A Comparative Analysis of Discourse Structures in EFL Learners’ Oral and Written Narratives

Ying Sun, Wenxing Yang

Abstract


This study was undertaken to respectively portray the discourse features underlying the oral and written narratives produced by Chinese EFL learners. Via detailed analysis of the qualitative data, this study seeks to reveal the universal and distinctive structural components in oral and written narratives by EFL learners and to what degree EFL learners’ oral and written narratives deviate from each other in discourse structures. Results show that the discourse constructs underlying EFL learners’ oral and written narratives, on both the macro and micro scales, are schematically and structurally very much alike, albeit only one trivial discrepancy. In addition, the frequency distributions of each structural component further demonstrate that the two registers saliently differ in the compositional constituents of abstracting the topic in the beginning and terminating the whole narration, and they also share with each other some universal structural features as to how they elaborate the core story. Implications of these findings for narrative studies are discussed.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v3i1.917

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