'And as I said at the beginning, this is a journey in which we are embarking': Metadiscourse as a rhetorical strategy in online teaching methodology courses

Michela Giordano, Maria Antonietta Marongiu
Taking for granted that "metadiscourse embodies the idea that communication is more than just the exchange of information, goods and services, but also involves the personalities, attitudes and assumptions of those who are communicating" (Hyland 2005: 3), this work aims to analyse the features of metadiscourse in online teaching methodology courses. As we speak or write, we negotiate with our readers or listeners, we make decisions about the effects we want to attain on our audience (Hyland
more » ... , 2015). Instructors in online teaching methodology courses use a vast array of metadiscoursal features, under the form of commentaries embedded in the oral text, which express the speakers' intentions, and how confident they are about what they are saying, along with directions to the listeners, and logical connectors or frame markers referring to the structure of the oral text. After a categorization of different types of textual metadiscourse in online courses, the present study aims to investigate whether and to what extent these commentaries can be considered as ways to signal speakers' attitudes towards the content and their audiences. Following Hyland (2005), both interactive resources (to guide the listener through the text) and interactional resources (to involve the listener in the subject) will be considered in order to ascertain whether these features are used to control, evaluate and negotiate the goals and impact of the ongoing talk (Hyland 2015). From this point of view, metadiscoursal features can be deemed rhetorical as long as they contribute to the informative and persuasive impact of methodological lessons taught online. Therefore, metadiscourse in this genre is also investigated from a rhetorician's perspective, focusing on figures of presence, figures of focus and figures of communion, and on ethos, pathos and logos appeals which contribute to effective communication rather than being merely used for ornamentation.
doi:10.6092/978-88-97413-25-7_p131 fatcat:3fcqb6jk7jckxlq64xp3rjg4pa