ERIC Number: ED331299
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
The Roles of Metadiscourse, Speech Acts & the Language of Abstraction in a Top-Down Approach to Teaching English for Academic Purposes (or: "Never Mind What He's Saying, What's He Doing?").
Bruce, Nigel J.
Instruction in English for academic purposes can be enhanced by an approach using metadiscourse, or an awareness of the operations of discourse. Student competence in this area would improve the ability to appreciate the strategies of academic writers, describe the arguments of others, and write academic essays, particularly introductions. In teaching academic reading and writing, it is vital to emphasize the value of paraphrasing. This requires articulation at a level of abstraction most second-language students have little experience with. One method, the study cycle approach, takes students through a communication cycle in stages similar to those used in other subject areas, including: access to information presented in academic English; analysis of the underlying conceptual content and rhetorical design; synthesis and organization of the resulting information; and articulation in English of a range of academic response types (summary, interpretation, argument, etc.). Materials using this approach should be designed: (1) using a matrix of concepts underlying the principal text used; (2) emphasizing organization of information; and (3) focusing on the transitions across levels of abstraction and the importance of advanced vocabulary training. A brief bibliography, list of metadiscourse vocabulary, and additional teacher material are appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the European Languages for Special Purposes Symposium (7th, Budapest, Hungary, August 21-26, 1989).