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Ignore that 'cause it's totally irrelevant: marking less important information in lectures
Deroey, Katrien
2011Katrien DEROEY


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Abstract :
[en] This study uses the British Academic Spoken English (BASE) lecture corpus to map the ways in which lecturers help students distinguish between important and less important discourse. More specifically, this investigation is innovative in its focus on metadiscursive signals of the relative “unimportance” of particular discourse. Together with highlighting devices, such cues arguably benefit note-taking and the on-line processing of lectures. The findings from this analysis should therefore be of interest both to EAP practitioners and educationalists trying to improve listening, note-taking and speaking skills in the context of lectures. A subcorpus of 40 BASE lectures was read to identify potential lexico-grammatical cues of less important discourse. Using Sketch Engine, these were then quantified in the whole corpus, along with the negative forms of highlighting devices drawn from Crawford Camiciottoli 2007. Interestingly, the subcorpus contained few explicit lexico-grammatical markers of less relevant discourse (e.g. never mind that's by the way; this isn't the main thing to take away with you) or references to assessment (e.g. this isn't something you will be examined on). Instead, it tended to contain indications which in the lecture context can sometimes be taken to convey that certain topics are less important. These mainly included statements about how a topic will be treated in terms of time spent on it (e.g. I’ll briefly touch upon...) or the level of detail (e.g. i'm not going to talk in detail about this) as well as directions for note-taking (e.g. you don't need to copy this down). These qualitative findings were borne out in the quantitative analysis. Implications for EAP syllabus design will be discussed.
Disciplines :
Languages & linguistics
Author, co-author :
Deroey, Katrien ;  University of Luxembourg > Central Administration
Language :
Title :
Ignore that 'cause it's totally irrelevant: marking less important information in lectures
Publication date :
12 April 2011
Event name :
Katrien DEROEY
Event organizer :
Event place :
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Event date :
10-04-2011 to 12-04-2011
Audience :
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