Using English Discourse Markers to Enhance Speaking Skills: A Case Study at Van Lang University




Speaking skills, discourse markers, DMs, perceptions


Vietnamese learners of English have paid little attention to English discourse markers (DMs) although DMs play a significant role in the speech of native English speakers. Furthermore, few studies of DMs used by Vietnamese learners have been carried out. This research aims at identifying the participants’ perceptions of making use of DMs in conversational English and the ways they apply DMs in English conversations as the initial stage to prepare them for a plan of action that could fill the research gap. By means of audio recordings and questionnaires conducted in an English major class of 30 first-year students at Van Lang University (VLU), this research discovers that most of the participants acknowledge the vital roles of DMs in conversational English, such as facilitating general communication and indicating the speaker’s attitude. The research also finds that a plurality of the students is very limited in their use of DMs when making conversations. Therefore, as a recommendation, speaking courses should include DMs instructions. These results make a contribution to more studies on how to instruct DMs in conversational English so that the English-speaking skills of the students at VLU could be enhanced.

Author Biography

Truong Phu Sy, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Van Lang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Sy Phu Truong is a lecturer of English, the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Van Lang University, Vietnam. He holds an M.A in TESOL from Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. He has 18 years of teaching English to Vietnamese learners of many levels. His research interests include teaching language skills, discourse analysis, and business English.


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How to Cite

Truong, P. S. (2022). Using English Discourse Markers to Enhance Speaking Skills: A Case Study at Van Lang University. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 2(5), 89–99.