ALC8031 : Discourse Analysis

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


-       To provide students with an opportunity to gain an introduction to discourse analysis
-       To give students an opportunity to use discourse-based approaches in their teaching
-       To evaluate alternative approaches to studying language using a discourse-based approach
-       To enable students to use discourse analysis to support language learning

This module offers M-Level and IPHD students an opportunity to gain familiarity with discourse analytic approaches to analysing language for teaching purposes. It offers both a theoretical and practical understanding of the key concepts associated with discourse analysis, focusing especially, but not exclusively, on spoken discourse. The module explains how discourse analysis is essential for effective language teaching and learning, and gets learners to think beyond the level of sentence. In addition, students will learn how to make use of spoken and written texts in their teaching and how to analyze their own discourse in the context of classroom discourse.

Outline Of Syllabus

Week 1: Speech and writing

Week 2: Language Functions

Week 3: Cohesion and coherence

Week 4: An introduction to pragmatics

Week 5: Conversation Analysis (CA)

Week 6: Institutional Discourse

Week 7: Classroom discourse

Week 8: SETT (Self Evaluation of Teacher Talk)

Week 9: CIC: Classroom Interactional Competence

Week 10: Researching classroom discourse

Week 11: Review

Week 12: Tutorials

-       Understanding classroom discourse

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:3018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:3018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity120:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study144:0044:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

‘Lectures’ will provide students with an overview of some of the more theoretical aspects of the module and also allow more ‘hands on’ workshop-type learning activities. The aim is to promote a discursive and dialogic type of learning environment in which learners exchange ideas and experiences under the guidance of the main tutor. The two tutorial sessions will be offered around the times of the assignment to provide additional learning support. In addition, students will have an opportunity to discuss their work, reflections on the module and their own professional development through electronic learning support such as email and Blackboard.

      A range of teaching and learning approaches will be used, viz:

                  Tutor input - whole group;
                  Groupwork and small group discussion;
                  Independent learning through reading and personal research;
                  Completion of coursework assignment.

Normally, students taking this module are expected to attend a minimum of 80% of the lectures and tutorials. If you are unable to attend a particular session, please let me know

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M100Critical Study, 3000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assignment is a critical study in which you will investigate one aspect of discourse and relate it to your own teaching and learning context.

You should follow the steps below:

1.       Identify a discourse ‘problem’ or ‘issue’ which is related to your own context. This might be something which learners find difficult, or something which you would like to improve in your own teaching.

2.       Review the literature which is relevant to the issue you are investigating.

3.       Suggest how you might investigate the problem by, for example, collecting data, recording your teaching, getting students to produce a piece of writing, interviewing a student, etc.

4.       Describe how you might modify or change your practices based on new understandings that you have gained from both reviewing the literature and collecting evidence (in 3) above.

5.       Provide a brief outline of how you might evaluate the whole process and assess its impact on teaching and learning.

The assessment is designed to mirror the approach taken through the module: participants are tested on their ability to investigate in some detail one aspect of their teaching. They must demonstrate that they can identify an issue for investigation, describe (both orally and in writing) their intended approach and consider how their practices might change as a result of the process. Theory and practice will be integrated through the use of literature and a practical application.

Reading Lists