• Alif Fakkar posted an update 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    Discourse Analysis Journal Review #2

    Name: Analyzing Teachers’ Use of Metadiscourse: The missing Element in Classroom Discourse Analysis

    Author: Kok-Sing Tang

    Source: Science Education. Jul2017, Vol. 101 Issue 4, p548-583. 36p. 3 Diagrams, 7 Charts.

    Metadiscourse, or metatalk, according to linguists (e.g., Hyland, 2005; Vande Kopple, 2012) is a discursive resource used to organize a talk or written text, as well as signal the author’s stance toward the content or the audience. Putting it simply, it’s “a talk about the talk”. Some examples of metadiscourse includes text connective like “just now, we were talking about…” and attitude marker such as “this is an important point.”
    Metadiscourse is always present in most conversation and written texts, and its function is to assist the audience to connect, interpret, organize, and evaluate the content in the talk in a way preferred by the author.

    When teachers talk science, or math, or any other difficult and complex subject with their students, they would make use a range of metadiscourse either consciously or unconsciously to help them and the students manage the complex and lengthy information that is being communicated.
    The purpose of this paper is to explore and examine how science teachers use metadiscourse in the classroom.

    The date for this study were taken from two research projects that examined the language of classroom teaching in Singapore (see Tang, 2016a, 2016b), which involved a total for six teachers (two physics, two chemistry, two science teachers) from two secondary schools and one primary school, respectively.

    The research categorized six types of metadiscourse, three for Organization Metadiscourse (Text Connective, Knowledge Connective, and Activity Connective), and three for Evaluative Metadiscourse (Attitude Marker, Epistemology Marker, Interpretative Marker).

    The most common category of organizational metadiscourse is text connective, whose function is to connect one part of a text to another to forge continuity and coherence. This is used to recall previous conversation or to signal future conversations. The second category of organizational metadiscourse is knowledge connective, which serves to make links between the students’ knowledge and the content of the talk. These are commonly used to recall students’ previous information and apply them to the current conversation. The last category is activity connective, which makes reference to the action or work process the participants are currently engaged in rather than linking to any previous or future content.

    The most common category of evaluative metadiscourse is attitude marker, which signals the teacher’s stances toward the content currently being discussed. Teachers usually indicates the importance of a certain information, by giving remarks that underlines the importance of an information, or to instruct students to record a specific information. Another category of evaluative discourse is epistemology marker, which reflects the teacher’s stance toward the evidential status of the current content. The last category is called interpretative marker which includes phrases and comments to direct the audience to interpret a certain text with the view preferred by the speaker.