspects of the second language learning which needs special attention. Second language teachers therefore often employ tasks and teaching methods that are centered round the reading of newspapers.

Understanding the newspaper text is a complex process. Due to the fact that the purpose of the media nowadays is not just giving information but argumentation, persuasion and manipulation (e.g. Van Dijk, 2006, Ozyumenko 2017 and others), it is not enough to know vocabulary, syntax and surface meaning of an article to be able to determine the author's intention. Second language learners need to be able to see the implication in the text, be aware of strategies of persuasion and manipulation which are numerous and diverse. Hence there is a need to develop such skills in learners of the language.

The aim of this paper is to show that ambiguity of the information has become one of widely used strategies of manipulation. Drawing on critical discourse analysis (CDA) (Fairclough 2001, Van Dijk 2006, 2009; Weiss & Wodak 2007) and the Constructivist approach to language teaching and learning (Driscoll 2000, Kurteš et al. 2017, Nomnian 2002 and others) the study focuses on the linguistic means of uncertainty, their pragmatic function and perlocutionary effect. The data has been taken from standard British and American newspapers, news websites of the BBC, Reuters, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, among other media sources that cover the relations between Russia, the USA and the UK. The results show that the lack of specific details along with the regular usage of linguistic means of uncertainty (indefinite pronouns, modals, complex subject, Present Perfect tense and others) in newspaper texts serve to perform the strategy of ambiguity which in its turn is aimed at manipulation of public opinion.

The study argues that the pragmatic and discursive analysis of the newspaper text and development of sociopragmatic and discursive competences help to educate thoughtful, independent and open-minded learners to make them capable of resisting the manipulative impact of mass media on public opinion.

References:
[1] M. P. Driscoll, Psychology of Learning for Instruction. 2nd ed. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 2000.
[2] N. Fairclough, Critical discourse analysis as a method in social scientific research. In:
Methods of Critical discourse analysis. London: Thousand oaks and Delhi: Sage, pp. 121—139, 2001.
[3] S. Nomnian, Constructivism: Theory and Its Application to Language Teaching. Studies in Language Teaching: Occasional Paper, pp.1 – 7, 2002.
[4] V. Ozyumenko, Media Discourse in an Atmosphere of Information Warfare: From Manipulation to Aggression. Russian Journal of Linguistics,21 (1), pp. 203—220, 2017. (In Russ).
[5] T. van Dijk, Discourse and manipulation. Discourse & Society. 17 (2), pp. 359—383, 2006,
[6] T. van Dijk Society and discourse. How social contexts influence text and talk. Cambridge: Cambridge University press, 2009.
[7] G. Weiss, R. Wodak (eds.) Critical discourse analysis: theory and interdisciplinarity. London, Basingstoke, New York: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2007.
@InProceedings{OZYUMENKO2018HOW,
author = {Ozyumenko, V. and Larina, T.},
title = {HOW TO UNDERSTAND A MEDIA TEXT IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM: AMBIGUITY AS A STRATEGY OF MANIPULATION},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.0487},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0487},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {1626-1633}}
TY - CONF
AU - V. Ozyumenko AU - T. Larina
TI - HOW TO UNDERSTAND A MEDIA TEXT IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM: AMBIGUITY AS A STRATEGY OF MANIPULATION
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0487
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 1626
EP - 1633
ER -
V. Ozyumenko, T. Larina (2018) HOW TO UNDERSTAND A MEDIA TEXT IN THE LANGUAGE CLASSROOM: AMBIGUITY AS A STRATEGY OF MANIPULATION, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 1626-1633.
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