Reference : How representative are EAP listening books of real lectures?
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
How representative are EAP listening books of real lectures?
Deroey, Katrien mailto [University of Luxembourg > Rectorate > >]
Katrien DEROEY
from 17-4-2015 to 19-4-2015
[en] EAP ; corpus linguistics ; materials development ; listening ; lecture
[en] Lecture listening and note-taking classes are a common component of EAP programmes and the list of listening course books is accordingly long. In deciding which of these to use, a key consideration is arguably whether it prepares students for lectures. In this regard, the availability of spoken academic corpora (e.g. BASE, MICASE, ELFA) and the research arising from these provides insights into lecture discourse that could be usefully integrated in such materials. However, as I will here show, the integration of corpus findings in EAP course books is surprisingly limited, raising the question of whether training based on such materials forms an adequate preparation for the demands of real lectures.

I illustrate the gap between authentic lecture discourse and various current listening books by comparing the treatment of importance markers (e.g. the important point is; remember; I want to emphasize this) with their realisation in a lecture corpus. (Deroey and Taverniers 2012; Deroey 2013). Since these discourse organisational signals alert students to key points, being able to identify these markers may facilitate lecture comprehension and note-taking. Importance markers were retrieved from all 160 lectures of the British Academic Spoken English corpus using corpus-driven and corpus-based methods.

The investigation revealed that while listening books typically highlight the importance of identifying the lecturer’s main points, students are either not or inadequately trained to recognise importance markers. Where examples of such markers are included, they are few and prototypical (e.g. the important point is). However, in the lecture corpus prototypical markers are relatively uncommon; instead less explicit, multifunctional markers such as ‘the thing is’ and ‘remember’ predominate. The findings suggest that much remains to be done to make lecture listening books more representative of real lectures.
Deroey, K. L. B. and Taverniers, M. 2012. “‘Just remember this’: Lexicogrammatical relevance markers in lectures”. English for Specific Purposes 31 (4): 221-233.
Deroey, K. L. B. (2015). Marking importance in lectures: Interactive and textual orientation. Applied Linguistics, 36(1), 51-72.
Researchers ; Professionals

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