Saturday, February 11, 2017

IELTS Review: What You Need to Know about Literary Discourse

If you are one of those who are not into reading, you might want to reconsider. Best IELTS review centers emphasize the importance of exposing oneself to various types of discourse, as it helps widen one’s vocabulary and perspectives.

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Are you familiar with literary discourse? Chances are, you have already encountered it, but you just do not know that it is called as such. A literary discourse, contrary to what the term implies, is not solely focused on creative works like novels, plays and poems. It may also refer to texts that are factual and informative in nature.

How does knowing about various types of literary discourse help you with the IELTS exam? The answer is simple: exposure. Exposing yourself to various kinds of discourse broaden your perspectives on certain issues and concepts. It also allows you to explore various writing techniques—how a topic is developed or how a claim or counterclaim is supported—which is helpful when you undergo any language proficiency exam.

Instructors in IELTS review centers in Davao, in case you plan to enroll in one, encourage students to do some reading of both literary and nonliterary texts. They also conduct assessments, practical tests and mock exams to gauge and improve your language skills.

Here are three types of literary discourse:

1.    Expressive – An expressive discourse refers to a personal narrative usually written in the first-person point of view. It is commonly observed in texts classified as creative nonfiction (e.g., blogs, journals, diaries, etc.).

The Diary of a Young Girl is a book based on the life of the author Anne Frank. In the book, she describes how her day went, what her classmates were like, what she was like in school, etc. The story gives readers a glimpse of Anne’s thoughts.

2.    Poetic – A poetic discourse refers to how language is used to create sensory images or to present philosophical/literary concepts, themes and more. It contains figurative language and idiomatic expressions; verses and sound patterns are some of its distinct features (i.e., poems). It is commonly observed in poems, short stories, novels and plays, among others. 

Example:

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,/ And sorry I could not travel both/ And be one traveler, long I stood/ And looked down one as far as I could/ To where it bent in the undergrowth;.” ― “The Road Not Taken,” Robert Frost

Explanation:
In the poem, Robert Frost used the road as a metaphor when making life-changing decisions. Also, he used the sound pattern ABAAB in this poem.


3.    Transactional – A transactional discourse aims to provide information on how something is done or achieved. It is commonly observed in manuals or instructional materials, editorials and advertisements, among others.

Example:
How to Cook Chicken Adobo

Ingredients:
1/2 kg chicken wings
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 dried bay leaves
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons of vinegar
1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns
1–2 cups of water
salt to taste

Procedure:

1.    Prepare all the ingredients.
2.    Heat the pan over medium flame. Add 2–3 tablespoons of oil.
3.    Sauté garlic. Add chicken wings. Cook for 3–4 minutes.
4.    Pour 1/2 cup of soy sauce. Simmer for at least five minutes in low heat.
5.    Pour 1–2 cups of water. Add 1 tablespoon of whole peppercorns and 2 dried bay leaves. Let it simmer. 
6.    Add 4 tablespoons of vinegar. Let it simmer until the wings are tender.
7.    Add salt to taste.
8.    Serve and enjoy.

Explanation:
The example above shows how something is done, such as cooking a chicken adobo. It provides a detailed list of what the reader (or the one who will cook the dish) needs and how to accomplish it.

Your knowledge of these types of literary discourse is useful in the Reading and Writing components of the IELTS exam. (Tasks vary depending on the IELTS type: Academic or General Training.) In the Writing exam, you will interpret visual information, express opinions and compose a letter.

In General Training Reading, you will read materials relevant to the usage of the English language in the workplace and the community. Meanwhile, in Academic Reading, you will read texts derived from books, magazines, journals and newspapers.

To put it briefly, your exposure to various discourses as part of your training can give you an idea of what you will most likely encounter in the IELTS exam. Joining IELTS review centers in Davao is one of the best options as they do not only walk you through the ins and outs of the exam but also provides you with exercises and tips to improve your language abilities.

Keep in mind that no matter how convenient enrolling in the best IELTS review center may be, you need a follow-up to ensure comprehension and retention.


References:
“What Are the Different Types of Literary Discourse?” Wisegeek. Accessed January 17, 2016. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-literary-discourse.htm
“Discourse.” Literary Devices. Accessed January 16, 2017. https://literarydevices.net/discourse/.
“Discourse Examples.” SoftSchools.com. Accessed January 16, 2017. http://softschools.com/examples/literary_terms/discourse_examples/282/.
Frost, Robert . "The Road Not Taken." Bartleby.com. Accessed January 16, 2017. http://www.bartleby.com/119/1.html.
 


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