Reference : A qualitative corpus-based study of lecture functions
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
A qualitative corpus-based study of lecture functions
Deroey, Katrien mailto [University of Luxembourg > Central Administration > >]
British Association for Applied Linguistics
11-09-2008 to 13-09-2008
[en] Increasing student and lecturer mobility along with the spread of English as an academic lingua franca (Mauranen, 2006) means a growing number of university lecturers in Europe are delivering at least some lectures in English. Well-designed English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses can help lecturers whose first language is not English in meeting this challenge and findings from corpus linguistic research on authentic lectures are invaluable in informing decisions about the development of such courses. However, a comprehensive corpus-based account of language use in English language lectures does not exist, although recent publications by Biber (2006) and Crawford Camiciottoli (2007) constitute significant contributions to such a description.
This paper presents the results of a qualitative corpus-based study of common language functions in lectures (e.g. predicting, describing, reporting, interpreting, evaluating) as related to the overall purposes of lectures such as knowledge transfer and the socialization of students into disciplinary communities. The investigation is based on a manual analysis of lectures selected from the British Academic Spoken English (BASE) Corpus. In contrast to most existing studies, this study is motivated by the spoken language needs of lecturers rather than by student (listening comprehension) needs and is not restricted by a focus on pre-determined linguistic features that can be searched and quantified. The current non-quantified language description thus hopes to demonstrate the value of insights that can only come from reading and studying a corpus from a more global perspective using qualitative methods.

Biber, D. (2006). University language: a corpus-based study of spoken and written registers. Studies in Corpus Linguistics 23. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Crawford Camiciottoli, B. (2007). The language of business studies lectures. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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