Discourse Markers and Spoken English: Nonnative Use in the Turkish EFL Setting

Asuman Asik, Pasa Tevfik Cephe


This study investigated the production of discourse markers by non-native speakers of English and their occurrences in their spoken English by comparing them with those used in native speakers’ spoken discourse. Because discourse markers (DMs) are significant items in spoken discourse of native speakers, a study about the use of DMs by nonnative speakers is necessary and guiding.  Thus, the study was based on two specific corpora. First, a research corpus was composed using the transcriptions of the course presentations of twenty non-native undergraduate students studying at an English Language Teaching (ELT) program in Turkey. To compare the data, transcripts of student presentations of native speakers were attained with the help of MICASE Corpus. The occurrences of the discourse markers in both corpora were determined with frequency analysis. The results indicated that non-native speakers of English use a limited number and less variety of discourse markers in their spoken English. The study therefore highlights the importance of the need for raising non-native speakers' awareness of using discourse markers in their spoken English, and recommends implications for English language teaching.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/elt.v6n12p144

English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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