A Cross-Cultural Aspect to Text Analysis
Teacher Training University of Sabzevar, Iran
This study is concerned with text patterning, focusing particularly on types of text pattern, the effect of culture on writing coherent text, and the ways in which text patterns are presented and their effects in building a logical argument.
The data consists of 42 English and Persian texts on theoretical and empirical matters, written by the subjects, all 2nd year PhD students at the University of Liverpool. Hoey's (1983) procedures were used to identify clause relations and text patterns.
The analysis shows that culture affects text pattern in both hierarchical and linear ways. The awareness of the hierarchical nature of text is captured by a synoptic perspective, copnsidering the content; the linear nature is recognised through major boundaries in text patterns. The Problem-Solution pattern was more prominent in the empirical texts, General-Particular being more characteristic of theoretical ones.
These patterns are affected by culture: Persian speakers contextualise their text by providing background material within the universe of knowledge they describe; the English contentualise internally, by combining different segments of text in a pattern. In addition, culture affects choice of wrtiting strategies.
Much of this work is linguistic in emphasis; however, it is not conducted in isolation from the pedagogical issues underpinning language awareness in the classroom. The study also suggests that language awareness oriented training can cover such different aspects of language teaching as text pattern awareness and cultural awareness.