The University of Southampton
Courses

LING6009 Discourse Analysis

Module Overview

This option provides an overview of the main contemporary currents in the diverse field of discourse analysis. Topics to be covered include the role of grammar, vocabulary and information structure in discourse; the psychology of discourse processing and discourse comprehension; distinctive characteristics of spoken and written discourse; genre analysis; and critical discourse analysis. Applications in language education will be discussed, and you will gain extensive experience of the practical analysis of a variety of text types.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• introduce you to different theoretical approaches to the analysis of discourse; • develop your understanding of the structure of a range of text types, spoken and written; • develop your skills in analysing the rhetorical, grammatical and lexical structure of texts; • identify applications of discourse analysis in language teaching.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • a selection of contemporary theoretical approaches to discourse analysis;
  • contextual and pragmatic factors contributing to discourse coherence;
  • the contribution of grammar, lexis and phonology to discourse structure;
  • psycholinguistic processes in discourse;
  • structure of a range of spoken, written and computer-mediated language genres.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify and use academic and professional resources, printed and electronic;
  • select and analyse texts from a variety of genres, and present your analysis confidently and effectively to others with your own critical interpretation;
  • link academic theory and professional practice;
  • use information technology appropriately to support research and professional activity.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • compare and evaluate differing theoretical and analytic approaches to discourse;
  • analyse a range of text types, using appropriate linguistic and sociolinguistic tools;
  • apply computational tools to the analysis of texts;
  • relate a theoretical understanding of various discourse genres to practical proposals for language teaching.

Syllabus

This option provides an overview of the main contemporary currents in the diverse field of discourse analysis. Topics to be covered include the role of grammar, vocabulary and information structure in discourse; the psychology of discourse processing and discourse comprehension; distinctive characteristics of spoken and written discourse; genre analysis; and critical discourse analysis. Applications in language education will be discussed, and you will gain extensive experience of the practical analysis of a variety of text types.

Special Features

The seminars will introduce you to the main theoretical perspectives and analytical procedures which are current in the field. You will have the opportunity to apply these ideas to a wide range of texts during in-class group activities, and you will also make an independent individual presentation about a text which you have chosen and analysed, in the light of discourse theory. The first assignment allows you to show your understanding of discourse theory through a written textual analysis, and for the second assignment you will link discourse theory to professional practice, by discussing its implications/ application in an area of language teaching.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • tutor led seminars; • text analysis exercises; • individual tutorials; • virtual learning environment (Blackboard). Learning activities include • preparing and delivering a presentation • selecting and using online resources • undertaking a small scale text analysis project.

TypeHours
Teaching24
Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

McCarthy, M (1991). Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers. 

Schiffrin, D, Tannen, D and Hamilton, H E eds (2001). The Handbook of Discourse Analysis. 

Nunan, D (1993). Introducing Discourse Analysis. 

Coulthard, M (1985). An Introduction to Discourse Analysis. 

Hatch, E (1992). Discourse and Language Education. 

Cook, G (1989). Discourse. 

Jaworski, A and Coupland, N eds (1999). The Discourse Reader. 

Van Dijk, T A ed (1997). Discourse as Structure and Process. 

Brown, G and Yule, G (1983). Discourse Analysis. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Text analysis  (2000 words) 50%
Written assignment  (2500 words) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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