A. I. Dzyubenko, Ph.D in Linguistics, Assistant Professor,
ORCID 0000-0002-3228-4277, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org,
E. A. Lysenko, Post-Graduate,
Southern Federal University,
Fictional discourse is a specific kind of objective reality representation. It stands out among other types of discourse being stylistically and pragmatically strongly marked as it proves to be loaded with the creative intentions of the writer as the sender of the information alongside with its being intentionally structured in terms of the usage of means belonging to all language levels. Theoretically it is interpreted as a coherent text incorporating extralinguistic – pragmatic, sociocultural, psychological and other factors, it is a text taken in the event aspect, it is speech considered as a targeted social action, as a component involved in the interaction of people and their mechanisms of consciousness and cognitive processes [1, р. 136–137].
It is necessary to distinguish between the phenomena of text and discourse. The relation of these concepts corresponds to the relation of “part” and “whole”. A text is meant to be any sequence of sentences drawn up in time and space that serve to express the general [6, р. 149–171], while discourse is a combination of extralinguistic factors accompanying the process of text reproduction. Discourse is a communication process and its result (text). The culture, stereotypes, and mentality of the author of artistic discourse are reflected in the literary text and, subsequently, influence the reader. Fictional discourse often carries a philosophical and psychological message, inducing the reader to think and introspect. Moreover, the author does not express his point of view directly, but does it indirectly, using various stylistic and figurative means. This feature shows another feature specific to artistic discourse – diversity and polysemy [2, р. 234].
Within the framework of classroom foreign language study authentic fictional discourse becomes a vital source of word stock formation and vocabulary build-up as it gives full understanding and originally true picture of a foreign language functioning in general, and of its basic grammatical, lexical and stylistic peculiarities in particular. With such an approach to the fictional discourse as an inseparable component of the high school English language curriculum it turns into an important aspect of compulsory covering.
The carried out analysis of current textbook – Spotlight – recommended by the Ministry of Education for Russian high school showed that the fictional discourse is introduced in the systematic way and is methodologically correctly structured from its minimum representation in the book for the 9th grade (the original discourse is presented with the example of W. Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”) [3, 86]. It should be noted that the linguistic and sociocultural competencies are actualized through giving the corresponding information disclosing the peculiarities of scientific, cultural, politic, environmental, healthcare issues [3, р. 11, 80, 58, 37, 112]. Such an approach prepares the learners of the foreign language for analytical reading and discussion of the problems raised in the fictional discourse extracts at a later stage of study. In the above mentioned texts there are plots that entail further discussion and reproduction, but the rare introduction of stylistic means (with the exception of some signals of sequence and epithets) cab hardly become the ground for stylistically marked speech – both oral and written – of the high school students.
At a later stage – in "Spotlight" designed for the 10th and 11th grades – we encounter more extensive excerpts of authentic fictional discourse that presents multitude of ideas and authentic ways of representing thoughts through various lexical stylistic means and grammatical structures. Within the Literature Section in every Module of the textbooks the examples of classic English literature are presented (fictional discourses by L. Alcott, E. Nesbit, A.C. Doyle, Ch. Dickens, H. Wells) [4, р. 16, 34, 70, 108; 5, р. 52, 90, 126, 144] alongside with the examples of English translations of the Russian (A. Chekhov) and French (J. Verne, G. Leroux) authors [4, р. 52, 88, 128]. Such an approach gives an access to the language both in its “pure” original form generated by the native writers and in translation undergoing some linguistic and sociocultural transformations.
Such a systematic approach results in logical introduction of fictional discourse that gradually prepares the learners for analytical work with the text through the scrutinizing of stylistic means and structures belonging to different language levels. However, we suppose it to be methodologically reasonable to include the examples of fictional discourse created by the modern British and American writers as their creative work is the vivid representation of the contemporary actual way the language functions in different genres. Moreover, it can also contribute for the widening of not only linguistic but sociocultural scope of the high school students.