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Student academic presentations

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The interactive nature of otherwise largely monologic spoken academic discourse is a feature that has recently attracted some research attention; however, to my knowledge, interactiveness has not been discussed from a processing point of view. In this paper, I argue that the processing side of interactiveness in student presentations should be looked for in presenters’ attempts to use grammatical structure to facilitate their listeners’ processing of dense informational content. The analysis was based on the use of finite adverbial clauses found in L1 and L2 corpora of student presentations. It revealed that presenters’ ordering of adverbial clauses serves both interactional processing and discourse purposes but only their cumulative effect provides a fuller account of students’ ordering preferences in prepared discourse. The findings are discussed in light of the relationship between grammatical weight and informational processing and have implications for L1 and L2 students’ communication training courses.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 27, 2009

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