LLED 501: Analyzing Discourse and Talk: An Overview of Methods

What is discourse? How is it related to social structures and realities? What methods can researchers use to describe and explain these relationships? What can the close study of discourse tell researchers about language and literacy practices? As a dynamic and interdisciplinary field emerging from anthropology, linguistics, sociology, philosophy, and psychology, discourse analysis offers a broad range of ways of posing and addressing such questions. Discourse analysis is not a single method, but rather a collection of perspectives united by their focus on spoken and written language use in specific contexts. As an introduction to discourse analytic approaches, this course provides a framework for general concepts central to discourse analysis, including agency, narrative, identity, register, genre, text, intertextuality, indexicality, intersubjectivity, contextualization, and, of course, discourse. Multiple methodologies are described, exemplified, and compared as a way of providing an overview of some of the many options and considerations of interest to researchers studying language, discourse, and sociality.