Comparative study of metadiscourse markers employed in defense sessions of TEFL and Persian literature graduate students

Hamideh Mahmoodian, Shahla Simin


This study aimed to explore the differences between TEFL and Persian literature graduate students in terms of applying metadiscourse markers in their oral presentations in defense sessions. The corpus of this study comprised the transcripts of oral presentations recorded in defense sessions of 30 graduate students, both male and female, from Islamic Azad University, Najaf Abad Branch, and it was divided into two parts of TEFL and Persian literature transcripts (each 15 transcripts). Based on Hyland's (2005) taxonomy, interactive and interactional metadiscourse markers were identified in transcripts and both descriptive and inferential statistics were utilized to analyze the data. According to the descriptive analysis, both TEFL and Persian literature graduate students employed interactive markers more frequently than interactional ones. Moreover, the use of interactive markers by Persian literature students was more than TEFL students, but the use of interactional markers was approximately similar for students in two disciplines. Regarding the inferential analysis, findings indicated that TEFL and Persian literature students were statistically different in terms of using different types of interactive and interactional markers. Nevertheless, there was a significant difference between TEFL and Persian literature students based on overall use of interactive markers and there was not observed any significant difference between them in terms of overall use of interactional ones. Generally, the results showed that Persian literature students applied metadiscourse markers more than TEFL students in their oral presentations. Findings of this study would be useful for teachers in guiding students to apply these markers in their speech to make it more coherent.

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