Author Archives: admin

Loading
loading...

ARTICLE N° 10- RILALE-UAC/ VOLUME 2, ISSUE N°1

LES SCHEMES D’ENONCES NON VERBAUX EN PHU

 

Noélie K. ZONGO

Universite Ouaga I, Pr Joseph Ki-Zerbo

 Abstract

This paper examines the taxonomy of sentence structures and its linguistic properties in the typology of phuẽ utterance schematic structure. It aims at describing the morphological, syntactic and semantic characteristics of these schemas while explaining the implementation processes. Depending on the structure of the predication, one can distinguish verbal patterns from nonverbal patterns. The analysis of nonverbal predication will permit to establish a typology of nonverbal predication attested in this language. It identifies, morphologically, the particles of implementation according to the semantic value associated with each type of nonverbal predication. The study determines the syntactical schema of nonverbal predication.

Keywords: utterance schemas, nonverbal, morphology, syntax, semantics, phuẽ

 

Résumé

Dans la typologie des schèmes d’énoncés du phuẽ, l’étude s’interroge sur la taxinomie des  structures des énoncés assortie de ses propriétés linguistiques. Il vise à rendre compte des caractéristiques morphologique, syntaxe, sémantique de ces schèmes tout en explicitant les processus de mise en œuvre. En fonction de la  structure de la prédication, on distingue les schèmes d’énoncés verbaux des schèmes d’énoncés non verbaux. L’analyse de la prédication non verbale permettra d’établir une typologie de la prédication non verbale attestée dans cette langue. Elle identifie, sur le plan morphologique, les particules de mises en œuvre en fonction de la valeur sémantique liée à chaque type de prédication non verbale. L’étude détermine le schème syntaxique des prédications non verbales.

Mots-clés : schèmes d’énonces, non verbaux, morphologie, syntaxe, sémantique, phuẽ

Article n° 08- Rilale-Uac/ Volume 2, Issue n°1

EXPLORING THE STRATEGIES AND TIPS USED BY TEACHERS TO TEACH WRITING SKILL TO AUDITORY CHALLENGED LEARNERS IN BENIN: CASE STUDY OF CSEB

Sourou Corneille TEBA

souroucorneille@yahoo.fr

Sourou Désiré Christel ZINSOUVI

desirexel@gmail.com

Morel Marly MENSAH

Université d’Abomey-Calavi (Bénin)

 

Abstract

This research work investigates the strategies and tips used by teachers to teach writing skill to Deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) learners in CSEB Benin. The aim is to point out and analyse the problem related to the development of literacy skills, so as to suggest practical solutions. The current study has been carried out using a mixed methodology including questionnaires, interviews, classroom observations and an evaluation of learners writing production. The analysis of variance shows that there is a statistically significant correlation between deafness and deaf student writing production performance. This proves that D/HH learners experience more difficulties than their hearing peers. In addition, there is deficiency of communication due to the inappropriate teaching-learning method and conditions. In order to overcome these shortcomings, this study suggests that teachers should master ASL themselves and use specific instruction model such as SIWI. Moreover and curriculum should be revised and adapted to such a category of learners for the improvement of their writing proficiency.

Key-words: Exploring, Strategy, Tip, Writing, Deaf.

 

Résumé

La présente recherche examine les stratégies et astuces utilisées pour enseigner la composition écrite aux sourds et malentendants de la CSEB Bénin. L’objectif est de mettre en évidence et d’analyser les difficultés liées au développement des capacités de lecture et d’écriture. Cette recherche a été menée suivant une méthodologie mixte. Les outils de recherche comprenant des visites de classes, les interviews et une évaluation de la production écrite des apprenants ont été utilisés. L’analyse de variance montre qu’il existe une corrélation statistiquement significative entre la surdité et les performances en expression écrite. Ceci prouve que les conditions d’enseignement-apprentissage ne sont pas adéquates. Afin de surmonter ces lacunes, les suggestions suivantes ont été faites : la révision et l’adaptation des programmes d’études aux besoins des sourds et malentendants, la maitrise du langage des signes par les enseignants et l’utilisation du model d’instruction SIWI afin d’améliorer les compétences linguistiques de ces élèves.

Mots clés : Explorer, Stratégie, Astuce, Composition écrite, Sourd et malentendants.

NOS ARTICLES PASSES

Article n° 07- Rilale-Uac/ Volume 2, Issue n°1

CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE CLASH BETWEEN PEOPLE AND RELIGION IN WALTER SCOTT’S OLD MORTALITY (1982)

SEGUEDEME Alexis Hergie

hergiealexiss@gmail.com

Université d’Abomey-Calavi (Bénin)

TOWA-SELLO Kossi Joiny

kossijoinytowasello@gmail.com

Université d’Abomey-Calavi (Bénin)

ABODOHOUI Orérien Olivier

Abstract

This study focuses on the problem of the clash between people and religion. It aims at finding ways and means to reduce people’s negative interpretations of religious affairs with a special reference to Walter Scott’s Old Mortality (1982). To achieve our goal, it has been essential to conduct this research against the backdrop of Psychoanalysis and New Historicist dimensions. These theories have enabled to critically view the clash between people and religion in Walter Scott’s Old Mortality. The analyses have revealed that Scott resorts to his fictional work as a strategy to change people’s conception about religion. He also depicts in his novel the ideology about religion and how it impacts on people’s psycho-sociology.

Keywords: Boko Haram, Mortality, Religion, Affairs, Freedom.

Résumé

Cette étude pose le problème  de conflit  entre les Hommes et la religion. Elle ambitionne de trouver des  voies et moyens pour réduire les mauvaises interprétations des gens des affaires religieuses notamment dans le roman Old Mortality de Walter Scott. Pour atteindre notre objectif, nous avons utilisé la psychanalyse  et le Nouveau Historicisme comme théories  littéraires  pour globalement critiquer la discordance entre les Hommes et la religion dans le roman. Des résultats, nous pouvons brièvement retenir que Scott a recouru à son arme de fiction comme stratégie pour changer la conception des gens de la religion. Aussi a-t-il énoncé  dans son roman une bonne idiologie religieuse  qui impacte la psycho- sociologie des Hommes.

Mots-clés : Boko Haram, Mortalité, Religion, Affaires, Liberté.


Lire tout l’article


Téléchargez le pdf

de la meme parution

Article n°24- Rilale-Uac/ Volume 1, Issue n°1

A LEXICO-SEMANTIC EXPLORATION OF THE TERM LABOUR AS DEVELOPED IN ADAM SMITH’S THE WEALTH OF NATIONS

 

Servais Martial AKPACA

Université d’Abomey-Calavi

akpacasm@yahoo.fr

 

TELECHARGER VERSION PDF

Abstract

Great thinkers like Engels and Darwin wrote brilliant essays and books in which they present ideas and points of view on labour. Nowadays, individuals, in their various workplaces, face challenges driven either by labour relations and labour conflicts. But it seems that this term has a wider scope in The Wealth of Nations (1776) by Adam Smith. Indeed, the exploration of the conceptual areas of the term in virtually all the contexts in which it is used in the book reveals its complex economic flavours. The aim of this research work is to carry out a detailed analysis of the concept in the various contexts in which it is used in the book. Therefore, the research methodology followed is the qualitative paradigm which draws on, and interprets the analytical and cognitive meaning of the term labour. This approach moves away from theoretical approaches such as dictionary approaches which tend to define and connote the word out of any particular context. As a result, the term labour proves to be a highly technical and polysemous one which is presented in various contexts as being the same as work, labourers, a commodity, the real price of a commodity, a means of purchase, the original purchase money, a human activity, etc. The ongoing article explores that concept in the works of several other authors in a bid to compare the different meanings it assumes in different areas.

Key words: labour, concept, corpus linguistics, man

 

Introduction

Engels declares in his essaytitled The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man (1950) that:

Labor is the source of all wealth, the political economists assert. It is this, next to nature, which supplies it with the material that it converts into wealth. But it is even infinitely more than this. It is the prime basic condition for all human existence, and this to such an extent that, in a sense, we have to say that labor created man himself. (1950: 7)

This essay written in 1876 echoes an idea already developed by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations (1776). Indeed, in this famous book, Adam Smith underlines the significant role of labour, by highlighting the fact that the real wealth of a nation is the annual product of its land and labour. ‘‘The reasons and causes that have induced almost all modern governments to mortgage some part of this revenue, i.e. to contract debts; and the effects of those debts on the real wealth—the annual product of the land and labour—of the society’’ (1776: 2).

This paper takes cognisance of the role assigned to labour by these two authors and undertakes to explore the conceptual areas of the term labour in The Wealth of Nations with the view to delimiting the contours and the content of the concept. The notion of labour itself needs to be explained and accordingly, this article will clarifyand show how concepts should be approached to avoid the traditional way of studying concepts from a purely structural point of view. In connection with this issue, Douglas et al (2000: 122) comment that:

But a little reflection suggests that the notion of kinds of concepts must be evaluated relative to the theoretical work a kind or domain is going to be asked to do. For example, if one is interested in concept learning, the relevant issue might be whether different kinds of concepts are acquired in the same way. Note that this shifts but does not remove the explanatory burden: For the question to be meaningful, criteria are needed for deciding whether concepts are acquired in the same way.’’ In brief, questions about kinds of concepts should be answered by theories rather than intuitions.’’

The point that is being made in this quotation is that there are differences in concepts. Indeed, a concept like democracy is an abstract one, whereas a concept such as table is a tangible one. The way abstract concepts are acquired is different from the way tangible concepts are acquired. Therefore, criteria are needed to clarify how different concepts are acquired.

It is expected that the methodology and the findings of this research work will make an impact on how concepts should be explored by terminologists. The traditional approach to terminology, i.e. the approach of the Vienna School, has been abandoned and new approaches have emerged. As a matter of fact, the approach adopted in this study is semasiological rather than onomasiological. Indeed, the focus is on every single occurrence of the term labour in the book. The meaning of the term depends entirely on the context in which it occurs. And the sum of the senses of the term from the beginning to the end of the book will provide the contents of the concept. It is mostly a cognitive approach in the sense that the meanings of the term are going to be searched for and structured systematically. The word labour is actually polysemous in the context of the book. It means work, workers, labour force as well as factor of production, commodity, price of commodities, etc. The discussion considers the term labour in a historical perspective.

 

  1. Historical perspective and problem statement
  • Historical perspective

Engels said that many thousands of years ago during a period that geologists call the Tertiary period, a highly developed race of anthropoid apes lived somewhere in the tropical zone – probably on a great continent that has now sunk to the bottom of the Indian Ocean. Darwin has given us an approximate description of these ancestors of ours.

‘‘They were completely covered with hair, they had beards and pointed ears and they lived in bands in trees. Presumably as an immediate consequence of their mode of life, which in climbing assigns different functions to the hands than to the feet, these apes when walking on level ground began to drop the habit of using their hands and to adopt a more and more erect posture. This was the decisive step inthe transition fromape to man.’’ (1950: 7)

Engels noted in his essay that when the apes’ hands became free, they could henceforth attain greater dexterity and skills, and the greater flexibility thus acquired was inherited and increased from generation to generation. ‘‘Thus the hand is not only the organ of labor, it is also the product of labour.’’ (Ibid: 9) Only by labour, by adaptation to ever increasing operations and through the development of muscles, ligaments and bones, has the human hand attained a high degree of perfection. The body of the apes also benefited by the law of correlation of growth, as Darwin called it. The mastery over nature, which began with the development of the hand, with labour, widened man’s horizon at every new advance. The development of labour helped to bring together members of society. First labor and then after it and with it speech – these were the two most essential stimuli under the influence of which the brain of the ape gradually changed into that of man which for all its similarity is larger and more perfect. What is the characteristic difference between the monkeys and human society? Labour began with the making of tools. These were hunting and fishing implements. The hunting implements enabled the monkeys to feed on meat instead of plants and herbs. The meat diet contained the most essential ingredients required by the organism for its metabolism. Engels (Ibid:15) said that ‘’By the cooperation of hands, organs of speech and brain not only in each individual but also in society, human beings became capable of executing more and more complicated operations.’’

In a nutshell, that was how Darwin and subsequently Engels explained the evolution of mankind. That is Darwin’s evolutionary theory. It was obvious that the part played by labour in this transition was great.

Later in 1776, Smith declared in The Wealth of Nations that ‘‘Labour was the first price, the original purchase money that was paid for all things’’ (1776: 13). That classical conception of the value of a commodity, which ignored demand, was exclusively based on production costs and remained valid for a century until William Jevons in The Coal Question (1865), Carl Menger and Leon Walras introduced the concept of marginalism. According to this concept, the marginal usefulness of a commodity increases when it becomes more and more scarce. A commodity’s price increases when it becomes scarce. Therefore, it is not only labour that determines a commodity’s price.

According to the neo-classical conception, the factors that determine a commodity’s price are not only labour but also profit and rent. This point of view contradicts Smith’s classical conception of a commodity’s price.

On this same issue, Ricardo also stated that ‘‘The value of a commodity, or the quantity of any other commodity for which it will exchange, depends on the relative quantity of labour which is necessary for its production, and not on the greater or less compensation which is paid for that labour.’’(1951: 11)This point of view disputes the idea of the value of labour which is equal to the quantity of labour it can purchase or command. ‘‘The wealth of the world was originally purchased not by gold or silver but by labour; and its value to those who possess it and who want to exchange it for something else is precisely equal to the quantity of labour it can enable them to purchase or command. (Smith, 1777: 13)

Karl Marx was against the notion of labour value, saying that labour was the origin of all values. According to him, the labourer sells his labour force (Arbeitskraft). It is the variable capital that serves to pay labourers’ salaries, which enable them to survive. The rest is what Marx calls fixed capital.

  • Problem statement

It is against this background that this paper sets out to discuss the concept of labour in The Wealth of Nations (1776).  In other words, the history of mankind reveals that man is the product of his labour. Thus, what is Adam Smith’s position on labour when he declares in The Wealth of Nations (1776) that labour is the source of the wealth of nations? For one thing, labour must be an important historical and topical issue because international organisations have been set up to deal with labour issues. Workers get together and form labour organisations. Everyday hundreds of thousands of people around the world are anxious about labour market problems. What is the content of the concept? This is an important question because labour is not solely an economic concept.

  1. Definition of key terms and the theoretical framework
  • Definition of the terms labour, corpus linguistics and concept

According to ILO Thesaurus (i.e. the International Labour Organisation’s thesaurus), the term labour is synonymous with work, which is defined as ‘‘Human activities, paid or unpaid, that produce the goods or services in an economy, or supply the needs of a community, or provide a person’s accustomed means of livelihood.’’The labour force is the sum of persons in employment plus persons in unemployment. Together these two groups of the population represent the current supply of labour for the production of goods and services taking place in a country through market transactions in exchange for remuneration.

Prah (2011: 4) says that:

‘‘Labour is purposive or goal-directed exertion to produce directly or indirectly means of sustaining life for the producer. In simple societies, much of this process is aimed at producing immediately useful products for the labourer. As societies become more complex, purposes of exchange increasingly assume pre-eminence. But even then, its central or primary object remainsthe sustenance of life. Labour uses means of labour – tools and techniques – in the process of the expenditure of labour power. In other words, Labour-power or the ability to produce labour (value forming labour) is materialised only by its exercise; it is manifested as labour only through work and this is invariably done in concert with other factors or forces of production like land, capital, immaterial inputs and congealed labour or value-adding inputs.’’

Corpus Linguistics: In this electronic age, we live in, computers are considered to be one of the most important needs as well as practical solutions; from there the idea of exploiting electronic corpora has been originated. Corpus is « a collection of texts in an electronic database » (Kennedy, 1998:3). And corpus linguistics is a merge of technology and linguistics, as corpus linguistics is defined as: « the study of language on the basis of text corpora » (Aijmer &Altenberg, 1991:1). Therefore, corpus linguistics has recently become the reliable source of real linguistics data and statistical information about language.

Concept: An example of concept is stallion which may be understood in terms of features such as animate, four-legged, male, adult, and so on. This concept is easy to describe because it is concrete. However not all concepts are easy to describe, especially abstract concepts. As a matter of fact, Douglas et al (2000: 121) say that:

‘‘Past research on concepts has focused almost exclusively on nounobject concepts. […] recent research demonstrating that useful distinctions may be made among kinds of concepts, including both object and nonobject concepts. We discuss three types of criteria, based on structure, process, and content, that may be used to distinguish among kinds of concepts.’’

In explaining the difference between these three types of concepts, Douglas et al (2000) indicate that a great deal of research on the psychology of concepts has been directed at their componential structure.‘‘Virtually everyone believes that concepts should be analyzed in terms of constituent attributes or features.’’ (Ibid: 123)

 

  • Theoretical framework of the research

Douglas et al (2000) argue that notions like democracy seem different from things like party or from concepts such as ‘‘black-capped chickadee. (Ibid: 122) Then, they wonder whether different kinds of concepts are acquired in the same way? As pointed out above, past researches focused almost entirely on noun object concepts like table, dog, chair, etc. However, there are non-noun object concepts as well.

Abstract concepts, such as truth and justice, seem different from object concepts, such as dogs and boats. Yet little work has addressed how we understand abstractconcepts. One suggestion has been that abstract concepts are understood through conceptual metaphors (Gibbs 1997, Lakoff & Johnson 1980). During this process, representations of concrete concepts are mapped onto the abstract concepts tofacilitate understanding. For example, justice might beunderstood through a conceptualrepresentation of a scale, and anger might be understood through a conceptualrepresentation of boiling water. If abstract concepts are understood via ametaphorical representation of an object concept, we might not expect to findstructural differences between these two types of concepts. Clearly more workneeds to be done on how abstract categories are formed and understood (Douglas, 2000: 128)

Douglas et al. (2000) stress a cognitive approach to the acquisition of concepts and present three types of criteria with respect to the study of concepts, namely structure, process and content; those are the structural, discursive and conceptual criteria.

Regarding the structural criterion, Douglas et al (2000) explain the componential structure of concepts. They say that ‘‘everyone believes that concepts should be analysed in terms of constituent attributes or features.’’ (ibid: 123) The above-mentioned example of stallion can be cited as an example. The 1970s were characterised by a shift from the position that categories are organised in terms of defining features (i.e. the classical view) to the view that category membership is more graded and structured in terms of features that are only typical or characteristic of categories, the so-called probabilistic or prototype view.

The discussion on concepts as a process reveals that categories formed through data-driven, bottom-up processes may be different from categories formed through top-down categorical processes. Structure or process cannot be evaluated in isolation; structure-process pairs must be considered. Process may drive structure. There may be multiple processes that operate on the same structure. There are principles of conceptual structure and processing that cannot be generalised across all concepts.

It is fair to say that theories about conceptual structure and processing arebased primarily on research with object categories, though the conclusions from Douglas et al.’s work are thought to apply to a different kind of concept. Are object concepts justeasy-to-study representatives of all concepts? One may also wonder whetherobject concepts are themselves uniform in kind. Furthermore, Douglas et al. list candidates for kinds of concepts based on structure, namely nouns versus verbs, count nouns versus mass nouns, isolated and interrelated concepts, object versus mental events, artefacts versus natural kinds, abstract concepts. It appears that the distinction between nouns and verbs is universal. Gentner (1981) and colleagues (Gentner & France 1988) have marshaled theoretical and empirical arguments for theview that nouns and verbs map onto ontologically distinct aspects of the environment. Although the contrast is not without exception, the general idea is that nouns refer to clusters of correlated properties that     create chunks of perceptual experience. Languages honor these perceptual discontinuities, as evidenced by good cross-cultural consistency in the presence oflexical entries corresponding to these chunks. In contrast, predicative concepts ingeneral and verbs in particular focus on relations among these entities involvingsuch things as causal relations, activity, or change of state. Given that relations presuppose arguments or objects, it would seem that nouns are conceptually simpler than verbs and, Gentner (1981) argues, more constrained by perceptual experience. (Douglas et al., 2000: 125).

Another point made by Douglas et al. is that the way mental concepts are acquired is different from the way object concepts are acquired. Mental events are more difficult to learn than object categories.

Although some researchers have focused on parallels between object and eventconcepts (e.g. Rifkin 1985; for social events, see Morris & Murphy 1990), Ripsand his associates have demonstrated important differences between objects and mental events (e.g. Rips & Conrad 1989, Rips & Estin 1998). For example, part-whole relations seem to behave differently for objects and mental events. Thesteering wheel of a car is not a kind of vehicle but a part of planning, such asevaluating competing plans is a type of thinking (Rips & Estin 1998). Evidencefrom other experiments suggest that parts of mental events (and, to an intermediate degree, scripts) are less bounded (discriminable) and more homogeneousthan parts of objects (Rips & Estin 1998). Finally, if the categories that describemental events are less bounded, then they may be more difficult to learn than object categories (see Keil 1983). (Douglas, 2000: 126-127)

Another list of candidates for kinds of concepts based on process include common taxonomic versus goal-derived categories, social information processing and individuation, stereotypes, subtypes and subgroups. Douglas et al. give below an example of goal-derived categories. Barsalou (1983, 1985) pointed out that many categories are created in the service of goals and that these goal-derived categories may differ in important ways from object categories. Examples of goal-derived categories include ‘‘things to take out of your house in case of a fire’’ or ‘‘foods to eat when on a diet.’’ Goalderived categories may activate context-dependent properties of category members. For example, the fact that a basketball is round isa stable property that should be accessed independent of context, but the fact that basketballs float may only be accessed in contexts where a goal relies on its buoyancy. (Douglas et al., 2000:133)

Candidates for kinds of concepts based on content are related to domain specificity. This is how Douglas et al introduce this idea:

Researchers advocating domain specificity have suggested that concepts from different domains are qualitatively different. Although it is difficult to give a precise definition of domain, the notion of domain specificity has served to organize a great deal of research, especially in the area of conceptual development. For example, studies of infantperception and causal understanding suggest that many of the same principles underlie both adults’ and children’s concepts of objects (e.g. Baillargeon 1994,1998; Spelke et al 1992) […] One of the    most contested domain distinctions, and one that has generatedmuch research, is that between       psychology and biology (e.g. Carey 1991). For example, Springer & Keil (1989) show that preschoolers think biological properties are more likely to be passed from parent to child than are social or psychological properties. They argue that this implies that the children have abiology-like inheritance theory. (Douglas et al., 2000: 128)

The various features of concepts discussed by Douglas et al will help understand the complexity of the concept of labour in The Wealth of Nations.  Indeed, though labour is an abstract notion, it is presented in the bookas a commodity, a means of purchase and exchange, the real price of commodities, a measure of the value of commodities, a factor of production, a source of wealth, an inherited wealth, an entity employed by the stock.

Of course labour is metaphorically represented when it is referred to as a commodity and we might not expect to find a structural difference between it and an object concept. However, when labour is represented as the real price of commodities, the metaphoric representation is still pervasive except the object concept. Further, when Adam Smith refers to labour as a factor of production, the metaphor is still persistent but this suggests a process rather than a structure. Besides, the statement ‘labour is an inherited wealth’ suggests that labour is an object concept.

The terminological approach adopted by this paper is semasiological, i.e. the paper focuses on the denomination labour and then tries to provide the definition of the concept.        The paper presents a brief historical evolution of labour as well. The evolutionary theory developed by Engels in The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man is used. This historical perspective reinforces the importance of labour in human development and prosperity.

Finally, the concept of labour in The Wealth of Nations is complex and takes the reader through the meanders and technicalities of economic thinking. The various conceptual areas of the term make it possible to define specifically its contours and to delimitate its content. Therefore, it will be possible to discuss the semantics of the term in the next section.

 

  1. The semantics of the term labour in The Wealth of Nations
  • A taxonomy of the concept of labour in The Wealth of Nations

It is important to reaffirm that the paper attempts to define the term labour in The Wealth of Nationsby focusing solely and exclusively on the information contained in the book. It is another way of constructing or bringing out the meaning(s) of the concept in the various environments and/or contexts in which the term labour has been found. This is a cognitive approach which is used in terminological exploration.

Douglas’ theory of the concept, which has been discussed above, provides the basis upon which taxonomic considerations will be dealt with. Indeed, there are three layers to put in place in discussing the concept of labour in the book. The first layer is the structural criterion, while the process and the content criteria serve as background to the other two layers.

  • Labour as a dynamic process

In the following examples, labour is presented as a factor of production as well as something that can be divided, wealth, a variable (especially through the fluctuations of its price). 1)

Labour is a factor of production: If the society were annually to employ all the labour it can annually purchase, the quantity of employed labour would increase greatly every year, and so the product of each year would be of vastly greater value than that of the preceding year. (p.21) Labour as a factor of production

 

In the example above, labour is presented as a factor of production and the process is dynamic. The words and syntagms ‘employ’, ‘purchase’, ‘quantity’, ‘increase greatly’, ‘product’ and ‘vastly greater value’ suggest an action and a value-adding process.

In another context, labour is presented as something that is divisible. (2)

The greatest improvements in the productive powers of labour, and most of the skill, dexterity, and judgment with which it is directed or applied, seem to be results of the division of labour. It will be easier to understand how the division of labour affects society in general if we first look at how it operates in some particular manufactures. It is easy to see the division of labour in small manufactures where the over-all number of workmen is small and all of them can be collected into one workshop and all seen at once. P.3 Labour is divisible
Consider the trade of a pin-maker—a small manufacture, but one in which the division of labour has often been noticed. A workman not educated to this business or acquainted with the use of its machinery probably couldn’t make one pin in a day, and certainly couldn’t make twenty. [Smith builds into that sentence two asides: that the division of labour •has made pin-making a distinct trade and •probably has led to the invention of the machinery.] But these days not only is pin-making a particular trade but it is divided into branches most of which are themselves particular trades.p.3 Labour is divisible

 

In the examples above, labour is presented again as a dynamic process. Syntagms and action-oriented words like ‘productive powers of labour’, ‘skill’, ‘dexterity’, ‘directed’, ‘applied’, ‘results’ and ‘pin-making’ suggest a productive process which is facilitated and enhanced by the division of labour.

In another context, labour is presented as a source of wealth creation and population growth. (3)

The liberal reward of labour, therefore, is not just the effect of increasing wealth but also the cause of increasing population. To complain of it is to lament the necessary cause and effect of the greatest public prosperity. P.35 Source of wealth and population growth
The demand for labour— whether increasing, stationary, or declining—determines the quantities of necessities and conveniences that must be given to the labourer; and the money price of labour is determined by what is needed for purchasing this quantity. Pp.36-37 The demand for labour is a dynamic process
(c) His employers are those who live by profit. The stock that is employed for the sake of profit is what puts into motion most of a society’s useful labour. P.93 Labour is put in motion by the stock

 

In the examples above, labour is depicted as a source of wealth creation and population growth as well as an entity that is put in motion by the stock, and its demand may increase or decline or remain stationary. All these reflect the dynamic nature of labour processes.

As mentioned earlier, the conceptual features of labour do not only reflect a process. A structural/componential approach to the concept is possible.

  • A structural/componential approach to the concept of labour

This approach is rather static. It simply depicts labour as a sum of features. Indeed, labour is presented as commodities’ real price and the original purchase money. (5)

Chapter 5. Commodities’ real price (in labour) and their nominal price (in money) (p.12) Commodities real price
Labour was the first price, the original purchase money that was paid for all things. (p.13) First price, original purchase money
In this popular sense, therefore, labour may be said to have a real and a nominal price, just as commodities can. (p.14) –          Labour has a real and a nominal price

–          Labour means work

Because labour itself never varies in its own value, it alone is the ultimate and real standard by which the value of all commodities can—always, everywhere—be estimated and compared. It is their real price; money is their nominal price only. (p.14) Ultimate and real standard always and everywhere

Interesting characteristics of labour are revealed in the sentences above. The conception of labour presented here goes beyond the conception of the ILO Thesaurus definition. Labour is a price and has a price. It has a real price and a nominal price. It is the ultimate standard.

These are the components of the concept of labour as designed by Adam Smith. The concept of labour has a considerable terminological density in the book.

