Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Research Background
For many years, studies of college English teaching materials have become a hot spot in the research of English teaching in China. The existing literature on college English textbooks mainly focus on textbook publication, textbook development, textbook construction, textbook evaluation, problems and countermeasures. Meanwhile, studies focusing on the language of college English textbooks have been conducted mainly from the perspectives of discourse analysis, second language acquisition, cognitive analysis and multimodality, covering aspects of textbook vocabulary, semantics and cultural distribution. Previous studies applying Appraisal Theory involved discourse analysis including those conducted on news, advertisements, book reviews, etc. and applications in the field of translation and language teaching, among which there were relatively few applications to college English materials.
The College English Teaching Guide (2020 Edition) reads, “Teaching materials are an important carrier of new knowledge, ideas and concepts, the main carrier of teaching content, and a basic guarantee for achieving teaching goals.” In 2019, The General Office of the Central Committee of the CPC and the General Office of the State Council clearly put forward the requirements of overall planning and promotion of the content construction of ideological and political theory courses. It requires giving full play to the ideological education function of the curriculum, building a comprehensive, diverse, progressive and mutually supportive curriculum system, and making all levels of courses and ideological and political theory courses go in the same direction, forming a synergistic effect. Higher Education Press, as a publishing unit directly under the Ministry of Education, was the first to focus on this field and produce the set of teaching materials New Era Mingde College English (three volumes in total). This set of teaching materials attaches importance to cultivating students’ high moral character and correct values, realizing the function of moral and political education of teaching materials, and organically integrating the teaching of college English with the teaching of ideological and political theories.
1.2 Research Questions
This thesis investigates attitude resources in the discourses of New Era Mingde College English(Integrated Book 1) in light of Attitude System and found out each attitude resource used in the discourses and the distribution of them. Furthermore, this thesis analyzed the interpersonal functions performed in the discourses based on the results and the features.
1. What types of attitude resources are used in the textbook New Era Mingde College English(Integrated Book 1) and how are they distributed?
2. What interpersonal functions do the attitude resources perform in the textbook New Era Mingde College English(Integrated Book 1)?
Chapter Two Literature Review
2.1 Relevant Studies of Attitude System
The Attitude System is the main part of the Appraisal Theory, which is often widely used in the analysis of news, editorials, advertisements, book reviews, literature, and legal texts. By reviewing previous research on attitude theory and applying the corresponding perspectives, the author finds that the application of attitude system is widespread and relatively mature. In this section, the author carefully reviews the three dimensions of attitude systems that have been applied most frequently. The discourse mentioned here includes news, legal discourse, advertising discourse, literature or book reviews, etc.
2.1.1 Studies of Attitude System on Various Discourses
News, speeches and advertisements, which are discourse delivered in public, usually have the same characteristics and they are the areas where Attitude System are most applied. This kind of discourse has a large audience and strong influence, and can convey certain ideologies and values to the audience. The analysis of attitude resources used in them can reveal the attitude and opinions conveyed by authors in these public discourses. Rodriguez (2011), using information from commentaries in British national newspapers, worked within the framework of systemic functional linguistics to analyze appraisal resources in the semantic domain of attitude. Throughout the paper, it was demonstrated how appraisal meanings play a part in the propagation of ideologies, the construction of textual styles and author identities, and the negotiation of writer-reader relationships. Veloso and Feng(2018) analyzed a political propaganda video released during the 2010 presidential election in Brazil during the final week of the run-off between Dilma Rousseff and Jose Serra and employed the appraisal system to investigate the language used in the video voice-over aimed at persuading people not to vote for Rousseff. The study revealed the discursive construction of a political struggle in Brazil and provides a methodological model for the systematic analysis of public discourse and language structure.
