Speaking in Academic Contexts

Academic Spoken Genres


Young (1994, p. 165) distinguishes the following sections in an academic lecture, which may not follow a specific order and are interspersed throughout the lecture:

1. Discourse structuring phase: addressers indicate the direction the lecture will take.

2. Conclusion phase: lecturers summarize the main points in the lecture.

3. Evaluation (not nearly as frequent): the lecturer evaluates information which is about to be or has already been transmitted.

4. Interaction: discourse used to maintain contact with the audience, to ensure that what has been taught is in fact understood.

5. Theory and content: theoretical information, theories, models and definitions are presented to students.

6. Examples: illustration of theoretical concepts through concrete examples familiar to the audience.

See also: Speaking: Presentation Language