Oral Akan Discourse and its Influence on the Construction of Academic Disciplinary Genres


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




This research studies Ghanaian ESL undergraduate learners find the extent to which the rhetorical structure and norms of the oral Akan discourse community affects language use in academic contexts. It argues that some oral and cultural rhetorical practices of the subjects, such as face to face strategies of conversational norm, story-telling elements that employ imaginative and metaphorical dimensions of language, and argument structure based on the collectivist nature of an oral culture influence the text construction process. This qualitative research, based on analyses of the structure of oral Akan discourse, interviews, and 200 witting samples of undergraduate essays from a range of disciplines in the humanities and the sciences (levels 100-400 students), establishes that for these L2 subjects, antecedent genres of L1 oral Akan culture interact with new norms of writing in English.