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Minitexts in modern educational discourse: Functions and trends

The study uses examples from English language teaching materials to consider different types of discourse used in short listening and reading passages (called minitexts), and also in vocabulary, grammar and speaking exercises. Combining elements of the functional, descriptive, and cognitive analyses, the authors explore the evolutionary trends in educational discourse reflected in English language courses and consider a possible contradiction between traditional educational discourse in instructions and rubrics compared with the colloquial and popular style of much of the input. The authors also discuss the conceptual framework of minitexts, the social background, and identity of the participants in dialogues and reading passages. Finally, the authors conclude that the main trends in educational discourse development are connected with English ‘going global’, as shown by the ‘denationalisation’ of learning materials, discourse interference as the blending of different discourse features and the extension of conceptual frameworks.

KEYWORDS: educational discourse, mini-format text, minitext, denationalisation, national identity, mass media studies

Antonina Kharkovskaya. Professor in English Philology Dpt at Korolev Samara National Research University (Russia). Lectures on Stylistics, Business Communication, Discourse Analysis, Cognitive Linguistics 101, Pragmalinguistics, Educational Discourse, etc. Research interests cover English mini-format texts and communication strategies in various types of discourse. Has supervised 17 postgraduate students in their research work. Active member of editorial boards in several journals, including Russian Journal of Communication published in cooperation with the Russian Communication Association (RCA) and the North American Russian Communication Association (NARCA). Author of over 200 publications on the issues of Applied Linguistics.

Evgeniya Ponomarenko. Professor in English Language Dpt No 4 at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. Author and co-author of over 110 publications, including three monographs and eight edited collections. Specialises in functional linguistics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, rhetoric, the culture of business communication, including business English communication, linguosynergetics, theoretical grammar, and British and American studies.

Alexandra Radyuk. Has been teaching in Foreign Languages Dpt at the Faculty of Economics of Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) since 2014. Defended her candidate thesis on ‘Functional and pragmatic properties of cooperative discursive strategies in English business discourse’ at Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Research interests cover teaching methods, discursive strategies, and professional communication analysis.


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