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.

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