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Spoken ELF in engineering education in Sweden Code and discourse features Recipient reactions Beyza Björkman

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Presentation on theme: "Spoken ELF in engineering education in Sweden Code and discourse features Recipient reactions Beyza Björkman"— Presentation transcript:

1 Spoken ELF in engineering education in Sweden Code and discourse features Recipient reactions Beyza Björkman beyza.bjorkman@english.su.se

2 2 Outline Higher education in Sweden: an ELF setting in respect of oral interaction The present project: –Research questions and design –Material –The three dimensions of this project Form: Morphosyntax Communicativeness: Analyses at discourse level Attitudes Results: Back to research questions Frequently asked questions

3 33 Material A typical international Scandinavian (technical) university INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMMES 2007  45 International Master’s Programs in English INTERNATIONAL STUDENT EXCHANGES 2007  1,057 foreign exchange students  1,105 international master’s students  Around 100 nationalities with highly diverse backgrounds (Erasmus) Two types of speech events:Lectures and student group-work –Digital recordings of authentic high-stakes communication from content courses (naturally occurring speech)

4 4 Background Key background literature: –Firth (1990, 1996), Firth and Wagner (1997), Meierkord (1998, 2000, 2004) –Jenkins (2000; 2007) –Seidlhofer (2004), VOICE (Pölzl, 2006; Lichtkoppler, 2005; Breiteneder, 2005; Breiteneder et al. 2006; Pietzl, 2005; Hülmbauer, 2007) –Cogo and Dewey (2006) –House (2002), Lesnyák (2004), Mauranen (2004, 2006; 2007), ELFA (Ranta, 2006) –Erling (2004)

5 55 Research questions 1.What, if any, are the morphosyntactic commonalities of non-standard usage in monologic and dialogic speech events studied in the ELF setting examined? 2.Are the commonalities found the same with those described in the literature? 3.What kind of morphosyntactic non-standard usage results in disturbance in spoken ELF communication? 4.What are the discourse features in the two speech event types in the ELF setting examined? 5.Are the discourse features found the same with those described in the literature? 6.What kind of morphosyntactic non-standard usage is perceived as irritating by speakers in ELF situations? FORM (1, 2), COMMUNICATIVENESS (3, 4, 5), ATTITUDES (6)

6 6 Research design Extensive and intensive analyses –Extensive: a large sample required to allow for making general deductions from this ELF environment (FORM) Criteria: The feature »occurs a minimum number of ten times »is used by different L1 speakers »in both speech event types –Intensive: a smaller sample (DISCOURSE LEVEL) (Dörnyei, 2001; Guilloteaux, 2007; Charles, Pecorari and Hunsten, 2009) An experiment on attitudes: 100 students Lectures: 21 (48 hrs) Student group-work:24 (28 hrs) 20L1s, 61 speakers Lectures: 4 Student group-work: 4 46,662 words

7 77 NonS word forms discriminization NonS analytic comparative more big NonS plural forms/countability How many hydrogen... NonS article usage Anybody can define the renewability? Double comparative/superlatives much more wider Lack of subject-verb agreement A catalyst have... Tense and aspect issues In water turbines water is flowing... Word order Salinity affects what kind of material can you use. Not marking the plural 500 meter, two different reactor, several process Negation It looks not good. /It ’ s a not very good generator. NonS Passive voice It can be happened that … / We affect by the flow... Form: Commonalities  No overt disturbance caused by these forms  Overt disturbance caused by: Non-standard question formulation How many pages we have now? What means endothermic? What other equation I would use? Why we place it there? So from which point you started? Why the flutter’s velocity is lower than the divergence velocity?

8 8 TASK COMPLEXITYTASK CONDITIONS HIGH REASONING DEMANDS NO PLANNING TIME NO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE MONOLOGICCONVERGENT LOW REASONING DEMANDS PLANNING TIME PRIOR KNOWLEDGE DIALOGIC HERE AND NOW DIVERGEN T QUESTIONS (Adapted from Robinson, 2001)

9 99 Communicativeness 2: Discourse Clarification techniques (Penz, 2008) –Clarification of terms and concepts details and content of task –Metadiscursive comment on intent discourse structure (gist, reformulation etc.) discourse context common ground Backchanneling and repetition (Dewey, 2006) Topic abandonment What is ’steam reforming’? It is a commercial way to produce hydrogen. I don’t know if we’re supposed to know the code during the lab. That’s not what I wanted to say. First I’ll go through the time frame. That was my question. We have to check the distillation process.

