Let's start this lesson by explaining what a discourse marker is and why it is important to use it in spoken English.
A discourse marker is a word or phrase we use to organise spoken language into different parts.
Here are some examples of discourse markers: basically, apparently, actually, honestly, obviously, otherwise, besides, anyway, and many more.
You already know and use discourse markers in your own native language. They help you connect and organise what you say as well as change or manage a topic.
It is important to remember that discourse markers make you sound more natural in a language.
Now, let's focus on why it is difficult to use them correctly in spoken English.
Discourse markers are difficult to use accurately because:
In this lesson, we will focus on discourse markers which you can use in everyday English as well as in a speaking part of an exam (IELTS, for example). We have provided really good examples with vocabulary and structures used in C1 and C2 levels of English.
We can use 'well' as a discourse marker at the beginning of what we say. By doing so, we show that we are thinking about the question that we have been asked.
It is often used to show that what you are saying is obvious or already known.
We use it to indicate a new topic of conversation or a change or contrast in what is being talked about. We also use actually to give more detail about a topic.
As we talk, we listen to what we are saying. We often rephrase or change the information depending on our listener. We use discourse markers to make what we say clearer for the listener.
We can use words and phrases such as well, I mean, in other words, the thing is, what I mean is, etc.
It means 'in addition to', 'also' or 'apart from'.
We use this word when we want to add more information to support what we are saying as well as give another reason or argument for something.
Click below to read some of our IELTS related lessons:
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IELTS Speaking Test: Places That Tourists Visit and Being a Tourist (We give answers to six questions from Part 3 of the speaking test.)
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