Analysing Text and Talk

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Analysing Text and Talk

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • 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

    Knowledge: (a) To learn fundamental theories and methods for analysing written and spoken language, with English as the target language for analysis. (b)To learn about similarities and differences between analysing written and spoken language. For written language, students will learn to identify different patterns of language use that contribute to the coherence of text. For spoken language, students will be introduced to ways of analysing its dynamic structure, its sonic nature and co-verbal behaviours that accompany talk. (c) To establish a basis in discourse analysis that students can build on in the second and third-year writing translation courses and in the third-year courses ‘Intercultural Communication’ and ‘Language and Interaction’. (d) To promote understanding of the idea that communicative and linguistic competence can be seen as genre competence.

    Application: (a) to be able to analyse different types of English text and talk; (b) to learn about the use of corpus linguistic tools for analysing the form and content of text and talk, (c) to be able to analyse particular grammatical, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic aspects of English and the differences between how they are used differently in written texts and talk, and (d) to develop skills in close reading of English texts, close listening to English talk, and detailed viewing of English-speakers engaged in talk. Attitude and communication: to promote an appreciation of the idea that the analysisof language involves concern for the smallest of details.

    Talk: The course as a whole focuses on linguistic form and the relationship between form and coherence. We look at different kinds of talk and different kinds of text in English. Analysing talk involves subjects such as information packaging in spoken discourse, the grammar of spoken discourse, dialogic syntax, the strategic use of pronouns, metaphor in public discourse, multimodal spoken discourse.

    Analyzing text involves subjects such as the start of the sentence to introduce the message, the relationship between grammatical choices and type of text, metaphor and coherence, methods for analysis such as Rhetorical Structure Theory and thematic progression to help us understand the structure and rhetorical design of different kinds of text.

    Lecture, seminar, study group, weekly assignments.

    Two written exams, one for spoken language and one for written language. Each exam counts for 50% of the final mark. In order to pass the course you must pass each exam with at least a 5,5 

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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