Corpus analysis of engagement discourse strategies in academic presentations
Text analysis informed by Genre Theory (Hyon 1996) and methods in Corpus Linguistics provide the opportunity to describe language patterns that exist not only at the individual level but also in discourse communities. In this study, we investigate the discourse strategies used by novice and expert members of the academic United States (US) Spanishspeaking community to engage their audience, construct interpersonal meaning, and position themselves as expert speakers. We analyze two corpora: a specialized corpus of 32 conference presentations delivered by professors and doctoral students of Hispanic Studies, and a learner corpus of 24 in-class presentations to describe discourse patterning of social engagement expressed in text organization during presentation openings. Results indicate variation in engagement strategies between novice and expert presenters, with professors being the ones who make more use of interpersonal and interactive features to engage their audience. Our findings inform genre-based pedagogies by describing the language functions used to construct the different stages in which openings are organized. As oral presentations have been insufficiently studied (Robles Garrote 2016), this study contributes to the growing knowledge of academic oral
Spanish in the United States.
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