Discourse markers are elements that are applied in communication to enable conversations to become more articulate. However, the particles augment insignificant meanings in rephrasing the expressions (Povolná, 2012). For instance, elements including oh, well, now as well as you know are some of the syntactically autonomous words. In other words, the elimination of a marker from a sentence has a negligible effect on the structural meaning of speech.
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Conventionally, the Discourse Markers (DMs) were perceived to be expletives or fillers. In other words, the particles were considered to add no meaning to a phrase or a sentence. However, in the contemporary society, the DMs have been assigned assorted functions (Dontcheva-Navratilova, 2012). Topic alterations, reformulation, stressing or equivocations are functions of DM analysis. On the same note, the functions of the discourse markers are categorized into relationships arising from different parts of speeches, connections existing between the orator and the communication as well as the affiliation of the orator and the listener. Various researches indicate that prepositional phrases determine the type of DMs.
Moreover, Fraser (2010) asserts that the discourse markers contain a wide scope of prosodic outlines ranging from tonic stress to phonological reductions. Concerning the position of the discourse markers in the sentence, some researchers argue that the pragmatic markers are often limited in the initial location of a sentence (Fraser, 2010). However, some researchers argue that discourse markers such as you know have been used frequently in the middle of speeches. In other cases, the pragmatic discourses occur in the final positions of utterances.
Relationships between the utilization of CDMs and current teaching methodologies
The teaching and learning of foreign languages involve the application of different techniques focusing on developing a clear understanding of the instructions. The field of research has encountered escalating challenges relating to the study of teaching methodologies (Larose & Grenon, 2010). In addition, social, technological as well as cultural norms have played significant roles in transforming the learning and teaching methodologies.
Implicit learning and teaching vs. explicit learning and teaching
Educators continue to encounter several obstacles in choosing the best medium of presenting learning materials to be understood by the students. Several studies have come up with numerous ways of applying self-directed as well as explanatory learning or teaching. To begin with, through explicit teaching and learning, the instructor draws the goals to be achieved at the end of a lesson (Sætrevik et al., 2010).
Also, the teacher provides clear-cut explanations about skills and information structures. On the contrary, in implicit instructions, the instructor fails to outline the goals as well as provide the explanations clearly to the students. In essence, the students make their conclusions and come up with their conceptual structures to enable sensible assimilation of the imparted knowledge.
In principle, through implicit and explicit learning and teaching, the attainments of clear comprehension among students depend on the varieties of skills and capabilities in processing the instructions during learning sessions (Amy et al., 2012). Researches show that an excellent learner exhibits insignificant variations of processing explicit and implicit instructions. On the contrary, average learners consider explicit teaching methods to be effective because of low capabilities in processing instructions (Amy et al., 2012).
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Inductive vs. deductive teaching
Inductive and deductive methods of teaching provide significant foundations that instructors use concerning the specific learning styles of the students. In the inductive approach of teaching, the students possess the latest grammatical structures in the framework of authentic lingo. In other words, the students obtain the prospect of practicing the speech in context. As such, the learners are capable of discovering the use of speech structure (Amy et al., 2012). Thus, the students become equipped with rules to be applied in practical instances. Further, circumstances where grammatical structures are comparative, the students acquire the opportunity of personalizing, understanding and remembrance of concepts (Mohammed & Jaber, 2011). The inductive method of teaching is a useful approach to discovery as well as creativity amongst students. Inductive pedagogical technique involves broadening specific ideas into general theoretical perspectives. The inductive teaching is useful in the development of presentations.
On the other hand, the instructor has an outstanding role of circulating the entire information to the students under deductive teaching. The deductive technique is a conventional teaching and learning method involving acquiring knowledge from general sources (Mohammed & Jaber, 2011). In essence, the broad concepts are narrowed into specific ideas that can be understood. In other words, the presentation of information is preceded by the prologue of ideas. In this method, the instructor has less time to convey the message due to the availability of a defined scale as well as basing the data on pre-determined reasons and facts leading to accurate information (Wang, 2012). However, the deductive teaching method is disadvantageous to a large number of students since it is structural and easily predictable. The deductive method of teaching is invaluable in the elucidation of fictitious works.
