Volume 5, Issue 2 August 2022, pp. 77–87
(Re)turning to contrastive rhetoric’s basic communication principles: A Common Ground theory perspective
Contrastive rhetoric (CR) has made great contributions to our understanding of L2 writing. Nevertheless, CR has endured countless criticisms over the years, resulting in “reimagined” forms attempting to address many of these criticisms. In doing so, these forms have shaped CR into a collection of complex ideologies that have unnecessarily complicated CR and impeded its efficacy in both research and the classroom. Therefore, to make CR more practicable, it must be decluttered and brought back to its fundamentals. To accomplish this, I look at CR within the theoretical framework of Clark’s (1996) Common Ground (CG) theory, which affixes it to something much more universal and heterogeneous—communication. Essentially, what I postulate here is that when CR is considered in tandem with CG theory, CR is shifted from an ideological theory that fails to take into consideration socially and politically constructed notions of L2 writing to an approach concerned with basic communication principles. When this shift occurs, many of its criticisms can be assuaged and CR can once again become more practical for researchers and an effective tool for teachers to help their students achieve their writing goals.
© Jonathan D. Brown
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Brown, J.D. (2022). (Re)turning to contrastive rhetoric’s basic communication principles: A Common Ground theory perspective. Australian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 5(2), 77–87. https://doi.org/10.29140/ajal.v5n2.783
Jonathan D. Brown (PhD, Leiden University) has over a decade of experience in higher education, teaching a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate level courses. Currently, he serves as Associate Professor of English and Linguistics at Hosei University in Tokyo, Japan. Jonathan D. Brown's research is mainly concerned with discourse analysis with a special emphasis on contrastive investigations of L2 learners' writing using a corpus approach.
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