Course Title: Advanced Discourse Studies

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced Discourse Studies

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng


Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2010

Course Coordinator: Donald Webb

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3138

Course Coordinator

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course undertakes a brief historical overview of classical Discourse Analysis, Conversation Analysis and Textlinguistics theoretical approaches relevant to professional Translating and Interpreting [T&I] practice post the 1950s and attempts to make explicit the link between Discourse Studies and T&I studies. These approaches include: language use and usage, the socio-semiotic perspective in language use/function - and its implications for bilingual communication processes such as T & I and in particular the role of the T&I practitioner in this communication process -, the concept of text genre/text typology, cohesion in English and cohesion in the Language Other Than English [LOTE] etc. It looks at the specific role of cohesion in English and the LOTE for the purposes of teaching note-taking for consecutive interpreting. It provides opportunities for students to engage in intensive practical textual analysis in English and the LOTE of advanced (specialised/technical) texts in light of these frameworks.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

At the completion of this course you will:
• Be familiar with classical Discourse Analysis approaches relevant to T&I studies
• Fully understand the relationship between Discourse Analysis approaches and the process of T&I
• Fully understand the socio-semiotic perspective of language in use and the specific role of the socio-semiotic approach to T&I as bilingual communicative processes
• Fully understand issues of text genre and cohesion and their implications for bilingual communicative settings such as T&I
• Be able to undertake effective textual analysis of advanced texts
• Be able to fit such textual analysis practically into the process of T&I
• Be able to use appropriate metalanguage in carrying out textual analysis in a T&I context

Overview of Learning Activities

Classes will discuss theoretical approaches to discourse analysis and its relevance to T&I, as well as engage in close discourse analysis of paradigmatic texts drawn from a variety of sources.

Overview of Learning Resources

Materials will be drawn from RMIT’s substantial archive of texts for analysis, as well as from immediate contemporary texts from a variety of sources – print, oral, electronic and visual - reflecting the range of texts confronting translators and interpreters in the field.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment in this course will consist of a written assignment and an end of semester examination.