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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: The genre and the genre expectations of engineering oral presentations related to academic and professional contexts
Author(s): Seliman, Salbiah
Issue Date: 1996
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This research was done to find out if engineering oral presentations (EOPs) are a genre, if there are systematic differences between EOPs delivered by native speakers (NSs) and non-native speakers (NNSs) of English, if there are systematic differences between EOPs delivered by novices and experts and, if the engineering discourse community (DC) members have beliefs concerning what constitute 'good' EOPs. One engineering seminar and four engineering conferences carried out in Malaysia and the UK between March and September 1994 were participated. From this participant observation exercise, 100 questionnaires were gathered and responses analysed; sixty-eight EOPs delivered by NSs and NNSs were transcribed and analysed using Genre Analysis frameworks. Results from the analysis of EOPs were counterchecked with the responses in the questionnaires. It was found that EOPs did have describable characteristics which qualify them as a genre; There were few differences between EOPs delivered by NSs and NNSs of English because the latter tend to follow the former; There were describable differences between EOPs delivered by experts and novices. The engineering DC members did have their genre expectations but not all of their beliefs concerning what constitute 'good' EOPs were possible to materialise in actual occasions because of certain unavoidable constraints. These constraints were found to be affecting the variants of the genre more than the invariants. These variant-invariant elements were found to be related to the characteristics of exemplars, prototypes, prestige markers and the patterns of imitations of NNSs and novices of the engineering DC members. 'Ecological validity' was pointed out to be one of the ways of achieving the reliability and the validity of the research. Potential teaching implications were also discussed. Unavoidable limitations of the research were pointed out and finally immediate and longer term research projects have been identified.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Education

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