An Examination of Discourse Practices .
An Examination of Discourse Practices within an I.
Introduction and Aims of the Investigation.
It has long been widely recognised that language is central to the process of education and its role with regard to power and authority has been examined by numerous researchers (see Atkinson, Davies, and Delamont, 1995; Coulthard, 1994; Duszak, 1997; Fairclough, 2001; Fairclough and Wodak, 1997; Fisher and Todd, 1986; Mercer, 1995; Wodak, 1996). The I. T. training room is in many ways similar to a school classroom and therefore the nature of the lesson format can be analysed for its content and its structural format in respect of, who can speak, when speech can take place and in connection with what topic. The authority and force of any spoken text within the training room can be examined, particularly in relation to issues of control. There are typical discursive moves and methods normally employed by trainers to regulate knowledge and maintain command in the training room. These systems should be explored to identify whether trainee resistance is possible to influence the construction of knowledge in this environment.
The study reported here explored how training is presented to an audience. The key issues that were determined are the manner in which the trainer adapts delivery of the training course to suit the audience and the circumstance. Would the trainer adjust her language practice if the training were being delivered to a group of senior managers compared to a group of unemployed people attempting self-improvement? How does the discursive practice position the trainer as teacher' and the trainees as students'? If a discursive format mismatch occurs between the trainer and trainees, what linguistic techniques does the trainer employ to overcome the problem and ensure comprehension? How do these factors affect pace of delivery and learning outcomes? How does the trainer evade the language strategies adopted by training delegates to conceal a lack of understanding in order to gauge the training effectiveness realistically? .