Metadiscourse in EFL Virtual Classrooms

Conference: The European Conference on Education (ECE2022)
Title: Metadiscourse in EFL Virtual Classrooms
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Ghaleb Rabab'ah, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Sane Yagi, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates


Adopting Hyland’s (2004) two-componential taxonomy, the study used a mixed method approach to explore metadiscourse in EFL virtual classroom. More specifically, the study sought to find out which metadiscourse markers are used more frequently, i.e. interactive or interactional, and which functions they perform in an EFL context during Covid-19 pandemic. In order to achieve the objectives of the present study, 35 online lectures (90 minutes each, a corpus of 255,000 words) delivered by the researcher and two more colleagues at the University of Sharjah were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Mann-Whitney test was used to find out if there are any significant differences between the major resources (interactive vs. interactional), and their subcategories. The results indicated that there were significant differences in favour of the interactional resources, implying that the selected EFL instructors and students used more interactional resources than interactive resources. The qualitative analysis revealed that the interactive resources (i.e., code glosses and evidentials) are the metadiscourse markers used by EFL instructors and students to manage the flow of information, provide elaboration on propositional content, and give evidence to support their arguments in virtual teaching and teaching, whose ultimate goal is to achieve cohesion and logical coherence to make it more persuasive. On the other hand, interactional resources (i.e., attitude and engagement markers) were used to engage the listener and signal their attitudes to their material and their audience. The present research concludes with some pedagogical implications for EFL instructors, students, and syllabus designers.

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