HomeThe ASTR Research Journalvol. 3 no. 1 (2019)

“Well… Y’know… Okay…” An Analysis of Discourse Markers’ Pragmatic Functions and Sentence Positions among Senior High School English Teachers’ Spoken Discourse: Implications for Language Teaching


Discipline: Education



Over the years, the English language continues to evolve. As a result, some linguistic features are said to play crucial roles in communication. Hence, this study aims to identify the frequently used discourse markers (hence, DMs) and their pragmatic functions and syntactic positions in spoken discourse. Twenty Senior High School English teachers in Pampanga, Philippines were selected to participate in the study. Using the qualitative research method, the discourse markers were given examples from the research corpus which revealed that English teachers used DMs more often in their oral discourse. Along with this finding, it was also revealed that DMs serve different pragmatic functions, both textual and interpersonal. In addition, DMs mostly occurred in initial positions of utterances. It can also be noted that non-native speakers of English particularly English teachers in the Philippines have a remarkable tendency to use discourse markers. However, they used a variety of DMs less frequently. Generally, DMs have pivotal implications for establishing speaker-listener relationship and for English language teaching since discourse markers are now considered among the significant linguistic elements in spoken English discourse as they function for various purposes and activate discourse-pragmatic competence of the speakers. Therefore, it is suggested that teachers should highlight them in language instruction to increase learners’ awareness about the DMs functions to enhance their fluency and become more communicatively and pragmatically competent.