Linguistics seminar: Oral examinations in a tertiary Spanish Law course
Margarita Vidal, Pontifical Catholic University, Chile
Exploring field in ‘social science’ (?): Oral examinations in a tertiary Spanish Law course
This presentation investigates how field is construed in formal oral assessments in a first-year course in an undergraduate degree in Law in a Spanish-speaking context. The research was undertaken as part of a collaborative pedagogic intervention with lecturers of the Faculty of Law in the Pontifical Catholic University, Chile. The main goal of this intervention was to integrate the teaching of a key oral genre (oral examination) within the syllabus of a communicative skills course for Law students. Data for this research involves two video-recorded oral examinations from two first-year courses in Law, a course in which oral examination is the most important form of assessment. For the purposes of the project, these recordings were examined only in terms of the verbal meanings constructed in the texts.
The presentation starts by setting the general context of the project, followed by a general description of the key analytical tools for this examination – in interpersonal terms, the notion of move from the negotiation system (Martin, 1992), and in ideational terms, the concept of figure as proposed by Hao (2015). Discourse semantic patterns of ideational and interpersonal meaning are described and then examined in the light of recent theoretical developments in relation to field (Doran & Martin, forthcoming). The presentation concludes by discussing how the concepts emerging from the analysis along with discussion of written science texts from secondary and tertiary education can be applied to texts from diverse domains of knowledge and education sectors.
Doran, Y.J. & J.R. Martin to appear Field relations: understanding scientific explanations. In K. Maton, J.R. Martin & Y.J. Doran (eds.), Studying science: Knowledge, language, pedagogy. London: Routledge.
Hao, J. (2015). Construing biology: An Ideational perspective. (Doctor of Philosophy), University of Sydney, Sydney.
Martin, J.R. (1992). English text. System and structure. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.