Особенности метадискурсивной организации академического письма на английском языке студентов-экономистов
The present study investigates academic discourse in economics in terms of the accuracy of metadiscourse use in the English written texts produced by Russian students majoring in economics with different competence. The purpose of the research is to identify features of creation of academic text in English by non-English-speaking writers and to define types of disruptions of metadiscursive organization of written communication in English on the example of the essay genre.
The research was conducted by applying formal error analysis based on Chuang & Nesi’s classification of errors to the metadiscourse use in argumentative essays. This method was instrumental in confirming the hypothesis that a study of metadiscourse use in a written text requires taking into account not only linguistic phenomena and their frequency, but also their correct understanding and use by non-native writers of English. The research dataset comprised 139 essays written by Russian learners of English as a foreign language atthe Perm campus of the National Research University – Higher School of Economics, including 77 essaysin nonprofessionalacademic discourse (NPAD) and 62 essaysin professionalacademic discourse (PAD).
The study specifies the correlation between frequency and correct use of metadiscourse markers in nonprofessional and professional types of academic discourse in economics. The authors revealed that the frequency of erroneous use of discourse markers in the PAD essays is higher than in the NPAD essays. The most commonly used groups of discourse markers, in particular those which introduce new or additional information, point at contrasting with or deviating from the main idea and introduce the author’s evaluation of probability, interrelation of the information and the situation, appear to be the most representative of errors. An analysis of the errors in the linguistic categories which were most commonly found both in the PAD and NPAD essays showed that conjunction errors, determiner errors, lexical misconception errors occur in roughly the same percentage. The difference in the percentage of errors between the two types of discourse can be seen in the use of prepositions (in the PAD) and in the number of spelling errors (in the NPAD).
The conclusion is that in the process of choosing the best organization and creating a clearer content structure for the text of special discourse, non-native writers of English focus on the content aspect of communication, which in part becomes an obstacle to its proper structuring. The authors point to the importance of metadiscourse use in written texts for students of different levels of professional competence in a foreign language.