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Institutional Discourse




In our program we investigate everyday practices in various institutional contexts. Institutions are discursively constructed and maintained through the linguistic and semiotic behaviors of their members. We articulate specific proposals for the analysis of these behaviors in various professional social contexts, especially multiparty discourses that involve complex roles and participation frameworks. Having started out with a focus on educational environments and language acquisition/learning, these proposals increasingly address professional communication in a range of face-to-face and technologically-mediated situations. These include (broadcast) political discourse, doctor-patient communication, educational discourses in secondary schools and university settings.

Research highlights

  • Anne Bannink and Jet Van Dam are guest editors of a special issue of the open access journal Languages. Title of the issue: Institutional Discourse and the Covid-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities. See Call for papers.
  • Van der Zwaard & Bannink won the CALICO Award for Best Article 2018 for their paper Reversal of participant roles in NS-NNS synchronous telecollaboration.
  • Van der Zwaard & Bannink developed a model for negotiation of meaning in digital L2 learning.
  • Van der Laaken & Bannink found that introduction of the Lastmeter in cancer follow-up consultations creates interactional dilemmas for both physicians and patients.
  • Bannink & Albeladejo suggested a refinement of Montgomery’s typology of the genre of the television ‘news interview’ (2008).

Societal Impact

  • In the project Educational Ethnography: Everyday Practices Anne Bannink and Jet Van Dam  develop a discourse-based framework for the analysis of task-oriented interactions at school and at the university.  Competencies in Context, an electronic learning environment for university teachers,  applies these theoretical notions to authentic  video data: actual lectures taught by experienced teachers at the University of Amsterdam.  The website is used as teaching material in the BKO (Basic Teacher Qualification) course.
  • In the project Discourses in medical settings Manon van der Laaken evaluates the effect of a screening tool for psychological stress in head and neck cancer patients by analyzing discussions between patient and physician during outpatient consultations. The outcomes of the project will yield practical recommendations for practitioners.
  • Rina de Vries investigates a corpus of papers written in English by European Studies students in order to identify student problems with academic citation practices. The results of this study will inform academic writing teaching for non-English students.