Discourse markers and code-switching: academic medical lectures in Saudi Arabia using English as the medium of instruction

Al Makoshi, Manal A. (2014). Discourse markers and code-switching: academic medical lectures in Saudi Arabia using English as the medium of instruction. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis is a corpus-based study of two spoken academic corpora in English as the (foreign) medium of instruction (EMI) context. The first corpus is compiled of transcripts of academic lectures by non-native speakers (NNS) from an EMI medical college in Saudi Arabia. To compare the data, a second corpus is compiled of similar transcripts by native speakers (NS) taken from the British Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus. The first part of the research qualitatively and quantitatively investigates the use of English discourse markers (DMs) on two levels: Structural (e.g. okay, so, because) and Interactional (e.g. okay?, I mean, any questions?). Structural DMs are found to function frequently as Topic Initiators, Topic Developers, Summarizers, and Closers, and occur more frequently in NS lectures' discourse. Interactional DMs, which function as Confirmation Checks, Rephrasers and Elicitors, are found to occur more frequently in the NNS lectures. This thesis demonstrates that the uses of DMs by the NS and NNS lecturers are affected by discourse context, pedagogic goals, personal lecturing styles, interaction with students and the need to create a conducive learning environment. The second part explores the use of Arabic discourse markers (ADMs) in the NNS lecture discourse on similar Structural and Interactional levels. Interactional ADMs (e.g. ya3ni {means}, mufhoom? {understood}) have a higher overall frequency than Structural ADMs (fa {so}, laanu {because}). The third part of this thesis explores the pedagogical functions of English-Arabic code-switching (CS) in the NNS lectures. When the purpose of CS is to make meaning clearer and convey knowledge more efficiently, it is not a language barrier but an effective communicative strategy. The data shows that CS is used mainly in seven roles in the NNS lecture discourse: (1) solidarity, (2) reiteration, (3) elaboration, (4) topic, (5) elicitation, (6) checking comprehension and (7) classroom management.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PJ Semitic
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/5185


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