The Application of Discourse Analysis to English Reading Teaching in Chinese Universities—What is the Focus?

Yanwei Nie

Abstract


Reading is a primary avenue of language input and the spread of knowledge. Some EFL learners focus on vocabulary and grammar, but ignore the broader relationship between words, sentences and paragraphs in reading. Due to this, it is of great necessity to introduce discourse analysis to English reading teaching because of its potential to improve students’ discourse awareness and reading comprehension. While discourse analysis covers three aspects, structure of discourse, cohesion and coherence, and background information and context, this paper aimed to identify the ideal focus of discourse-based English reading teaching and to uncover pedagogical differences between English majors and non-English majors in Chinese universities. The research findings show that Chinese students have a good sense of discourse in general, and the main difference between English majors and non-English majors is that English majors are more inclined to grasp the main idea by analyzing the structure of discourse. The pedagogical implication is that if discourse-based reading teaching is applied for non-English major students, it should focus more on reading strategies related to the structure of discourse.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22158/selt.v5n2p149

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