Discourse Markers (DMs) Theories
The discussions of DMs can be argued based on several theoretical structures. The analysis of semantics, as well as the pragmatics of DMs, can be carried out through the coherence and relevance theories.
Coherence theory plays a critical role in bringing out the syntactic procedure of interrelating concepts. Several studies show that cohesive relations are invaluable in augmenting semantic affiliations between the particles leading to effective interpretations of sentences irrespective of grammatical structures (Jianjing, 2012). In essence, cohesion is part of the linguist fraternity that is liable for checking the texture of the sentences. For instance, Povolná (2012) asserts that linguistic phrases ranging from pronouns to adverbs provide adjacent links that unite different parts of speech to make the conversation articulate.
Relevance-based theory of DMs
The study by Zhao (2013) asserts that discourse markers are significant in the analysis of the speech by enabling the learners to have direction concerning inferential phase of expressions as well as hunting for the most favorable relevance. Zhao (2013) procedural nature of DMs argues that the discourse markers constrain the practice involved in the interpretation of expressions. Further, Zhao (2013) contends that linguistically predetermined phrase not only takes the form of practice but also the procedural distinctions. In essence, the conceptual peculiarity is significant in the explicit scope of speech. On the other hand, the procedural distinction acts at the implicit level of communication.
In general, the advocates of coherence theory argue that DMs are vital in the contribution of articulate utterance of dialogue through encoding connections between the particles of speech. On the other hand, the proponents of relevance theory contend that the DMs are important in programming the procedural data thus managing the relevance connections existing between different parts of speech. The cognitive encoding is achieved by constricting the contextual information deemed pertinent.
The theoretical frameworks of contrastive discourse markers (CDMs) involve the functional and corpus perspectives. In essence, the CDMs encompass lexical utterances that are critical in establishing a contrast between adjoining parts of a speech. Actually, one can get an indication of distinction directly or indirectly from the different speech segments (Fraser, 2010). In direct contrast, the listener can compare the interpretation of discourse parts explicitly. In other words, the sequence of CDM takes place in a well-formed as well as interpretable manner of different parts of the discourse. On the other hand, indirect contrast makes it hard for the person perceiving information to understand clearly the connection existing between different segments of discourse.
Trends in CDMs Usage
To express coherence relations between different discourse speech segments, students have often applied CDMs in written academic speeches. For instance, most English students in Saudi Arabia continue to use lexical bundles in their academic discourse. Further, due to cross-cultural variations, many students across diverse backgrounds currently apply the CDMs in their utterances indirect as well as indirect contrasts (Jianjing, 2012).
Common CDMs in use and their pragmatic functions
Common contrastive discourse markers include but as well as instead. The other examples include, on the contrary, to the contrary and quite contrary. For instance, on the contrary, when used in a sentence signals an incorrect representation of action attributed to a given part of the segment and thus offers the correct representation with the other part of the section (Povolná, 2012).
Amy, M., Materek, A. & Eason, S. (2012). Neural circuitry associated with two different approaches to novel word learning. Developmental Cognitive Science, 2(1), 99-113.
Dontcheva-Navratilova, O. (2012). Lexical bundles in academic texts by non-native speakers. Brno Studies in English, 38(2), 129-143.
Fraser, B. (2010). The English contrastive discourse marker on the contrary. Emerald SP, 12(6), 87-95.
Jianjing, G. (2012). Empirical study on discourse marker teaching. Foreign Language and Literature, 1(1), 128-132.
Larose, F. & Grenon, V. (2010). Study of utilization motives and profiles for adoption of computerized didactic material (CDM). Centre for Research on Instructional Intervention, 12(4), 3-27.
Mohammed, A. A. & Jaber, H. A. (2011). The effects of deductive and inductive approaches of teaching on the use of the active and passive voice in English. College Student Journal, 42(2), 545-553.
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Povolná, R. (2012). Causal and contrastive discourse markers in novice academic writing. Brno Studies in English, 38(2), 93-105.
Sætrevik, B. Reber, R. & Sannum, P. (2010). The utility of implicit learning in the teaching of rules. Learning and Instruction, 16(2), 363-373.
Wang, P. (2012). Teaching and learning English verb tenses. English Linguistics Research, 1(1), 18-26.
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