How does spoken discourse differ systematically from written discourse? How important is an understanding of the differences between spoken and written language to a teacher of English to second language learners?

 It requires you to discuss the differences between spoken and written discourse. This is a major theme in both discourse analysis and grammar and hence the number of useful references is vast. The starting point in your preparation for the essay should be reading the relevant sections of the set book : Discourse Analysis by Brian Paltridge. Chapter 6 is concerned specifically with the distinction between spoken and written discourse, but several other parts of the book are also relevant including those which deal with pragmatics, genre and conversation (Chapters 3 to 5). Use the contents page to search out these relevant sections and read them carefully. The work of Douglas Biber and associates has contributed a great deal to our understanding of spoken/written differences and several useful references to Biber’s work can be found in the reference section of Paltridge’s book. A readerfriendly and practical outline of the grammar of spoken English can be found in Section 13 of Biber, Conrad and Leech (2002) The Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English

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