Awareness of Critical Discourse Analysis Underpins Learners’ Sociolinguistic Competence and Language Use

Fawzi Al Ghazali
Al Hosn University
Keywords: Linguistic Competence, CDA, Language Use, Language Register, Sociolinguistics


As a special approach in discourse analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) aims to study the discursive conditions and consequences of power abuse practised by dominant groups or institutions (van Dijk, 1995). It contributes to raising awareness of the discursive strategies employed by elite groups in order to control the minds of minor ones. It permits them to free themselves from the compulsions and limitations that deprive them of their right to think critically and have the freedom of choice. In the discipline of language learning, learners’ awareness of CDA enables them to read critically and produce language in more logical manner. It is one way to empower them with adequate reading and writing strategies and to enhance their consciousness of using speech acts in meaningful context. This paper analyses a text following the framework of text analysis proposed by Fairclough (1992). The authentic text was selected reflecting one aspect of the British culture that does not have the common agreement of the ruling parties in the British community. It holds significant debate between representatives of the Conservative Party and the Labour Party that was taking over at that time. The analysis shows how the lexical and syntactic connotations reflect the attitudes of each Party and the newspaper publishing this article as well. The paper provides insights into how CDA can enhance learners’ sociolinguistic competence and language use.