Conference PaperPDF Available

Setting the stage for lecture listening: how representative are EAP coursebooks?

Authors:

Abstract

An important role lecturers perform is guiding students’ perceptions of the relative importance of lecture points. This discourse structuring can benefit both attention and note-taking and so help students appreciate the relative significance of lecture discourse for their discipline and assessment. To prepare students for their degree lectures, EAP lecture listening coursebooks should therefore arguably train students to recognize lexicogrammatical ‘importance markers’ (Deroey, 2015) using language that is representative of what they may encounter in their lectures. The aim of this paper is two-fold. First, I will present an overview of importance markers in lectures from the British Academic Spoken English corpus and the Corpus of English as a Lingua Franca in Academic Settings. Second, I will confront these with importance markers from a wide selection of lecture listening coursebooks. We will see that the main importance markers are not the intuitively obvious and explicit ones (e.g. ‘the important point is’, ‘I want to stress this’). Instead the corpora yielded a wide variety of markers, the prevalent ones of which are multifunctional markers whose interpretation depends heavily on their cotext and prosody (e.g. ‘the thing is’, ‘remember’) (Deroey & Taverniers, 2012). However, by and large this is not reflected in the coursebooks (Deroey, 2018), thus setting a ‘stage’ for students that differs from the one they will encounter in their lectures. We will discuss the reasons for this and ways forward. Deroey, K. L. B., & Taverniers, M. (2012). Just remember this: Lexicogrammatical relevance markers in lectures. English for Specific Purposes, 31(4), 221-233. Deroey, K. L. B. (2015). Marking importance in lectures: interactive and textual orientation. Applied Linguistics, 36(1), 51-72. Deroey, K. L. B. (2018). The representativeness of lecture listening coursebooks: language, lectures, research-informedness. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 34, 57-67. doi:10.1016/j.jeap.2018.03.01
Setting the stage for lecture listening:
how representative are
EAP coursebooks?
Katrien Deroey
Cite as: Deroey, Katrien L. B. Setting the stage for lecture listening: how representative
are EAP coursebooks?Norwegian Forum for English for Academic Purposes
Conference, Oslo Metropolitan University (online), 3-4 June 2021.
2
Although teachers may be under the
impression that atextbook is the product of
acareful collaboration between
theoreticians and practitioners, this is a
dubious assumption.
(Richards, 1993, cited in Harwood, 2005, p. 150)
3
The evidence suggests that textbook
authors are not yet habitually checking their
materials against relevant corpus data to
ensure that the language models they
provide are as naturalistic and pedagogically
useful as possible.
(Gilmore, 2015, p. 517)
How listening coursebooks may not be
‘setting the stage
4
[...]most EAP listening programs are based upon
commercial textbooks.The downside of this is that
these textbooks tend to present the structure and
language of the lectures as simply organized and
transparently coherent.Actual lectures,however,
are amuch less tidy form of discourse.
(Rodgers & Webb, 2016, p. 171)
5
so the only thing what iwould
like you to know and to
remember and iwill ask on the
exam of course what is this GSM
GSM coordinate system (ELFA)
This talk draws on three studies
Importance marking in 160 lectures by L1 English speakers (BASE):
Deroey (2015); Deroey & Taverniers (2012)
Lexicogrammatical devices that overtly mark the importance […] of
points that are presented verbally or visually.’ (Deroey,2015, p. 52)
the most important thing to b bear in mind throughout the
lecture really is pest is a human definition
the first thing iwant to do today is to is to formally er try and
explain what the connection is
mass warfare which is obviously such an important thing in
the nineteenth century
6
This talk draws on three studies
Importance marking in 160 L1 lectures (BASE):
Deroey (2015); Deroey & Taverniers (2012)
Importance marking in 20 EMI lectures (ELFA): Deroey (2014)
Lecture listening coursebooks: Deroey (2018). The representativeness
of lecture listening coursebooks: language, lectures, research-
informedness. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 34, 57-67.
7
Importance marking in
‘real’ lectures
Deroey (2014, 2015); Deroey & Taveniers (2012)
8
Classification: lexical core (L1)
(Deroey & Taverniers, 2012)
Core (& number of
subtypes)
Pattern
example
Illustration
Noun (6) MN v-link the point is
Verb (6) V nom/clause and remember that
Adjective (5) deic v-link ADJ this is absolutely
crucial
Adverb ADV importantly
Assessment
reference
-it's something we can
sort of ask exam
questions on
9
Classification: interactive orientation
(Deroey, 2015)
Participant
Listener
Speaker
Joint
Content
pay attention to this the point is
this is an essential
point
iwant to emphasise
iask you to bear in mind
L1 EMI
Extent to which importance is marked
Variety of lexicogrammatical patterns of markers
Content-oriented markers: most frequent
11
EMI marking was less listener-oriented
BASE: L1
