International Journal of Language and Linguistics
Volume 5, Issue 5, September 2017, Pages: 127-134
Received: Jan. 27, 2017;
Accepted: May 27, 2017;
Published: Aug. 2, 2017
Views 789 Downloads 65
Isaac Afful, Department of English, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
Over the last few decades, researchers have shown much interest in written academic genres to the detriment of spoken academic genres, though spoken genres such as viva voces are quintessential to postgraduate studies and form part of the enculturation process of novice academics. Using the ethnography of communication approach as proposed by Dell Hymes and focusing on setting, participant and act sequence, this paper examined how these elements of ethnography are operative in three recordings of viva voces organised by a department of a university in Ghana. The study revealed that the setting, day, scene, and clothing of participants highlight the formal nature of viva voces, a finding which projects academics as business-minded individuals. Further, it was revealed that the participants of viva voces are usually academics who share similar beliefs and engage in practices cherished by the community of practice. The relationship between candidates and the assessors, was asymmetrical and power-laden as realized though the address terms and lexico-grammatical choices that the candidates make. Finally, the study revealed that the viva voces are organized into four schematic structures. The study makes key contributions to scholarship on postgraduate pedagogy, text construction, and ethnography of communication.
An Ethnography of Communication: Viva Voce in a Ghanaian University, International Journal of Language and Linguistics.
Vol. 5, No. 5,
2017, pp. 127-134.
Afful, J. B. A. (2012). Postgraduate thesis writing in the Humanities: Advanced academic literacy and role of Applied Linguistics. In D. F Edu-Buandoh & A. B. Appartaim (Eds). Between language and literature: A festschrift for Prof. K. Edu Yankson (pp. 133-147). University of Cape Coast Printing Press.
Afful, J. B. A. (2007). Address forms and the construction of multiple identities among university students in Ghana. Sociolinguistic Studies, 1(3), 461-481.
Bauman, R., & Sherzer, J. (1975). The ethnography of speaking. Annual Reviews, 4, 95-119. Sourced from: www.annualreviews.org/aronline. Accessed on 12th May, 2017.
Bridges, S. (1999). Oral case exams in marketing: Enhancing and evaluating communication and problem-solving skills. Marketing Education Review, 9(3), 27-35.
Csomay, E. (2001). Academic lectures: An interface of an oral and literate continuum. Nov ELTy Journal, 7(3), 1-10.
Dubois, B. (1980). The genre and structure of biaomedical speeches, Forum Linguisticum, 5, 140-168.
Eckert, P., & McConnell-Ginet, P. (1998). Communities of practice: Where language, gender and power all live. In J. Coates (Ed.) Language and gender: A reader (pp. 484-494). Oxford: Blackwell.
Fortanet, I. (2005). Honoriscausa speeches: An approach to structure. Discourse Processes, 7(1), 31-51.
Gumperz, J., & Hymes, D. (1972a) Directions in Sociolinguistics – The Ethnography of Communication. USA, Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Hymes, D. (1986). Models of the interaction of language and social life. In J. Gumperz & D. Hymes (Eds.), Directions in Sociolinguistics: The Ethnography of Communication. Oxford, New York: Basil Blackwell. (pp. 35-71). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Hymes, D. (1974). Ways of speaking. In R. Bauman & J. Sherzer (Eds.) Explorations in the Ethnography of Speaking. (pp. 433-451). London: Cambridge University Press.
Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Lee, J. (2011). A genre analysis of second language classroom discourse: Exploring the rhetorical, linguistic, and contextual dimensions of language lessons. Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language Dissertations. Paper 20.
Markulis, L. & Strang, G. (2008). Viva voce: Oral exams as a teaching & learning experience. Developments in Business Simulation and Experiential Learning, 35, 118-127.
Mariotti, C. (2008). Genre variation in academic spoken English: The case of lectures and research conference presentations. Research Centre on Languages for Specific Purposes, 1, 63-79.
Mercer, N. (2010). The analysis of classroom talk: Methods and methodologies. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 1-14.
Mullins, G., & Kiley, M. (2002). It’s a PhD, not a Nobel Prize. How experienced examiners assess research theses. Studies in Higher Education, 27(4), 369-386.
Osei Kwarteng, K., Boadi-Siaw S. Y., & Dwarko, D. A. (2012). A history of the University of Cape Coast: Fifty years of excellence in tertiary education (1962-2012). University of Cape Coast Press, Cape Coast.
Punch, K. F. (1988). Introduction to social science research: Quantitative and qualitative approaches. London: Sage Publications.
Reinard, J. C. (1994). Introduction to Communication Research. USA: Brown and Benchmark.
Richards, J. C. (1983). Listening Comprehension: Approach, Design, and Procedure. TESOL Quarterly, 17(2), 219-239.
Rowley - Jolivet, E., & Carter-Thomas, S. (2005). The rhetoric of conference presentation introductions: Context, argument and interaction. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 15(1), 45-70.
Sarfo, E. (2011). Variations in ways of refusing requests in English among members of a college community in Ghana. African Nebula, 3, 1-13.
Swales, J. M. (1990). Genre analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tang, F. (2013). Instantiation of multimodal semiotic systems in science classroom discourse. Language Sciences, 37, 22–35.
Tobach, M., & Nachliebi T. (n. d). Combining theories to analyse classroom discourse: A method to study learning process. Accessed on: 1st May, 2017. Sourced form: http://www.itjsl.org/class_room_discourse.343./67%.
Wardhaugh, R. (1992). An introduction to sociolinguistics (2nd ed.). USA: Blackwell.
Weisberg, B. (1993). The graduate seminars: Another research process genre. English for Specific Purposes, 12(1), 23-36.
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.