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EFL Students’ Discourse Strategies in an English-medium Undergraduate Seminar

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Authors
구정연
Advisor
박용예
Major
인문대학 영어영문학과
Issue Date
2013-02
Publisher
서울대학교 대학원
Keywords
discourse strategiesconversation analysisdebatedisagreementEAP studiesConversational Management StrategiesTopic Management StrategiesSocial Strategiesseminar class
Description
학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 영어영문학과, 2013. 2. 박용예.
Abstract
The current study examines discourse strategies used by undergraduate students in a college English-medium seminar debate class within the framework of Conversation Analysis. The debate is one of the conflict talks whose main activity is agreements and disagreements, primarily focusing on bi-party interaction. Thus far, discourse strategies in a debate class have rarely been studied. Compared to the previous studies, this study, in particular, investigates discourse strategies that students use in an English-medium content class. The study also treats multi-party interactions focusing on how students show disagreements in terms of the discourse patterns holding the interactional perspectives.
The data for this study consists of nine English-medium classes, which are audio-recorded then transcribed. The class is an English-mediated seminar debate class, which includes two students’ presentations and a group debate. It is one of the mandatory courses for students who are going to major/minor in the social science in the department of the College of Liberal Studies at one of the universities in Seoul. Each class lasts for 75 minutes and nine classes are collected. The participants are twenty-two Korean students with various majors, and two exchange students, who come from Canada and Hong Kong.
The framework of this study is adopted from Waring (2000) whose discourse strategies are classified into three parts: Conversational Management Strategies, Topic Management Strategies, and Social Strategies. Thus, the major findings focus on these three parts. Each strategy also has its sub-types such as the following: Conversational Management Strategies have two types: (1) the strategy of linking to a prior turn with the phrases “adding to X” or “add to one’s point,” and (2) the strategy of making early entries. Second, Topic Management Strategies have three types: (1) the strategy of disagreements including direct, indirect and questions, such as “no (s),” and “but” as direct disagreements, “yeah but”, “yeah X but,” ‘‘it is true X but’’ and “I agree with X but,” as indirect disagreements, yes-no type and Wh-type questions showing a speaker’s disagreement, (2) the strategy of reformulation prefaced with “so you’re saying” and “you said that,” and (3) the strategy of repair which is self-initiated, other-completed one which has lexical turn construction units. Third, Social Strategies have two types of mitigating strategies: (1) the strategy of vulnerability acknowledging non-understanding with “I don’t know”, “I don’t understand,” and “I’m not sure,” and (2) the strategy of vulnerability for avoiding conflicts with the citation form, “according to X.” The discourse strategies in the present study reflect the nature of the setting, i.e., debate, in that showing the preferred turn shapes during disagreements, using various direct and indirect disagreement expressions.
This study contributes to understanding interaction between participants in an English-medium debate class and to finding discourse patterns among students by investigating discourse strategies and expressions. In particular, the present study shows that overall students’ participation is quite limited and that the students who join the debate display the skewing turn distribution patterns and the limited use of the discourse strategies. In this regard, this study offers significant pedagogical implications in the field of English for Academic Purposes at the college English level, by suggesting that it is necessary to change to improve the current situations, i.e., using limited discourse strategies and showing limited participation in an English-medium seminar discussion classes.
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/131888
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College of Humanities (인문대학)English Language and Literature (영어영문학과)Theses (Master's Degree_영어영문학과)
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