Approaches to Discourse

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Approaches to Discourse

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Pre-requisites: LS1SG Sounds, Grammar and Meaning LS1ELS English Language and Society
    Non-modular pre-requisites:

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Summary module description:
    This module will introduce and apply frameworks for the description and analysis of discourse. It provides an opportunity to develop skills of analysis through workshop and presentation activities.

    The module aims to:
    ? familiarize students with a range of approaches used in the description of discourse, and the terms and concepts used in each;
    ? give students experience of applying the approaches covered to samples of authentic language;
    ? help students to appreciate the relevance of different approaches to different kinds of discourse analytic problems.
    Assessable learning outcomes:
    By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to demonstrate:
    ? awareness of the principles underlying key models of discourse analysis represented in the literature;
    ? awareness of the differing perspectives offered by these approaches and an ability to synthesize these models;
    ? an ability to select appropriate approaches in accordance with specific goals of analysis and consider their applicability to data;
    ? familiarity with some of the conventions for the transcription of spoken interaction.
    Additional outcomes:
    Through group-work and individual workshop tasks students will be encouraged to develop independent thinking, teamwork and presentation skills.

    Outline content:
    This module includes an outline of the main approaches to the description and analysis of discourse, and opportunities to apply these approaches to naturally occurring samples of language. Topics to be covered include: transcription of spoken discourse and non-verbal communication, multimodal discourse analysis, pragmatics, conversation analysis, interactional sociolinguistics and critical discourse analysis. The module will involve the detailed analysis of such data as political interviews, informal conversation and written texts.

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    Lectures with seminar-style discussion, practical sessions and guided independent study.

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Written assignment including essay 70%
    Oral assessment and presentation 10%
    Practical skills assessment 10%
    Set exercise 10%

    Other information on summative assessment:
    An essay of 2,000 ? 2,500 words (70%)
    Transcription of spoken data (10%)
    Oral Presentation (in groups) (10%)
    Multiple choice tests on BB ? weeks 3, 6 and 9 (10%)

    Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

    Formative assessment methods:
    Penalties for late submission:
    The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
    where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
    where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

    The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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