Russian-like Discourse in English Essays

Abstract

The paper presents the results of a research revealing typical manifestations of English discourse incompetence by Russian natives and is a further development of the ‘Russian English’ issue investigated by the author. The work focuses on institutional business English discourse produced by Russian students of tourism orally and in writing. The research reveals the most likely discourse-related “problem” areas for Russian learners. The objective of the research is to identify typical, frequent and meaningful anomalies of Russian performance within the framework of the discourse type. The characteristic features of the English discourse are summarized, including macro properties as well as particular micro differences. The idea of ‘a discourse fork’ is discussed, i.e. a multidimensional model of an ESP genre to tune one’s product to. The paper analyses recurrent occurrences of textual flaws of a stylistic, syntactic, pragmatic and prosodic character as aspects of the Russian discursive accent in English. The issue of the Russian accent in English discourse is considered not from a socio-linguistic perspective, but as a problem of applied linguistics, that is as an ESP genre-teaching challenge. The study proceeds from the notion of a “threshold level of expertise in the use of the genres” (B. Paltridge), the Anglophone business community uses, for someone to successfully enter that community. The methods used encompass contrastive, discourse, conversation analyses and investigation of a self-made corpus of Russian English discourse samples. The learning experiences considered include assuming discourse criteria, raising awareness, evaluating ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ samples, eliciting discourse production and self-reflection.



Author Information
Olga Bondarenko, The Moscow State Institute for Tourism Industry, Russia

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2015
Stream: World Englishes

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