Quite often people get involved in certain situations where they may have to talk about others. Sometimes they may have to talk about other things such as places, things, events, processes and so on. This is why we have included description as one of the discourses to be addressed in classroom transaction. As in the case of other discourses this discourse also has its own hierarchies:
  • The description of a place graduates itself as travelogue
  • Describing events ends up with writing narratives or news reports
  • Describing a person can lead to writing biographical sketches and profiles
  • Describing a process becomes writing recipes
The classroom process of constructing this discourse depends upon what type of description is targeted and the stage at which the learners are undertaking the task. Let us see what will make the theme of the description. Describing a person Details such as who and what the person is, the physical attributes, societal status, achievements, contributions, personal impressions.
Describing an object
Details such as what it is, where it is found, physical properties such as shape and colour, what it is used for etc.
Describing a place
Scenic details of the location, images, sensory perceptions etc.
Describing events
Details such as what the event is, where it is taking place, the persons or things involved, the order of events, scenic details, images, sensory perceptions etc.
Describing a process
Details such as what it is for, things involved, sequence etc.The language used for dealing with these details at various stages also will be different. Let me illustrate the point.Please note that description as a distinct discourse is relevant at the lower levels; at higher levels description may get merged with other discourses such as narratives, autobiographies, even in dramas and screen plays.