Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Genre-based investigation into macro-structure of academic discussions
    (Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020)
    Conducting group work in Singapore's classroom can be a challenge when students do not produce the quality discussion expected by teachers. Despite the many discussion strategies that have been proposed over the years, I believe that some frustration remains for teachers who are unable to explain to students how a quality discussion should be structured. Using a genre perspective, I suggest that teachers and students should be equipped with a metalanguage so as to plan, monitor, evaluate, and reflect on the quality of their discussions. Thus, my study seeks to describe the macro-structure of discussion and its commonly used language features through a conversation analysis of authentic group discussions among tertiary students who are discussing school projects. By taking tertiary students' discussions as a model of quality discussion, I describe a macro-structure for discussion using a combination of Labov's variationist framework and Halliday's systemic functional linguistics to analyze chunks of conversation (following Horvath and Eggins' [1990] "Opinion texts in conversation"). Preliminary results show that quality discussion contains the generic stages of clarification, opinion, initial development of idea, elaboration, reaction, reformulation, evidence and resolution. Each stage is then examined for its lexicogrammatical features (language features and patterns). For example, in the opinion stage, the use of mental/relational processes is common. With such a description of a discussion's macro-structure and its language features, I believe that it will aid in setting the foundation for the explicit teaching of academic discussions in the classrooms by providing a set of metalanguage to describe the spoken discussion genre.
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  • Publication
    “Time to man up” : an exploration of new masculinity in print media in Singapore
    This paper examines how advertisements in print media in Singapore are promoting a new notion of masculinity to Singaporeans – a man who is conscious of his appearance and engages in grooming practices to enhance his masculinity. Does this recent change in societal perception of grooming/beauty practices as a permissible act for both females and males, entail more equality between the two genders? Using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), various advertisements taken from print media are analyzed and compared to uncover the discursive strategies used by the beauty industry to rationalize the need for male grooming and to promote this practice as socially acceptable. An analysis of lexical choices in the advertisements reveals that the methods of scientification, problem‐solution schema, valuing of youthfulness and objectification are used for both genders to encourage the start of and continued use of beauty/grooming products and services. Despite this convergence, findings from the study also suggest that the reasons given to both genders to justify their grooming/beauty practices reinforce traditional gender stereotypes and biological differences behind a façade of empowerment and liberation. Such a move can be argued to be anti‐feminist as it reinforces the socially constructed boundaries between acceptable ways of being a man and woman in order to encourage consumption and to allow the expansion of the beauty industry. Further, by drawing attention to men’s looks through the promotion of grooming practices, men are being increasingly appraised as objects and therefore can be said to follow suit with decades of female objectification by the media. As the media and beauty industry continue to exploit and manipulate people’s normative assumptions about gender and gender roles to increase profit, the implications of the study point to the need to raise awareness to the intricate relationship between gender, discourse and consumption.
      415  91
  • Publication
    Commodifying green living: Discourses of class and Sustainability in housing estates
    (Elsevier, 2024)
    With the call to care for the environment becoming more urgent, the notion of what it means to be Green, in light of consumption culture, is explored. In conceptualizing Greenness as a continuous variable rather than an absolute quality, this linguistic landscape study examines the role that language plays in communicating Greenness across place-making discourses of luxury and mass/everyday housing. Despite the criticisms leveled at consumption culture for co-opting the Green movement, the study shows there are no easy assumptions to be made due to the multiple facets of Greenness as it interacts in complex ways with class-oriented discourse.
      16  27
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Beyond academic grades: Reflections on my care for university students’ holistic development in Singapore
    This reflective paper draws on my experience in caring for students as a lecturer in the English Language (EL) department of the National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. My care considerations are broadly categorized into the three areas of positioning of the teacher in relation to students, negotiation of needs, and pedagogical design for students’ well-being. Being a former primary school teacher, I see myself as both teacher and mentor when conducting teacher-training modules in NIE. As the positioning of self in relation to students (Barrow, 2015; Noddings, 1984) informs both my interactions with them and my lesson plans, I see this positioning as a starting point in care considerations for teaching. In negotiation of needs, I discuss open communication channels that allow the deepening of understanding of different needs and expectations (Baice et al., 2021; Gravett & Winstone, 2022). The third area of care focuses on “care-full” planning of curriculum structures that consider students’ needs and limitations (Anderson et al., 2020, p.11; Conceição & Howles, 2020). I also consider the state of Singapore’s highly competitive education landscape in order to highlight the specific needs of local university students, such as the need for teachers to create safe learning spaces that encourages cooperation rather than competition for holistic development (Noddings, 2012). Other than anecdotes from my EL classes in NIE, I refer to the qualitative student feedback that I received between 2019 and 2022 in my reflections on the impact of my caring methods.
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