Discourse Communities and Communities of Practice

Discourse Communities and Communities of Practice

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  • Presented by Kobe Salas, Victor Salinas, and Jonathan Ovando
  • Discourse Communites and Communites of Practice: Membership, Conflict, and Diversity
  • Who is Ann M. Johns?
  • Ann M. Johns  has worked at San Diego State University, directed the American Language Institute, the Writing Across the Curriculum Program, and the Center for Teaching and Learning. She is a well-known linguist who has researched and written twenty-three articles and four books. The article presented today is from her book Text, Role, and Context. Areas of expertise: Teaching and Learning, Academic Writing,  Curriculum Development, Language Teaching, Teaching English as a Foreign Language                            
  • Move 1: Previous Research on the Topic
  • "If there is one thing that most of [discourse community definitions] have in common, it is an idea of language [and genres] as a basis for sharing and holding in common: shared expectations, shared participation, commonly (or communicably) held ways of expressing. Like audience, discourse community entails assumptions about conformity and convention (Rafoth, 1990, p. 140). 
  • By Ann M. Johns
  • Move 2: Establishing the "Niche"
  • Johns feels that a search for the varieties of language use and how these contribute with and against conformity should be further explored.  More research is needed to understand how personal identity and relationships are affected by community language development.
  • Move 3: Main Purpose
  • Johns' article focuses  on questions about literature that are related to teaching and learning in academic contexts.  She wants to prove that communities of  practice are complex individuals who share genres, language, values, views, and personal characteristics that drive them towards being part of that community.
  • Dr. of Philosophy, Professor Emerita, Linguist, Writer, and Research Analyst,
  • Move 4: Research Findings
  • Johns addresses the past focus on texts and language.  Most research concentrated on genres and language.  Discourse Community members shared expectations to communicate with one another and maintain their goals.  
  • *Communities of practice are driven by discourse: spoken or written language. Through conversation, debate, and discussions academic communities are enabled with the opportunity to evolve with new ideas, theories, goals, and  new insights, thus motivating individuals to be members of such communities. Consequently, every member in the community grows individually in all aspects of language development. Her intended audience is  for all members of communities of discourse, particularly Academic Communities which involve both the teacher and the student.  She urges that it is important for students to understand the material that the teacher teaches and that teachers use resources from their students. 
  • Why do individuals join social/professional groups? Are there levels of community? What are some forces that make communities complex and varied?
  • Her research investigates the practices and values that unite communities and those that divide them and the affects on the members of that community.
  • How does the article relate to our class?
  • We are an academic community.  The academic community that Johns thoroughly discussed in her article. We are all language learners who are still developing reading and writing  strategies. We can learn best from each other, our peers, because we all share in the experiences of the learning process.
  • How can we as a class apply the author's ideas?
  • Academic communites help language development through cultural exchange.  Interaction in these communities broadens an individuals social and language abilities. Therefore, academic communities should encourage variety and discourse, so that individuals in these communities grow.
  •  *In reading, read analytically, critically, and actively. *In writing, we need to edit each others writing and provide feedback that will ask questions, make comments about what the writing did or did not make us feel, address points we may feel differently about. This will enable the writer to see different points of view.
  • Possible Ideas for Student's Research on the Topic
  •   * Then join and explore different types of discourse communities and participate in discourse.      *Academic, Professional, and Interest Commuities                                            
  • Students interested in pursuing research on this topic should first strategically read the article by Ann M. Johns.
  • *Then examine the differences in these communities: How the community make  you feel as an individual?  What motivated you to join or separate from that particular community?
  • Each member of our class is part of this academic community. Each individual can offer diverse views through argumentative discourse in class. Through diversity, as learners, we can evolve and grow.
  • Reading and writing are strengthened by our interaction. This will strengthen our skills and improve our literacy.  .

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