Past Event details

Doing Discourse Analysis in Higher Education Research

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Dr Karen Smith and Dr Saskia Kersten University of Hertfordshire

Discourse analysis is concerned with the relationship between language (within spoken, written and multi-modal texts) and the social and cultural contexts in which that language is used. There are many definitions of discourse analysis in terms of both its theoretical and methodological stance, and also the sets of techniques to support analysis that comprise its methods. In this session, we will explore some of the definitions and approaches defined as discourse analysis and explore their applicability, usefulness, and current use in higher education research.

The session will be practical in nature, trialling different ways of studying action in talk and text. Using examples of actual texts, participants will test out different analytical approaches associated with discourse analysis, including: genre analysis, corpus-based approaches, multimodal discourse analysis and critical discourse analysis. The session does not intend to be prescriptive in terms of approach, rather it seeks to stimulate debate, discussion and reflection based on actual experience of working with language.

Throughout the session, participants will have an opportunity to consider how they might frame their own research within a discourse analysis perspective and there will be guidance on designing discourse analysis projects.

Participants are asked to bring an internet-enabled mobile device with them (smartphone, tablet, laptop). 



Dr Karen Smith is Principal Lecturer in Collaborative Research and Development in the School of Education at the University of Hertfordshire. Originally trained as a linguistic, Karen is an active higher education researcher and draws on methods of discourse analysis to support her research. Recent higher education research projects – drawing on critical discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, and genre analysis – have been funded by SEDA, the University of Hertfordshire, and the SRHE.

Dr Saskia Kersten is Senior Lecturer in English Language & Communication in the School of Humanities at the University of Hertfordshire. She obtained her PhD from Hildesheim University, Germany, in 2009. Her research interests are digitally mediated communication with a focus on varieties of English on Twitter, self-naming practices and identity construction online, the use of digitally mediated communication in the EFL classroom, the role of formulaic language in the second language development and corpus linguistic methods in interdisciplinary research. 

Network: Professional Development Programme
Date(s): Thursday, 17 October 2019
Times: 11:00 - 16:00
Location: SRHE, 73 Collier St, London N1 9BE
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Discourse Analysis
Doing Discourse Analysis in Higher Education Research - Dr Karen Smith
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