In the following context, labour is referred to as a means of purchase. (6)

The wealth of the world was originally purchased not by gold or silver but by labour; and its value to those who possess it and who want to exchange it for something else is precisely equal

to the quantity of labour it can enable them to purchase or command. (p.13)

 

–          A means of purchase

–          In this case, labour means work as well

Chapter 6. The component parts of the price of

commodities

In the early and rough state of society that comes before anyone has accumulated stock or claimed possession of land, the only basis for any rule for exchanging one object for another seems to be the proportion between the quantities of labour needed for acquiring those objects. (p.18)

 

A component part of the price of commodities

 

It is clear that the roles played by labour were many in the classical conception of economics. In the latter examples, labour is not described as spearheading a process. It is rather cited as a standard or part and parcel of something. So far two conceptions of labour have already emerged.

In the following examples, another characteristic of labour is presented. (7)

Most of them must come to him from the labour of other people, and he must be rich or poor according to how much of that labour he can command or can afford to purchase. (p.12) Labour is quantifiable
It is often hard to settle which is the greater of two quantities of labour; it isn’t always a mere matter of which took longer. p.13)

 

Labour is quantifiable

 

How to quantify labour? How can a quantity of labour be measured and compared to another quantity of labour? Adam Smith has given the answer by saying that some labour requires higher education and dexterity. And one hour of labour requiring higher education may be worth more than two hours of common labour. In any case, the concept of labour emerging from this particular instance is a combination of an abstract notion and an objective category. It must be easier to compare two quantities of water or sand.

There might be a resonant semantic relationship between quantities and labour. To buttress this remark, let us read what Hanks says about this concept. Hanks (2006: 19-37) says that « Metaphor is defined as a resonant semantic relationship between a primary subject and a secondary subject. »Further, he gives the following examples to show the resonant semantic relationship between words.

« Some metaphors are more metaphorical than others.

(6) A desert, that’s what it is – a desert of railway tracks.

(7) … Seeking to bring our awareness of spirituality to those

mostly brought up in a spiritual desert.

(8) I walked in a desert of barren obsession »

There is a resonant semantic relationship between the primary subject ‘desert’ and the secondary subject ‘spiritual’. In this context, the person talking has not walked in a desert. ‘Spiritual desert’ in this context is a metaphor which means a lack of spirituality. Note that a desert is a physical place, whereas spiritual is an abstract notion. The combination of these two words produces a resonant semantic relationship. To come back to the syntagm ‘quantities of labour’, it should be made clear that labour is not an object category that can be quantified or counted. Therefore, ‘quantities of labour’ is a metaphor that is used in this case to help understand a particular feature of the concept of labour.

Another combination of an abstract notion and an object category occurs when it is said that the inherited wealth of a poor man is his labour. It looks like a metaphor. (8)

·SMITH’S CASE AGAINST HAVING LAWS OF APPRENTICESHIP·

The property that every man has in his own labour is the basis of all other property, so that it is the most sacred and inviolable. The inherited wealth of a poor man lies in the strength and dexterity of his hands; and to hinder him from employing this strength and dexterity in whatever way he thinks proper, without injury to his neighbour, is clearly a violation of this most sacred property. P.54

Labour as inherited wealth

 

We normally inherit tangible properties but in this case, strength and dexterity are the inherited wealth. On this score, the idea that abstract concepts are understood via a metaphorical representation of an object concept can help understand this aspect of the concept.

In the following example, labour means workers. (4)

In agriculture, the rich country’s labour is not always much more productive than the poor country’s, and never as much more productive as it commonly is in manufactures. (p.4) Labour means workers

 

  • Labour as a content-laden concept

So far we can assert that the concept of labour has strong economic flavours in the book. It should be possible to sum up the various meanings of the term labour and present them as its conceptual areas. This will make a difference with alternative uses of the term in other fields of study. By the way, Termium indicates that labour is a concept that is used in the following five areas: work and production, labour and employment, production (economics), pregnancy and perinatal period, cost accounting and foreign trade.

The next thing to do is suggest a definition of the concept as it emerges from the book. Indeed, the definition should encompass the following senses: 1(a) work, (b) workers, (c) labour force. 2(a) Labour is a factor of production. 3(a) It is a commodity, (b) the real price of commodities, (c) the measure of the price of commodities. 4(a) It is a means of purchase and exchange. 5(a) It is a source of wealth. 6. An inherited property. 7. A variable (the variability of the labour price makes it become a variable). 8. A component of the wealth of a nation, which is the annual product of the land and labour of a nation.

 

Conclusion

The aim of this paper has been to explore the meanings of the term labour in The Wealth of Nations (1776). Indeed, the authors such as Adam Smith, Engels, David Ricardo, Karl Marx and others have exposed in their books different points of view on the concept the term refers to. According to Engels, man is the product of his labour. The title of his publication is revealing: The Part Played by Labor in the Evolution from Ape to Man. On this same issue, Smith says that ‘labour was the first price paid for all commodities’ and it is the source of the wealth of a nation. Though Marx did not go against this idea, he challenged the idea that labour was simply a value and described the labourer as someone who sells his labour force. These are different views that have enabled us to present an historical overview of the concept.

The methodology adopted in this paper is analytical in the sense that every single context in which the term has been used in the book has been analysed and its meaning has been interpreted.

As a result, the term labour is polysemous in the book. It is synonymous with work, labourers, a commodity, the real price of a commodity, a means of purchase, the original purchase money, a human activity, etc.

Another important aspect of the paper is the discussion of the notion of concept. The paper has gone beyond the traditional approach to concept, which is mostly structural, and has thrown light on another two conceptual criteria, i.e. process and content.

In The Wealth of Nations (1776), labour has clearly assumed the dimension of a concept. Indeed, it is a complex concept. Other authors and areas of specialisation also use this term and give it a different content. This will be the subject of further studies in forthcoming papers.

 

References

Aijmer, K., Altenberg, B.( 1991). English Corpus Linguistics. Studies in Honour of Jan Svartvik, London, Longman

Baillargeon R. (1994). How do infants learn about the physical world? Curr.Dir. Psychol. Sci. 3:133–40

Baillargeon R. (1998). Infants’ understanding of the physical world. In Advances in Psychological Science, Vol. 2: Biological and Cognitive Aspects, ed. M Sabourin, F Craik, pp. 503–29. Hove, UK: Psychol. Press/Erlbaum

Carey S. (1991). Knowledge acquisition: enrichment or conceptual change? In The Epigenesis of Mind: Essays on Biology and Cognition, ed. S Carey, R Gelman, pp. 257

 

Douglas L. Medin, Elizabeth B. Lynch, and Karen O. Solomon (2000). Are There Kinds of Concepts, InAnnu. Rev. Psychol. 51, 121–147

Engels, F. (1950).The Part Played by Labor in the Transition from Ape to Man. International Publishers, New York

Gentner D. (1981).Some interesting differences between nouns and verbs.Cogn. Brain Theory, 4, 161–78

Gentner D. (1982). Why nouns are learned before verbs: linguistic relativity versus natural partitioning. In Language Development.Vol. 2: Language, Thought and Culture,ed. SA uczaj, pp. 301–34. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum

Gentner D, France IM. (1988). The verb mutability effect: studies of the combinatorial semantics of nouns and verbs. In Lexical Ambiguity Resolution: Perspectives from Psycholinguistics, Neuropsychology, and Artificial Intelligence, ed. SL Small, GW Cottrell, MK Tanenhaus, pp. 343–82. San Mateo, CA: Kaufmann

Gibbs RW. (1997). How language reflects the embodied nature of creative cognition. See Ward et al 1997b, pp. 351–73

Hanks, P. (2006). ‘Metaphoricity is Gradable‘ in A. Stefanowitsch and S. Gries (eds.): Corpora in Cognitive Linguistics. Vol. 1: Metaphor and Metonymy. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter

Keil FC. (1983). On the emergence of semantic and conceptual distinctions. J. Exp. Psychol.: Gen. 112:357–85

Keil FC. (1989). Concepts, Kinds, and Cognitive Development.Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

Kennedy, G. (1998). An Introduction to Corpus Linguistics. Harlow: Addison Wesley Longman Limited.

Morris MW, Murphy GL. (1990). Converging operations on a basic level in event taxonomies. Mem.Cogn.18:407–18

Murphy GL, Wisniewski EJ. (1989). Categorizing objects in isolation and in scenes: what a superordinate is good for. J. Exp. Psychol.:Learn. Mem.Cogn.15:572–86

Prah K. (2011). Making Africans Labour and Language in African Society and History. Paper presented to the First Annual New Year School of the ITUC-Africa: Lome, Togo

Ricardo D. (1951).Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press

Rifkin A. (1985). Evidence for a basic level in event taxonomies.Mem.Cogn.13:538–56

Rips LJ, Conrad FG. (1989). Folk psychology of mental activities. Psychol. Rev. 96:187–207

Smith A. (2017).An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. (eds.) Jonathan Benneth

Spelke ES, Breinlinger K, Macomber J, Jacobson K. (1992). Origins of knowledge. Psychol. Rev. 99:605–32

Rips LJ, Estin PA. (1998). Components of objects and events.J. Mem. Lang. 39:309– 30 Online material and CD Rom Dictionary http://ilo.multites.net/default.asp

Termium. (2003). Ministère des Travaux Publics et Services Gouvernementaux du Canada.

Article n°23- Rilale-Uac/ Volume 1, Issue n°1

IMPACT DES PRESTATIONS VERBALES DES ENSEIGNANTS SUR LES RENDEMENTS SCOLAIRES DES APPRENANTS DANS LES COLLEGES D’ENSEIGNEMENT GENERAL DE COTONOU 

 

Florentine Adjouavi HOUEDENOU

Université d’Abomey-Calavi

houedenou1@gmail.com

Abstract

For decades, the problem raised by school failure continues to be a central concern in educational debates. This research work raises questions about the teachers’ classroom practices and the academic performance Secondary school learners in Cotonou. The methodology used for carrying out the research calls for both quantitative and qualitative method paradigms. The elaborated survey questionnaire and interview guide are administered to a sample study population of 6,925 including male and female respondents. The findings show that a smooth atmosphere in class practices stands as a genuine factor students’ comprehension and participation in the course. It also reveals that a good attitude and good classroom practice without any insult and harassment are the keys to success of educational relationship for a good classroom management.

Keywords: Verbal practice, teacher performance, academic performance, Cotonou’s CEG.

Résumé

Depuis quelques décennies, le problème de l’échec scolaire constitue le centre des préoccupations dans les débats sur l’éducation. Cette recherche questionne les pratiques de classe des enseignants et le rendement scolaire des apprenants des collèges de Cotonou.Elle montre que les prestations verbales de l’enseignant affectent la trajectoire scolaire des apprenants. La démarche méthodologique adoptée comprend une dimension descriptive portant sur des analyses qualitatives et quantitatives. Pour réaliser cette recherche, un questionnaire d’enquête, un guide d’entretien et une grille d’observation ont été utilisés à l’aide d’un échantillon de 6925 personnes. Les résultats ont mis en évidencela nécessité d’un bon climat comme facteur et atout pour la compréhension et la participation au cours. De même, l’analyserévèle qu’une bonne attitude ainsi qu’une pratique de classe sans injures, insultes et harcèlement représentent  la clé de réussite de la relation éducative pour une meilleure gestion de la classe.

Mots-clés : Pratique des enseignants, prestations verbales, performance scolaire, CEG de Cotonou.

 

 

Introduction

L’éducation, clé de voûte de tout système éducatif, demeure le facteur du développement ducapital humain. En effet, s’« il n’est de richesses que d’hommes, investir dans le capital humain est donc crucial » (Bodin, 1576 : cité par V.E. Sokou, 2012 : 37). L’éducation, un droit fondamental fait partie intégrante de la Déclaration Universelle des Droits de l’Homme et de la Convention relative aux droits de l’enfant. Dans cette optique, l’ONU (2010)[1] dans ses Objectifs du Millénaire pour le Développement a prôné l’accès à l’éducation pour tous afin d’universaliser l’éducation. Des efforts considérables ont été faits dans ce sens par les pays africains en général, comme en témoignent les taux de scolarisation appréciables (O. Balema, 2011 : 2-8 cité par K. Lapin, 2013 : 47). Si la plupart des Etats africains souscrivent aux principes fondamentaux relatifs à la réalisation du droit à l’éducation, force est de constater que la législation interne relative à l’éducation dans ces Etats n’est pas toujours en parfait accord avec les exigences requises pour la réalisation du droit à l’éducation et la qualité dans l’enseignement (R. Elobo, 2016 : 94).

Dans les collèges au Bénin, bien que le droit à l’éducation soit reconnu à travers les principaux textes juridiques réglementaires de l’institution scolaire, l’exigence sur la qualité de l’enseignement ou les pratiques pédagogiques de classe posent problème. On observe néanmoins et, de façon spécifique à Cotonou, que le personnel enseignantse heurte à certaines réalités d’ordre pédagogique. De même, la question de la qualité de l’enseignement, des performances scolaires des apprenants et le manque de réalisme menace l’enseignement. Ces pratiques influencent négativement la vie des apprenants et interpellent plus d’un. C’est dans cette ligne que la note Circulaire N° 100 du Ministère de l’Education et celle du N° 232/MEMB/DGM/DEMB interdisent ces pratiques.

Par ailleurs, les résultats des admis à l’examen national du brevet d’études du premier cycle (BEPC) du secondaire sont peu reluisants soit, 49% en 2013 ; 47,57% en 2014 ; 30,16% en 2015 ; 16% en 2016 et 50,56% en 2017 (DEC, 2017)[2]. Ces statistiques montrent que la réussite des apprenants dans les collèges est sujette à la pratique de classes et dépend des prestations verbales des enseignants. Ces statistiques sont similaires à celles du BAC (DOB, 2017)[3]. Ils nous permettent de déduire, a priori, que la performance scolaire au secondaire serait fonction, entre autres, du capital humain. Ce capital connait son développement chez les apprenants lorsque les enseignants prennent en considération les caractéristiques personnelles de l’apprenant, des facteurs du milieu socio-économique et familial.

Soulignons également que l’ensemble de l’attention accordée à ce qui se passe à l’intérieur de la classe, la prise en compte des variables psychologiques, psycho-sémantiques, cognitives et socioaffectives de la classe, sont fortement associées à la réussite scolaire (Houédénou, 2016 : 15). A cet effet, plusieurs variables propres au milieu scolaire telles que les attitudes verbales et les gestes de l’enseignant, la relation pédagogique et un climat positif de classe contribuent significativement à la réussite des apprenants au secondaireselon L. Fortin et al, (2006 : 2). Ces éléments impactent la vie des apprenants et procurent la joie de savoir et le bonheur de comprendre. Mais force est de constater que le manque de maîtrise de soi et de la non prise en compte de certaines variables intervenant dans la communication avec les élèves influencent les rendements tant au niveau des enseignants que celui des apprenants.

Or, les enseignants jouent un rôle très important sur plan de l’adaptation sociale et scolaire des apprenants (A. Lessard et al, 2008 cité par B. Guédjezoun, 2015 : 13). C’est pourquoi leurs prestations verbales peuvent conduire à l’échec ou au faible rendement scolaire. Dans cette optique, quelques questions de recherche s’imposent. Dans quelle mesure les attitudes et prestations des enseignants affectent la performance scolaire des apprenants des cours secondaires de Cotonou ? A partir de ce questionnement, la recherche poursuit l’objectif qui consiste principalement à montrer que les prestations verbales des enseignantsaffectent la trajectoire scolaire des apprenants.

Pour ce faire, des réponses aux préoccupations contenues dans la problématique de cette recherche montrent que les prestations verbalesconstituent l’un des éléments clés de la performance scolaire et du rendement scolaire.

  1. Cadre conceptuel de la recherche

Le cadre conceptuel de cette recherche prend en compte les concepts tels que : violence verbale, échec scolaire, relation enseignant-apprenant ainsi que leur impact sur les résultats des apprenants.

  • Notion de violence verbale dans la pratique de classe

La violence est un concept polysémiqueen général. Elle signifie« agir sur quelqu’un ou le faire agir contre sa volonté, en employant la force ou l’intimidation »[4].Pour F. Raynal et A. Reunier (2002 : 1519), la violence est une force physique ou verbale dont on use pour contraindre quelqu’un à faire ou à ne pas faire quelque chose ou pour créer de désagrément à celui qui subit la violence.

La violence verbale selon R. Legendre (2005), désigne une autre forme d’incivilité. Cette violence est à la fois le fait que les apprenants et les enseignants, et va de l’injure aux menaces envers les autres apprenants. Elle s’exprime à travers les moqueries, les railleries, les dérisions de l’enseignant qui malheureusement humilie l’apprenant concerné et le plus souvent devant la classe. Il nous semble intéressant d’étudier par quels gestes se manifeste cette violence afin de  proposer des solutions. Il ressort de ces repères sémantiques que parler des violences verbales revient à évoquer plutôt des « pratiques verbales négatives ». Elle est une expression synonyme de la violence verbale mais surtout dans la relation enseignant-apprenant en situation de classe. Il s’agit dans le cadre de cette recherche, d’un ensemble des désagréments comme les intimidations, le chahut permanent, les menaces, l’absence d’écoute, les railleries, les moqueries, la brutalité, l’humiliation, l’insulte… qui viennent empoisonner l’ambiance de travail dans une classe et dégradent toutes les relations, que ce soit entre apprenants ou entre enseignant et apprenants. Les violences verbales sont sources de pratiques verbales.

  • Pratiques verbales comme source de l’échec scolaire

Selon le dictionnaire Encyclopédique de l’éducation et de la formation (Ph. Champy, 2005 : 294-297), l’échec est le résultat négatif d’une tentative, d’une entreprise. C’est le fait pour un apprenant de n’avoir pas pu, faute de succès suffisants, parvenir au terme du cycle d’étude entrepris. Quant au Dictionnaire de Pédagogie, la notion d’échec scolaire concerne « les apprenants qui ont des carences considérables dans les apprentissages de base et qui sont démotivés ou en complet rejet de l’école »[5]. Cette notion signifie l’« expression par les dons où le handicap socioculturel a fait place à l’étude des processus qui, dans l’école, transforment des difficultés cumulatives en échec »[6].PourM. Nomaye et D. Gali (2000 : 21), l’échec scolaire est défini comme : « la déperdition scolaire se rapportant à des élèves qui n’achèvent pas leur scolarité dans les délais prescrits soit parce qu’ils abandonnent définitivement l’école soit parce qu’ils redoublent une ou plusieurs classes ».Cette définition interpelle alors les enseignants à une plus grande prise de conscience professionnelle dans la gestion de la classe.

SelonPh. Meirieu (2008) cité A. Hachémè (2017 : 42), cette notion semble être une tâche difficile, étant donné le nombre important de facteurs entrant en jeu. Mais, il précise que l’échec scolaire est défini comme « la difficulté pour quelqu’un de s’approprier des savoirs scolaires ». En effet, un élève ayant besoin de plus de temps pour assimiler des connaissances ou ne parvenant pas à se motiver pour apprendre se trouve en situation d’échec. Ainsi, la question de l’échec scolaire est devenue assurément l’un des phénomènes scolaires les plus visibles, un problème social complexe qui préoccupe un nombre croissant et diversifié d’acteurs sociaux. C’est ce qui motive cette réflexion sur les causes de l’échec scolaire à travers les prestations verbales des enseignants dans l’acte pédagogique. Puisque l’examen du phénomène de l’échec scolaire a révélé sa complexité et ses multiples effets dans plusieurs domaines.Les enseignants doivent adopter un nouveau paradigme permettant de réduire considérablement les effets négatifs des échecs sur le parcours scolaire des apprenants. Cela permettra d’éviter le nombre considérable d’élèves qui, pour une raison ou pour une autre, ne réussissent pas à acquérir l’ensemble des compétences enseignées à l’école. Alors, que retenir des facteurs susceptibles d’entraver la pratique de classe au secondaire ?

  • Facteurs internes à l’apprenant

Les facteurs propres à l’apprenant font partie des éléments influençant les prestations verbales des enseignants au secondaire. Plusieurs auteurs ont souligné que les apprenants adolescents présentent en classe des attentes, des attitudes et des comportements ayant un impact sur la relation qu’ils entretiennent avec leur enseignant (H.A. Davis, 2003 cité par A.E. Houannou, 2015 : 11). Le contexte familial dans lequel ces adolescents évoluent représente une source d’influence importante dans l’établissement de la relation enseignant-apprenant et dans le vécu de ces derniers à l’école.

Selon H.A. Davis (2003) cité par A.E. Houannou, 2015 : 11), la qualité de la relation enseignant-apprenant est directement reliée à la qualité de la relation parent-enfant (J.H. Kennedy et C.E. Kennedy, 2004 : 45 cité R. Dassoundo, 2015 : 19). Un apprenant dont la relation avec son parent estmarquée par de nombreux conflits se comporte avec méfiance dans ses relations avec les autres. Les répercussions d’attachement se maintiennent dans le temps et agissent comme un facteur distal qui influence la perception du jeune de sa relation avec son enseignant (H.A. Davis, 2006).

Par ailleurs, le niveau d’éducation des parents, la composition de la famille ainsi que la considération de la famille face aux réalités du milieu scolaire et de l’importance de l’école influencent la perception qu’a l’apprenant de son enseignant (N. K. Bowen &G. L. Bowen, 1998 : 7 cité N. D. Soglohoun, 2013 : 31). Ces auteurs rapportent que les apprenants cumulant de nombreux facteurs de risque dans leur environnement familial perçoivent un plus faible niveau de soutien de la part de leurs enseignants. Ce qui génère un effet négatif sur leur engagement et leur rendement scolaire.Alors, les enseignants doivent tenir compte des facteurs internes de leurs apprenants dans leurs prestations verbales.

Notons aussi que leretard scolairechez un grand nombre de ces jeunes affectenégativement la relation enseignant-apprenant (B. Galland et P. Phillipot, 2005 : 18). De plus, les caractéristiques personnelles, notamment le sexe et l’âge des apprenants, semblent avoir une influence sur la relation enseignant-apprenant (K. Fredriksen et J. Rhodes, 2004 citée V. Fandy, 2014 : 53). En ce qui concerne le genre, les garçons ont une perception plus négative de leur relation avec leurs enseignants (B. Galland etP. Phillipot, 2005 : 21). La compétence sociale de l’apprenant semble favoriser la qualité de la relation enseignant-apprenant. On peut donc dire que les apprenants présentant de bonnes habiletés sociales ont une bonne interactionen classe. Cela permet aux enseignants de mettre en œuvre une bonne relation pédagogique.

  • Facteurs propres à l’enseignant

Les caractéristiques de l’enseignant influencent de façon cruciale la relation enseignant-apprenant (K. Fredriksen et J. Rhodes, 2004 citée V. Fandy, 2014 : 48). Le lien existant entre la qualité de l’attachement qu’a vécu l’enseignant au cours de son enfance joue sur sa capacité à établir des relations avec ses apprenants (K. Fredriksenet J. Rhodes, 2004 citée V. Fandy, 2014 : 21). En effet, tout comme l’apprenant, l’enseignant aborde sa classe avec sa propre attitude relationnelle. Il déploie des stratégies motivationnelles à l’image de son propre style d’attachement. Par exemple, un enseignant ayant un style d’attachement évitant, maintient une distance émotionnelle dans ses relations avec ses apprenants. Ceci peut être interprété comme un manque de sensibilité et de soutien (J. H. Kennedy &C.E. Kennedy, 2004 cité par A. Hachémè, 2017 : 34). Ainsi, la maîtrise de la distance culturelle de l’enseignant doit passer par la communication et la relation entre un enseignant et les apprenants d’origines sociales diverses. C’est dans ce sens que s’impose la prise en compte de l’attention aux effets et aux  poids de mots de la communication (verbale et non verbale), de l’acceptation de l’autre, de l’affectivité, des affinités. Il ne s’agit pas d’individualisation organisée, mais de la maîtrise de la distance culturelle et du conflit. Dans ce sens, l’échec scolaire découle des situations didactiques. Certains apprenants échouent non pas faute de moyens intellectuels, mais parce qu’ils ne trouvent pas leur place en classe et de plus n’établissent pas de relation avec les enseignants (R. O. Aka, 2014 : 57). Notons que les représentations mentales des enseignants face à la relation qu’ils entretiennent avec ces apprenants sont prédictives du rendement et de l’ajustement scolaire des apprenants.

  1. Démarche méthodologique

La démarche méthodologique adoptée intègre à la fois la démarche quantitative et celle qualitative dans une dynamique descriptive. Elles’est déroulée à Cotonou, précisément dans les Collèges d’Enseignement Général de Sainte Rita, collège de Gbégamey, Collège Père Aupiais, C S Protestant et Collège de Zogbo. Laplus grande ville du Bénin, seule ville que compose le département du Littoral et situé au sud du Bénin regorge plus de cours secondaire. Cotonou a vu son poids démographique passer de 9,8% de la population totale en 2002 à 6,8% en 2013 au profit des communes limitrophes d’Abomey-Calavi, de Ouidah et de Sèmè-Kpodji qui sont devenues de véritables cités dortoirs (INSAE, 2013).

La population cible retenue est constituée des apprenants du premier cycle, notamment ceux des classes de 6ème en 3ème. Ceux-ci représentent la cible la plus vulnérable des pratiques verbales. Ils se situent entre dix (10) et dix-sept (17) ans dont 53% de sexe masculin et 47% de sexe féminin et de leurs enseignants. Le choix de l’échantillon de la population cible s’est d’abord fait grâce à la formule de Lokesh (1972) qui stipule qu’ « en sciences sociales, l’échantillon de 20 jusqu’à 30% est approprié pour une recherche scientifique ». Ensuite, nous avons pris 30% du total des apprenants du premier cycle desdits collèges soit 6.750 apprenants. Enfin, cette recherche a été également étendue aux enseignants de ceux-ci. Ici, nous avons choisi interroger au hasard 175 enseignants toujours dans le souci de les amener à prendre conscience des conséquences de ces pratiques sur les apprenants et d’en faire une analyse minutieuse pour proposer des solutions adéquates.

La collecte des données a été réalisée à l’aide des instruments tels que : la recherche documentaire, l’observation directe, l’entretien semi-directif et l’enquête par questionnaire.En effet, la recherche documentaire a permis d’exploiter la documentation écrite existante sur le problème. Ainsi, à l’exception du questionnaire adressé aux apprenants, celui adressé aux enseignants est suivi d’un guide d’entretien afin de recueillir les expériences de travail au sujet des éléments liés aux pratiques verbales.Il a permis de recueillir des renseignements sur les enquêtés etcomporte quatre questions.

L’enquête par questionnaire a permis de recueillir les données inhérentes aux éléments liés aux prestations verbales qui participent à l’échec scolaire des apprenants ainsi que les raisons liées au manque de motivation scolaire en vue de concrétiser le sondage. On trouve dans les questionnaires trois grands types de questions (les questions ouvertes, les questions fermées et les questions à choix multiples).

Conscients des limites des questionnaires, des observations ont été faites lors de quelques séquences de classe de certains enseignants du premier cycle. Ceci permet de percevoir les réalités liées à la relation enseignant-apprenant dans les situations de classes. Les situations de classe désignent des pratiques de classe ou un ensemble d’activités d’enseignement/apprentissage au cours desquelles s’affichent des comportements et des interactions dans une salle de classe (N’da, 2002 : 6).

En outre, en ce qui concerne les techniques de traitement des données,une fois les questionnaires rassemblés, un premier contrôle, sous forme d’un dépouillement, a été effectué afin de s’assurer de leur recevabilité pour le traitement. Tous les questionnaires étant bien remplis, l’étape suivante a été celle du codage des questions suivi de l’encodage (J-M. de Ketele et X. Rogiers, 1996 cité F. A. Houédénou, 2016 : 10) des données à l’aide du logiciel SPSS. Ce qui a permis de générer des statistiques. Les données qualitatives ont été transcrites manuellementpar le logiciel de MicrosoftWord Office version 2013 de traitement de texte. Ce corpus de verbatim a été structuré et organisé en unité de sens en fonction de l’objectif de la recherche. Tout ceci permet d’aborder l’analyse des résultats.

