Reference : Corpus-informed EAP course design: a study of lecture functions
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
Corpus-informed EAP course design: a study of lecture functions
Deroey, Katrien mailto [University of Luxembourg > Central Administration > >]
International Computer Archive of Modern and Medieval English
27-05-2009 to 31-05-2009
[en] Increasing student and lecturer mobility along with the spread of English as an academic lingua franca (Mauranen, 2006) means a growing number of non-native speaker lecturers are delivering at least some lectures in English. Well-designed English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses can be valuable in offering the language input these lecturers are most likely to need for communication within this specific academic context. The creation of corpora containing lectures such as the BASE (British Academic Spoken English) Corpus, MICASE (The Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English) and the T2K-SWAL (TOEFL 2000 Spoken and Written Academic Language) Corpus plays an important role in allowing us to adopt a corpus-informed approach to course design and thus tailor courses to lecturers’ specific needs.
To date, most corpus-based research on lectures has been based on the American corpora (MICASE and T2K-SWAL) and has had a quantitative bias, investigating the frequency and functions of lexical bundles (e.g. Biber & Barbieri, 2007), discourse markers (e.g. Crawford Camiciottoli, 2004) and evaluative language (e.g. Swales & Burke, 2003). Discourse organisation (e.g. Nesi & Basturkmen, 2006; Thompson, 2003) and the oral-literate characteristics of lectures (e.g. Csomay, 2006) have also been relatively well explored. However, notwithstanding these significant contributions to EAP and the more comprehensive descriptions by Biber (2006) and Crawford Camiciottoli (2007) much remains to be done to obtain a more detailed linguistic picture of lectures.
This paper uses data from 12 BASE lectures from various disciplines to provide an overview of attested language functions (e.g. informing, interacting, organising discourse, class management) used in achieving some of the main purposes of lectures (i.e. knowledge transfer, facilitating learning and the socialisation of students into disciplinary communities). Informed by insights from both linguistic and pedagogic research, this functional framework derives from a careful study of whole texts from which larger stretches of speech are assigned to particular functional categories on the basis of lexico-grammatical features, an understanding of the text and generic knowledge (Dudley-Evans, 1994).

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