ERIC Number: ED374647
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Discourse Analysis: Why Do We Need It?
A discussion of discourse analysis focuses on its usefulness as a framework for analyzing and improving the communication skills of international teaching assistants (ITAs). The discussion is based on the transcript (appended) of a native Chinese-speaking ITA conducting an organic chemistry class in English. Using discourse analysis at one level, that of language beyond the sentence level, the errors in phonology (pronunciation), grammar, coherence, and cohesion can be perceived more clearly. A second level of discourse analysis can be used to examine utterances in terms of communication intention and appropriateness to the social content, i.e., to interpret them. It is concluded that in the context of the interactions of ITAs and students, discourse analysis can serve an important function in helping ITAs improve communication on more than one level. (MSE)
Descriptors: Classroom Communication, Communication Skills, Discourse Analysis, English (Second Language), Error Analysis (Language), Foreign Students, Graduate Students, Higher Education, Instructional Effectiveness, Instructional Improvement, Intercultural Communication, Second Language Instruction, Teaching Assistants
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (28th, Baltimore, MD, March 8-12, 1994).