 

  1. Présentation et analyse des résultats obtenus
  • Déterminants des mauvaises pratiques de classes

De l’analyse des données, on constate que les personnes enquêtées ont une perception négative de la compréhension des cours. Cette analyse montre que des déterminants entrent en jeu dans la pratique de classe selon les enquêtés. En effet, 51,15% des apprenants attestent que les enseignants manquent de motivation et d’ambiance dans la pratique de classe, 34,08% affirment que les cours ne sont pas vivants et 14,77% disent que les enseignants aiment insulter, faire de bruits et humilier devant les camarades : « … l’environnement scolaire n’est pas vivable et il y a manque d’attention chez les enseignants à leur égard » (apprenants, 2017). En d’autres termes, nombreux apprenants n’apprécient pas le climat qui règne pendant la pratique de classe. Dans cette ligne, un apprenant affirme ce qui suit :

« J’ai déjà demandé à mon père de me faire le transfert sur un autre collège. Je n’ai jamais manqué 15/20 de moyenne depuis la 6ème mais cette année, je ne pense pas être admis au BEPC à cause des injures, mines et menaces des enseignants. La classe de 3ème n’est pas difficile mais les enseignants nous frustrent et compliquent la vie à travers leur comportement » (Apprenant, 2017).

Une autre dit : « mes parents ne me crient pas, ne m’injurient point…  Parfois, les enseignants vont jusqu’à nous dire ‘’vous allez lamentablement  échouer’’ » (Apprenante, 2017).Alors, en ce qui concerne les prestations verbales dans la gestion de la classe, 78,57% des enseignants reconnaissent porter d’injures, de menaces, decoups de bruits,… sur les apprenants contre 21,43% qui déclarent le contraire.Il en est de même au niveau des résultats au plan qualitatif. Il ressort de cette analyse que les enseignants doivent recevoir des formations en psychopédagogie pour une bonne gestion de classe.

  • Déterminants liés à la compréhension des activités scolaires

A propos des déterminants de la compréhension des activités scolaires pendant la pratique de classe, 69,67% des apprenants considèrent qu’un bon climat dans la pratique de classe constitue le meilleur facteur permettant la compréhension et la participation. En fait, « je suis très heureuse quand les enseignants font les cours avec ambiance car, si je ne suis pas ennuyeuse, j’ai toujours de meilleures moyennes » (Apprenante, 2017).

Dans la même logique, concernant la compréhension des activités scolaires, 53,21% des enseignants estiment qu’un bon climat en classe profite et motive les apprenants dans la compréhension des apprentissages. Notons que 38,57% considèrent qu’il facilite la pratique de classe et rassure l’enseignant tandis que seulement 8,22% d’entre eux considèrent les pratiques verbales négatives et punitionscomme une bonne pratique de classe : « … nos apprenants sont têtues et paresseux.Sans les pratiques verbales négatives, ils ne cherchent pas apprendre. Il faut des menaces pour redresser nos apprenants. Je ne peux gérer ma classe sans utiliser cette pratique » (Enseignants, 2017).

  • Conséquences de bonnes attitudes et pratiques verbales

Au sujet des conséquences des attitudes et pratiques verbales sur la trajectoire scolaire des apprenants, 59,78% trouvent qu’une bonne attitude ainsi qu’une bonne pratique de classe sans injures, insultes, harcèlement… représentent des clés de réussite des apprentissages. De même, 32,17% les trouvent importants dans la mesure où elles aident les apprenants à être performants en classe. En revanche, 8,08% seulement estiment qu’elles facilitent la maîtrise des apprentissages : « … nous travaillons et réussissons dans toutes les activités scolaires quand nos enseignants font preuve d’une bonne attitude et prestation verbale. Les injures et menaces nous découragent et déconcentrent en classe » (Apprenants, 2017).

Dans le même sens, concernant les conséquences des attitudes et pratique verbale sur le parcours de apprenants, 57,64% des enseignants reconnaissent qu’une mauvaise attitude et pratique verbale entravent la trajectoire scolaire des apprenants. De plus 37,26% estiment que les pratiques verbales endiguent la performance scolaire des apprenants. Seulement 5,1% d’entre eux disent le contraire des précédents. Tout ceci permet de comprendre l’appréciation des pratiques verbales.A ce propos, il convient de noter que les enseignants doivent accompagner les apprenants dans leur difficulté afin de leurpermettre de bien apprendre et de réussir leur apprentissage.

  1. Discussion des résultats

Au niveau des apprenants et des enseignants, il a été révélé que plusieurs déterminants explicatifs s’observent lors des pratiques de classe dans les collèges d’enseignement général de Cotonou. A l’origine, il est expliqué que, 51,15% des apprenants attestent que les enseignants manquent de motivation et d’ambiance dans la gestion de classe, 34,08% affirment que les cours ne sont pas vivants. Cette proportion est restée presque identique avec celle des enseignants soit (78,57%).Ceci corrobore les travaux de (A. H. Davis, 2003 cité par A.E. Houannou, 2015 : 11 ; D. Andenas et K. Lapin, 2013 : 47) lorsqu’ils déclarent que : « La qualité de la relation enseignant-apprenant serait directement reliée à sa performance scolaire. Et, les répercussions d’attachement se maintiennent dans le temps et agissent comme un facteur distal qui influence la perception du jeune dans sa relation avec son enseignant ». Par ailleurs, la réussite ou l’échec scolaire d’un apprenant dans ses apprentissages dépend de sa relation avec son enseignant (A.E. Houannou, 2015 : 11). On peut dire que les pratiques et prestations verbales négatives de l’enseignant en situation de classe influencent négativement le vécu scolaire des apprenants. Ceci contredit selon J. Hounkpatin& F. Houédénou (2017 : 91-98) les rôles de l’enseignant en tant que guide ou vérificateur du degré du développement des compétences  c’est-à-dire celui qui aide et amène l’apprenant à préciser les raisons de ses réussites ou de ses difficultés (effort, méthode utilisée, attention soutenue et attitudes personnelles).

En outre, l’enquête menée sur le terrain par rapport aux déterminants de la compréhension des activités scolaires pendant la pratique de classe démontre nettement que 69,67% des apprenants considèrent un bon climat dans la pratique de classe comme le meilleur facteur permettant leur compréhension et leur participation au cours et approximativement uniforme avec les résultats des enseignants soit (53,21%). Ce résultat est superposable à ceux de J.H. Kennedy et C.E. Kennedy (2004 : 45) cité par R. Dassoundo (2015 : 19) lorsqu’ils disent que : « Les représentations mentales des enseignants quant à la relation qu’ils entretiennent avec leurs apprenants seraient prédictives du rendement et de l’ajustement scolaire des apprenants ».

Dans la même logique, certains enseignants interviewés ont prouvé que « les relations enseignant-apprenant influencent sur le degré de compréhension, de participation ou de réussite scolaire des apprenant » (Enseignants, 2017). Sur le plan pratique, la relation enseignant-apprenant, est fortement associée à la réussite scolaire et au risque de non décrochage (M-C. Cossette et al, 2004 cité par E. Hachemè ; 2017 : 56). Renforçant ces résultats, le modèle explicatif du faible rendement scolaire (Fortin et al, 2006) met en relief plusieurs variables propres au milieu scolaire telles que les attitudes verbales de l’enseignant et un climat de classe peu propices à l’engagement scolaire.

L’analyse des données qualitatives vient confirmerla recherche des travaux de Ph. Perrenoud (1991) lorsqu’il dit que : « Tous les lièvres que courent les enseignants méritent d’être courus, et cela d’abord dans l’intérêt des apprenants ». Au vu de tout ceci, on peut conclure que la bonne pratique de classe lors des différentes activités scolaires contribue à la performance scolaire des apprenants des collèges de Cotonou.

Conclusion

La présente recherche a été réalisée dans le but de montrer que la pratique verbale de l’enseignant affecte la performance scolaire des apprenants des collèges d’enseignement général de Cotonou. En réalité, l’analyse des données quantitatives et qualitatives a permis de démontrer que 51,15% des apprenants et 78,57% des enseignants ont affirmé que la pratique de classe manque de motivation. Ensuite, 69,67% des apprenants et 53, 21% des enseignants considèrent qu’un bon climat dans la pratique de classe comme le meilleur facteur permettant la compréhension et la participation au cours. Enfin, 59,78% des apprenants et57, 64%des enseignants ont trouvé qu’une bonne attitude et une bonne pratique de classe sans injures, insultes, harcèlement sexuel représentent des clés de réussite des apprentissages au cours secondaire. En ce sens, les enseignants sont des vecteurs indispensables responsables devant créer un milieu d’apprentissage propice aux apprenants. M. Postic (2010 : 99-125) en souligne l’importance pour la réussite de la relation éducative.Ils sont appelés à proposer des activités d’apprentissage pertinentes et des pratiques de classe qui insufflent à chaque apprenant le désir d’apprendre et les inciter à l’engagement cognitif.

En somme, la bonne pratique incluant une prestation verbale adéquate dans la gestion des activités scolaires constitue un excellent outil pédagogique et éducatif par excellence. Son application appropriée contribue à la réussite de la pédagogie et de la qualitéde l’enseignement/apprentissage.

 

Références bibliographiques

Bayali, B. (2004). « La pédagogie de grands groupes appliquée à la lecture dans les classes à double flux de la commune de Koudougou ». Diplôme de fonction d’inspecteur de l’enseignement du premier degré, E.N.S.K. Burkina Faso.

Belema, K. (2011). Les déterminants de la performance des écoles primaires au Sénégal.
Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Analyse Economique à l’ENSAE-Sénégal
. Diplôme de Technicien Supérieur de la Statistique.

Bowen, N. K. et Bowen, G. L. (1998). The effects of home microsystem risk factors and school microsystem protective factors on student academic performance and affective investment in schooling. Social Work in Education.

Brewster, A. B. et Bowen, G. L. (2004). Teacher Support and the School Engagement of Latino Middle and High School Students at Risk of School Failure.Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal.

Cossette, M-C. ; Potvin, P. Marcotte, D. ; Fortin, L. ; Royer, E. et Leclerc, D. (2004). Le risque de décrochage scolaire et la perception du climat de classe chez les apprenants du secondaire. Revue de psychoéducation.

Dassoundo, R. (2015). Ecole et la pratique éducative chez les apprenants de la commune de Dassa-Zoumè. Maîtrise en Sciences de l’Education. Université d’Abomey-Calavi.

Davis, H. A. (2003). Conceptualizing the role and influence of student-teacher relationships on children’s social and cognitive development. Educational Psychologist. 

Elobo, P.T. (2016). « L’accès à l’enseignement primaire au Cameroun au regard du droit à l’éducation ». In éducation pour tous, culture et développement. Ed. L’Harmattan.

Fortin, L. (2011).Recension des écrits sur la relation enseignant-élève, Chaire de recherche de la Commission scolaire de la Région-de-Sherbrooke sur la réussite et la persévérance scolaire. Ed. Marie-France Bradley.

Fortin, L., Marcotte, D., Potvin, P., Royer, E. et Joly, J. (2006). Typology of Students at Risk of Dropping Out of School: Description by Personal, Family and School Factors. European Journal of Psychology of Education.

Fraser, B. J. et Walberg, H. J. (2005). Research on teacher-student relationships and learning environments: Context, retrospect and prospect. International Journal of Educational Research.

Fredriksen, K. et Rhodes, J. (2004). The role of teacher relationships in the lives of students. New directions for youth development.

Houannou, A. E. (2015). Facteurs et perspectives de l’échec scolaire : cas du CEG1 d’Avrankou. CAPES en Histoire-Géographie. ENS/Porto-Novo.

Hounkpatin J. & F. Houédénou. (2017). Pour l’enseignant professionnel. Repères pédagogiques et didactiques, Volume1, Cotonou, Editions Francis Aupiais.

Kennedy, J. H.; Kennedy, C. E. (2004). Attachment Theory: Implications for school psychology. Psychology in the Schools.

Le Bortef, G. (2006). Construire les Compétences individuelles et collectives. Paris, Editions d’organisation.

Lessard, A.; Butler-kisber, L.; Fortin, L.; Marcotte, D.; Potvin, P. et Royer, E. (2008). Shades of disengagement: High school dropouts speak out. Social Psychology of Education. An International Journal.

Meirieu, Ph. (2008). Lutter contre « l’échec scolaire » Pourquoi ? Comment ? ». Actualités éducatives.

N’da, P. (2002). Méthodologie de la recherche de la problématique à la discussion des résultats. Abidjan, EDUCI.

Ndagijimana, J-B. (2008). Motivation et apprentissage scolaire. Université de Bouaké/ENS – Côte d’Ivoire – DEA.

Paille, P. ; Mucchielli, A. (2013). L’analyse qualitative en sciences humaines et sociales. Paris, Armand Colin.

Perrenoud, Ph. (1991). Pour une approche pragmatique de l’évaluation formative. Mesure et évaluation en éducation, vol. 13, n° 4. (Repris dans Perrenoud, Ph., L’évaluation des élèves. De la fabrication de l’excellence à la régulation des apprentissages, Bruxelles, De Boeck, 1998.

Sava, F.A. (2002). Causes and effects of teacher conflict-inducing attitudes towards pupils: a path analysis model. Teaching and Teacher Education.

Soglohoun, N.D. (2013). Gestion de l’effectif pléthorique au secondaire dans le Département du Couffo au Bénin. Mémoire de Master2 à l’Institut des Sciences de l’Education. Université de Lomé.

Sokou, V. E. (2012). Les échecs scolaires dans l’enseignement secondaire public : cas du Collège d’Enseignement Général.1 d’Abomey-Calavi, ENS/Porto-Novo, (CAPES en Histoire-Géographie).

Zotin, L. (2010). « Les travaux de groupe dans l’enseignement-apprentissage de l’histoire géographie au second cycle de l’enseignement secondaire au Burkina Faso ; enjeux pédagogiques et état actuel des pratiques enseignantes ». Mémoire de fin de formation à la fonction d’inspecteur de l’enseignement secondaire, ENS/UK. Burkina Faso.

[1] ONU : Organisation des Nations Unies

[2] Direction des Examens et Concours.

[3] Direction des Offices du Baccalauréat.

[4] Dictionnaire Le Robert micro poche, subverbo violence, Paris, Rey, 2013, p. 1519, 2ème colonne.

[5] Dictionnaire de Pédagogie, subverbo échec scolaire, Paris, Louis, et al. 1996, p.91, 1èere colonne.

[6] Dictionnaire de didactique du français, subverbo Echec scolaire, Paris, Jean-Pierre Cuq, 2003, p. 77, 2ème colonne.

Article n°22- Rilale-Uac/ Volume 1, Issue n°1

SOCIAL INTERACTIONS AND INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES AMONG ENGLISH AS FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHERS:  LESSONS FROM TRENDS IN BENIN REPUBLIC

 

 

Arlette J. Viviane HOUNHANOU

Université d’Abomey-Calavi

Arlette1970@hotmail.com

Codjo Charlemagne FANOU

Université d’Abomey-Calavi

Chcodjo@yahoo.fr

 

TELECHARGER VERSION PDF

Abstract

This study examines Social Interactions on Instructional Practices among EFL Teachers in some secondary schools in Benin Republic. The methodology guiding the research is induced by the study typology. It considers a sampled population of seventy- seven 77 respondents made up of male and female teachers of English. The data collection tools adopted to operationalize the research are questionnaire and interview guide. Data emanating from the questionnaire harvest are disaggregated along the frequency and percentage lines. As for the interview data they are analyzed against the backdrop of the research questions. The findings of the study reveal four interactions types among EFL teachers. Those are mainly collaboration, individualism, contrived collegiality and balkanization. The study also comes up with the view that EFL teachers’ instructional practices are significantly influenced by social interactions. Therefore, it is important that educational authorities promote social interactions among teachers in order to enhance effective teaching and learning of English language.

Keywords: EFL teachers, social interactions, Instructional Practices, balkanization.

 

Résumé

Cette étude examine les interactions sociales sur les pratiques instructionnelles au sein des enseignants d’anglais langue étrangère, dans certaines écoles secondaires en République du Bénin. De façon simultanée, l’architecture de la recherché prend en compte la considération méthodologique de l’étude. Un échantillon de soixante-dix-sept (77) enseignants d’anglais a été utilisé. Les instruments utilisés pour la collecte des données sont le questionnaire et l’interview. Les données obtenues par le questionnaire sont classes par fréquences et pourcentages alors que les données obtenues par l’interview sont analyses selon les thèmes sur les questions de recherche. L’étude a révélé qu’il y a quatre types d’interaction au niveau des enseignants d’anglais. Celles-ci incluent la collaboration, l’individualisme, une collégialité force et une balkanisation. L’étude a aussi établi que les interactions sociales ont une influence positive sur les pratiques instructionnelles de l’enseignement de l’anglais. Il est important pour les leaders de l’éducation de s’assurer que les interactions sociales entre les enseignants continuent d’être utilisées pour renforcer l’effectivité de l’enseignement et l’apprentissage de la langue anglaise.

Mots clés: enseignants d’anglais, interactions sociales, pratiques  instructionnelles, balkanisation.

  1. Introduction

In the school system, teachers always interface between curricular documents and classroom practices. Thus, teachers translate curriculum decisions and plans as outlined in the curriculum document into practical activities to bring about desired changes in students (Elmore, 1999). In an attempt to implement curricular policies, teachers mediate formal curriculum principles by adjusting curriculum directives in ways that they believe would benefit students. For instance, in most cases, teachers re-conceptualize the content and organization of curriculum document, the methodologies of implementing curriculum policies and the stipulated assessment techniques to reflect the contemporary needs of students. This means that teachers serve as filters through which mandated curriculum pass to students (Marsh& Willis, 2003). Wang (2002) affirms that teachers are not simply implementers of policies that are handed down to them but they interpret, modify and edit the formal curriculum prior to implementation. Several studies have shown that the interpretations and modifications done by teachers in curriculum documents are shaped by subject professional development meetings in the school system (Little, 1990; Siskin, 1994, & Harris, 2000). These studies have also shown that the subject professional development meetings have a considerable influence on teachers and can either make or mar teachers’ conception of the formal curriculum. Further, it has been established that how EFL teachers individually and collectively perceive and enact the curriculum document is conditioned by the practices existing in the subject professional development meetings, a claim McLaughlin (1994) had earlier made. He indicated that the subject professional development meetings have the potential to impact on what is taught how it is taught and assessed. This means that the nature and character of the subject professional development meetings determine teachers’ interpretational stance towards a curriculum document.

This study would like to explore the social interaction among teachers of English and its impacts on curriculum enactment in Benin Republic.  Its aim is to undertake investigations that might shed light on this state of affairs in the educational sphere.

  1. Previous Studies
    • The social network theory

The theoretical framework used for the study is the social network. The social network theory is a theoretical concept that is concerned with the relationships between individuals, groups, institutions, or even entire societies. As Scott (2000) notes, the social network theory comprises two or more individuals that are bound together by a common objective. The individuals may be a group or an organization and the objective may constitute one or more relations such as ‘seeking advice from’ or ‘works together with’, ‘depends on’ and so on (Chung, 2011).

In the context of this study, the group is EFL teachers teaching in the same secondary school. The objective of professional development meetings is to plan and implement the curriculum at that level of schooling. The objective may constitute one or more relations such as seeking advice from colleagues to prepare lessons, work together to prepare schemes of work, depend on others for the teaching of certain topics, among others. This theoretical approach is necessarily relational. However, a common criticism of social network theory is that individualism is often ignored (Wenlin, Anupreet, Amanda, &Thomas, 2017).

The objective among the individuals during professional development meetings has important behavioural, perceptual, and attitudinal consequences for both the individual units and for the system as a whole (Knoke et al., 1992). Thus, the theory provides mechanisms and processes that interact to yield certain outcomes for the individuals as a unit.  Individual benefits could be in the area of professional growth as a teacher, ability to improve planning and teaching as well as an effective teacher identity. Every member of the group has a right to benefit from the social interaction, irrespective of their contribution to its creation or maintenance (Katz, Lazer, Arrow,& Contractor, 2004). For the unit, there could be an appropriate image building, an improvement in the teaching and learning of the English language, and also a healthy social engagement in the meetings. These benefits reflect mutual interest and collective action. Its main premise is that shared interests and the likelihood of benefits from coordinated action often outweigh individual self-interests. (Marwell, & Oliver, 1993).

The intent of the social interaction and collective action of EFL teachers suggest that the outcome of the social interaction would maximize the exchange value between individual teachers. The motivation to forge ties and interact is to further maximize their collective ability to leverage instructional practices and mobilize for collective action. Such collective action is made possible because the teachers, each with their own set of skills, knowledge and expertise, develop communication networks that help them identify and leverage the skills and expertise of others. As the skills, knowledge and expertise of individual teachers play out in the interactions; EFL teachers’ curriculum enactment would be influenced.

  • Teachers’ Interactions

Several authors have different classifications of teachers’ interactions. For Taylor (1967), there are two types of teacher interactions: interpersonal interactions and intrapersonal interactions. Hargreaves (1992) presents four kinds of interactions expanding on Taylor’s classification. These include fragmented individualism, collaboration, contrived collegiality and balkanization. Hargreaves’ classification has been the basis of contemporary studies on teacher interactions. Some studies present evidence supporting the forms of teachers’ interactions. In a study on “Teachers’ workplace”, Rohenholtz (1993) reports that teachers planned, designed and prepared teaching materials together. Such interaction was also characterized by help-giving, emotional support and collectiveness. Lieberman (1994) also reveals the existence of collaborative interaction among teachers. This interaction among teachers was administratively regulated, rather than development-oriented; and meant to be predictable rather than unpredictable in its outcome. As administrative requirement, novice teachers in the schools were expected to consult the most experienced teachers when taking critical decisions related to lesson planning.  These decisions ranged from selection of teaching methods to assessment of students’ learning. Teachers in such schools were required to work together to improve practice.

Wang (1995) reports that teachers participated in smaller sub- group interactions within the school community. Thus, teachers were ‘balkanized’ into different cliques with different ideological demarcations. The first faction represented those who were receptive to changes. They took initiatives to formulate strategies in order to meet students’ needs. These teachers were likely to plan their lessons to meet the broad spectrum of learning styles and needs that learners come to class with (Oppong, 2009). The other faction of teachers was apparently isolated-oriented. They were conservative and kept themselves away from the imposed innovations. These teachers may be susceptible to new ways of planning instructional practices. In the end, modern approaches to instructional planning may not be adhered to.

De Lima’s (1997) study also reveals that teachers’ interactions was more of support-giving; joint planning and enquiry-based teachers’ interactions. Supportive planning included group planning of lessons, joint development of materials for use in the classroom and deliberations on teaching practices and instructional strategies that elicit students’ critical thinking skills. This collaboration among teachers is likely to improve instructional practices of teachers. One will, therefore, expect that improved instructional practices will also possibly elicit students’ analytical and synthetic skills. Similarly, Munthe (2003) shows that teachers in their attempt to implement changes in the curriculum had a round table discussion on what ought to be included in the syllabus and the irrelevant topics in the syllabus; the appropriate pedagogies that appealed to students’ needs and how to develop the thinking abilities of students. The findings of the study demonstrate that teachers shared and developed their expertise through the round table interaction. The findings of the studies reviewed above show that teachers’ interactions could be collaborative, isolated-oriented, or administratively regulated. Apart from these, it could be deduced from the literature that teachers engage in sub-group interactions.

  • The Influence of Teachers’ Interaction on Curriculum Enactment

The existence of social interaction among teachers may influence teachers’ instructional decisions. For instance, several authors (Lieberman, 1994; Pennel, & Firestone, 1996; Vukelich, & Wren, 1999) indicate that true collegial and collaborative interactions are those which have impact on teachers’ practices. Talberts’ (2001) observes that collegial support and interaction helped teachers to adopt appropriate methodologies for new topics, relevant learning aids and effective strategies before classroom implementation.  The study also shows that collegiality influenced the motivation and career commitment of teachers to the extent to which they were willing to modify the methodologies and teaching and learning resources that were selected in the lesson preparation. Cohen and Hill’s (1998) indicate that teachers were able to reconstruct their practice to align with the principles of new professional standards for teaching. Cohen and Hill conclude that teachers gained experience from their participation in content-focused interactions with their colleagues. This suggests that collaborative interactions influence teachers’ curriculum enactment. This observation emphasizes the belief that, how teachers interpret and further enact the curriculum would be somewhat dictated by effective collegiality. It is, therefore, useful to note that the implementation of the formal curriculum in any classroom situation may allow the discussion of teaching methods, instructional resources and other issues by teachers (Sosu, 2018). Shah (2012) surveys elementary teachers’ professional relationships in Kuala Lampur and found that professional interactions with colleagues enhanced teachers’ knowledge and pedagogical skills needed to teach specific content areas. The study confirms that constructive feedback from colleagues enabled teachers to get a holistic understanding of a planned curriculum document.

Sato and Kleinsasser’s (2004) study, however, show how interactions among teachers could be problematic for teachers’ curriculum enactment practices. It was reported in the study that teachers became confused on what method was deemed appropriate, the best teaching and learning aids to use and the best way to meet the diverse needs of students. The study concluded that collaborative interactions hinder teachers’ innovations in the classroom practices. Similar observations have been reported by Leonard (1993) and Johnson (2003). These authors detailed in their research reports how collegiate interactions could stifle teachers’ initiative and creativity in curriculum enactment. The outcomes of these studies suggest that interaction among teachers for purposes of curriculum enactment could be negative oriented. The literature, therefore, is not conclusive on the issue. That is, the literature seems to be a mix-bag. The social interaction among EFL teachers during professional development meetings may help confirm or refute the claims in the literature. Perhaps, as noted in the focus of the study the current study may help shed more light on the state of affairs. The current study examined how the social interactions that exist among EFL teachers influence syllabus enactment before classroom implementation in Benin. Given that no such study has been conducted in Benin, the different socio-cultural settings may lead to variation in the findings in previous studies. This provides the reason to focus this research in a Beninese context.

 

  1. Objectives of the Study

The current study seeks to examine social interactions among teachers of English and their impacts on Instructional Practices in some secondary schools in Benin Republic. The following research questions have thus been raised:

  • What interactions exist among EFL teachers during weekly professional development meetings?
  • How does EFL teachers’ social interaction influence their instructional practices?
  1. Methodology

The concurrent research design was used for this study. The design was deemed appropriate for this study because it allows the collection of different but complementary data on the same topic on one field visit (Morse, 1991). The sample for the study was made up of seventy-seven (77) purposively selected EFL teachers from public and private secondary schools in Littoral region in Benin . The selection of these teachers was informed by the fact that they had taught the subject for a long period of time in a particular school which put them in the position to know the influence social interactions have on EFL teachers’ enactment practices.

Questionnaire and interview guide were used to collect the relevant data. The questionnaire items were designed on two-point Linkert scale format: ‘‘Agree’’ and ‘‘Disagree’’. The questionnaire data were put into frequencies and percentages with the use of SPSS. Interviews were audio-recorded from 18 teachers and transcribed verbatim. To create manageable units for analysis, transcripts were divided into two area units related to the research questions. An inductive approach to develop codes was employed. Broad categories were developed based on the information gathered in response to the questions posed. These categories responses were repeatedly refined, augmented, eliminated, and further refined until the final narratives emerged.

  1. Results and Discussion

This section is organized under the two research questions, namely (i) the interactions that existed among EFL teachers during professional development meetings and (ii) how the interactions influenced EFL teachers’ curriculum enactment.

  • Teachers’ Interactions

The first objective was to find out the kind of interactions EFL teachers engage in their departments. The quantitative result is presented in Table 1.