(N=782)
ELFA: EMI
(N=83)
Content
the point is; this is an essential point
±46% ±73%
Listener
pay attention to this particular vesicle
you have to remember
±39% ±11%
Speaker
iwant to emphasise
±10% ±13%
Joint
iask you to bear in mind
±5% ±2%
Content orientation: L1 vs EMI
Multifunctional idiomatic ‘metanoun + v-link’
the point is that people can't do that (BASE)
One of two predominant markers in L1
L1 >EMI (±45% vs ±10%)
Markers with deictics
that's the point (ELFA)
Potential issue with referent assignment
L1 <EMI (±17% vs ±36%)
Adjectival modification
that's the main idea (ELFA)
Explicit marking
L1 <EMI (±19% vs ±51%)
13
Listener orientation: L1 vs EMI
BASE: L1
(N=304)
ELFA: EMI
(N=9)
remember … (BASE) ±86% ±56%
you must remember (ELFA) ±13% ±44%
Multifunctional imperatives: second most popular marker in L1
Explicit directives with you: EMI > L1
Importance marking in
coursebooks
Deroey (2018)
15
Coursebooks analysed
1. Academic listening strategies (Salehzadeh) (US)
2. Cambridge academic English (all levels)
3. Contemporary topics (all levels) (2017)
4. EASE volume one: Listening to lectures (Kelly et al)
5. English for academic study (Campbell & Smith)
6. Four point (level 2) (Parrish) (US)
7. LEAP advanced (Beatty)
8. Lecture ready ( all levels) (Sarosy & Sherak)
9. Lectures (Aish & Tomlinson)
10. Oxford EAP (all levels)
11. Study listening (Lynch)
12. Unlock (all levels)
16
L1 authentic markers vs textbook markers
L1
Great variety
Preference for: less explicit, multifunctional markers require
identification training
Less common: markers signalling speakers intent to highlight,
addressing listeners explicitly, containing importance adjectives
Coursebooks
Limited & apparently random presentation
Commonly listing of points or evaluation of ‘real world’ entities
Preference for explicit markers
17
Lots of exercises on identifying main ideas;
little language to guide identification thereof
18
Contemporary topics (2)
Explicit markers predominate
19
Study listening, p. 39
Coursebooks versus lectures: top 5
Type (coursebooks) N (52)
%
The important point is ±21
I want to stress ±13
Remember ±11
You have to remember ±11
It’s important to note ±10
Type (L1 lectures) N (782)
%
Remember/notice/note ±34
The point/question is ±21
I want to emphasize ±9
The important/key point/thing is ±8
You have to remember ±5
20
How coursebooks are not ‘setting the stage’
Few importance markers
Mismatch with common markers in real lectures = poor preparation
Less ‘clearmarkers that require most training not often included
21
Why does this mismatch exist?
Deroey (2018)
22
Applied linguistics researchers often energetically pursue their own
narrow fields of interest with minimal concern for the accessibility […] to
other stakeholders […]
language teachers are rarely encouraged (or able) to keep up to date with
theoretical advances [...]
materials writers seem to rely more on replication of previous successful
models, [...] and their own creative muses than theory-driven, principled
design criteria […]
publishers appear to show more concern for their bottom dollar than the
provision of innovative textbooks, in tune with contemporary theory […]
Gilmore (2015, p. 521)
23
Pedagogical recommendations
Deroey (2018)
24
Supplement: representative, authentic lectures
(local/disciplinary)
Research language (BASE, ELFA, MICASE)
Be a critical user: inspect and object!
25
References
Deroey, K. L. B. (2014) Importance marking in lectures by native and non-native speakers.
IVACS (Inter-Varietal Applied Corpus Studies) International Conference, 19-21 June,
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Deroey, K. L. B. (2015). Marking importance in lectures: interactive and textual orientation.
Applied Linguistics, 36(1), 51-72.
Deroey, K. L. B. (2018). The representativeness of lecture listening coursebooks: language,
lectures, research-informedness. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 34, 57-67.
doi:10.1016/j.jeap.2018.03.011
Deroey, K. L. B., & Taverniers, M. (2012). Just remember this: Lexicogrammatical relevance
markers in lectures. English for Specific Purposes, 31(4), 221-233.
Harwood, N. (2005). What do we want EAP teaching materials for? Journal of English for
Academic Purposes, 4(2), 149-161.
Gilmore, A. (2015). Research into practice: The influence of discourse studies on language
descriptions and task design in published ELT materials. Language Teaching, 48(04), 506-
530.
Rodgers, M. P. H., & Webb, S. (2016). Listening to lectures. In K. Hyland & P. Shaw (Eds.),
The Routledge handbook of English for academic purposes (pp. 165-176). London:
Routledge.
26
katrien.deroey@uni.lu
Slides: ResearchGate
Acknowledgements
ELFA 2008. The Corpus of English as a Lingua Franca in
Academic Settings. Director: Anna Mauranen.
http://www.helsinki.fi/elfa/elfacorpus
The recordings and transcriptions used in this study come
from the British Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus. The
corpus was developed at the Universities of Warwick and
Reading under the directorship of Hilary Nesi and Paul
Thompson. Corpus development was assisted by funding from
BALEAP, EURALEX, the British Academy and the Arts and
Humanities Research Council.
27
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.