Understanding the Use of "I Think" among Hong Kong Undergraduates through Conversation Analysis

By Ella Kit-Chi Leung.

Published by The International Journal of Literacies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Students in Hong Kong have learned discussion skills at the secondary school level in order to prepare for their college entrance examinations. However, in many of the student-led seminars and group discussions at the university level, it appears that they lack the conversational strategies and rely heavily only on a few discourse markers. This study will examine the use of “I think” among Hong Kong undergraduates through looking closely at the data collected in a group discussion activity in a university classroom. Conversation analysis, a rigorous and inductive spoken discourse analysis approach, will be used to study the data. Strengths and weaknesses of the CA application will be briefly discussed. The study will also explore some pedagogical implications that might provide some insights to English language teachers on teaching discussion skills.

Keywords: “I Think”, Discourse Markers, Conversation Analysis, Group Discussions

The International Journal of Literacies, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.151-161. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 375.504KB).

Ella Kit-Chi Leung

Senior Instructor, English Language Teaching Unit, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Ella K. Leung has been teaching in the English Language Teaching Unit at The Chinese University of Hong Kong since 1999. She is currently engaged in doctoral research with the University of Bristol. Her research interests include the teaching, learning and assessment of spoken English, intercultural communication, and ELT curriculum development.