Table 1 : Teachers’ Interactions
Statements

Agree

F (%)

Disagree

F (%)

Teachers discuss their academic work with their colleagues (88.9) (11.1)
Teachers participate in sub- group interactions with their colleagues (16.7) (83.3)
Teachers are mandated to work together (22.2) (77.8)
I do not discuss my academic work with my colleagues (33.3) (66.7)

The results in Table 1 indicate that the majority (16, 88.9%) agreed that they do discuss their academic work with their colleagues while only few teachers (2, 11.1%) disagreed.  Again, few (3, 16.7%) respondents agreed that EFL teachers work in cliques while most of them (15, 83.3%) disagreed. Very few (4, 22.2%) of the respondents indicated that teachers during professional development meetings are mandated to work together while the majority (14, 77.8%) indicated otherwise.  Lastly, on the statement that teachers did not discuss their academic work with their colleagues, six (33.3%) respondents agreed while twice this number (12, 66.7%) of teachers disagreed. The data point to the fact that, in general, even though some EFL teachers did not collaborate in their department, a considerable portion of teachers engaged their colleagues for academic work. The results, therefore, suggest that some EFL teachers, at least shared ideas.

Findings from the interview revealed that respondents had varying views on the kind of interaction (s) existing during meetings. For example, some of the respondents admitted that they engaged in collegial exchanges which may or may not be regulated. Two quotes illustrate this:

“I will say our interaction is cordial and voluntary; we interact both as teachers and learners. Out of genuine interest, we share stories, plan instructions and even assist beginning teachers specifically, during their first years in the classroom”;

 “The head of Professional development meeting has established teams of two or three teachers with specific responsibilities… The greatest concern with this arrangement is that we have no say in the formation of the teams… my team is tasked with co-planning of lessons and thematic teaching.”

The first comment shows that EFL teachers engage in collegial exchanges and joint planning of activities. The second comment also shows that teachers’ collegial exchanges are mandatory. In such a situation, teachers’ interactions are regulated by the authority, which Wang (2002) describes as the ‘Balkanized System’ within the school community. Others noted that they made use of the ‘inquiry group’ of (2-4 teachers) cohorts. The respondents gave responses like:

“I prefer consulting my colleagues rather than hold (sic) on to my own way of thinking, so do my colleagues”,

“… teachers are supportive… we offer instructional support to each other even though everyone belongs to a learning community which meets regularly outside to discuss students’ progress”.

The existence of sub-group interaction among EFL teachers indicates that teachers experienced collegial engagement differently. It appears that collegial collaboration is common in most secondary schools. This is noteworthy because the teachers displayed a general lack of knowledge about individualism during professional development meetings.

From the responses to the questionnaire, one can reasonably assume that EFL teachers engage in mandated interactions, collegial collaboration, and individualism and sub- group interactions. But the interview data, to some extent, contradict this assumption. While the questionnaire data revealed that some teachers plan their academic work in solitude, during the interview, all the teachers demonstrated a general lack of awareness of individualism. Given the lack of corroboration between the questionnaire and interview data, it maybe that the wording of the questionnaire made it easy for teachers to select any response. But after much probing in the interview, these teachers were unable to adequately account for their engagement in the perceived interactions. In this respect, the interview data served as an effective mechanism for cross-referencing teachers’ knowledge of the information on the questionnaire.

Notwithstanding the differences in the findings, the collaborative culture finds support in the perspective of Dillenbourg (1999) that in supportive and trusting collaborative environment, it is difficult to recognize any form of isolation. Again, if, in reality, only few teachers engage in sub-group interactions as the findings suggests, it can be assumed that differing ideological demarcations or group compositions do not exist in most professional development meetings. Indeed, in adaptable and successful schools, interactions about teaching tend to be inclusive and homogenous (Cole, 1991).This implies that collegial conversations and exchanges improve teachers’ classroom practices. The teachers may perhaps collaborate not only to improve teacher performance, but to also improve student performance. The engagement will put the EFL teachers on the same page in terms of planning and delivery of instruction. That practice will motivate teachers to engage in positive interactions with their colleagues. These benefits of collaboration among teachers confirm Ronfeldt, et al.’s (2015) study, which concludes that teachers’ collaboration has positive effects on teachers and their students.

It should also be noted that interaction is not always a concept that is welcomed with open arms as the questionnaire data revealed. The data suggested the existence of individualism though, as noted, the interview data did not confirm. Albeit the lack of confirmation, some teachers who have had success working in isolation may view collaboration as an invasion of their pedagogy and a waste of time. Such teachers are likely to be accustomed to their individualism regardless of the benefits of collegial interaction.

  • The Influence of Teachers’ Interaction on Curriculum Enactment

The study further sought to find out how social interaction among EFL teachers influenced instructional practices. The responses of teachers are shown in Table 2

Table2. The Influence of EFL Teachers’ Interactions on Curriculum Enactment
Statement Agree

F (%)

Disagree

F (%)

Social interactions influence my choice of assessment techniques (77.8) (22.2)

 

Social  interactions help me choose  relevant instructional resources (83.3)

 

(16.7)
Social interactions expose me to relevant content knowledge (88.9) (11.1)
Social interactions help me know how to formulate realistic lesson objectives (66.7) (33.3)
I get to know  appropriate methodologies for each topics when I engaged in positive interactions with my colleagues (94.4) (5.6)

 

Social interactions help me plan my lessons to reflect current trends in the teaching industry 13(72.2)

 

5(27.8)

 

Interactions with my colleagues enable me plan lessons in more practical manner 14(77.8)

 

4(22.2)

 

Social interactions enhance my knowledge in instructional strategies 17(94.4)

 

1(5.6)

 

Social interactions  widen my knowledge of the purposes , values and philosophical ground of the subject history 11(61.1)

 

7(38.9)

 

 

The majority of the respondents in Table 2 agreed that social interactions influenced how they enact the curriculum. For instance, 17 (94.4%) teachers agreed to the statement that collegial exchanges help them to select relevant methodologies during lesson planning. Another 17 (94.4%) of them indicated that the social engagements in the department exposed them to varied instructional practices in the planning of their lessons. The agreement levels of all the items suggests, to a greater extent, that interactions influenced EFL teachers’ curriculum enactments at that level of curriculum planning. This implies that the social interaction among EFL teachers enhance their lesson preparation.

From the interviews, it was noted, generally, that the social interaction among EFL teachers had an influence on the planning of their lessons. The respondents provided comments that social interaction in the departments afforded them a better orientation on the nature, and the purposes of the subject. One of the responses reflects this position:

“I think the engagements in the department with my colleagues widen my scope of knowledge on the principles and nature of the subject”.

This means that respondents acknowledged that interactions enhance their subject matter knowledge. Besides the content issues, the interviewees indicated that social interactions influenced their selection of, for example, appropriate assessment instruments, relevant instructional materials, and student-centered strategies and methodologies. One teacher puts it as:

“The discussions we have in the department help us identify suitable assessment strategies”.

Another had this to say

 “The ideas we share as colleagues influence my selection of appropriate instructional practices. In fact, these practices have ensured students involvement during lessons”.

These engagements have therefore improved teachers’ lesson planning. For instance, the comments that:

 “Our interaction as teachers have ensured that we formulate realistic and achievable lesson objectives and make lesson more practical” and

 “Sharing views in the department makes our lesson plans more comprehensive with different ideas across board”

suggest that the social interaction influence and benefit teachers’ curriculum enactment at that level in the school. This observation makes teachers’ interactions very critical in curriculum enactment process.

The two data sources, the questionnaire and interview data, converge on the same point. Both established that social interactions influence teachers’ practices of curriculum enactment. Given this level of corroboration, it appears that EFL teachers are inclined to pedagogical influence through social interactions. It implies that teachers’ ability to enact the English curriculum is somewhat determined by collegial engagements. This argument confirms the social network theory which views authentic teamwork as very influential to members’ understanding of a task and the performance of it. For instance, Cole (1991) attests that collective generation of ideas and suggestions enhance teachers’ development of varied and high quality instructional resources. Again, holding fast to the finding that social interactions widen EFL teachers’ content knowledge, teachers believe that inter-collegial exchanges enhance their understanding of the subject matter, skills or the substance of what is taught, a position that reflects the thinking in the social network theory. As noted in the theory, social interaction and collective action of EFL teachers suggested that, the outcome of the social interaction would maximize the exchange value between individual teachers. The motivation to forge ties and interact is to further maximize their collective ability to leverage instructional practices and mobilize for collective action.

It could, therefore, be argued that for EFL teachers to achieve the laudable objectives of the subject, and improve on instructional planning and delivery, their interactions in the area are critical. Perhaps, positive interaction with their colleagues will enable them exploit the usefulness, essence and benefits of each topic in the syllabus. This argument finds support in the words of Miller (1980). The author notes that social interactions influence teachers to an extent that they are able to understand the purposes of their educational practices. Several studies (e.g., Cole, 1991; Hargreaves, 1992; Shah, 2012) provide similar findings. All these studies concluded that social interactions play a vital role in augmenting teachers’ instructional practices. Even the essence of discussions of any curriculum document is to give ears to teacher’s classroom problems and also proffer solutions to such problems so as to improve instructional delivery. As Little (1978) argued earlier, collegial discussions increase teachers’ capacity to reflect on instructional challenges for remediation. Social interaction among EFL teachers is, therefore, beneficial for curricular discourse.

Others have also argued on the limitation of social interaction in schools. For example, Sato and Kleinsasser (2004) observe that interactions among teachers could be problematic for teachers’ curriculum enactment practices. Leonard (1993) earlier suggested that collegiate interactions could stifle teachers’ initiative and creativity in curriculum enactment practices. These arguments seek to advance the course of individualism over the social network theory. One common criticism of social network theory is that individualism is often ignored although this may not be the case in practice (Wenlin et al., 2017).The lack of initiative and creativity may be perhaps associated with introvert teachers, because any discussions among teachers should enable individuals share their innovations and not otherwise. However, the elements of initiative and creativity could possibly be stifled when the interaction among teachers is not receptive. One mechanism that can hinder initiative and creativity of individuals is reciprocal altruism (Trivers, 1971). Conventional knowledge suggests that a group should have important effects on the development of cooperation by mutual altruism.

Regardless of the fillip side of social interaction in any association, it is evident in this study that interaction among EFL teachers influence curriculum enactment practices for the benefits of the teachers. The current study therefore re-echoes the quintessential nature of social interaction in curriculum enactment. The findings provide a firm confirmation of the literature that suggests that social interaction is important for curriculum enactment discourse. Perhaps the socio-cultural settings of the current study and those previous studies bear semblance.

  1. Conclusion

This study set to examine social interactions among teachers of English and their impacts on Instructional Practices in some secondary schools in Benin Republic. It has been established that various interactions exist among EFL teachers in the various secondary schools where the study was conducted. These include mandated interactions, collegial collaboration, and individualism and sub-group interactions. The existence of these forms of interactions indicates that curriculum enactment may not take place in a vacuum. However, it is important that these interactions are regulated professionally to avoid any negative effect on teachers’ professional work. Again, the concept of individualism should be managed properly to avoid isolationism while ensuring that teachers’ initiative and creativity are not curbed.    The study further recognized that the social interaction among EFL teachers influenced curriculum enactment practices at that level of schooling. This implies that EFL teachers’ classroom practices are usually informed by the social engagements that take place during professional development meetings. It is, therefore, important for instructional leaders to ensure that those engagements among teachers continue to be appropriate to enhance the effective teaching and learning of the English language.

 

References

Barth, R. S. (1990). Improving schools from within. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Cohen, D. K., & Hill, H. C. (1998). Instructional policy and classroom performance: The mathematics reform in California. CPRE Research Report. Retrieved from http://repository.upenn.edu/cpre-research report/4.

Cole, A. (1991). Relationships in the workplace: Doing what comes naturally? Teaching and Teacher Education, 7(5/6), 415-426.

De Lima, J. (1997). Colleagues and friends: professional and personal relationship among teachers in two Portuguese secondary schools. Unpublished Doctoral thesis, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Toronto, Canada.

Elmore, R.  F.(1979).Backward mapping. Implementation research and policy decisions. Political Science Quarterly, 94(4), 601-616.

Giacquinta, J. (1998). Seduced and abandoned: Some lasting conclusions about planne            change from the Cambire school project, pp. 163-180. In A. Hargreaves., A Leiberman, M. F., & Hopkins, D. (Eds.), The International Handbook of Educational  Change. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Hargreaves, A. (1992). Cultures of teaching: a focus for change. In A. Hargreves & M. Fullan (Eds.), Understanding teacher development. New York: Teacher College Press.

Hargreaves, A. (1994). Changing teachers, changing times: Teachers’ work and culture in the postmodern age. London: Cassell.

Harris, A. (2000). Effective leadership and departmental improvement. Westminster Studies in Education, 23, 81-91.

Jacobs, M., Vakalisa, N., & Gawe, N. (2004).Teaching-learning dynamics: A participative approach for OBE (3rd Ed.). Sandown, South Africa: Heinemann.

Jarzabkowski, L. M. (2003). Teacher collegiality in a remote Australian school. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 18(3), 139-144.

Johnson, B. (2003). Teacher collaboration: Good for some not so good for others. In Education Studies, 99,337-350.

Leonard,S. (1999). Reculturing for collaboration and leadership. Journal of Education Research, 92, 237-241.

Katz, N., Lazer, D., Arrow, H., & Contractor, N. (2004).Network theory and small groups. Small Group Research, 35 (3), 307-332.

Marsh, C. J., & Willis, G. (2003). Curriculum: Alternative approaches, ongoing issues. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Merrill Prentice-Hall.

Marwell, G., & Oliver, P. (1993). The critical mass in collective action: A micro-social theory. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

McLaughlin, M. W., & Talbert, J. E. (2001).Professional communities and the work of high school teaching. Chicago: IL: University of Chicago Press.

Nias, J. (1998). Why teachers need their colleagues: A developmental perspective. In A Hargreaves, A Lieberman, M Fullan & D Hopkins (eds).International Handbook of Educational Change. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1257-1271.

Pennel, J.,& Firestone, W. (1996). Changing classroom practices through teacher networks: matching program features with teacher characteristics and circumstances. Teacher College Record, 98, 46-47.

Ronfeldt, M., Farmer, S., McQueen, K., & Grissom, J. (2015). Teacher collaboration in instructional teams and student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 52 (3), 475-514.

Retallic, J., &Buth, R. (2004). Professional well-being and learning: A study of teacher-peer workplace relationships. Journal of Educational Enquiry, 5(1), 85-99.

Reynolds, R. (2001). A model for researching syllabus development and curriculum change. Paper presented at the Annual Australian Association for research in education Conference,Syndey, December 2-6.

Rizvi, E., & Elliot, V. (2005).Teachers’ perception of their professionalism in government primary schools in Karachi, Pakistan. Asian Pacific Journal Teacher Education, 35-          52.

Rosenholtz, S, J. (1989). Workplace condition that affect teacher quality and commitment: implications for teacher induction programs. The Elementary School Journal,      89(4), 421-439.

Sato, V., &Kleinsasser, R. (2004).Beliefs, practices and interactions of teachers in a Japanese high school English department. Teaching and Teacher Education20, 797- 816.

Shah, M. (2012). The importance and benefits of teacher collegiality in school- a literature review. Social and Behaviour Sciences, 46, 1242-1246.

Siskin, L. S. (1994).Realms of knowledge: Academic departments in secondary schools. London: Falmer Press.

Sosu, E. (2018) History teachers and syllabus enactment: An examination of the issues in the middle ground curriculum among selected teachers in the Central and Greater Accra Regions of Ghana. Unpublished Master’s Thesis submitted to the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

Taylor, F. W. (19679. The principles of scientific management. New York: Norton.

Vukelich, C., & Wrenn, L. (1999). What do we think we know? Childhood Education, 75(3), pp.153-158.

Wenlin, L., Anupreet, S., Amanda, M. B, & Thomas, W. V. (2017). Social network Theory. In P. Rössler, C. A.Hoffner, & L. Zoonen (Eds). The International Encyclopedia of Media Effects. John Wiley & Sons,Inc.

 

Article n°21- Rilale-Uac/ Volume 1, Issue n°1

EFFET DES FORMATIONS ECOLE ENTREPRENEURIAT AGRICOLE SUR L’ESPRIT ENTREPRENEURIAL DES PRODUCTEURS:

ETUDE DE CAS DES PRODUCTEURS DE SOJA DANS LA COMMUNE DE TCHAOUROU, NORD-EST DU BENIN

 

Soulé EL-HADJ IMOROU

Université de Parakou

imorousoule@yahoo.fr

Martial AFOUDA

 

TELECHARGER VERSION PDF

 

 

Résumé

Dans le but d’évaluer l’effet des formations Ecole d’entrepreneuriat Agricole mises en œuvre par le Programme ProAgri/GIZ, le présent article se propose d’utiliser une nouvelle approche basée sur des critères d’appréciation de l’esprit entrepreneurial chez les producteurs. Ces critères ont été identifiés dans les modules de formation et sur la base des conseils pratiques aux producteurs. De même, un indicateur de mesure du niveau d’esprit entrepreneurial a été calculé.L’étude de cas a été conduite dans les villages de Gararou, Soumon, Sanson et Kpassatona dans la commune de Tchaourou avec un échantillon de 128 producteurs dont 84 producteurs EEA et 44 producteurs non EEA sélectionnés de façon aléatoire. Le test t de student et le test de khi-2 ont permis respectivement d’apprécier l’effet de la formation sur le niveau d’esprit entrepreneurial et sur l’esprit entrepreneurial des producteurs. Il ressort de cette étude que la formation EEA a  un effet positif et significatif sur les bénéficiaires EEA. Le test t de student réalisé pour apprécier l’effet de la formation EEA sur le niveau d’esprit entrepreneurial s’est révélé significatif au seuil de 1%. De façon détaillée, le test de khi-deux quant à lui a montré que la formation EEA a un effet significatif sur l’esprit entrepreneurial des bénéficiaires EEA par rapport à la façon dont ils perçoivent désormais leur exploitation (0,043<0,05) ; sur la connaissance du décamètre comme meilleur instrument pour mesurer leur champ (p=0,031<0,05) ;  sur la stratégie à adopter pour assurer la sécurité alimentaire de leur ménage (p=0,000<0,05) ; sur la stratégie à adopter pour savoir s’ils font de bonnes affaires p=0,003<0,05).Les résultats de cette étude devraient fournir des éléments de politiques et d’encouragement aux décideurs en ce qui concerne la continuité des interventions en rapport avec les interventions EEA.

Mots clés : effet, esprit entrepreneurial, EEA, Soja, Tchaourou.

 

Abstract

Farmers Business School and entrepreneurial spirit of producers inBenin

In the past, we have been interested in Farmers Business School (FBS) training implemented by the ProAgri / GIZ Program, this article proposes a new approach to the appreciation of the entrepreneurial spirit among producers. These criteria were identified in the training modules and on the practical advice of producers. Similarly, a level indicator of entrepreneurial spirit level has been calculated. The study was conducted in the villages of Gararou, Soumon, Sanson and Kpassatona in the commune of Tchaourou with a sample of 128 producers including 84 FBS producers and 44 no-FBS producers. The student’s t test and the chi-square test respectively allowed to assess the effect of the training on the entrepreneurial level of spirit and the entrepreneurial spirit of the producers. This study shows that FBS training has a positive and significant effect on FBS beneficiaries. The student test t made to assess the effect of FBS training on the entrepreneurial spirit level was significant at the 1% level. In a detailed way, the chi-square test showed that FBS training has a significant effect on the entrepreneurial spirit of FBS beneficiaries compared to how they perceive their exploitation (0.043 <0.05); on the knowledge of the decameter as the best instrument for measuring their field (p = 0.031 <0.05); on the strategy to adopt to ensure household food security (p = 0.000 <0.05); on the strategy to adopt to find out if they are doing good business p = 0.003 <0.05). The results of this study should provide policy elements and encouragement to decision makers regarding the continuity of interventions related to FBS interventions.

Keywords: effect, entrepreneurial spirit, FBS, Soybeans, Tchaourou.

 

Introduction

L’économie du Bénin n’est toujours pas très diversifiée et l’agriculture maintient son rôle crucial d’employeur et de source de revenus occupant entre 36 et 45% de la population active (Bongi, Obama, Le Dain, & Cossi, 2009, p. 65; Knoema, 2016) cités par Engel et al, (2017, p 18) juste derrière le secteur des services (46%). Le récent rapport diagnostic du secteur agricole au Bénin, montre que ledit secteur est dominé par de petites exploitations agricoles (PSRSA, 2011). Une grande partie des produits exportés est aussi issue de ce type d’exploitation (coton, karité, ananas, anacarde, crevettes, bétail sur pied, etc.). Toutefois, en dépit des efforts consentis par l’Etat, la pauvreté persiste en milieu rural, parce que, environ 70% des exploitants pratiquent encore l’agriculture extensive. En effet, ce secteur se caractérise par une faible productivité liée à l’utilisation des outils archaïques et des semences non améliorées, la non maîtrise de l’eau, la mauvaise organisation des filières, l’insuffisance de l’encadrement technique, le manque d’infrastructures et l’absence quasi-totale de financement des activités de production (Sossouet al., 2013). La professionnalisation des exploitations agricoles de type familial et la promotion des grandes exploitations et de l’entrepreneuriat agricole apparaissent aujourd’hui comme la meilleure option pour la croissance et la réduction de la pauvreté (PSRSA, 2011). Ceci est corroboré par la déclaration du Président du Fonds International de Développement Agricole (FIDA), en avril 2010 selon laquelle: « L’exploitation agricole, quelle que soit sa taille, est une entreprise… Les Gouvernements africains, les donateurs et les acteurs du secteur privé doivent agir pour transformer les 500 millions de petites exploitations que compte le monde en entreprises rentables… S’employer à doubler le revenu du paysan pratiquant une agriculture de subsistance, c’est simplement gérer la pauvreté. Mais l’aider à faire de son exploitation une vraie entreprise, c’est cela éradiquer la pauvreté… Les Gouvernements africains doivent créer des conditions propices au développement et à la croissance des entreprises agricoles qui peuvent devenir des gisements d’emplois dont a tant besoin la jeunesse… » 1.C’est pour répondre à ces défis que l’approche Ecole d’Entrepreneuriat Agricole a été introduite au Bénin par le Programme de promotion de l’Agriculture (ProAgri), un programme exécuté sous la tutelle du Ministère de l’Agriculture, de l’Elevage et de la Pêche (MAEP), en lien avec l’axe stratégique du PSRSA qui vise la professionnalisation des exploitations de type familial à travers l’entrepreneuriat agricole. L’un des objectifs de cette approche est d’amener les producteurs à raisonner désormais comme de véritables entrepreneurs. Ainsi, ils pourront mieux gérer leurs exploitations, leurs argents et prendre de bonnes décisions d’investissement et d’utilisation des ressources disponibles de sorte à améliorer leurs revenus tout en assurant la sécurité alimentaire. C’est pour apprécier l’effet de cette formation sur l’esprit entrepreneurial des producteurs et contribuer à prouver son efficacité que cet article trouve son intérêt.

 

  1. Matériels et méthodes
    • Zone d’étude

La zone d’étude est la commune de Tchaourou dans le département du Borgou. Le choix de ce département réside dans son potentiel agricole et du fait que la commune de Tchaourou fait partie des communes qui ont bénéficié des formations EEA. Ce choix a été aussi  fait compte tenu des ressources dont nous disposons et tenant compte également de la proximité de la commune de celle de Parakou. Les villages sélectionnés pour l’enquête ont été choisis par rapport à la présence des producteurs  de soja qui ont suivi les formations EEA  et ceux qui ne l’ont pas suivi ; l’accessibilité des villages et enfin la distance qui sépare les villages du chef-lieu de la Commune.

  • Echantillonnage et base de données

L’unité de recherche de cette étude constitue les producteurs de soja qui ont suivi ou non la formation.  Au total, 128 producteurs ont été échantillonnés. Cet échantillon a été constitué sur la base d’une technique d’échantillonnage aléatoire simple dans la base de sondage des producteurs qui ont suivi la formation et ceux qui n’en ont pas suivi. Ce faisant, l’étude a été menée dans quatre (04) villages de la commune mais compte tenu des réalités du  terrain, l’effectif des producteurs enquêtés varie par village.

Tableau 1 : Structure de l’échantillon d’étude

Zone d’étude

Statut

Gararou Soumon Sanson Kpassatona
Bénéficiaires EEA 25 22 21 16
Non bénéficiaires 10 0 24 10
Total 35 22 45 26

De façon générale, les principales données collectées auprès des producteurs échantillonnés sont celles relatives aux caractéristiques sociodémographiques des producteurs ; l’appréciation générale de la formation etl’évaluation de l’esprit entrepreneurial des producteurs. La principale méthode de collecte de ces données est la méthode mixte, car les données collectées sont à la fois qualitatives que quantitatives. Nous avons ainsi procédé à des entretiens semi-structurés avec les producteurs échantillonnés. A cet effet, des questionnaires d’enquêtes ont été élaborés et administrés aux producteurs.

  • Description de la méthode de choix des critères d’appréciation de l’esprit d’entreprise

L’entrepreneuriat est l’action de créer de la richesse et/ou de l’emploi par la création ou la reprise d’une entreprise. Pour Schumpeter (1950), un entrepreneur est une personne qui veut et qui est capable de transformer une idée ou une invention en une innovation réussie. Penrose (1980) cité par Ellouzeet al. (2008), considère l’entrepreneuriat comme une ressource de l’entreprise. Selon cet auteur, le service entrepreneurial se caractérise par un ensemble d’activités spécifiques nécessaires à la survie de l’entreprise : introduire de nouvelles idées, saisir et/ou provoquer des opportunités de croissance, allouer des ressources financières, humaines et organisationnelles. Selon Manfred (1997) : les entrepreneurs sont des individus tournés vers l’action et les résultats concrets, ils aiment décider et refusent la routine, le travail répétitif. Mais dans le cadre de cette étude, nous appréhendons le concept d’entrepreneuriat suivant deux grandes approches (Janssen (2012). Il s’agit de l’approche fonctionnelle et l’approche indicative. La première définit l’entrepreneur au travers de sa fonction (ce qu’il fait). La seconde l’appréhende au travers de ses caractéristiques (ce qu’il est).

L’objectif de la formation EEA est de faire des producteurs des entrepreneurs dans la pratique. En effet, le producteur est appelé à raisonner désormais comme un entrepreneur et à remplir les outils EEA, ce qui fait de lui un entrepreneur dans la pratique. Cependant, le simple remplissage des outils ne détermine pas directement le fait que le producteur soit entrepreneur ou non. Certes, le remplissage des outils EEA fait des producteurs de véritables entrepreneurs dans la pratique, mais elle ne fait pas forcément des producteurs des entrepreneurs, car il existe bien des producteurs qui ne remplissent pas les outils mais qui ont le réflexe entrepreneurial. Cela rejoint l’assertion de Ferrero et Bessière (2017) selon laquelle, entreprendre, c’est dans d’abord un processus cognitif qui influence la manière dont les individus perçoivent, interprètent et transforment l’information. IL est donc absurde d’apprécier le fait que les producteurs soient devenus entrepreneurs en se basant sur le simple remplissage des outils EEA. C’est d’ailleurs dans le même sens qu’Aouel (2005) stipule que l’esprit d’entreprise est sans doute l’une des composantes inexpliquées par le modèle économique classique, néo-classique et macro-économique de croissance. Pour l’auteur, l’esprit d’entreprise est une qualité personnelle qui permet à certains individus de prendre les décisions et de les mettre en œuvre. C’est dans ce schéma d’idée que dans le cadre de cette étude nous retenons l’approche indicative en proposant un certain nombre de critères pour caractériser et apprécier l’esprit d’entreprendre des producteurs. Les critères choisis sont la perception de l’exploitation comme une entreprise (1) ; connaissance du meilleur instrument pour mesurer son champ (2) ; planification de la disponibilité et pénurie des aliments (3) ; savoir si on fait du profit (4) ; décision pour faire de bonnes affaires (5) ; classer ses cultures sur la base du profit (6) ; planifier les dépenses (production et ménage) pour cette année (7) et épargner son argent (8). Ceux-ci reposent essentiellement sur les modules de formation EEA. Au total, onze (11) modules ont été déroulés au cours de la formation à savoir : (1) faire de l’argent avec l’agriculture ; (2) connaître les unités pour connaître ses ressources ; (3) gérer l’exploitation pour assez de nourriture ; (4) savoir si vous faites de bonne affaire ; (5)des décisions pour plus de revenus ; (6) saisir des opportunités pour diversifier les revenus ; (7) gérer l’argent pendant l’année ; (8) comment obtenir de bons services financiers ; (9) plus de revenus avec le soja de qualité ; (10) bénéfice de l’adhésion à des OPA ; (11) devenir entrepreneur dans la pratique. Mais les huit (08) premiers modules ont été considérés dans l’étude pour le choix respectif des huit (08) critères. Ainsi, le tableau ci-dessous résume les critères en lien avec les questions posées :

 

Tableau 2 : Description du choix des critères

Modules Critères Questions posées
(1) Perception de l’exploitation comme une entreprise Comment percevez / considérez-vous votre exploitation après la formation ? (1=champ ; 2=domaine agricole ; 3=entreprise)
(2) Connaissance du meilleur instrument pour mesurer son champ (pas, décamètre et corde) Quel sont les meilleurs outils pour mesurer son champ (1=pas ; 2=corde ; 3=décamètre)?
(3) Planification de la disponibilité et pénurie des aliments Que faites-vous pour assurer la sécurité alimentaire de votre ménage toute l’année (1= Planifier la disponibilité et pénurie des aliments ; 2= Acheter aliments au marché ; 3=Réserve de récolte) ?
(4) Savoir si on fait du profit (entrées-sorties) Comment sait-on si on fait du profit ou on est en perte (1_Produit total x prix, 2_Entrées-Sorties) ?
(5) Décision pour faire de bonnes affaires : utiliser semences améliorées, engrais et respect itinéraire technique Que faites-vous pour faire de bonnes affaires (1=Utiliser semence améliorée ; 2=Utiliser engrais ; 3=Respecter itinéraires techniques, 4=Autres) ?
(6) Classer ses cultures sur la base du profit ; Quelles sont les places occupées par vos cultures ?………………………………………..

