Publication details

Writer-reader interaction in L2 learner academic discourse: Reader engagement in Czech students' Master's theses

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Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Linguistica Pragensia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Keywords reader engagement; Master’s thesis; academic discourse; intercultural rhetoric; metadiscourse
Description This article studies writer-reader interaction in L2 (Czech) learner academic discourse focusing on reader engagement in English-medium Master’s theses written in the humanities. The study draws on Hyland and Jiang’s (2016) model of engagement. It aims to reveal how Czech graduates use features of engagement (reader reference, appeals to shared knowledge, directives and questions) to establish solidarity with readers by acknowledging their presence and negotiating potential alternative views. The contrastive corpus-based analysis compares a corpus of Czech English-medium Master’s theses with two reference L1 corpora representing learner and published academic discourse to explore the impact of linguacultural background, expertise and discipline on the frequency of use and functions of engagement markers. The findings indicate that realisation patterns and functions of engagement markers vary significantly across the corpora. Czech graduates tend to underuse reader reference and questions, overuse directives, and generally fail to approximate disciplinary patterns of engagement markers. This seems to reflect students’ insufficient awareness of academic rhetorical conventions, their efforts to blend L1 and L2 academic norms, and the specificity of the audience they are addressing in the examination context of the Master’s thesis.
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