A Contrastive Study of Oral Communication Discourse Makers Used by Iranian EFL Learners vs. English Native Speakers

| April 16, 2012
Title
A Contrastive Study of Oral Communication Discourse Makers Used by Iranian EFL Learners vs. English Native Speakers

Keywords: Oral communication, Pragmatic competence, Discourse markers, Native speakers, EFL learners

Authors
Hamid Allami and Azadeh Iranzad
Yazd University, Iran

Bio Data
Hamid Allami is assistant professor in Applied Linguistics at Yazd University, Iran. His main areas of interests include Discourse Analysis, Sociolinguistics and Interlanguage pragmatics. Azadeh Iranzad is an MA student of TEFL at Yazd University, Iran. Currently she is working on her thesis on Discourse Markers.

Abstract
Discourse Markers (DM) as important cues in speakers’ pragmatic competence signal a sequential relationship between utterances. Present research has demonstrated that they differ in type and frequency across speaking and writing modes. The use of DMs may also index the differences between native speakers and non-native ones. The present study attempts to investigate functionally-based differences between Iranian EFL learners’ and native speakers’ use of DMs in their oral communication. It aims to explore these cohesive ties in Iranian EFL learners’ spontaneous speech in English classes and compare it with native speakers use of such markers in their discussion sessions. To this end 40 Iranian adult learners (20 male and 20 female) at upper intermediate level of proficiency were selected and observed in naturalistic discussion classes. Also the spoken speech of 40 native speakers taken from Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English was selected. The DMs used by both groups were then analyzed for five main function categories proposed by Schiffrin (1987). The results of the study revealed a significant difference in the use of DMs between the two groups. EFL learners made more use of DMs than native speakers. While ideational, action and exchange structures were used more by EFL learners, English native speakers made more use of information state markers. Neither groups used participation framework.
[private] See page: 30-44

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Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 59