Language variation in university classrooms
A corpus-driven geographical perspective
Corpus-based university classroom discourse studies found differences in teaching as it relates to language use: discourse organization, levels of instruction and interactivity, and disciplinary differences in participant talk. These practices were primarily reported on US-based classrooms, while scholars with different foci looked at British university classrooms as well. However, a comparison of how discourse is organized in university classrooms in varying geographical contexts is still missing. The present study provides lexico-grammatical analyses of classroom discourse at a South-East Asian university as associations are made to the communicative and pedagogical functions in the discourse structure of lectures, and comparisons are made to a corpus of university classroom discourse from the US. Findings show differences in language use and associated discourse organizational patterns within three disciplinary areas (Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Engineering) as they are delivered in the two geographical contexts. Implications are discussed for register, disciplinary, and discourse structure studies.
Keywords: register variation, geographical context, university classroom talk, discourse organization
Published online: 10 April 2020
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