So we just read the article by Swales about discourse communities and their importance. When reading that article I caught myself thinking about my schedule at school and in my life. While being a full time student and working I constantly experience multiple different environments. At UNC Charlotte most full time students are enrolled in four or five classes maybe even six. I currently am taking six classes for 17 credit hours. This is a large consumption of my time and I have to focus on many different sides of the learning spectrums. From taking URWT 1103 to taking Chemistry 1200 I have many different topics going through my head on a daily basis. While some classes will be similar while taking general education courses you are guaranteed to have a class that completely opposes one of your other courses. Mine would be science technology and society and URWT 1103.
In science, technology, and society we discuss how technology and society interact together. When I’m in this class I feel restricted to factual knowledge and not my own freedom to voice my thoughts. When we have to write there is always a length requirement and a direct idea we have to choose. There is no open ended questions we are allowed to leave for others to evaluate and think about. We constantly discuss how things work, advancements in modern day society, and things to come in the future. We have to do research on topics, constantly read articles well known scientist have written or their ideas are what the article is based upon. It is acceptable to say what you think in discussion in the actual class but there is always a wrong or right answer and getting the answer wrong tends to be embarrassing.
While on the opposite end of my discourse spectrum there is my URWT 1103 course. Where I am allowed to clearly voice my opinion and thoughts in class discussions and in my actual writings. Every student is given the chance to leave an open ended question that gives their peers a chance to evaluate the topic. With this opportunity we are forced to think more and put more focus and effort into the actual process of writing about these topics. There is no right or wrong in the discussion because what you have to say on a topic is generally accepted amongst the class. However, what you say may be objected against by another student which makes the discussions more interactive and enjoyable.
The way discourse communities can be associated to academics is by knowing when and where certain things are acceptable. Freely speaking is accepted in some classes where as in others teachers value their time to speak and hate when students speak out to object the topic and matter at hand. Many professors I have in my first semester and a half of college are usually strongly set on their side of a topic and don’t give the other side a chance. Certain languages and literacy are accepted in different classrooms. By this I mean you need to know how to speak up in a class and when to voice your opinion in the class.
Discourse communities are seen in academics, professional and social environments throughout our lives. Their will always be various languages and ways of communications that are appropriate at and in certain situations. The various amounts of classes we enroll in while at UNC Charlotte tend to help students learn when these languages and methods will be appropriate in their future lives after graduation. So personally I feel that the discourse communities we experience now are here to help benefit us in our near and distant futures.