10 DISCOURSE FEATURESL1L2L3L4G1G2G3G4 Clarification of terms and concepts3131-4-- Clarification of details and content of task -26916651533 Metadiscursive comment on discourse structure 19451333- Metadiscursive comment on discourse context 910121112358- Metadiscursive comment on intent38111144- Metadiscursive comment on common ground 606417-26687663 Backchannelling5717717488 Repetition111978 Topic abandonment--------

11 11 why you always miss the lecture, sorry just curious (curious) er sometimes i have some other lectures other lectures the there's some conflict in the timetable yeah mhm and sometimes [(xx)] [but it's] impossible impossible all time you there’s there's a conflict for the all lecture @@ maybe you don't want to have lecture you don't want to attend this yes sometimes @@ it's not interesting to you @@ it is but but you're busy @@ what's the time now oh it's from china time i haven’t changed the time (ERCA-090307-03) Topic abandoment (1)

12 12 (xx) we just talk about there's some island in in greece greece you're from greece yeah mhm we should prepare a chair for the teacher @@ this one this one this one is for teacher i i will stand behind you i think (we should have) other chair mhm this. i think greece is a country (full of) charming and that’s why mhm full of charming mhm and that's why the greece (xx) refer to that kind of very how to say greece greece yes, beautiful and yeah (incredible) yes greece @@ but er i have never been to greece have been to there he says he recommend to be there (later) (we should) invite the teacher (xx) invite the teacher to our group (ERCA-090307-03) Topic abandoment (2)

13 13 No topic abandonment say put that if you divide it by yeah how much does it cost to produce it’s like how much it’s not the material like how much no no no it’s it’s a the the investment [divided by] the number of [hours of] using it [yeah] [yeah] and the [operation] [workers] operation construction production cost production ok not the material not the material and the power consumption uh that kind of stuff this is everything else but the material cost and then you put the material cost yeah then you have i don’t think so [you don’t think so] [yeah], ok so [ok ok we do] anyway we we [check check] [why do we] [why do we] why do we have done that then why do we done we did that we thought that this was something else yeah but this...

14 14 Implications for lecturing DIALOGIC SPEECH  Speakers employ clarification strategies if communication is at risk  Task complexity and conditions: room for maneuver MONOLOGIC SPEECH  Up to the lecturer whether to employ clarification strategies  Task complexity and conditions set by the lecturer only: little or no room for maneuver

15 15 FAQ 1: Why are ELF code features identical with Interlanguage features? 1)They have shared features with World Englishes as well (e.g. African English). 2)The diachronic source of ELF features is individual interlanguage. The feature is kept if it:  does not interfere with communication  aids communication  is functional 3)The term ’Interlanguage’ is not appropriate for ELF situations:  Used for an individual’s language development  Temporal

16 16 LEARNERS OF ENGLISH Classroom situation Homogeneous level Norm presented overtly Negative feedback in case of non-standard production Non-standardness not kept= there are direct consequences in the form dimension (testing: grades etc.) C2 C1 B2 B1 A2 A1 ELF SPEAKERS Authentic communication All levels together No overt norm Little (other repair) or no negative feedback in case of non-standard production Non-standardness kept. Little/ no consequence in the form dimension (language generally not assessed). Consequences are in the content dimension. C2 C1 B2 B1 A2 A1 FAQ 2: Are ELF speakers learners of English? Both must be developing their language ability.

17 17 FAQ 3: How often should a feature occur to be a commonality? A large proportion of instances are actually standard. Breiteneder (2005), 20% Ranta (2006), 13% Meierkord (2004), 9% 3% “doubtful constructions” The present study: Low percentage of non-standard features

18 18 General conclusions/ answers to RQs Remarkable commonalities across speech event types. (RQ1) Some shared with previous findings. (RQ2) – (No who/which, invariable isn’t it tag etc.) Little breakdown in communication (breakdown caused only by nonS question formulation). (RQ3) Rich discourse: (RQ4 and 5) –Clarification techniques (unlike Penz) –Increased explicitness (similar to Mauranen, Dewey and Cogo) –Backchanelling, repetition (similar to Dewey and Cogo) –Topic abandonment only in social talk Irritation at varying degrees toward all features. (RQ6) They do not represent majority usage.

19 19 Publications on the present material Björkman, B. (Forthcoming, 2009). ’ From code to discourse in spoken ELF’. In Mauranen, A. and Ranta, E. (Eds.). English as a Lingua Franca: Studies and findings. Cambridge Scholars Press. Björkman, B. (In press, 2009). ’English as a Lingua Franca at a Swedish Technical University: An Effective Medium?’ Proceedings of the Annual BALEAP Conference: 'EAP in a globalising world: English as an academic lingua franca‘. Peter Lang. Björkman, B. (2008). ‘English as the Lingua Franca of Engineering: the morphosyntax of academic speech events’. Nordic Journal of English Studies 7(3): 103-122. Björkman, B. (2008). 'So where we are': Spoken lingua franca English at a Swedish technical university. English Today, 24 (2), 11-17. Björkman, B. (2008). ‘'We' and 'you': pronouns and genre competence in oral technical descriptions’. In Lainio, J., & Leppänen, A. (Eds.), Linguistic Diversity and Sustainable Development (pp. 89-109). Swedish Science Press.


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