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LING6026 Discourse Analysis

Module Overview

This option provides an overview of the main contemporary currents in the diverse field of discourse analysis.

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.


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

In a traditional module, contact time would typically be with materials, tutor, and fellow participants, all in a classroom setting. Online learning is self-instructional learning and there are no classes as such. A large degree of responsibility for and control over your learning rests with you. However, it is important to help you to structure your study time and we do this through two important online forms of contact or interaction. Tasks and feedback which help you to preview, focus, check on or explore issues related to your independent study reading are one form of possible contact time, taking up 3 hours a week. There will also be a 2 hour weekly

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Online tutor led discussion forums • Interactive tasks in topic learning objects • Presentations and lectures via podcasts/audio/video files • Synchronous chat/small group discussions • text analysis exercises Learning activities include • Reading key texts • Accessing online resources • Participating in online forums • Private study, research and reflection • undertaking a small scale text analysis project.

Independent Study75
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Nunan, D (1993). Introducing Discourse Analysis. 

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

Cook, G (1989). Discourse. 

Johnstone, B (2008). Discourse Analysis. 

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

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



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


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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