2.2 Relevant Studies on College English Teaching Materials
Teaching materials are such important teaching and learning aids in classrooms around the world (Mishan & Timmis, 2015). This section analyzes a large number of domestic and foreign Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL) university English teaching materials, covering textbook development, textbook publication, textbook reform, teachers’ and students’ use of the materials, and analysis of the language and content of the materials. The author adopts the classification of Harwood, N. (2014) in order to better and more clearly organize the related materials, and elaborates them separately from three aspects of materials content, consumption and production.
2.2.1 Studies of Materials Content
According to Harwood’s classification, studies of materials contents are the researches conducted at the level of the handout or text page, including what materials include and exclude in terms of topic, linguistic information, and culture(2014). Studies on the linguistic aspects of textbooks include the analysis of vocabulary lists, sentences, and discourses in textbooks, and this paper’s analysis of textbooks from the perspective of Appraisal Theory also falls into this category. Studies on culture in textbooks focus on the distribution of culture in textbooks, such as whether it is balanced and biased.
Chapter Three Theoretical Foundation ....................................... 18
3.1 Introduction to the Interpersonal Metafunction of SFL .................................. 18
3.2 Introduction to Attitude System of Appraisal Theory ................................. 19
Chapter Four Research Methodology.......................................... 25
4.1 Data Collection .............................. 25
4.2 Research Instrument .................................... 26
Chapter Five Types and Distribution of Attitude Resources in the Textbook ............... 28
5.1 Types of Attitude Resources .................................. 28
5.2 Distribution of Attitude Resources .................................... 30
Chapter Six Interpersonal Functions Performed by Attitude Resources in the Textbook
6.1 Providing Diverse Information
As presented in the data of attitude resources, the largest proportion and more than half of this material is appreciation resources, which are used to evaluate things, and most of the resources used are positive. Being an English textbook for the purpose of moral and political education, the author found that the use of attitude resources in the text can lead students to recognize the diversity of things and guide them to expand their horizons while learning the language, and to recognize the world and the diversity of things with an appreciative perspective. The following section provides examples and explanations of this situation.
The quote is from the Do As You Would Be Done by passage in this textbook, which tells learners to learn to be tolerant and forgiving by introducing the story of Abraham Lincoln’s enjoyment of mocking people when he was young. The use of “Oh” in this sentence is an implicit attitude resources, which expresses the surprise that the writer leads the readers to feel, and belongs to the security resources of the affect resources. The effect of such attitude resources in the text is different from the direct expression, and allows learners to realize the multifaceted nature of successful people through this emotional turn of events. The multifaceted nature of each person is not just the single one we used to think of. First of all, accept your own shortcomings, accept your own imperfections, in order to gradually change it.
Chapter Seven Conclusion
7.1 Major Findings
In this study, the author systematically collected and sorted the attitude resources that appeared in the discourses of the textbook New Era Mingde College English(Integrated Book 1). Through the integration and inductive analysis of the data, the author reached a conclusion on the two research questions raised in the previous section, which are explained in turn.
For the first research question, the distribution of the attitude resources of various types in the material was shown as follows. In general, attitude resources are widely used in the material, and they are distributed in three kinds of resources: affect resources, judgment resources, and appreciation resources. 1353 times of attitude resources are found in 16 discourses, among which there are 152 affect resources (11.2%), judgment resources accounted for 30.6%, with a total of 414, while appreciation resources accounted for the largest proportion, more than half, accounting for 58.2%, with a total of 787. This textbook is oriented to moral and political education in English. The core of this book is centered on the personal dimension of the core values of Chinese socialism of “patriotism, dedication, honesty, and friendship”, and it also covers the excellent personal qualities of “cooperation” and “dedication”. In conveying and promoting these elements of moral and political education, the essays are mostly developed in two ways: one is to explicitly praise or promote the outstanding personal qualities, and the other is to comment on the outstanding qualities and life choices of the person through sidebar biographies. In these two kinds of essays, appreciation resources and judgment resources are effectively used. These two attitudes reflect a more objective and realistic effect in giving evaluations of the target things, which helps this textbook convey more correct values and guide learners’ healthy growth.