Sur quelle base ? 1=Préférence, 2=Profit, 3=Autre

(7) Planifier les dépenses (production et ménage) pour cette année Avez-vous planifié vos dépenses (production et ménage) pour cette année (0=Non, 1=Oui) ?
(8) Epargner son argent Epargnez-vous votre argent (0=non, 1=Oui) ?

Source : adapté de Sogan (2014)

L’appréciation de l’effet de la formation sur l’esprit entrepreneurial des bénéficiaires a été faite à l’aide du test de khi-deux qui a permis de mettre en comparaison chaque critère caractérisant l’esprit d’entreprise avec les catégories d’acteurs (bénéficiaires et non bénéficiaires EEA).

Par ailleurs, un indicateur composite a été conçu pour apprécier l’effet de la formation sur le niveau d’esprit entrepreneurial chez les enquêtés. En effet, nous avons attribué aux modalités de chaque critère choisi, un score selon que la réponse soit bonne ou pas. Une bonne réponse dans le contexte de l’étude signifie la reconnaissance ou le respect d’une recommandation de la formation EEA.  Ainsi, un intervalle de score compris entre [0 ; 1] a été défini. De ce fait, le score 0 signifie une mauvaise (pratique à décourager) réponse  donnée par l’enquêté ; le score 0,5 signifie une réponse non recommandée  mais acceptable (le juste milieu à défaut des moyens ou du respect stricte de la recommandation) et le score 1 est la bonne réponse (recommandation la plus conseillée). Le tableau ci-dessous présente chaque critère avec le niveau de mesure :

Tableau 3 : Niveau de mesure des critères

Critères Niveau de mesure
Perception de l’exploitation (C1) 0=champ ; 0,5=domaine agricole ; 1=entreprise
Perception du meilleur instrument de mesure de sa parcelle (C2) 0=pas ; 0,5=corde ; 1=décamètre

 

Perception de la stratégie à adopter pour assurer la sécurité alimentaire du ménage (C3) 0=achat d’aliments ; 0,5=réserve récolte ; 1=planifier disponibilité et pénurie d’aliments
Stratégie à adopter pour savoir si on fait de bonnes affaires (C4) 0=produit total*prix ; 1=entrées-sorties d’argent
Utilisation de semences améliorées pour faire de bonnes affaires (C5) 0=non ; 1=oui
Utilisation d’engrais pour faire de bonnes affaires (C6) 0=non ; 1=oui
Respect itinéraire technique pour faire de bonnes affaires (C7) 0=non ; 1=oui
Classement des cultures de l’exploitation sur la base du profit (C8) 0=non ; 1=oui
Planification des dépenses du champ et du ménage pour cette année (C9) 0=non ; 1=oui
Epargner son surplus d’argent (C10) 0=non ; 1=oui

Source : adapté de Sogan (2014)

Sachant que le niveau d’esprit entrepreneurial varie d’un producteur à un autre, définissonsIicomme l’indicateur composite de mesure du niveau d’esprit entrepreneurial par le producteur i. Cet indicateur est obtenu par la somme des critèresde mesure de l’esprit entrepreneurial pour chaque producteur i (Cij) et se définit donc comme suit :   j représente chaque critère.

 

  1. RESULTATS
    • Caractéristiques socio-économiques des enquêtés

Les résultats de l’analyse descriptive  (tableau 4) font ressortir que seulement 23,80% des producteurs EEA sont instruits et 43,20% des non bénéficiaires sont instruits. Ce faible taux d’éducation des bénéficiaires pourrait s’expliquer par le fait que la majorité est plus âgée (39ans en moyenne) et n’a été à l’école comparativement aux non bénéficiaires constitués en majorité de jeunes (34ans en moyenne) non mariés. Près de la moitié des bénéficiaires EEA (58,33%)  et les non bénéficiaires (52,30%) exerce une activité secondaire. Ce résultat est similaire à celui de Yegbemey et al. (2014) qui montre que 49% des producteurs de maïs enquêtés possèdent une activité secondaire. De plus, 98,80% des bénéficiaires EEA sont en contact avec un service de vulgarisation contre 37,20% seulement des non bénéficiaires. Cet écart explique d’ailleurs sans doute le non accès des non bénéficiaires aux formations EEA du fait de leur faible contact au service de vulgarisation.77,38% des bénéficiaires appartiennent à un groupement contre 15,90% des non bénéficiaires. Cet écart entre les bénéficiaires et les non bénéficiaires pourrait s’expliquer par l’approche EEA qui aurait permis aux bénéficiaires d’intégrer des groupements. Cela se justifie d’ailleurs par l’étude de TovignanChantal(2014) qui stipule que 43% des producteurs ont adhérés aux Organisations Professionnelles Agricoles (OPA) grâce à la formation EEA. 64,28% des producteurs EEA possèdent un capital et seulement 21,42% sont aidés dans le remplissage des cahiers d’application EEA. Les producteurs EEA sont plus expérimentés dans l’agriculture que les non bénéficiaires. Enfin, l’expérience  moyenne dans la formation EEA est de 5ans.

L’indicateur moyen du niveau d’esprit entrepreneurial des enquêtés est 5,27.

 

Tableau 4: Statistiques descriptives des variables sociodémographiques

  Bénéficiaires EEA Non bénéficiaires EEA
Caractéristiques socio-économiques Fréquence Pourcentage Fréquence Pourcentage
Niveau d’éducation 20,992 23,80 19,008 43,20%
Activité secondaire 48,9972 58,33 23,012 52,30%
Contact avec service de vulgarisation 82,992 98,80 16,368 37,20%
Appartenance à un groupement 64,9992 77,38 6,996 15,90%
Possession d’un capital 53,9952 64,28
Aide dans le remplissage des outils 17,9928 21,42
Expérience dans l’agriculture 28 (moyenne) 13(Ecart-type) 19(moyenne) 15 (Ecart-type)
Expérience en EEA 5 (moyenne) 3 (Ecart-type)
Indicateur du niveau d’esprit entrepreneurial 5.27 (moyenne) ; 1,5 (min) ; 9 (max) ;

Source : Résultats d’enquête 2015

  • Appréciation de l’effet de la formation sur l’esprit entrepreneurial des enquêtés

2.2.1.           Perception de l’exploitation agricole comme une entreprise

Selon Manfred (1997) et Schumpeter (1883-1950) cité par (Janssen, 2012) (les entrepreneurs sont des individus tournés vers l’action et les résultats concrets, ils aiment décider et refusent la routine, le travail répétitif.

L’objectif premier d’un véritable entrepreneur est la recherche du profit. Il produit principalement pour le marché (entreprise). Il est alors important pour lui de conjuguer ses actions dans ce sens pour maximiser davantage ce profit. C’est pourquoi les producteurs devront désormais voir leur exploitation comme une entreprise.  Des résultats obtenus, on constate que 61,90% des bénéficiaires EEA et 43,20% des non bénéficiaires perçoivent leur exploitation comme une entreprise (figure 1). Le test de khi-2 révèle (khi-2=4,098 ; ddl=1 ; 0,043<0,05), ce qui montre l’existence d’une relation significative au seuil de 5% entre la formation EEA et la perception qu’ont les enquêtés de leurs exploitations. On peut donc dire que  les bénéficiaires  EEA perçoivent mieux leur exploitation comme une entreprise.

Figure 1 : Répartition des enquêtés par statut suivant la perception de l’exploitation

Source : Résultats d’analyse de données d’enquête de terrain Août – Octobre 2015

 

2.2.2.           Instruments de mesure du champ : Pas, décamètre et Corde

La connaissance exacte de la mesure des  parcelles de l’exploitation, en générale des ressources de l’exploitation permet au producteur de savoir comment allouer ses ressources de façon efficiente pour obtenir un bon rendement. C’est pourquoi il est important pour lui de connaître les instruments de mesure adéquate et fiable. Le décamètre est l’instrument le plus recommandé aux producteurs. A défaut de cet instrument, ils peuvent utiliser la corde qui présente une marge d’erreur acceptable contrairement aux pas qui leur est exclusivement déconseillé.

  • Pas

La figure 2 montre que 24,10% des bénéficiaires EEA considèrent plus les pas comme le meilleur instrument pour mesurer leur champ que les non bénéficiaires (9,10%). De plus, le test de khi-2 donne (khi-2= 4,225 ; ddl=1 ; p=0,040<0,05), ce qui traduit l’existence d’une relation de dépendance entre la formation EEA et l’instrument pas. Il ressort de ce résultat que les bénéficiaires EEA perçoivent mieux les pas comme meilleur instrument, ce qui ne devrait pas être le cas. Cela pourrait s’expliquer par le fait que la formation n’a  surement pas eu un effet sur la perception qu’ont ces bénéficiaires (24,10%)  de cet instrument ou du moins, ils constituent parmi les bénéficiaires cette race de conservateurs de pratiques endogènes.

  • Décamètre

D’après la figure 2, on constate que près de la moitié (49,40%) des bénéficiaires EEA considèrent cet instrument comme le meilleur pour mesurer leur champ plus que les non bénéficiaires (29,50%). De plus, le test de khi-2 montre qu’il existe une dépendance significative au seuil de 5% entre la formation EEA et l’instrument décamètre (khi-2=4,637 ; ddl=1 ; p=0,031<0,05). Donc, les bénéficiaires EEA perçoivent mieux le décamètre comme meilleur instrument pour mesurer leur champ comparativement au non bénéficiaires.

  • Corde

La figure 2 montre également que 30,10% des bénéficiaires EEA considèrent la corde comme meilleur instrument pour mesurer leur champ comparativement au non bénéficiaires (45,50%). Ce qui montre que les non bénéficiaires perçoivent mieux la corde comme meilleur instrument. Par ailleurs, le test de khi-2 révèle qu’il n’existe aucune relation significative entre la formation EEA et la perception qu’ont les enquêtés de l’instrument corde (khi-2=2,955 ; ddl=1 ; p=0,086>0,05).

Figure 2: Répartition des enquêtés par statut suivant les instruments de mesure du champ

Source : Résultats d’analyse de données d’enquête de terrain Août – Octobre 2015

2.2.3.           Planification  de la disponibilité et pénurie des aliments

La formation voudrait que désormais les producteurs gèrent leur exploitation pour assez de nourriture. Il ne faut pas seulement produire pour le marché mais il faut également penser au ménage. C’est pourquoi les producteurs sont appelés désormais à planifier la disponibilité et pénurie des aliments du ménage tout au long de l’année afin de savoir la quantité de produits issus de la récolte faudra-t-il réserver pour le ménage. Des résultats obtenus, on constate que la moitié (54,20%) des bénéficiaires EEA et 39,50% des non bénéficiaires planifient la disponibilité et pénurie des aliments (figure 3). De plus, le test de khi-2 montre qu’il existe une dépendance significative au seuil de 5% entre la formation EEA et la planification de la disponibilité et pénurie des aliments du ménage tout au long de l’année (khi-2=18,866 ; ddl=2 ; p=0,000<0,05). Les bénéficiaires EEA planifient plus la disponibilité et pénurie des aliments du ménage tout au long de l’année que les non bénéficiaires.

Figure 3 : Répartition des enquêtés par statut suivant la planification disponibilité et pénurie des aliments

    Source : Résultats d’analyse de données d’enquête de terrain Août – Octobre 2015

 

2.2.4.     Savoir si on fait du profit (entrée-sortie)

Les producteurs ne savent souvent s’ils font de bonnes affaires ou pas à la fin de la campagne. Ils considèrent pour la plupart les recettes issues de la vente de leur récolte comme profit. La formation voudrait désormais qu’ils prennent soin d’enregistrer leurs dépenses engagées dans l’exploitation afin qu’ils arrivent à évaluer leur revenu en faisant leur entrée-sortie d’argent. En effet, les résultats obtenus montrent que plus de la moitié (72,30%) des bénéficiaires et 45,50% des non bénéficiaires font les entrées-sorties d’argent pour savoir s’ils font du profit (figure 4). De même, le test de khi-2 montre une dépendance significative au seuil de 5% entre la formation EEA et la stratégie adoptée par les enquêtés pour savoir s’ils font du profit (khi-2=8,883 ; ddl=1 ; p=0,003<0,05). Alors, les bénéficiaires EEA adoptent mieux la stratégie pour savoir s’ils font du profit comparativement au non bénéficiaires.

 

Figure 4 : Répartition des enquêtés par statut suivant la stratégie pour savoir si on fait du profit

 Source : Résultats d’analyse de données d’enquête de terrain Août – Octobre 2015

 

2.2.5.         Décision pour faire de bonnes affaires 

Pour faire de bonnes affaires, les producteurs devront accroître leur rendement pour que leur produit brut en valeur, aussi grand qu’il soit, diminue le coût unitaire de leur produit afin qu’il soit plus compétitif sur le marché. Pour y arriver, ils devront adopter de bonnes pratiques telles que : l’utilisation de semences améliorées, d’engrais et le respect de l’itinéraire technique.

  • Semences améliorées

Les résultats obtenus montrent que 59,00% des bénéficiaires EEA et 37,20% des non bénéficiaires utilisent les semences de soja améliorées (figure 5). De même, le test de khi-2 révèle qu’il existe une dépendance significative au seuil de 5% entre la formation EEA et l’utilisation des semences améliorées. (khi-2=5,403 ; ddl=1 ; p=0,020<0,05). On peut donc dire que les bénéficiaires EEA comprennent mieux l’importance d’utiliser les semences améliorées contrairement au non bénéficiaires.

  • Engrais

D’après la figure 5,  6,00% des bénéficiaires EEA utilisent l’engrais pour la production de soja contre 2,30% des non bénéficiaires qui le font. Le test de khi-2 montre qu’il n’existe aucune relation significative entre la formation EEA et l’utilisation de l’engrais par les enquêtés (khi-2=0,854 ; ddl=1 ; p=0,335>0,05).

  • Respect itinéraire technique

85,50% des bénéficiaires EEA respectent l’itinéraire technique de  production du soja alors que seulement 37,20% des non bénéficiaires le font (figure 5). De même, le test de khi-2 donne (khi-2=30,961 ; ddl=1 ; p=0,000<0,05), ce qui montre qu’il existe une dépendance  significative au seuil de 5% entre la formation EEA et le respect des itinéraires techniques. Les bénéficiaires EEA comprennent mieux l’importance de respecter l’itinéraire technique de  production du soja comparativement au non bénéficiaires.

Figure 5 : Répartition des enquêtés par statut suivant la décision pour faire de bonnes affaires

Source : Résultats d’analyse de données d’enquête de terrain Août – Octobre 2015

 

2.2.6.  Saisir les opportunités pour diversifier vos activités agricoles pour plus de revenus.

Selon le PSRSA (2011), la plupart des exploitations  sont  orientées vers la polyculture associées au petit élevage (volailles, petits ruminants ou porcins). Il est donc important aux producteurs de connaître la marge brute de leurs différentes cultures afin de prendre des décisions objectives des choix de cultures et des techniques de production à adopter pour viser une meilleure rentabilité. Les résultats montrent que 57,10% des bénéficiaires EEA classent leurs cultures sur la base du profit contre (48,70%) des non bénéficiaires qui le font (figure 6). De même, le test de khi-2 montre qu’il n’existe aucune relation significative entre la formation EEA et le classement des cultures sur la base du profit (khi-2=1,737 ; ddl=2 ; p=0,420>0,05).

Figure 6 : Répartition des enquêtés par statut suivant le classement des cultures sur la base du profit ; Source : Résultats d’analyse de données d’enquête de terrain Août – Octobre 2015

 

2.2.7.      Planification des dépenses (production et ménage) pour cette année

Pour gérer leur exploitation et avoir de l’argent tout au long de l’année, il est recommandé aux producteurs de planifier leur dépense de production et de ménage.  46,40% des bénéficiaires contre 29,50% des non bénéficiaires ont planifié leurs dépenses de production et du ménage pour cette année (figure 7). En effet, le test de khi-2 donne (khi-2=3,412 ; ddl=1 ; 0,065>0,05). Il  n’existe aucune relation significative entre la formation EEA et la planification des dépenses de production et du ménage pour cette année.

Figure 7: Répartition des enquêtés par statut suivant la planification des dépenses (production et ménage)

Source : Résultats d’analyse de données d’enquête de terrain Août – Octobre 2015

 

2.2.8.      Epargne d’argent

La formation EEA recommande aux producteurs d’épargner leur surplus d’argent pour avoir accès aux bons services financiers et pour subvenir aux besoins de l’exploitation ou du ménage en cas de manque ou d’insuffisances de ressources financières. 70,20% des bénéficiaires EEA contre 55,80% des non bénéficiaires épargnent leur argent (figure 8). Le test de khi-2 donne (khi-2=2,613 ; ddl=1 ; 0,106>0,05). Il  n’existe donc aucune relation significative entre la formation EEA et l’épargne d’argent.

Figure 8 : Répartition des enquêtés par statut suivant l’épargne d’argent

  Source : Résultats d’analyse de données d’enquête de terrain Août – Octobre 2015

 

  • Effet de la formation EEA sur l’indicateur du niveau d’esprit entrepreneurial

Le test t de Student réalisé est significatif au seuil de 1% et montre qu’il existe une différence de moyenne significative entre le niveau d’esprit entrepreneurial des bénéficiaires et des non bénéficiaires EEA. Le niveau moyen d’esprit entrepreneurial des bénéficiaires (5,83) est supérieur à celui des non bénéficiaires (4,19) avec des écart-types respectivement de 1,57 et 1,63. Cela veut dire que la formation EEA a eu un effet positif et significatif sur l’esprit entrepreneurial des bénéficiaires.

 

Conclusion

Eu égard aux commentaires précédents, on constate qu’il existe une dépendance significative entre la formations EEA et les critères caractéristiques de l’esprit entrepreneurial à l’exception des critères perception de la corde comme meilleur instrument de mesure du champ, utilisation d’engrais ; classement des cultures sur la base du profit,planification des dépenses (production et ménage) et épargne d’argentavec lesquels il n’existe aucune relation significative. En effet, le soja étant une légumineuse, il est capable de capter l’azote atmosphérique qui accélère sa croissance. Ainsi compte tenu de cette aptitude, l’utilisation d’engrais reste pour les bénéficiaires et non bénéficiaires un dernier recourt, surtout qu’elle nécessite d’avoir des moyens pour en acquérir. Ce qui explique l’effet non significatif de la formation sur son utilisation. De même, bien que les non bénéficiaires aient plus recours à l’utilisation de la corde comme instrument de mesure de leur champ et qu’il n’existe aucune relation significative entre la formation et son utilisation, cela explique le fait que les producteurs avaient bien recours à cette pratique avant la formation. Par ailleurs, le classement des cultures sur la base du profit est une évidence puisque le producteur veut maximiser son profit. Alors son choix est guidé par cet objectif qui lui permet de mettre au premier plan la culture qui lui apporte plus de revenus. Ce qui explique le non significativité de la relation entre la formation et le classement des cultures sur la base du profit. Enfin, la formation n’a eu un effet sur la planification des dépenses par le producteur parce que, certains ont estimés « qu’ils n’ont pas besoin d’écrire quelque part un plan de dépense et que tout se passe dans la tête, surtout qu’ils font face aux mêmes dépenses au quotidien. De plus, ajoutent-t-ils qu’il n’est pas possible de prévoir toutes ses dépenses. »

Par ailleurs, le test t de student réalisé entre l’indicateur du niveau d’esprit entrepreneurial et la formation EEA s’est montré significatif et permet de dire que la formation a effectivement eu un effet positif sur l’esprit entrepreneurial des bénéficiaires. De façon détaillée, on peut donc dire que la formation EEA a eu un effet positif et significatif sur les bénéficiaires EEA par rapport à la façon dont ils perçoivent désormais leur exploitation ; sur la connaissance du  meilleur instrument (décamètre) pour mesurer leur champ ;  sur la stratégie à adopter pour assurer la sécurité alimentaire de leur ménage (planification de la disponibilité et pénurie des aliments du ménage) ; sur la stratégie à adopter pour savoir s’ils font de bonnes affaires (entrées-sorties d’argent) ; sur la décision à prendre pour faire de bonnes affaires (utilisation de semences améliorées et respect itinéraires techniques).

 

Références bibliographiques

Aouel Tabet (2005). Fonctionnelle cas de l’entrepreneur algérien, p200-209. (Disponible sur https://www.asjp.cerist.dz/en/downArticle/174/1/1/12875). (Consulté le 12 août 2017)

Ellouze Habib., (2008). L’entrepreneuriat, clé de développement Stratégique d’une entreprise familiale Tunisienne. Ecole de management Normandie, Paris, France, 3 p.

Engel Ernst et Schüring Joachim (2017). Bénin : vers une transformation rurale inclusive et durable. Publié par le Centre pour le développement rural (SLE), Humboldt-Universitätzu Berlin Lebenswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Albrecht Daniel Thaer-Institut fürAgrar- und, Gartenbauwissenschaften, Seminarfür Ländliche Entwicklung (SLE), Hessische Str. 1-2, 10115Berlin, p18.

Ferrero Michele et Bessière Véronique (2017).Labex entreprendre, n°18, p4.Gantoli Geoffroy(2013). Manuel de procédures pour la gestion de la mise en œuvre de l’Approche Ecole d’Entrepreneuriat Agricole. Programme promotion de l’agriculture, 37 p.Janssen Frank. (2012). L’entrepreneuriat. (Disponible sur www.dial.uclouvain.be). (Consulté le 11 Août 2017), p3.

Lebailly Philippe et Hinnou Léonard (2013). Essai de typologie des exploitations agricoles axée sur le financement de la production agricole au Bénin. Communication à présenter aux 7ème Journées de recherches en sciences sociales INRA–SFER–CIRAD. Angers (Agro campus Ouest -Centre d’Angers), France.

MAEP (2011). Stratégie de Relance du Secteur Agricole, pp 25-48. In Plan Stratégique de Relance du Secteur Agricole, Cotonou, Bénin, 108 p.

Sogan R. (2014). Expérience du Bénin dans la mise en œuvre des Ecoles d’Entrepreneuriat Agricoles. Rapport d’étude d’évaluation d’impact, Cotonou, Bénin, 29 p.

Seed., (2009). L’importance de l’agriculture. (www.seed-foundation.org /page.php?id_page=48). (Consulté le 01 février 2016).

Service de l’Analyse de la Sécurité Alimentaire (2013). Analyse Globale de la Vulnérabilité et de la Sécurité Alimentaire (AGVSA), Rapport du Programme Alimentaire Mondial, Cotonou, Bénin, 65 p.

Tovignan Chantal(2014). Expérience du Bénin dans la mise en œuvre des Ecoles d’Entrepreneuriat Agricoles. Rapport d’étude d’évaluation d’impact, Cotonou, Bénin, 29 p.

Yegbemey Rosaine, Yabi Jacob, Aïhounton Ghislain et Paraïso Armand (2014). Modélisation simultanée de la perception et de l’adaptation au changement climatique : cas des producteurs de maïs du Nord Bénin (Afrique de l’Ouest), CahAgric, vol. 23, n°3, p177-187.

Article n°20- Rilale-Uac/ Volume 1, Issue n°1

THE ROLES OF SONGS IN TEACHING ENGLISH TO EFL BEGINNER LEARNERS: THE CASE OF SOME SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN BENIN REPUBLIC

 

 

Ulrich O. Sena HINDÉMÈ

richdeme11@gmail.com

Pédro Marius EGOUNLÉTI

pedmareg@yahoo.fr

Evariste KOTTIN 

kottinevariste@yahoo.fr

Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Bénin

 

TELECHARGER VERSION PDF

Abstract

This paper aims at exploring effective and sustainable solutions to address the issue of beginners’ increasing demotivation to learn English as Foreign Language. The research has been designed so as to probe the role of songs in teaching English to EFL beginner learners. Literary research on songs has helped to highlight the importance of songs in teaching EFL beginners to develop communicative skills. In this regard, data are collected through a questionnaire administered to the study population made up of 65 randomly selected EFL teachers. The findings analysis shows that songs are barely used to develop learners’ language skills but rather for entertainment purposes. The ongoing research work suggests that EFL teachers should be trained on the effective use of songs in English classes. Moreover, secondary schools should be provided with songs teaching materials. Those measures appear to be vital to motivate students to learn English and develop communicative abilities.

Keywords: Roles, songs, teaching, EFL beginners

 

Résumé

Afin de résoudre durablement les problèmes liés à la démotivation grandissante des apprenants de l’Anglais langue étrangère, la présente étude a été conduite pour examiner le rôle des chansons dans l’enseignement et l’apprentissage de l’anglais, langue étrangère. La revue de littérature relative à l’utilisation des chansons aux cours d’anglais a permis de mettre en exergue leur importance dans développement et la maitrise des capacités des apprenants à communiquer en anglais. Des données ont été collectées grâce aux questionnaires adressés à 65 enseignants de l’anglais choisis au hasard .L’analyse des résultats indique que les enseignants d’anglais utilisent rarement les chansons pour développer les capacités des élèves à parler l’anglais mais plutôt à des fins ludiques. Il a été donc recommandé que les enseignants d’anglais soient formés à l’utilisation effective des chansons pour motiver les apprenants et leur enseigner les compétences nécessaires pour communiquer.

Mots-clés: Rôles, chansons, enseignement, anglais, débutants.

                                                                                                                 

Continue Reading….

Article n°19- Rilale-Uac/ Volume 1, Issue n°1

ANALYZING DISCOURSES OF MASCULINITY AND FEMININITY IN DANIEL MENGARA’S MEMA (2003) FROM HALLIDAYAN AND BUTLERIAN PERSPECTIVE

 

 

Ayodele Adebayo ALLAGBÉ

Email: ayodeleallagbe@yahoo.com

Yémalo Célestin AMOUSSOU

E-mail: cayemal@yahoo.fr

Université d’Abomey-Calavi (UAC) Benin.

 

TELECHARGER VERSION PDF

Abstract

This paper aims to explore how the two facets of gender- masculinity and femininity- are discursively enacted in Daniel Mengara’s novel Mema (2003) from a linguistic perspective. The study draws on the Hallidayan brand of linguistics called Systemic Functional Linguistics (henceforth SFL).Two theoretical constructs- Modality and Transitivity- are actually drawn from SFL; they serve as the theoretical underpinnings for the study. Using these two theoretical constructs, the study seeks to unveil the ideology that underpins gender performances as well as gender positioning in eight discourses (drawn from the novel) through the gendered representations of the female protagonist, Ntsame Minlame (Mema) and her husband, Sima Okang (Pepa), Akoma and her husband and Nkulanveng and his wife. The linguistic findings are interpreted based on Butler’s view of gender, which holds that gender is performance.

