Syntactic Mechanisms in the Transition from Academic Written to Oral Discourses

Mecanismos sintácticos en la transición de los discursos académicos a los discursos orales

  • Ricardo Nausa Universidad de los Andes
Keywords: academic discourse, EAP, EFL, information structure, oral presentations, syntactic modifications (en_US)
Keywords: discurso académico, estructura de la información, inglés para propósitos académicos (EAP), inglés como lengua extranjera (EFL), modificaciones sintácticas, presentaciones orales (es_ES)

Abstract (en_US)

This article presents the results of a pilot study that sought to identify: (1) the syntactic mechanisms that a group of PhD-level Colombian EAP students used to express originally written content in oral presentations, and (2) how those mechanisms can be used to describe the differences of performance between high- and low-rated presentations. To achieve these objectives, a discourse analysis comparison of eight parallel pairs of texts (eight essays and their corresponding oral presentation transcriptions) was performed. Quantitative analyses were also performed to confirm the qualitative analyses. Syntactic modifications to clause structure and heavily modified noun phrases were identified as some of the mechanisms that students used to transition from written to oral discourse. The analysis of these mechanisms includes the description of further sub-mechanisms, the linguistic resources that are implemented, their pragmatic appropriateness, and their grammatical correctness. Among the sub-mechanisms deemed as useful indicators of quality of oral performance are topicalization and reduction of heavily modified NPs. Other sub-mechanisms such as the rhematization of NP modifiers were not useful to discriminate among levels of oral performance. This report ends with the presentation of the implications and limitations of the study, and the perspectives for future research.

Abstract (es_ES)

Este artículo presenta los resultados de un estudio piloto que buscó identificar: (1) los mecanismos sintácticos utilizados por un grupo de estudiantes colombianos de EAP a nivel de doctorado para expresar contenidos originalmente escritos en presentaciones orales y (2) cómo estos mecanismos pueden ser utilizados para describir las diferencias de desempeño entre las presentaciones de alta y baja calificación. Para lograr estos objetivos, se realizó una comparación de análisis de discurso de ocho pares paralelos de textos (ocho ensayos y sus correspondientes transcripciones de presentaciones orales). También se realizaron análisis cuantitativos para confirmar los análisis cualitativos. Los mecanismos identificados fueron las modificaciones sintácticas a (1) la estructura de las cláusulas y (2) las frases nominales altamente modificadas. El análisis de estos mecanismos incluye la descripción de sub-mecanismos adicionales, los recursos lingüísticos que se implementaron, su adecuación pragmática y su corrección gramatical. Entre los sub-mecanismos que se consideran como indicadores útiles de la calidad del desempeño oral se encuentran la topicalización y la reducción de NPs altamente modificadas. Otros sub-mecanismos tales como la rematización de los modificadores de NP no fueron útiles para discriminar entre los niveles de desempeño oral. Este informe termina con la presentación de las implicaciones y limitaciones del estudio, y perspectivas para la investigación futura.

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Author Biography

Ricardo Nausa, Universidad de los Andes

Ricardo A. Nausa T. holds a bachelor's degree in Philology and Language from Universidad Nacional de Colombia and a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics to TEFL from Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas. He is currently a PhD student in the program of Applied Linguistics and English Language in the University of Birmingham. He is also a professor in the IPD (inglés para doctorados) program at Universidad de los Andes. His research interests include academic writing and oral presentations, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, and the teaching of EAP.

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How to Cite
Nausa, R. (2017). Syntactic Mechanisms in the Transition from Academic Written to Oral Discourses. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 19(2), 234-249. https://doi.org/10.14483/22487085.11765
Published: 2017-08-04
Section
Research Articles