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An Analysis of Appraisal in Teacher Talk Based on Quality Courses of College English

Author: LiLi
Tutor: ZuoJunYu
School: Zhengzhou University
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: Appraisal theory Quality Courses teacher talk appraisal resources function
CLC: H319
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 74
Quote: 0
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Abstract


Appraisal theory is a complementary theory to the interpersonal system of Systemic Functional Linguistics at the level of discourse semantics. It is concerned with evaluation; the kinds of attitude that are negotiated in a text, the strength of the feelings involved and the ways wherein values are sources and readers aligned, thus it is constituted of three broad semantic domains, attitude, graduation, and engagement. As Appraisal is a way to realize the interpersonal meaning of discourse, it is widely used in the study on the discourse with interpersonal meaning.The thesis attempts to study evaluation in teacher talk of Quality Courses of College English from the perspective of Appraisal theory. To accomplish this, both quantitative statistics and qualitative analysis is adopted for this study. Therefore, the frequency of each sub-system of appraisals is counted and displayed; besides, the functions played by these appraisal resources in class are explored.The study has some major findings. There are abundant appraisal resources in Teacher talk, yet the distribution of the sub-systems of appraisal, i.e. attitude, engagement and graduation is unbalanced; meanwhile the roles played by them also have some distinctions as well. As the core of Appraisal system, the attitudinal resources accounts for quite a big proportion, say, around 50% of the overall appraisal recourses, meanwhile, comparing affect, judgement and appreciation are relatively more used in teacher talk of Quality Courses. If the teacher could really care about the students’emotion and their requirements, obviously it aids to create better teaching-learning environment in classroom. As students, once they received appropriate evaluations and encouragement timely, they would take more active part in class activity. Besides, by flexible use of engagement resources, especially the use of expansion resources, the teacher opens more space for negotiating with divergent viewpoints, which helps students to think more and offers a broader platform for the students to show themselves. Furthermore, by using the graduation resources to grading attitudinal resources, teacher talk is more easily accepted, what’s more, the students can feel the delicacy of different degree of emotions, which helps them to judge people and things properly. By comprehensive use of these different appraisal resources, the teacher could construe harmonious teacher-students relationship, create better learning environment in classroom and make the class coherent. More importantly, the students benefit a lot from the teacher’s evaluation and encouragement. Not only they are willing to cooperate with the teacher in class, participate more in class activity, but also they are willing to learn more English after class. This undoubtedly aids a lot in improving teaching effect.The present study supports recent trends in the study of discourse analysis within Appraisal theory. Meanwhile, the analysis of teacher talk from the perspective of Appraisal theory has also yield some important implications to College English teaching. However, for the complexity of Appraisal theory, the limitations concerning the corpus chosen and some other reasons as well, the research still needs further study and improvement.

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CLC: > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching
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