Key words: Butler’s view, Gender, Hallidayan perspective, Mema, Modality, Transitivity.

 

  1. Introduction

Mema is a novel by a Gabonese-born citizen named Daniel Mengara. The novel, which was published in 2003, is set in a period going from the pre to the post-independence era in Gabon (called Ngabon or Ngabone in the fiction), a male-dominated milieu. A male-dominated setting is believed to be buttressed by patriarchy and its sexist or/and androcentric ideologies (Koussouhon, Akogbéto and Allagbé, 2015b). A patriarchal system, as argued by many scholars, is a stratification system that raises man up and debases woman at the same time. In other words, in a patriarchal system, man is given more privilege than woman in that he has access to power and uses it very often at the expense of woman. Power should be understood here as access to and control of institutions like government, religion, family, school, language, to name just a few. It ensues from this to note that man has from time immemorial had access to and used these institutions extensively to his own benefits. For instance, till a recent past, male writers have dominated the African literary landscape: one can cite, for example, such prolific pioneering writers as late Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka (Nigerians), Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (Kenyan), Ayi Kwei Amah (Ghanaian), etc. These male writers, as revealed by many linguistic and literary scholarly works, have increasingly depicted their societies from the phallocentric perspective; i.e., they have represented the social realities of their people(s) through the eyes of their male characters; in so doing, they have reproduced and reinforced the patriarchal status quo in African literary canon.

The novel under scrutiny here is not phallocentric at all in that it narrates a story of/about a woman and her experience. By so doing, it celebrates woman and even shows a certain inclination for a social world governed by the ideals of matriarchy. For example, in the opening of the novel, on page 3, the narrator-character, Elang Sima, typifying the importance of his mother, Mema, claims that “A child was able to know who he was, where he came from and where he was going only when he had a mother”. Elsewhere on the same page, Mother is proverbially likened to land: “The people in my village used to say that a people without a land was like a child without a mother”. In fact, the novel exudes a social world wherein woman, and not man, is the powerful one; she rules, governs and controls her society. It follows from this to argue that this novel perfectly answers or provides an answer to two essential epistemological questions often raised by scholars or researchers from such branches of scholarship as language and gender studies, women studies, literary studies, feminist studies, social studies, cultural sciences, political sciences, theology, psychology, linguistics, etc. The questions are: “Can a male writer see through the eyes of a female persona?” and “Is it possible to move beyond the male-female gender binary system?” (Monro, 2005:1) or “Is it possible for a man/woman to perform feminine/masculine roles?”

The ongoing study seeks to explore how the two facets of gender- masculinity and femininity- are discursively enacted in Daniel Mengara’s novel Mema (2003) from a linguistic perspective. This novel has been premised to depict both male and female characters in roles, attributes or traits that do not conform to the patriarchal status quo (Allagbé and Allagbé, 2015); the status quo is male-dominance and power. The analysis draws on the two theoretical constructs of Modality and Transitivity (Eggins, 1994/2004; Halliday and Matthiessen, 2004; Bloor and Bloor, 2004;Fontaine, 2013) to unveil gender performances as well as gender positioning in the novel through the gendered representations of the female protagonist, Ntsame Minlame (Mema) and her husband, Sima Okang (Pepa), Akoma and her husband, and Nkulanveng and his wife. In the next section, a certain number of recent research works that have drawn on SFL in their study of contemporary African literature are reviewed.

  1. A Brief Literature Review

Many linguists have recently drawn on SFL to study various aspects of meaning in contemporary African literature. Some of these scholars are Koussouhon and Allagbé (2013), Koussouhon, Akogbéto and Allagbé (2015a), Koussouhon, Akogbéto, Koutchadé and Allagbé (2015), Koussouhon and Dossoumou (2014 and 2015a and b), Allagbé (2016), and Koutchadé and Mehouénou (2016). Koussouhon and Allagbé’s paper (2013) describes the lexicogrammar of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s fictional texts, viz. Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of A Yellow Sun (2007) and The Thing Around Your Neck (2009). In other words, this study describes the three simultaneous strands of meaning- Experiential, Interpersonal and Textual- encoded in three extracts drawn from the writer’s texts. The three meanings are said to be respectively represented by the grammatical structures of Transitivity, Mood and Theme. This study reveals the writer’s attitude and ideological stance vis-à-vis her writing and by extension her society. The analysis actually points out the writer’s subscription to the feminist ideology. Also, as the analysis exudes, the language of the three extracts does contain such features as cohesion and coherence that ensure texture therein.

Koussouhon, Akogbéto and Allagbé (2015a) explore gender relations in Amma Darko’s The Housemaid (1998). They draw on Mood grammar to pinpoint how the language of the two extracts culled from the novel depicts or encodes relations between male and female characters. Gender relations, as the researchers note in their introduction, have been represented one-sidedly or asymmetrically in early male-authored texts; i.e., one sex, the male sex precisely, has been given voice, represented positively and foregrounded. The assumption is that, given the rise of feminism in the seventies and its supposed pervasive influence in contemporary African literature, Darko would shift to the other extreme of gender; i.e., the female sex or mediate the two. The analysis reveals that Darko’s literary language encodes both male and female personae symmetrically. It also exudes that there is a variability of the relations of role and power in/across the two extracts. In another insightful article, Koussouhon et al. (2015) seek to decode the context of ideology in the same novel. The scholars use the Hallidayan Transitivity model to unveil the linguistic structures that obviously encode the world-view or ideological stance of the writer in two selected extracts. The theoretical hypothesis in this study is that a fictional (or narrative) text is framed by the authorial ideology. Language is also hypothesized to be the sole gateway into the authorial ideology. The transitivity study does display the ideology underpinning the fictional world of the text, which is characterized by a gender-balanced representation. The ideology drawn from the analysis is further likened to the human-centered perspective, which favours a full and fair depiction of human beings (male and female) as well as their perceptions, relations, roles, etc., in literature. The presence of the human-centered perspective in Darko’s fiction, as the researchers cogently contend, confirms her being influenced by the feminist movement that spurted in Africa and elsewhere in the seventies (Lakoff, 1975).

Allagbé (2016) further drives the contention above home by submitting, through a finely tuned study that draws on literary onomastics, gender studies and linguistics (SFL- Systemic Functional Linguistics, and CL- Critical Linguistics informed by SFG (Systemic Functional Grammar)) for theoretical underpinnings, that there is a dialectical relationship between the way Darko names her male characters and her authorial ideology. In fact, he establishes in this study that the way Darko names her male characters as well as the roles and activities she assigns to them is teleologically meant to downgrade, deflate, and bash the male image, which points out clearly her ardent desire to deconstruct the patriarchal status quo in contemporary African literature.

Koussouhon and Dossoumou (2015a) draw on the grammar of Ideational/Experiential Metafunction and the Womanist theory to explore the emerging perception of gender identity in contemporary African literature. They use Helon Habila’s Oil on Water (2011) to underscore this observation. The analysis of the experiential structure of the language of the two selected extracts shows the writer’s support for the re-presentation and redefinition of African women’s personality and identity in literature. This apprehension is further enriched with the Womanist theoretical praxis. Koussouhon and Dossoumou (2014) also carry out a lexicogrammatical analysis of Kaine Agary’s Yellow-Yellow (2006). The article focuses on the experiential and textual structures of the language of two extracts drawn from the novel. In the study, the scholars show how the writer organizes language to encode her experience (or fictional reality). The study reveals that the ideology sustaining Yellow-Yellow is oriented towards building a sound, social, environment-friendly and judicial model that ensures fairness, equity and transparency in the Niger Delta region (Nigeria). In another paper, Koussouhon and Dossoumou (2015b) study the interpersonal structure of the language of a lengthy extract drawn from the same fiction. In fact, they analyze the interpersonal meaning of the extract through Mood and Modality from Critical Discourse and Womanist perspective. With this eclectic approach, the researchers establish that Agary’s fiction through the characters (male and female) and its multifaceted thematic concerns is underpinned by an authorial ideology geared towards a pro-women social change for a more balanced African society.

Koutchadé and Mehouénou (2016) study the tenor of discourse and Interpersonal dimension of Akachi Ezeigbo’s The Last of the Ones (2006) through Mood, Modality and Vocatives. The analysis pinpoints how the language of two extracts drawn from the fiction encodes relations between male and female characters. In the study, the scholars engage in the ongoing debate on the ontological relationship between language and gender. They show how the language of the fiction enacts gender, how the characters (male and female) employ language resources to define or/and represent themselves and others. Also, they show how the discourse of women mainly encodes patriarchal oppression and its deconstruction as well.

The current study is similar to the works reviewed above in that it draws on the Hallidayan perspective. But it is different from the above in that it applies the Hallidayan theory to a new corpus- Mema (a new contemporary novel by a writer of French expression called Daniel Mengara), and attempts to bring some of Judith Butler’s theoretical insights to bear on the discussion and interpretation of the findings drawn from the analysis. In fact, Mema (2003) has been studied recently from gender, feminist and queer theoretical perspectives (see Allagbé and Allagbé, 2015) and multidimensional approach to women’s empowerment and Womanist theoretical viewpoints (see Capo-Chichi, Allagbé and Allagbé, 2016). Though these studies prove to be very scholarly insightful, they are actually not linguistics-based, and that is the gap this research aims to fill in. The argument here is that the linguistic study of the work at hand will provide an analysis and interpretation that will go beyond the impressionistic and subjective reading characteristic of most literary research endeavours. Before proving this argument empirically, we would first like to throw some light on the theoretical constructs used here.

  1. Theoretical Constructs

This paper draws on the two constructs of Modality and Transitivity for theoretical underpinnings. Modality and Transitivity are drawn from the Hallidayan brand of linguistics called Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). Halliday (cited in Eggins, 1994:154) describes Mood as “the grammar of the clause as exchange”. It is generally considered as the grammatical structure that encodes the Interpersonal Meaning or Metafunction (Eggins, 1994/2004), which is exclusively concerned with the enactment of social processes (Halliday and Matthiessen, 2004). Modality is one of the three systematic ramifications of Mood (Mood, Modality and Adjunct).

The term ‘modality’ is used by Simpson (1993:47) to indicate a speaker’s/writer’s/narrator’s attitude towards and opinions about the events and situations around him/her. To Fowler (1986:131), it means “the grammar of explicit comment, the means by which people express their degree of commitment to the truth of the propositions they utter, and their views on the desirability or otherwise of the states of affairs referred to”. Drawing on the foregoing definitions, Koutchadé and Mehouénou (2016: 170) contend that “Modality refers to how speakers and writers take up a position, express an opinion, a point of view or make a judgment. It also expresses the degree of certainty and truth of statements about the world.” Given the interpersonal dimension of modality, Koussouhon and Dossoumou (2015b) hold that it colours a speaker’s/writer’s/narrator’s language or discourse. It follows from this to note that modality serves to encode a speaker’s/writer’s/narrator’s attitude, point of view, ideology, etc., in/towards what s/he says, writes or narrates. However, modality “can be a difficult meaning to capture […]” (Fontaine, 2013:120) in any piece of language use. Hence, it is advisable that the analyst of such a piece resort to the surrounding context within which modality is used in order to determine the intended meaning of the speaker/writer/narrator.

There are two types of modality: epistemic and deontic. Epistemic modality, called modalization in SFL terms, indicates a kind of connotative meaning relating to the degree of certainty the speaker/writer wants to express about what s/he is saying or the estimation of probability associated to what is being said (Fontaine, 2013: 121). Deontic modality, called modulation in SFL terms, also indicates a kind of connotative meaning but, in contrast to epistemic modality, it relates to obligation or permission, including willingness and ability (Fontaine, 2013: 121). Modality is expressed by modal auxiliary verbs (e.g. can, could, shall, should, may, might, will, would, etc.), lexical items (usually adverbs such as probably, luckily, etc.) or groups which function as modal adjuncts (e.g. by all means, at all cost, etc.). Fowler (1986) (cited in Koussouhon and Amoussou, 2015: 280) contends that an intense use of modulators (must, will, shall, ought to, need, certainly, etc.) denotes confidence and omniscience, whereas that of modalizers (may, might, perhaps, could, seem, as if, as though, apparently, seemed as if, looked as though, appeared as though, etc.) marks subjectivity, caution or partiality.

Eggins (1994:99) describes transitivity as the “description of clause as a representation of experience”. Elsewhere, she describes it as the grammatical structure that accounts for how the clause is organized to realize Experiential Meaning or Metafunction. Hasan (1988: 63) (cited in Hubbard, 1999: 317) states that “Transitivity is concerned with a coding of the goings on: who does what in relation to whom/what, where, when, how and why. Thus the analysis is in terms of some PROCESS, its PARTICIPANTS, and the CIRCUMSTANCES pertinent to the Process-Participant configuration.” Halliday (1971:354) defines transitivity as “the set of options whereby the speaker encodes his [or her] experience of the processes of the external world, and of the internal world of his [or her] own consciousness, together with the participants in these processes and their attendant circumstances; and it embodies a very basic distinction of processes into two types, those that are regarded as due to an external cause, an agency other than the person or object involved, and those that are not.”

It ensues from the foregoing that transitivity accounts for how a speaker/writer/narrator draws on language resources to encode the goings on or express his/her perception(s) of the external world and the internal world of his/her own consciousness (Bloor and Bloor, 2004). It also ensues from the foregoing that a speaker/writer/narrator encodes his/her experience via processes (material, mental, behavioural, verbal, relational and existential), participants (actor, goal and beneficiary, senser and phenomenon, behaver, behavior and phenomenon, sayer, receiver and verbiage, carrier, attribute, token and value) and circumstances (extent, cause, location, matter, manner, role and accompaniment). Again, from the definition given by Halliday (1971), one can infer that transitivity embodies a very basic distinction of processes into two types, those that are regarded as due to an external cause, an agency other than the person or object involved, and those that are not. It is a commonly held view across the Hallidayan linguistic tradition that a transitivity analysis accounts or can account for the implications of whether agency is foregrounded or not in a clause or whether agency acts upon something or not in a clause.

The feminist or/and queer scholar Judith Butler (1988, 1990/1999, 2004 and 2009) uses the term “agency” to denote gender identity. Gender, according to this scholar, refers to a performative act in a constant alteration. Gender is also considered as a social or cultural construct that is constituted by social norms (Allagbé and Allagbé, 2015) or prompted by obligatory norms to be one gender or the other (usually strictly between a binary frame) (Butler, 2009). The social or obligatory norms determine what is normative or legible for the two sex categories: male and female. Note that the reproduction of gender is always a negotiation of power (Butler, 2009) inherent in discourse that conditions agency into what is livable or what is un-livable. In fact, gender, as a construct, denounces the fixed or rigid categorization of people as male or female, theorizing thus the unstable nature of agency or gender identity in a social practice. In this way, it is right to assert that gender theorists advocate gender or/and sexual fluidity. This view of gender has been increasingly espoused by many a contemporary African prose writer (whether male or female). For instance, Allagbé and Allagbé’s paper (2015) and Koussouhon and Agbachi’s recent study (2016) confirm the presence of gender fluidity in contemporary African literature. It follows from this to argue that Butler’s view of gender has come to stay in contemporary African literature; it has come to undo or disarticulate all the social norms that constrain gender, and construct and represent it as a strict or rigid binary frame into which society cogently classifies individuals.

Actually, there exists a complementarity between Modality and Transitivity in that both function on the lexicogrammatical axis to unveil agency or gender identity or/and the ideology underpinning it in a social practice. In fact, the argument held here is that a speaker’s/writer’s/narrator’s choices in Modality and Transitivity can serve as indicators of such aspects as power, reality, status, attitudes, ideology, gender, etc. Also, Halliday’s SFL theory and Butler’s gender performative theory complement each other because there is no way one can decode aspects of meaning such as power, reality, status, attitudes, ideology, gender, etc., inherent in any social practice or discourse without having to make recourse to an effective, tested and proven analytic tool like SFL. Likewise, unraveling the way social norms condition what is judged livable or un-livable for gender and other related issues is not possible without Butler’s concept “performativity”, which views gender as performance (Koussouhon and Agbachi, 2016: 84). The next section explores the discourses of masculinity and femininity encoded via the language of the novel.

  1. Practical Analyses of Discourses of Masculinity and Femininity in Mema (2003)

As said earlier on, this study seeks to explore how the two facets of gender- masculinity and femininity- are enacted in a contemporary fictional text entitled Mema (2003). To reach this goal, some discourses wherein the gendered representations of the female protagonist, Ntsame Minlame (Mema) and her husband, Sima Okang (Pepa), Akoma and her husband, and Nkulanveng and his wife are highlighted are extracted from the novel. Whether the discourses are monologic or dialogic, long or short does not matter here, what does matter most here is the meaning they convey about gender as regards the aforementioned personae. There are eight (08) discourses altogether, and these discourses are numbered (D1 to D8, D stands for Discourse). These discourses are labeled according to their content or the meaning they convey, though an aspect of the content of one discourse can still be traced in that of another. The eight discourses are first described linguistically before the findings culled from them are duly discussed or/and presented.

  • Modality and Transitivity Analyses of the Discourses of Masculinity and Femininity in the Novel.

In SFL, the clause is considered as the unit of any lexicogrammatical analysis (Eggins, 1994/2004; Halliday and Matthiessen, 2004; Bloor and Bloor, 2004 and Fontaine, 2013), and since Modality and Transitivity are situated on the lexicogrammatical axis, the eight (08) discourses under study here are first split into numerically numbered clauses. Then, the Modality and Transitivity features contained in the clauses are identified. The identification of the Modality and Transitivity features is realized according to the keys presented below. While this study clearly describes all the Transitivity features- process types, participants and circumstances- in the selected discourses, it only highlights the first two in the subsequent discussion. However, it is not useless to recall here that the presence of circumstances in any clause denotes the realization of experiential meanings related to the time, duration, place and manner of the process contained in the clause. Again, due to space, the discussion will revolve around the three most predominant processes which will be determined by the aggregation of all the identified processes in the eight discourses.

Key:

Modality:  Ms=Modalization, Ml=Modulation.

Transitivity: P=Process, Pm=material, Pme=mental, Pb=behavioural, Pv=verbal, Pe=existential, Pi=intensive, Pcc=circumstancial, Pp=possessive, Pc=causative. A=Actor, G=Goal, B=Beneficiary, R=Range S=Senser, Ph=Phenomenon. Sy=Sayer, Rv=Receiver, Vb=Verbiage. Be=Behaver, Bh=Behaviour. X=Existent. T=Token, V=Value, Cr=Carrier, At=Attribute. Pr=Possessor, Pd=Possessed. C=Circumstance, Cl=location, Cx=extent, Cm=manner, Cc=cause, Ca=accompaniement, Ct=matter, Co=role. Ag=Agent.

NB: It should be noted that all the processes in the discourses are in bold and the participants underlined. It should also be noted that all the embedded clauses are described.

(D1) Discourse of an Unfailing Strength.

  1. I (S) know (Pme) 2. there are (Pe) things (X) in life (Cl) 3. that one (A)cannot (Ms) help (Pm). 4. The weight of years necessarily (A) took (Pm) its toll (G) on Mema (Cl). 5. That’s how (At) life (Cr)is (Pi). 6. Things (A)must (Ms) come (Pm) 7. and go (Pm). 8. Trees (Cr)grow (Pi) tall (At), 9. then one day (Cl) the wind (A) blows (Pm) them (G) down (Cl). 10. A river (A) springs (Pm) from the bosom of the earth (Cl) 11. and nourishes (Pm) the lives of the fishes (G), 12. then it (A) dries out (Pm), [taking away (Pm) the lives (G)it (A) had created (Pm)] (Cm). 13. It (T)is (Pi) in the nature of things (Cl) 14. that the years (A)should (Ms) take (Pm) their toll (G). 15. But the years (A)did not vanquish (Pm) Mema (G), 16. because Mema (Cr)was (Pi) strong, a strong woman (At), indeed (p. 4).

(D2) Discourse of Intelligence.

  1. Mema (Pr)had (Pi) a big mouth (Pd) too. 2. And when I (Sy)say (Pv) a big mouth ((Rv), 3. I (Sy)mean (Pv) 4. she (Pr) really had (Pi) a big mouth (Pd). 5. Not in the physical sense of the things (Cl) she (Sy)said (Pv), 6. and how she (Sy)said (Pv) them (Rv). 7. Somewhere in her heart (Cl), Mema (S)always (Cl)believed (Pme) 8. she (T)was (Pi) the most intelligent person (V) in the universe (Cl). 9. It (Cr)was (Pi) not easy (At) 10. to win (Pm) a debate (G) against her (Cx). 11. She (A)would (Ms) always (Cl) tryto convince (Pm) others (G) 12. that she (Cr)was (Pi) right (At). 13. But she (Cr)was (Pi) never easily convinced (At) (p. 4).

(D3) Discourse of Terror/Violence and Unconventional Demeanour.

  1. I (S) vaguely remember (Pme) those times (Ph) 2. when she (Pr)would (Ms) have (Pi) a dispute (Pd) with either her husband, my father, or other people (Cx) in the village (Cl). 3. The days following the dispute (T)would (Ms) always be (Pi) days filled with tension (V). 4. They (T)would (Ms) also be (Pi) days of apparent hatred (V) 5. during which Mema (A)would (Ms) adopt (Pm) a stubborn demeanour (G), [working (Pm) her way (G) silently throughout the hut and the village (Cm)] (Cm). 6. She (Sy)would not (Ms) speak to (Pv) anyone (Rv) 7. and nobody (Sy)would (Ms) dare to speak to (Pv) her (Rv). 8. When she (Cr)was (Pi) in such a mood (Cl), 9. even my father (S)could (Ms) not dare to approach (Pv) her (Rv) (p. 4).

(D4) Discourse of Pervasive Fear.

  1. Of course (Cm), as was required (Pm) by our village customs (Cm), 2. when a member of the community (Cr)was (Pi) at odds (Cm) with another (Cm), 3. someone from among the most influential speakers in the village (A)had to attempt (Pm) a reconciliation (G). 4. It (Cr)did not matter (Pi) 5. whether the dispute (T)was (Pi) a private matter (V) between two villagers (Cm). 6. Something (G)had (Ml) to be done (Pm). 7. But the task of reconciling estranged parties (Cr)was (Pi) particularly daunting (At) 8. when Mema (G)was involved (Pm). 9. The person [secretly appointed (Pm) by the village (Cm) [to act (Pm) as a mediator (Co)] (Cc)] (Sy)would have (Ms) to approach (Pv) her (Rv) with extreme caution and expert tact, for fear of my mother’s mouth (Cm). 10. Everybody (S)knew (Pme) her mouth (Ph). 11. Everybody (S)knew (Pme) 12. that her mouth (T)could (Ms) become (Pi) a terrible weapon (V) 13. if caused to start spitting out (Pm) words (G) like bullets (Cm) (p. 5).

(D5) Discourse of Oral Dexterity and Female Power.

  1. My mother (T)was (Pi) a good speaker (V). 2. Like all the village people who (A)mastered (Pm) the art of speech (G), 3. she (A) always (Cl) began (Pm) her talks (G) with a tale or a proverb (Cm) 4. that (Cr)was (Pi) appropriate (At) for the particular situation (Cc). 5. And since my mother (Pr) had (Pi) a tale or a proverb (Pd) for all situations (Cc) 6. in which (Cl) she (G)was involved (Pm), 7. I (S)believe (Pme) 8. she herself (T)was (Pi) a treasure of tales and proverbs (V) (p. 7).

(D6) Discourse of Female Empowerment and Male Disempowerment.

  1. Mema (Cr), [I (S)hear (Pme)], was (Pi) so unlike my father (At). 2. Pepa. 3. My father. 4. Who (V)was (Pi) he (T) really (Cm)? 5. I (S)do not know (Pme). 6. I (S)did not really (Cm) know (Pme) my father (Ph). 7. He (A)joined (Pm) the ancestors (G) 8. long before I (S)became fully aware of (Pme) the things happening (Ph) around me (Cl). 9. So I (Pr)have (Pi) a faint memory (Pd) 10. of what he (Cr)could (Ms) have been (Pi) like (At). 11. [All (Ph) I (S) know (Pme) of him (Cm)] (T)is (Pi) what (V) 12. Mema and other people (Sy)told (Pv) me (Rv). 13. The story (A)went (Pm) 14. that Pepa (T)was (Pi) a very calm and placid man (V) with no real manly power (Cm) in our household (Cl). 15. My mother, [her critics (Sy) said (Pv)] (A), ran (Pm) every single thing (G) in the hut (Cl) with a heavy hand, and a big mouth (Cm). 16. Pepa, [I (Rv) was told (Pv)] (G), had been turned (Pm) into a mere woman (Cm) in his own hut (Cl). 17. He (T)had become (Pi) an empty shell (V). 18. A soundless tom-tom (V). 19. A lion with broken legs who (A)could (Ms) no longer bounce (Pm) 20. and pounce (Pm). 21. He (Ph) was thought of (Pme) as someone (Co) [so subdued and bewildered by the power (Cm) wielded by his wife (Cm) inside and outside the hut (Cl)] (Cm) 22. that his voice (Ph)was never heard (Pme) [rising above that of the panther of a woman] (Cm) 23. that people (Sy)called (Pv) his wife (Rv). 24. This (Cr)was not (Pi) normal (At), 25. people (Sy)said (Pv). 26. This woman (A)must (Ms) have used (Pm) witchcraft (G) [to subdue (Pm) her husband (G)] (Cc). 27. It (Cr)was (Pi) customary (At), [they (Sy)said (Pv)], [for women (Cc) to use (Pm) witchcraft (G) [to control (Pm) their husbands’ will (G) in order to prevent (Pm) them (G) from looking at other women or marrying themselves a second wife (Cc)] (Cc)]. 28. They (A)would (Ms), for example, put (Pm) strange things (G) in their foods (Cl) and under the conjugal bed (Cl). 29. These things (A)would (Ms) then slowly take over (Pm) the manhood and will of the husband (G), 30. who (Cr)would (Ms) become (Pi) docile (At). 31. If the husband (A)dared to go (Pm) to another woman (Cl), 32. his manhood (A)would (Ms) refuse to stand up to perform (Pm) its duties (G). 33. It (A)would (Ms) stand (Pm) 34. only when used (Pm) with the woman (Cm) 35. who (A)controlled (Pm) it (G) with witchcraft (Cm). 36. So, according to the gossip, there was (Pe) no doubt (X) about it (Ct). 37. My mother (A)had turned (Pm) my father (G) into a mere empty calabash (Cm) [using witchcraft] (Cm) (p. 32-33).

(D7) Discourse of Insubordination and War.

  1. ‘Ah Akoma, my beloved wife, since when doyou (A)serve (Pm) me (B)food (G) without water (Cm)?’ ‘Ah! 2. You (S)think (Pme) 3. I (T)am (Pi) your slave (V)? 4. I (S)do not remember (Pme) 5. my father (Sy)telling (Pv) you (Rv), 6. when you (A)paid (Pm) the marriage n’sua (G) to my people (Cl) fifteen mimbuh ago (Cl), 7. that he (A)had sold (Pm) me (G) to you (Cl) as a slave (Co). 8. If you (S)want (Pme) water (Ph) 9. to drink (Pm), 10. go (Pm) 11. and get (Pm) your water (G) yourself. 12. Don’tyou (Pr)have (Pi) two legs (Pd) like me (Cm)? 13. Besides, you (A)are sitting (Pm) closer to the water pot (Cl) 14. than I (A) am (Pm).” 15. Faced with this womanly assault, the man (A)would (Ms) simply shut up (Pm) 16. and look (Pm), speechless and overwhelmed, at this woman of his 17. who (A)had obviously (Cm) elected (Pm) 18. to turn (Pm) his life (G) into a living hell (Cl) (p. 16).

