Doctoral thesis (Dissertations and theses)
Relevance marking in lectures: a corpus-based study
DEROEY, Katrien


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Keywords :
Relevance marking; Lectures; English for Academic purposes
Abstract :
[en] The internationalisation of higher education and the use of English as an academic lingua franca has led to an increased need for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. Since the lecture remains a central instructional method, some universities organise courses to help non-native speakers (NNS) understand lectures and take notes; a few universities also provide language training to help their NNS staff lecture in English. Since these courses require language training that is tailored to the lecture context, their design should be based on the features that typify the lecture as a communicative event. However, relatively little is known about this genre that can inform the design of EAP courses in lecture listening, note-taking and delivery. The main aim of this dissertation is therefore to contribute corpus linguistic findings that are useful in this respect.My research has focussed on relevance marking in lectures. More specifically, analysing lectures from the British Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus1, I have identified the lexicogrammatical devices lecturers use to indicate the comparative relevance or importance of parts of their discourse (e.g. the point is, this is important to remember, I want to emphasise; irrelevant; anyway; ignore; not write down). Marking relevance is arguably an essential part of successful lecture delivery since it can help students process the lecture, form a coherent mental picture of its content and take notes efficiently.
[en] This dissertation by publication contains five articles and six introductory chapters. Deroey & Taverniers (2011) is a general study of the genre and provides an overview of lecture functions based on an examination of a lecture subcorpus and a literature study. Deroey (2012) investigates one information highlighting construction, basic wh-clefts, to establish what are the functions of the highlighted discourse and what this reveals about the genre and its disciplinary variation. Deroey & Taverniers (2012a) presents a comprehensive overview of lexicogrammatical markers of important discourse and classifies these into different patterns, while Deroey (submitted) proposes a classification in terms of their interactive and textual orientation. Finally, Deroey & Taverniers (2012b) explores the ways in which lecturers mark less important discourse lexicogrammatically. The six introductory chapters sketch the background to these studies by discussing (1) the lecture genre; (2) relevance marking as a metadiscursive feature; (3) internationalisation and English-medium instruction in higher education; (4) non-native speakers‖ difficulties with English lecture delivery and comprehension; (5) the research rationale; and (6) the lecture corpus.
Disciplines :
Languages & linguistics
Author, co-author :
DEROEY, Katrien ;  University of Luxembourg > Central Administration ; University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS) > Institute for Research on Multilingualism
Language :
Title :
Relevance marking in lectures: a corpus-based study
Defense date :
Institution :
UGent - Universiteit Gent, Ghent, Belgium
Degree :
Phd in Linguistics
Promotor :
Taverniers, Miriam
Vandenbergen, Ann-Marie
President :
Haegeman, Liliane
Jury member :
Swales, John
Nesi, Hilary
Eyckmans, June
Available on ORBilu :
since 09 July 2014


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