(D8) Discourse of Reminiscence of Love Declaration, Sisterhood or Political Solidarity and Threat.

  1. ‘Ah Nkulanveng, my husband, I (Pr)have (Pi) a question (Pd) for you (Cc), 2. and I (A)need (Pm) an answer (G) now (Cl). 3. Do you (S) really (Cm) love (Pme) me (Ph)?’ 4. ‘Of course (Cm), my wife, I (S)love (Pme) you (Ph). 5. Isn’t (Pi) that (T) 6. what I (Sy)told (Pv) you (Rv) the day (Cl) 7. when I (S)saw (Pme) you (Ph) for the first time (Cc)?’ ‘8. Yes, I (S)remember (Pme). 9. I (S)remember (Pme) 10. that you (T)were (Pi) a constant visitor (V) to my village (Cl) 11. because you (Pr)had (Pi) friends (Pd) there (Cl) 12. with whom (Cm) you (A)used (Ms) to go (Pm) monkey-hunting (G). 13. ‘Owé. 14. But monkey-hunting (T)was (Pi) just (Cm) a pretext (V) 15. that (A)allowed (Pm) me (G) 16. to see (Pme) you (Ph) 17. as often as I (S)could (Ms) (Pme). 18. But I (Cr)had (Ml) to be (Pi) careful (At) [not to approach (Pv) you (Rv) openly (Cm)] (Cc), 19. because at that time a young man and a young woman (G)were not allowed (Pm) 20. to see (Pme) each other (Ph) secretly (Cm) 21. or even to talk (Pv) openly (Cm) to each other without the presence of elders (Cl). 22. [All I (A) could (Ms) (Pm)] (T)was (Pi) [to watch (Pb) you (Ph) from afar (Cl)] (V) 23. and let my heart (G)throb (Pm) frantically (Cm) in my chest (Cl) 24. because of the love it (S)felt (Pme) for you (Cc).’ 25. ‘So you (A)took advantage of (Pm) the fact (G) 26. that you and I (Pr)had (Pi) the chance (Pd) 27. to meet (Pm) during the wrestling contest (Cl) 28. that (G)was held (Pm) in your village (Cl). 29. You (A)lured (Pm) me (G) away from my parents (Cl) 30. who (Cr)were (Pi) too busy (At) [watching (Pb) the sweating wrestlers (Ph) [to pay attention to (Pm) [what (G)I (S)was doing (Pm)] (G)] (Cc). 31. You (A)lured (Pm) me (G) into following you behind a hut (Cm).’ 32. ‘Owé. 33. And it (T)was (Pi) there (V) 34. I (Sy)told (Pv) you (Rv) 35. that I (S)loved (Pme) you (Ph) for the first time (Cc).’ 36. ‘Owé. 37. I (S)remember (Pme). 38. I (S)remember (Pme) [the joy (Ph) I (S) felt (Pme)] (Ph) 39. and the throbs (G)my heart (A)gave (Pm) me (B) 40. when you (Sy)told (Pv) me (Rv)this (Vb). 41. I (Sy)told (Pv) you (Rv) 42. that I (S)loved (Pme) you (Ph) too.’ 43. ‘And I (Sy)said (Pv): 44. “If it (Cr)is (Pi) true (At) 45. that your heart (A)is throbbing (Pm) for me (Cc), 46. then I (A)will (Ml) come to visit (Pm) you (G) in your village (Cl). 47. Do you (S)agree (Pme)?’ 48. [“I (S) agree (Pme),”] (T)was (Pi) my answer (V). 49. After our secret encounter, I (S)heard (Pme) the cock (Ph) 50. crow (Pm) three times one morning after the other (Cm), 51. and there (V)you (T)were (Pi) with your people (Cm). 52. You (A)had come (Pm) 53. to ask (Pv) me (Rv)[to leave (Pm) my parents (G) and become (Pi) one of yours (V)] (Vb). 54. Two full moons later (Cl), I (A)moved (Pm) into your village (Cl) [to become (Pi) your wife (V)] (Cc).’ 55. ‘Those (T)were (Pi) good times (V).’ 56. ‘Owé. 57. Good times (V), indeed (Cm). 58. But [what I (Sy) am asking (Pv) you (Rv) now (Cl)] (T)is (Pi) this (V): 59. do you (S) really (Cm) love (Pme) me (Ph)? 60. Do you (S) still love (Pme) me (Ph) 61. the way you (Sy)said (Pv) 62. you (S)loved (Pme) me (Ph) during that day (Cl) 63. when we (A)met (Pm) behind the hut (Cl) 64. and exchanged (Pm) words of love (G) for the first time (Cc)?’ 65. ‘My ancestors (T)are (Pi) my witnesses (V) 66. that I (S) still love (Pme) you (Ph) so.’ 67. ‘If you (S)love (Pme) me (Ph) [like you (Sy)say (Pv)] (Cm), 68. why haveyou (Sy)not told (Pv) all the husbands of this village (Rv)[to go (Pm) and fetch (Pm) Ntutume’s wife (G)] (Vb)? 69. It (T)has now (Cl) been (Pi) moons almost as many as the fingers on both of my hands (V), 70. and no one (A)has budged (Pm) a finger (G) [to go (Pm) and get (Pm) her (G) back] (Cc). 71. Is (Pi) that (T)[the way you (A) show (Pm) love (G) for me (Cc)] (V)? 72. ‘But, woman … Biloghe (T)is not (Pi) my wife (V). 73. If it (T)were (Pi) you (V) 74. who (A)had gone (Pm), 75. you (S)know (Pme) 76. I (A)would (Ms) have got (Pm) you (G) back very quickly (Cm).’ 77. ‘Nonsense! 78. When didfamily problems (T)become (Pi) one man’s problems in this village (V)? 79. You (S)know (Pme) perfectly well (Cm) 80. that it (T)is (Pi) everybody’s duty (V) in this village (Cl) [to go (Pm) and tryto get (Pm) Ntutume’s wife (G) back from her people (Cl)] (Cc).’ 81. ‘You (Cr)are (Pi) right (At), woman, but …’ 82. ‘There is (Pe) no “but” (X). 83. Why doyou (A)insist on insulting (Pm) me (G)? 84. You (Sy) just said (Pv) 85. you (S)loved (Pme) me (Ph), 86. didyou (Sy)not (Pv)? 87. The question (T)is (Pi): 88. would (Ms) you (A)have waited (Pm) this long (Cx) 89. before coming (Pm) to my village (Cl) [to beg (Pm) me (G) back] (Cc)?’ 90. ‘No … but …’ 91. ‘[What (Ph) I (S) see (Pme)] (T)is (Pi) that (V) 92. all the males (Cr) in this village (Cl)have been (Pi) very silent and inactive (At) 93. since Biloghe (A)left (Pm). 94. No one (A), so far, has tried to get (Pm) the village (G) [to go (Pm) and beg (Pm) her (G) back] (Cc). 95. So, do not lie (Pm) to me (Cl). 96. This (V)is (Pi) exactly 97. what (G)you (A)would (Ms) have done (Pm) 98. if it (T)were (Pi) me (V) 99. who (A)had left (Pm). 100. You (A)would (Ms) have made (Pm) no attempt (G) [to go(Pm) and beg(Pm) me (G) back] (Cc). 101. Is (Pi) this (T)the way (V) 102. you (A)show (Pm) love (G) for your women in this place (Cc)? 103. ‘Woman mine, it (T)is not (Pi) I (V) 104. who (Sy)will (Ms) say (Pv) that (Vb) 105. [what you (Sy) have said (Pv)] (Cr)is not (Pi) true (At). 106. I (S)understand (Pme) [what (Vb) you (Sy) are saying (Pv)] (Ph). 107. Let me (Ph)think (Pme) about it (Ct).’ 108. ‘Owé. 109. You (S)had better think (Pme) about it (Ct) fast (Cm). 110. For I (Pr)have had (Pi) enough of your nonsense (Pd). 111. So, today (Cl), I (Sy)will (Ms) say (Pv) this (Vb), 112. and my dead people (T)are (Pi) my witnesses (V): 113. think (Pme) about it (Ct) 114. before I (S)decide (Pme) 115. that it (T)is (Pi) also time (V) [for me (Cc) to leave (Pm) this village (G)] (Cc). 116. Do (Pm) something (G) 117. before we, women of this village (S), decide (Pme) 118. that it (Cr)is not (Pi) worthwhile staying in a village such as this one (At) 119. that (A)does not care enough about (Pm) the wives (G) 120. it (A)marries (Pm).’ (p. 16-18).

The tables below present the number of clauses and the distribution of Modality and Transitivity features in each discourse.

Discourse Number

Number of Clauses

1

16

2

13

3

09

4

13

5

08

6

37

7

18

8

120

Total

234

Table 1: Number of clauses in each discourse.

 

Modality Type

Modalization

Modulation

Total

Frequency % Frequency %
D1 04 100 00 00 04
D2 01 100 00 00 01
D3 07 100 00 00 07
D4 02 66.66 01 33.33 03
D5 00 00 00 00 00
D6 08 100 00 00 08
D7 01 100 00 00 01
D8 09 81.81 02 18.18 11

Table 2: Distribution of Modality features in each discourse.

 

Process Type Material Mental Behavioural Verbal Relational Existential Total
Frequency % Frequency % Frequency % Frequency % Frequency % Frequency %
D1 12 66.66 01 05.55 00 00 00 00 04 22.22 01 05.55 18
D2 02 15.38 01 07.69 00 00 04 30.76 06 46.15 00 00 13
D3 02 20 01 10 00 00 03 30 04 40 00 00 10
D4 05 38.46 03 23.07 00 00 01 07.69 04 30.76 00 00 13
D5 03 37.50 01 12.50 00 00 00 00 04 50 00 00 08
D6 19 44.18 07 16.27 00 00 06 13.95 10 23.25 01 02.32 43
D7 12 57.14 03 14.28 00 00 01 04.76 02 09.52 00 00 21
D8 51 36.17 32 22.69 01 0.70 18 12.76 38 26.95 01 0.70 141

Table 3: Distribution of Transitivity features in each discourse.

 

The subsequent graphs clearly show the distribution of Modality and Transitivity features in the eight discourses.

 

Figure 1: Distribution of Modality features in the eight discourses.

 

Figure 2: Distribution of Modality features in the eight discourses.

 

  • Discussion of the Findings.

The analyses above exude that the eight discourses under consideration contain a total number of 234 clauses (16 in D1, 13 in D2, 09 in D3, 13 in D4, 08 in D5, 37 in D6, 18 in D7 and 120 in D8). The analyses of Modality in the discourses display 32 selections (91.42%) in modalization and 03 instances (08.57%) in modulation. The selections in modalization are encoded in such modal verbs as can, must, should, would, could, used and will. These modal operators are used by the narrator-character (Elang Sima) and Nkulanveng and his wife to encode their judgments, opinions, perceptions, biases, attitudes, etc., in the discourses. Specifically, in D1, D2, D3, D4, D6 and D7, the narrator-character (Elang Sima) draws on these operators to express a certain degree of certainty, probability and usuality related to other characters like Mema (his mother), Pepa (his father), Akoma’s husband, things, happenings and life at large. For illustration, consider how the narrator-character (Elang Sima) intrudes on his message with the italicized modalizers in D1, D2, D3, D4, D6 and D7:

Discourse 1

  • I (Elang Sima) know that there are things in life one cannot
  • Things must come and go.
  • It is in the nature of things that the years should take their toll.

Discourse 2

  • She (Mema) would always try to convince others.

Discourse 3

  • I (Elang Sima) vaguely remember those times when she (Mema) would have a dispute with her husband, my father, or other people in the village.
  • The days following the dispute would always be days filled with tension.
  • They would always be days of apparent hatred during which Mema would adopt a stubborn demeanour, working her way throughout the hut and the village.
  • She would not speak to anyone and nobody would dare to speak to her.
  • When she was in such a mood, even my father would not dare to approach her.

Discourse 4

  • The person secretly appointed by the village to act as a mediator would have to approach her (Mema) with extreme caution and expert tact, for fear of my mother’s mouth.
  • Everybody knew that her (Mema’s) mouth could become a terrible weapon.

Discourse 6

  • So I (Elang Sima) have a faint memory of what he (Pepa) could have been like.
  • A lion with broken legs who could no longer bounce and pounce.
  • This woman must have used witchcraft to subdue her husband.
  • They (women) would, for example, put strange things in their (husbands’) foods and the conjugal bed.
  • These things would then slowly take over the manhood and will of the husband who would become docile.
  • If the husband dared to go to another woman, his manhood would refuse to stand up to perform its duties.
  • It (the husband’s manhood) would stand only when (it was) used with the woman who controlled with witchcraft.

Discourse 7

  • Faced with this womanly assault, the man would simply shut up and look, speechless and overwhelmed, at this woman of his who had obviously elected to turn his life into a living hell.

Like the narrator-character (Elang Sima), Nkulanveng and his wife employ the above-mentioned auxiliary verbs to express a certain degree of certainty, probability and usuality related to each other’s behaviour and men’s inaction towards Biloghe’s departure from the village. Consider how they do this in what follows suit:

Discourse 8

  • I (Nkulanveng’s wife) remember that you (Nkulanveng) were a constant visitor to my village because you had friends there with whom you used to go monkey-hunting.
  • But monkey-hunting was just a pretext that allowed me to see you as often as I could.
  • All I could was to watch you from afar and let my heart throb frantically in my chest because of the love it felt for you.
  • If it were you who had gone, you know I would have got you back very quickly.
  • The question is: would you have waited this long before coming to my village to beg me back?
  • This is exactly what you would have done if it were me who had left. You would have made no attempt to go and beg me back.
  • Woman mine, it is not I who will say that what you have said is not true.
  • So, today, I will say this, and my dead people are my witnesses: think about it before I decide that it is also time for me to leave this village.

The 03 instances of modulation in the discourses are realized by such modulators as had to and will. The narrator-character (Elang Sima) employs the modulator had to in D4 to highlight the regulatory role the community plays both in individual or private affairs or issues and interpersonal or social relationships. This role is neither optional nor negotiable. It is obligatory. Nkulanveng uses the modal operator had to in D8 to encode his being obliged to comply with socially established norms. He also uses the modal will in the same discourse to express a dual meaning. First, Nkulanveng uses the modal verb will to encode a future action; an action that will take place in the future on a condition. The presence of the conjunction if in the preceding clause clearly points out that the action encoded in the modal auxiliary will is only possible if a certain condition is met. The second meaning that one can infer from this modal is strong desire and will, good faith or simply promise. Nkulanveng, by using the auxiliary in his conversation with his now-wife but then-fiancée, seeks to foreground a strong desire or a promise therein.

Discourse 4

  • Something had to be done.

Discourse 8

  • But I (Nkulanveng) had to be careful not to approach you openly, because at that time a young man and a young woman were not allowed to see each other secretly or even to talk openly to each other without the presence of elders.
  • If it is true that your heart is throbbing for me, then I will come to visit you in your village.

All the aforementioned observations are also pinpointed by the transitivity analyses. The analyses reveal that the eight discourses include 264 processes: 108 material processes (40.90%), 49 mental processes (18.56%), 01 behavioural process (00.37%), 31 verbal processes (11.74%), 72 relational processes (27.27%) and 03 existential processes (01.13%). As it is obvious in the foregoing, material processes are the most dominant process type. The dominance of this process type denotes that the eight discourses are concerned with concrete, real and tangible actions. Here are all or some of the material processes identified in the eight discourses, the processes are in bold:

Discourse 1

  • I (Elang Sima) know that there are things in life one cannot help.
  • The weight of years necessarily took its toll on Mema.
  • Things must come and go.
  • Trees grow tall, then one day the wind blows them down.
  • A river springs from the bosom of the earth and nourishes the lives of the fishes, then it dries out, taking away the lives it had created.
  • It is in the nature of things that the years should take their toll.
  • But the years did not vanquish

Discourse 2

  • It was not easy to win a debate against her.
  • She (Mema) would always try to convince

Discourse 3

  • They would always be days of apparent hatred during which Mema would adopt a stubborn demeanour, working her way throughout the hut and the village.

Discourse 4

  • Of course, as (it) was required by our village customs …
  • Someone from among the most influential speakers in the village had to attempt a reconciliation.
  • Something had to be done.
  • But the task of reconciling estranged parties was particularly daunting when Mema was involved.
  • Everybody knew that her (Mema’s) mouth could be a terrible weapon if (it was) caused to start spitting out words like bullets.

Discourse 5

  • Like all the village people who mastered the art of speech, she (Mema) always began her talks with a tale or a proverb.
  • And since my mother had a tale or a proverb for all situations in which she was involved

Discourse 6

  • He (Pepa) joined the ancestors …
  • The story went … My mother ran every single thing in the hut with a heavy hand and a big mouth.
  • Pepa … had been turned into a mere woman in his own hut.
  • A lion with broken legs who could no longer bounce and pounce.
  • This woman must have used witchcraft to subdue her husband.
  • They (women) would, for example, put strange things in their (husbands’) foods and the conjugal bed.
  • These things would then slowly take over the manhood and will of the husband who would become
  • If the husband dared to go to another woman, his manhood would refuse to stand up to perform its duties.
  • It (the husband’s manhood) would stand only when (it was) used with the woman who controlled with witchcraft.

Discourse 7

  • Ah Akoma, my beloved wife, since when do you serve me food without water?
  • I do not remember my father telling you, when you paid the marriage n’sua to my people fifteen mimbuh ago, that he had sold me to you as a slave.
  • If you want water to drink, go and get your water yourself.
  • Besides, you’re sitting closer to the water pot than I am (sitting).
  • Faced with this womanly assault, the man would simply shut up and look, speechless and overwhelmed, at this woman of his who had obviously elected to turn his life into a living hell.

Discourse 8

  • I (Nkulanveng’s wife) remember that you (Nkulanveng) were a constant visitor to my village because you had friends there with whom you used to go monkey-hunting.
  • But monkey-hunting was just a pretext that allowed me to see you as often as I could.
  • All I could was to watch you from afar and let my heart throb frantically in my chest because of the love it felt for you.
  • If it were you who had gone, you know I would have got you back very quickly.
  • The question is: would you have waited this long before coming to my village to beg me back?
  • This is exactly what you would have done if it were me who had left. You would have made no attempt to go and beg me back.
  • So, today, I will say this, and my dead people are my witnesses: think about it before I decide that it is also time for me to leave this village.

As it appears in the sample clauses above, the actions in the eight discourses are realized by both animate and inanimate participants, while some of these actions are in the active voice, others are passivized. For instance, in D1, almost all the actions are realized by inanimate participants. There is only one animate participant in D1 that is foregrounded as Actor: one in (3). The other inanimate participants are The weight of years in (4), Things in (6 and 7), the wind in (9), A river in (10, 11 and 12a, b and c) and the years in (14 and 15). In addition to this observation, only one conscious participant is foregrounded as Goal in D1: Mema in (15). The other unconscious Goals are its toll in (4), them (trees) in (9), the lives of the fishes in (11), the lives in (12b) and their toll in (14). In D2, the two action verbs are also employed by conscious subjects: anyone in (10) and Mema in (11). Note that the subject anyone in (10) is not given explicitly in the clause but implied. It should also be noted that this implied subject has to be preceded by the preposition for. In fact, the implied subject is located in a projected clause, as in: “It (Cr) was not (Pi) easy (At) // (for anyone) to win (Pm) a debate (G) against her (Cx)”. Unlike the subject role which is played by conscious beings, the object role is realized by both animate and inanimate participants: a debate in (10) and others in (11). Similarly, in D3, the two actions are performed by a conscious participant: Mema in (5). The Goal role is encoded in inanimate participants: a stubborn demeanour and her way. In D4, four of the action verbs are passivized (1, 6, 8 and 13). This means that the Goal in these clauses is moved from its initial slot to the Actor slot and vice versa. In other words, the Goal is emphasized, while the Actor is de-emphasized. The emphasized Goals in the clauses are encoded in both animate and inanimate subjects: it (implied) in (1), Something in (6), Mema in (8) and Mema’s mouth (implied) in (13). The de-emphasized Actors in the clauses are our village customs in (1), us (implied) in (6), the task of reconciling two estranged parties in (implied) (8) and them (implied) in (13). The Actor role in the only active material clause (3) in D4 is played by a conscious participant: Someone from among the most influential speakers in the village in (3). The Goal in this clause is inanimate: a reconciliation.

Just like in D4, two out of the action verbs in D5are in the active voice (2 and 3) and are all realized by conscious subjects: Like all the village people who in (2) and she (Mema) in (3). By contrast, the Goals in these active material clauses are realized only by unconscious participants: the art of speech in (2) and her talks in (3). The only material clause in the passive voice in D5 is encoded in was involved in (6). This process has a conscious participant as Goal: she (Mema), but an unconscious subject as Actor: all situations (it is implied). In D6, two of the identified verbs are passivized had been turned (16) and (was) used in (34) and their subjects are Mema (it is implied) and it (the husband’s manhood) and objects Pepa and it (the husband’s manhood) (it is implied). The remaining verbs too are employed by both conscious and unconscious subjects: He in (7), The story in (13), My mother in (15), A lion with broken legs in (19 and 20), This woman in (26a and b), women in (27a, b and c), They (women) in (28), These things in (29), the husband in (31), his manhood in (32), It (the husband’s manhood) in (33 and 34), who (the woman) in (35) and My mother in (37).The Goal role too is realized by both animate and inanimate participants: the ancestors in (7), every single thing in (15), witchcraft and her husband in (26a and b), witchcraft, their husbands’ will and them in (27a, b and c), strange things in (28), the manhood and will of the husband in (29), its duties in (32), it (the husband’s manhood) in (35) and my father in (37). In D7, all the Actor role is performed by conscious and unconscious beings: you (Akoma) in (1), the marriage n’sua in (6), me (Akoma) in (7), your (Akoma’s husband’s) water in (11) and his life in (18). In D8, the actions are encoded in both animate and inanimate participants. Some of them are: Actors: I (Nkulanveng’s wife) in (2), you (Nkulanveng) in (12), that (monkey-hunting) in (15), etc., and Goals: an answer in (2), monkey-hunting in (12), me (Nkulanveng) in (15), etc.

As the analyses reveal, relational processes (72; i.e., 27.37%) rank second. The use of this process type indicates that the eight discourses are just as much concerned with defining as describing participants. For example, in D1, four relational processes (5, 8, 13 and 16) are identified. These processes are realized by the copular verb “be” in the simple present tense form (5 and13) and the simple past tense form(16) and the verb “grow” in the simple present tense form (8). Two of these processes are attributive (8 and 16) and the rest identifying (5 and 13). The two attributive relational processes have the following adjectives as attributes: tall in (8) and strong in (16). The Carriers bearing the attributes in (8 and 16) are both animate and inanimate: Trees and Mema. In D2, there are six relational processes (1, 4, 8, 9, 12 and 13). These processes are expressed by “be” only in the simple past tense form (8, 9, 12 and 13) and the verb “have” also in the simple past tense form (1 and 4). Two out of these processes are possessive (1 and 4), three attributive (9, 12 and 13) and one identifying (8). The two possessive processes have Mema as Possessor and a big mouth as Possessed. The three attributive relational processes have the following adjectives as attributes: easy in (9), right in (12) and never easily convinced in (13) and their Carriers are both animate and inanimate: It (the fact that Mema thinks she is the most intelligent person) in (9) and she (Mema) in (12 and 13). The only identifying process (8) in D2 has she (Mema) as Token and the most intelligent person as Value. Like in D1, there are four relational processes (2, 3, 4 and 8) in D3. These processes are encoded in the verb “be” in the present conditional form (3 and 4) and the simple past form(8) and the verb “have” only in the present conditional form (2). One of these processes is possessive (2), one attributive (8) and two identifying (3 and 4). The only possessive process has she (Mema) as Possessor and a dispute as Possessed. In the same vein, the only attributive relational process has she (Mema) as Carrier and the adjective angry, which is implied, as attribute. The two identifying processes (3 and 4) in D3 have The days and they (referring back anaphorically to The days) as Tokens and days filled with tension and days of apparent hatred as Values. In D4, there are four relational processes (4, 5, 7 and 12) too. These are encoded in such verbs as “be” in the simple past form (5 and 7), “matter” also in the simple past form (4) and “become” in the present conditional form (12). Two out of these processes are attributive (4 and 7) and the remainder identifying (5 and 12). The two attributive relational processes are realized by did not matter (meaning was not important) in (4) and was in (7). The Carriers in these clauses are it in (4) and the task of reconciling two estranged parties in (7) and the attributes are important and particularly daunting. The two identifying processes (5 and 12) in this discourse have the dispute in (5) and her (Mema’s ) mouth in (12) as Tokens and a private matter in (5) and a terrible weapon as Values.

Again, four relational processes are identified in D5. They are realized by the copular verb “be” only in the simple the past tense form (1, 4 and 8) and the verb “have” also in the simple past tense form (5). One of these processes is attributive (4), two identifying (1 and 8) and the remainder possessive (5). The only attributive relational process has that (Mema’s choice of tales and proverbs in all situations) as Carrier and the adjective appropriate as attribute. The participants in the two identifying relational clauses are both animate and inanimate: Tokens- My mother in (1) and She (Mema) in (8), and Values- a good speaker in (1) and a treasure of tales and proverbs in (8). The only possessive relational process (5) in D5 has my mother as Possessor and a tale or a proverb as Possessed. In D6, there are ten relational processes (1, 4, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17, 24, 27 and 30). These are expressed by the verb “be” in the simple present tense form (11), the simple past tense form (1, 4, 14, 24 and 27) and the conditional perfect form (10), the verb “have” only in the simple present tense form (9) and the verb “become” in the past perfect form (17) and the present conditional form (30). Six out of these processes are attributive (1, 10, 14, 24, 27 and 30), three identifying (4, 11 and 17) and the rest possessive (9). The six attributive relational processes have Mema in (1), he (Pepa) in (10), Pepa in (14), This (Pepa’s unconventional demeanour) in (24), It in (27) and who (the husband) in (30) as Carriers and the adjectives so unlike my father in (1), like in (10), very calm and placid in (14), normal in (24), customary in (27) and docile in (30) as attributes. The participants in the three identifying relational clauses are encoded in both animate and inanimate participants: Tokens- he (Pepa) in (4), All I know of him in (11) and He (Pepa) in (17), and Values- Who in (4), what in (11) and an empty shell in (17). The only possessive relational process (9) in D6 has I (the narrator-character, Elang Sima) as Possessor and a faint memory as Possessed. There are only two relational processes in D7. These processes are realized by “be” in the simple present tense form (3) and “have” also in the simple present tense form (12). Clause (3) is identifying, while clause (12) is possessive. The participants in the identifying clause are all animate: Token- I (Akoma), and Value- a slave. The possessive process has you (Akoma’s husband) as Possessor and two legs as Possessed.  In D8, there are thirty-eight relational processes (1, 5, 10, 11, 14, 18, 22, 26, 30, 33, 44, 48, 51, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 65, 69, 71, 72, 73, 78, 80, 81, 87, 91, 92, 96, 98, 101, 103, 105, 110, 112, 115 and 118). These processes are encoded in such verbs as “be” in the simple present tense form(5, 44, 58, 65, 71, 72, 80, 81, 87, 91, 96, 101, 103, 105, 112, 115 and 118), the simple past tense form(10, 14, 22, 30, 33, 48, 51, 55, 57, 73 and 98), the present perfect tense form(69 and 92) and the modulated form(18), “become” in the infinitive form(53 and 54) and the simple past tense form(78) and “have” in the simple present tense form (1), simple past tense form(11 and 26) and present perfect form(110). Twenty-eight out of these processes are identifying (5, 10, 14, 22, 33, 48, 51, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 65, 69, 71, 72, 73, 78, 80, 87, 91, 96, 98, 101, 103, 110, 112 and 115), seven attributive (18, 30, 44, 81, 92, 105 and 118) and four possessive (1, 11, 26 and 110). Some of the participants in the identifying processes are: Tokens-you (Nkulanveng) in (10), monkey-hunting in (14), “I agree” in (48), what I am asking you in (58), Biloghe in (72), and Values- a constant visitor in (10), a pretext in (14), my answer in (48), this in (58) and my wife in (72). The Carriers in the seven attributive clauses are: I (Nkulanveng) in (18), who (Nkulanveng’s in-laws) in (30), It in (44), You (Nkulanveng’s wife) in (81), all the males in this village in (92), what you have said in (105) and it in (108), and their attributes are: very careful in (18), too busy in (30), true in (44), right in (81), very silent and inactive in (92), not true in (105) and not worthwhile staying in a village such as this one in (118). The four possessive relational processes have I (Nkulanveng’s wife) in (1 and 110), you (Nkulanveng) in (11) and you and I (Nkulanveng and his wife) in (26) as Possessors and a question in (1), friends in (11), the chance in (26) and enough of your nonsense as Possessed.

The analyses also exude that mental processes (49; 18.56%) come third. The presence of these processes denotes that the participants in the eight discourses encode meanings of cognition, affection and perception therein. For instance, the only mental process in D1is a cognition process. It is encoded in know in(1) and its Senser is a conscious subject: I (the narrator-character, Elang Sima).Likewise, the unique mental process in D2 is a cognition process. It is expressed with believed in (7) and its Senser is Mema. Again, the only mental process identified in D3 is a cognition process. It is realized by remember in (1) and its Senser is I (the narrator-character, Elang Sima).Also, the three mental processes drawn from D4 are cognition processes (2, 10 and 11). They are encoded in was at odds with (meaning disagreed with) in (2) and knew in (10 and 11) and the Senser role in them is played by a member in (2) and Everybody in (10 and 11).The only mental process identified in D5 is a cognition process too. It is encoded in believe in (7) and its Senser is a conscious subject: I (the narrator-character, Elang Sima). Unlike in the foregoing, the seven mental processes in D6 are both cognition and perception processes. The cognition processes are five in number: do not know in (5), did not really know in (6), became fully aware of in (8), know in (11) and was thought of in (21). The Senser role in these clauses is performed by conscious subjects: I (narrator-character, Elang Sima) in (5, 6, 8 and 11) and people (it is implied) in (21). The perception processes are hear in (1) and was never heard in (22) and their Sensers are both conscious and unconscious: I (narrator-character, Elang Sima) in (1) and people (it is implied) in (22).Unlike in D6, the three mental processes in D7 are cognition and affection processes. Two of these processes are cognition processes (2 and 4) and the remainder affection process (8). The two cognition processes are expressed with think in (2) and do not remember in (4). The participants that play the Senser role here are You (Akoma’s husband) in (2) and I (Akoma) in (4). The affection process is encoded in want in (8) and its Senser is you (Akoma’s husband). The thirty-two mental processes in D8 are cognition, affection and perception processes. Fourteen out of these processes are cognition processes (8, 9, 37, 38, 47, 48, 75, 79, 106, 107, 109, 113, 114 and 117), twelve affection processes (3, 4, 24, 35, 38, 42, 59, 60, 62, 66, 67 and 85) and six perception processes (7, 16, 17, 20, 49 and 91). The fourteen cognition processes are realized by such verbs as remember in (8, 9, 37 and 38), agree in (47 and 48), know in (75and 79), understand in (106), (had better) think in (107, 109 and 113) and decide in (114 and 117).The Senser role is performed by conscious subjects: I (Nkulanveng’s wife) in (8, 9, 37, 38a, 48 and114), you (Nkulanveng’s wife) in (47 and 75), you (Nkulanveng) in (79, 109 and 113), I(Nkulanveng) in (106), let me in (107)and we, women of this village in (117).The twelve affection processes are encoded in love(d) in (3, 4, 35, 42, 59, 60, 62, 66, 67 and 85) felt in (24 and38) and the Senser role therein is performed  by you (Nkulanveng) in (3,59, 60, 62 and 85) I (Nkulanveng) in (4, 35, 42, 66 and 67), I (Nkulanveng’s wife) in (38b), it (Nkulanveng’s chest) in (24). The six perception processes are expressed with the verb “see” in the infinitive, the simple present tense, the simple past tense and the present conditional forms in (7,16, 17, 20 and 91) and heard in (49). The Senser role in these processes is played by animate participants: I (Nkulanveng) in (7, 16 and 17), a young man and a young woman in (20) and I (Nkulanveng’s wife) in (49 and 91).

  1. Interpretation of the Findings

“When people use language to make meanings, they do so in specific situations, and the form of language that they use in discourse is influenced by the complex aspects of those situations” (Bloor and Bloor, 2004:5).From the foregoing, it is obvious that no language use exists ex nihilo. In fact, language always carries the weight of its user’s intents, biases, perceptions, beliefs, ideology, gender, etc. This theoretical hypothesis is actually validated by the current study in that the linguistic choices made by the personae in the eight discourses reveal how they represent gender. This paper interprets the findings drawn from the analyses in consonance with Judith Butler’s view of gender a sperformance. This view is very insightful because (i) it constructs gender as a flexible, dynamic or changing phenomenon; (ii) it conceives gender as something negotiable in a social practice or context; (iii) it defies and deconstructs conventional and epistemological conceptions and perceptions regarding gender construction. In this perspective, Butler (1988: 519) argues that “gender is in no way a stable identity or locus of agency from which various acts proceed; rather, it is an identity tenuously constituted in time—an identity instituted through a stylized repetition of acts. Further, gender is instituted through the stylization of the body and, hence, must be understood as the mundane way in which bodily gestures, movements, and enactments of various kinds constitute the illusion of an abiding gendered self.”Given her functional approach to gender, she further claims that “Gender is not passively scripted on the body, and neither is it determined by nature, language, the symbolic, or the overwhelming history of patriarchy. Gender is what is put on, invariably, under constraint, daily and incessantly, with anxiety and pleasure” (Ibid: 526).

The linguistic analyses, as mentioned earlier on, do validate Butler’s claims. For instance, In D1, the narrator-character’s (Elang Sima’s) language represents, his mother, Mema, as someone with an unfailing strength. The analyses of the narrator-character’s choices in Modality and Transitivity confirm this. D1begins with the narrator-character’s symbolic representation of the elusive nature of life and the frail nature of the things (trees, river, wind, etc.) it includes before time (see clauses 1-14).But the narrator-character foregrounds Mema’s strength as superior to that of life itself in that time cannot vanquish her: “13. It (T)is (Pi) in the nature of things (Cl) 14. that the years (A) should (Ms) take (Pm) their toll (G). 15. But the years (A) did not vanquish (Pm) Mema (G)”.The lexeme “strong” is further used by the narrator-character to emphatically underscore Mema’s strength: “16. because Mema (Cr) was (Pi) strong, a strong woman (At), indeed”. The foregoing truly sounds hyperbolic but its real sense lies in the elusive or mythologized nature of the female principle or woman herself. In traditional African societies, woman was conceived as the bearer/giver of life, and, as a result of this, she was seriously revered with religious and figurative terms. For example, the Igbo use lexemes like “Nneka” (Mother is supreme) and the Yoruba employ such figurative or proverbial expressions as “Iya ni wura” (Mother is gold) to revere woman. In D2, Mema is represented with linguistic terms that characterize her as assertive, courageous and especially intelligent. The subsequent passage corroborates this: “7. Somewhere in her heart (Cl), Mema (S) always (Cl) believed (Pme) 8. she (T) was (Pi) the most intelligent person (V) in the universe (Cl).”Similarly, in D3, Mema is portrayed as someone who is terrifying, dreadful and stubborn. Consider these clauses:“1. I (S) vaguely remember (Pme) those times (Ph) 2. when she (Pr)would (Ms) have (Pi) a dispute (Pd) with either her husband, my father, or other people (Cx) in the village (Cl). 3. The days following the dispute (T)would (Ms) always be (Pi) days filled with tension (V). 4. They (T) would (Ms) also be (Pi) days of apparent hatred (V) 5. during which Mema (A)would (Ms) adopt (Pm) a stubborn demeanour (G), [working (Pm) her way (G) silently throughout the hut and the village (Cm)] (Cm).” Interestingly, the portrayal of Mema as somebody who is highly feared spreads thematically throughD4:7. But the task of reconciling estranged parties (Cr)was (Pi) particularly daunting (At) 8. when Mema (G)was involved (Pm). 9. The person [secretly appointed (Pm) by the village (Cm) [to act (Pm) as a mediator (Co)] (Cc)] (Sy) would have (Ms) to approach (Pv) her (Rv) with extreme caution and expert tact, for fear of my mother’s mouth (Cm). 10. Everybody (S)knew (Pme) her mouth (Ph). 11. Everybody (S)knew (Pme) 12. that her mouth (T)could (Ms) become (Pi) a terrible weapon (V) 13. if caused to start spitting out (Pm) words (G) like bullets (Cm).”In D5, the trait of oral dexterity is highlighted as one of the sources of Mema’s power:

  1. My mother (T)was (Pi) a good speaker (V). 2. Like all the village people who (A)mastered (Pm) the art of speech (G), 3. she (A) always (Cl) began (Pm) her talks (G) with a tale or a proverb (Cm) 4. that (Cr)was (Pi) appropriate (At) for the particular situation (Cc). 5. And since my mother (Pr) had (Pi) a tale or a proverb (Pd) for all situations (Cc) 6. in which (Cl) she (G)was involved (Pm), 7. I (S)believe (Pme) 8. she herself (T)was (Pi) a treasure of tales and proverbs (V) (p. 7).

Moreover, in D6, Mema is contrasted with her husband, Pepa, with the view of foregrounding her power. In this discourse, she is depicted as someone who subdues her husband with witchcraft, controls his manhood and will, and runs her household with a heavy hand and a big mouth:

  1. Mema (Cr), [I (S)hear (Pme)], was (Pi) so unlike my father (At). 2. Pepa. 3. My father. 4. Who (V)was (Pi) he (T) really (Cm)? 5. I (S) do not know (Pme). 6. I (S) did not really (Cm) know (Pme) my father (Ph). 7. He (A)joined (Pm) the ancestors (G) 8. long before I (S)became fully aware of (Pme) the things happening (Ph) around me (Cl). 9. So I (Pr)have (Pi) a faint memory (Pd) 10. of what he (Cr)could (Ms) have been (Pi) like (At). 11. [All (Ph) I (S) know (Pme) of him (Cm)] (T)is (Pi) what (V) 12. Mema and other people (Sy)told (Pv) me (Rv). 13. The story (A)went (Pm) 14. that Pepa (T)was (Pi) a very calm and placid man (V) with no real manly power (Cm) in our household (Cl). 15. My mother, [her critics (Sy) said (Pv)] (A), ran (Pm) every single thing (G) in the hut (Cl) with a heavy hand, and a big mouth (Cm). 16. Pepa, [I (Rv) was told (Pv)] (G), had been turned (Pm) into a mere woman (Cm) in his own hut (Cl). 17. He (T)had become (Pi) an empty shell (V). 18. A soundless tom-tom. 19. A lion with broken legs who (A)could (Ms) no longer bounce (Pm) 20. and pounce (Pm). 21. He (Ph) was thought of (Pme) as someone (Co) [so subdued and bewildered by the power (Cm) wielded by his wife (Cm) inside and outside the hut (Cl)] (Cm) 22. that his voice (Ph) was never heard (Pme) [rising above that of the panther of a woman] (Cm) 23. that people (Sy) called (Pv) his wife (Rv). 24. This (Cr) was not (Pi) normal (At), 25. people (Sy)said (Pv). 26. This woman (A)must (Ms) have used (Pm) witchcraft (G) [to subdue (Pm) her husband (G)] (Cc).

Just like Mema, Akoma is depicted in D7 as an insubordinate and defying housewife. She openly defies her husband:

  1. ‘Ah Akoma, my beloved wife, since when do you (A) serve (Pm) me (B)food (G) without water (Cm)?’ ‘2. Ah! You (S) think (Pme) 3. I (T)am (Pi) your slave (V)? 4. I (S)do not remember (Pme) 5. my father (Sy) telling (Pv) you (Rv), 6. when you (A)paid (Pm) the marriage n’sua (G) to my people (Cl) fifteen mimbuh ago (Cl), 7. that he (A) had sold (Pm) me (G) to you (Cl) as a slave (Co). 8. If you (S)want (Pme) water (Ph) 9. to drink (Pm), 10. go (Pm) 11. and get (Pm) your water (G) yourself. 12. Don’t you (Pr)have (Pi) two legs (Pd) like me (Cm)? 13. Besides, you (A) are sitting (Pm) closer to the water pot (Cl) 14. than I (A) am (Pm).”

The reason why Akoma refuses to serve her husband food with water is because she cogently endorses the sisterhood principle or political solidarity (Hooks, 2000). The term ‘sisterhood’, as we understand it, is the bonding of women with a like mind. It is the close loyal relationship between women who share the same ideas and aims (Hornby, 2010).Hooks (Ibid: 15) holds that “Feminist sisterhood is rooted in shared commitment to struggle against patriarchal injustice, no matter the form that injustice takes”. In D7, Akoma, like other housewives, is committed to ending spousal maltreatment typical of patriarchal behaviour. So, she, like other women, observes a protracted strike that is meant to force all the men in Otongwaku village to go and beg back Ntutume’s wife, Biloghe, who has left the village ten months earlier after a squabble with Ntutume, her husband. The same bonding attitude is noticeable in Nkulanveng’s wife in D8. In D8, Nkulanveng’s wife plays the role of a questioner, whereas her husband performs the role of an answerer, and this denotes somehow that she is in control: “1. ‘Ah Nkulanveng, my husband, I (Pr)have (Pi) a question (Pd) for you (Cc), 2. and I (A)need (Pm) an answer (G) now (Cl). 3. Do you (S) really (Cm) love (Pme) me (Ph)?’ 4. ‘Of course (Cm), my wife, I (S)love (Pme) you (Ph).” She asks Nkulanveng this question over and over again. She also problematizes his love for her by relating it with the love she wants all the men in the land of Otongwanku to have for her folk:“67. ‘If you (S)love (Pme) me (Ph) [like you (Sy) say (Pv)] (Cm), 68. why have you (Sy) not told (Pv) all the husbands of this village (Rv)[to go (Pm) and fetch (Pm) Ntutume’s wife (G)] (Vb)? 69. It (T)has now (Cl) been (Pi) moons almost as many as the fingers on both of my hands (V), 70. and no one (A)has budged (Pm) a finger (G) [to go (Pm) and get (Pm) her (G) back] (Cc). 71. Is (Pi) that (T)[the way you (A) show (Pm) love (G) for me (Cc)] (V)?” In addition to this,as an informed guardian, she helps her husband get rid of his de-solidarizing attitudes towards the community in general and Biloghe in particular: “72. ‘But, woman … Biloghe (T)is not (Pi) my wife (V). 73. If it (T)were (Pi) you (V) 74. who (A)had gone (Pm), 75. you (S)know (Pme) 76. I (A)would (Ms) have got (Pm) you (G) back very quickly (Cm).’ 77. ‘Nonsense! 78. When did family problems (T) become (Pi) one man’s problems in this village (V)? 79. You (S) know (Pme) perfectly well (Cm) 80. that it (T)is (Pi) everybody’s duty (V) in this village (Cl) [to go (Pm) and tryt o get (Pm) Ntutume’s wife (G) back from her people (Cl)] (Cc).’ 81. ‘You (Cr)are (Pi) right (At), woman, but …’ 82. ‘There is (Pe) no “but” (X).” Following this, she warns Nkulanveng (and through him other husbands/men) to do something fast in order to bring Biloghe back otherwise she herself and other women will leave their households:

  1. I (Nkulanveng) (S)understand (Pme) [what (Vb) you (Sy) are saying (Pv)] (Ph). 107. Let me (Ph)think (Pme) about it (Ct).’ 108. ‘Owé. 109. You (S)had better think (Pme) about it (Ct) fast (Cm). 110. For I (Pr)have had (Pi) enough of your nonsense (Pd). 111. So, today (Cl), I (Sy)will say (Pv) this (Vb), 112. and my dead people (T)are (Pi) my witnesses (V): 113. think (Pme) about it (Ct) 114. before I (S)decide (Pme) 115. that it (T)is (Pi) also time (V) [for me (Cc) to leave (Pm) this village (G)] (Cc). 116. Do (Pm) something (G) 117. before we, women of this village (S), decide (Pme) 118. that it (Cr)is not (Pi) worthwhile staying in a village such as this one (At) 119. that (A)does not care enough about (Pm) the wives (G) 120. it (A)marries (Pm).’

 

Conclusion

This paper has explored how the two facets of gender- masculinity and femininity- are discursively enacted in Daniel Mengara’s novel Mema (2003) from SFL and Butlerian perspective. As the linguistic analyses exude, the choices in Modality, especially in its sub-category of modalization, encode such interpersonal dimensions as judgments, opinions, perceptions, biases, attitudes, etc., in the eight discourses under study. In other words, the presence of modalizers in these discourses denotes that the characters therein express a certain degree of certainty, probability and usuality towards somebody or something or they predicate therein their stance to the truth-value. It also denotes the (in) frequency of some roles, attributes and traits allotted to one gender or the other. The transitivity analyses reveal this apprehension better. The choices in transitivity, by means of the key identified process types (material, mental and relational), the participants and the circumstances, display gender as astylized repetition of performed acts which forcefully becomes naturalized over time. For instance, Mema’s use of witchcraft to subdue her husband as well as all her unconventional and eccentric traits have come to be naturalized and forced with time on her society. The foregoing example validates Butler’s claim that “Gender is not passively scripted on the body, and neither is it determined by nature, language, the symbolic, or the overwhelming history of patriarchy. Gender is what is put on, invariably, under constraint, daily and incessantly, with anxiety and pleasure” (1988:526) (our italics).

The transitivity analyses invariably disclose Mema as the one who puts on masculinity in that she is repeatedly foregrounded in roles like using witchcraft to subdue her husband, controlling her husband’s manhood and will and running every single thing in the household with a heavy and a big mouth, etc. She is also represented as the bearer of such attributes and Values as strong, angry, a good speaker, the most intelligent person, a treasure of tales and proverbs, etc. By contrast, Pepa, Mema’s husband is portrayed as someone who, under constraint, puts on femininity. Interestingly enough, Pepa is not foregrounded in processes with a positive denotation and connotation. He is rather portrayed as A lion with broken legs who could no longer bounce and pounce (see clauses 9 and 10 in D6).Attributes and Values like docile, a very calm and placid man with no real manly power, an empty shell, A soundless tom-tom, etc., are all suggestive of Pepa’s gender. Like Mema, Akoma and Nkulanveng’s wife are depicted as women who defy and vanquish their husbands. Both women challenge their husbands by political solidarity (Hooks, 2000). They want all the men in their village to go and beg Biloghe, one of theirs, back from her parents. They then devise various strategies to make the men comply with their request, which they finally do. This role taken on by the two women denotes power. Butler (2009) argues that the reproduction of gender is always a negotiation of power. The term ‘power’ refers to the ability to control people or things (Hornby, 2010). Power should also be understood here as access to and control of institutions like government, religion, family, school, language, to name just a few. Power, as most people naively think, is not naturally given; it is earned through a stylized repetition of performed acts in a social practice. As Daniel Mengara’s literary language exudes, it is women who actually own and exercise power, not men. Nkulanveng’s wife notes this in what follows: “92. all the males (Cr) in this village (Cl) have been (Pi) very silent and inactive(At)”.It follows from this to establish here that, though men obviously rule the world, women actually rule the lives of the men who rule the world.

 

References.

Allagbé, A. A. (2016). “Character Naming and Authorial Attitudes in Contemporary African Literature”, in Research on Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 6, No. 4. Pp. 20-28.

Allagbé, A. A. and Allagbé, A. M. (2015). “A Cross-Examination of Female Masculinities and Male Femininities in Mema by Daniel Mengara”, in Studies in English Language Teaching. Vol. 3, No. 4. Pp. 384-394.

Butler, J. (2009). “Performativity, Precarity and Sexual Politics”, in AIBR. Revista de Antropologia Iberoamericana. Volume 4, Numero 3. Pp. i-xiii.

Butler, J. (2004). Undoing Gender, First Edition. Great Britain: Routledge.

Butler, J. (1990/1999). Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Great Britain: Routledge.

Butler, J. (1988). “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory”, in Theatre Journal, Vol. 40, No. 4, 519-531.

Capo-Chichi, L. C., Allagbé, A. M. and Allagbé, A. A. (2016). “Women’s Empowerment against Wife-Battery in Daniel Mengara’s Mema”, in International Journal of Advanced Research. Volume 4, Issue 5, 1144-1157.

Eggins, S. (1994/2004). An Introduction to Systemic Functional Linguistics.London: Pinter Publishers.

Fairclough, N. (1989). Language and Power, First Edition. New York: Longman Group UK Limited.

Fontaine, L. (2013). Analysing English Grammar: A Systemic Functional Introduction. First Edition. New-York: Cambridge University Press.

Fowler, R. (1986). Linguistic Criticism, First Edition. UK: University Press.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1971). “Linguistic Function and Literary Style: An inquiry into the Language of William Golding’s The Inheritors”, in S. B. Chatman (ed) Literary Style, London and New York: Oxford University Press.

Halliday, M. A. K. & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2004). An Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Arnold.

Holmes, J. and Meyerhoff, M. (2003). The Handbook of Language and Gender, First Edition. USA: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Hooks, B. (2000). Feminism is for everybody: passionate politics. Canada: South End Press.

Hornby, A. S. (2010). Oxford Advanced Learner´s Dictionary of Current English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hubbard, E.H. (1999). “Love, War and Lexicogrammar: Transitivity and Characterisation inThe Moor’s Last Sigh”, in Journal of Literary Studies, Taylor and Francis.

Koussouhon A. L. and Agbachi, F. (2016). “Ambivalent Gender Identities in Contemporary African Literature: A Butlerian Perspective”, in Journal for the Study of English Linguistics, Vol. 4, No.1. Pp. 81-97.

Koussouhon, A. L., Akogbéto, P., Koutchadé, I. and Allagbé, A. A. (2015). “Decoding The Context Of Ideology In Two Extracts From A Contemporary Ghanaian Prose Work”, in International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 2, No. 4. Pp. 129-139.

Koussouhon A. L. and Amoussou Y. C. (2015). “Characterisation, Authority and Ideology in Ngugi’s Devil on the Cross”, in Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences. Vol. 6, No. 4. Pp. 279-289.

Koussouhon, A. L. and Dossoumou, A. M. (2015a). “Exploring Ideational Metafunction in Helon Habila’s Oil on Water: A re-evaluation and redefinition of African Women’s Personality and Identity through Literature”, in International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, Vol. 4, No. 5. Pp. 129-136.

Koussouhon, A. L. and Dossoumou, A. M. (2015b). “Analyzing Interpersonal Metafunction through Mood and Modality in Kaine Agary’s Yellow-Yellow from Critical Discourse and Womanist Perspective”, in International Journal of English Linguistics, Vol. 5, No. 6. Pp. 19-33.

Koussouhon, A. L., Akogbéto, P. and Allagbé, A. A. (2015a). “Gender Relations and Mood Choices: A Systemic Functional Analysis of Amma Darko’s The Housemaid”, in Revue Internationale De Sciences Humaines, Sociales et Techniques, Issue 3. Pp. 148-171.

Koussouhon, A. L., Akogbéto, P. and Allagbé, A. A. (2015b). “Portrayal Of Male Characters By A Contemporary Female Writer: A Feminist Linguistic Perspective”, in International Journal of Advanced Research. Volume 3, Issue 12, 314-322.

Koussouhon, A. L. and Dossoumou, A. M. (2014). “Lexicogrammatical Analysis of Yellow-Yellow by Kaine Agary with a Focus on Experiential and Textual Meanings”, in Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, Vol. 5, No 23. Pp. 2430-2438.

Koussouhon, A. L. and Allagbé, A. A. (2013). “The Lexicogrammar of Chimamanda Ngozi  Adichie’s Fiction: A Systemic Functional Contribution”, in Langage & Devenir, N°22, Revue Semestrielle. Pp. 19-44.

Koutchadé, I. S. and Mehouénou, S. (2016). “Male-Female Characters’ Tenor of Discourse in Akachi Ezeigbo’s The Last of the Strong Ones”, in International Journal of Linguistics, Vol. 8, No. 3. Pp. 167-182.

Lakoff, R. (1975). Language and Woman’s Place. New York: Harper & Row.

Mengara, D. (2003). Mema (1st ed.). London: Heinemann.

Monro, S. (2005). Gender Politics: Citizenship, Activism and Sexual Diversity. London: Pluto Press.

Phillips, L. (2006). The Womanist Reader, First Edition. New York: Routledge.

Simpson, P. (1993). Language, Ideology and Point of view. London and New York: Routledge.

Simpson, P. (2004). Stylistics: A Resource Book for Students, First Edition. London: Routledge.

Sunderland, J. (2006). Language and Gender: An Advanced Resource Book. First Edition. London and New York: Routledge.

Woloshyn, V., Taber, N., & Lane, L. (2013). “Discourses of Masculinity and Femininity in the Hunger Games: Scarred, Blood and Stunning”, in International Journal of Social Science Studies, 1(1), 150-160.

Yule, G. (2010).The Study Of Language, Fourth Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Article n°18- Rilale-Uac/ Volume 1, Issue n°1

ANALYSIS OF SPEECH ACTS IN DONALD TRUMP’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH.

 

 

Crépin D. LOKO

Université d’Abomey-Calavi

lokocrepine1@yahoo.fr

 

TELECHARGER VERSION PDF

Résumé:

Cet article vise à effectuer une analyse pragmatique d’un extrait du discours d’acceptation que Donald Trump a prononcé lors de la Convention Nationale des Républicains le 21 juillet 2016. L’étude porte essentiellement sur l’identification et l’analyse des traits linguistiques des actes de langage (Austin 1962 et Searl 1969) décelés dans le langage politique de ce discours d’acceptation pour découvrir la manière dont Donald Trump a codé ses propres intentions et les attentes de son parti. L’identification des actes illocutoires indique la présence d’actes représentatifs, d’actes directifs, d’actes expressifs, d’actes exprimant des engagements et d’actes déclaratifs. L’interprétation des résultats révèle la prédominance d’actes représentatifs, ce qui montre que Trump a surtout exprimé ses convictions personnelles, d’une part, et a aussi affiché son engagement de vérité à conduire son parti à la Maison-Blanche, d’autre part. Les actes illocutoires directifs sont utilisés pour suggérer certaines solutions, tandis que les actes d’engagements sont utilisés pour signaler les défis de sécurité et de paix à relever une fois élus. Quant aux actes expressifs, ils reflètent l’état psychologique de Trump, pendant qu’il s’adresse au public lors de la convention. L’article conclut que l’étude des actes de langage facilite la compréhension du message contenu dans le discours du président Donald Trump.

Mots-clés: actes de langage, Convention Nationale des Républicains, pragmatique, discours politique, actes illocutoires.

 

Abstract:

This article aims at carrying out a pragmatic analysis of a selected extract from Donald Trump’s acceptance speech delivered at the Republican National Convention on July 21st, 2016. The study mainly focuses on the identification and the analysis of linguistic features of speech acts (Austin 1962 and Searl 1969) used in the political language of the acceptance speech to uncover the way Donald Trump has encoded his own intentions and his party’s expectations therein. The identification of illocutionary acts indicates the presence of representative acts, directive acts, expressive acts, commissive acts, and declarative acts. The interpretation of the findings reveals the dominance of representative illocutionary acts which shows that Trump has mainly expressed his personal beliefs, on the one hand, and displayed his truth engagement to lead his party to the White House, on the other. Directive illocutionary acts are used to suggest some solutions, while commissive acts are used to point out challenges of security and peace to be taken up once elected. As for expressive acts, they reflect Trump’s psychological state, while addressing the audience at the convention. The article concludes that the study of speech acts has made it easy to comprehend the message in President Donald Trump’s speech.

Keywords: Speech acts, Republican National Convention, Pragmatics, political speech, illocutionary acts.

Continue Reading….
Layout mode
Predefined Skins
Custom Colors
Choose your skin color
Patterns Background
Images Background