Now, so, I think, you see, well, Oh, as I was
saying, I mean, okay, actually, I think … These are all Spoken Discourse Markers.
A word. A phrase. ‘Mama always said not to talk to strangers.’ ‘Well, yeah, but …’ Discourse markers have no grammatical function. But they help a
conversation to flow. How? They help speakers to organise what
they are saying into chunks of information. Examples? Ok, let’s take a vote. ”Well I was a little worried.’
‘You know, not everyone shares your opinion!’ Now, we must leave by 11:00 a.m.’ ‘I think I’ll go now.’
Spoken Discourse Markers are used to
begin sentences. Let’s look at the word ”SO.’
People argue about the use of the
word ‘so’ to begin sentences! Listen to this example,
‘What is the focus of your research?’
‘So, I study samples of Creek water to track pollution.’ Using ‘so’ to begin a sentence, especially when you’re being interviewed, may give you a little
thinking time, however some people believe that using ‘so’ very often, or as a
habit, makes you seem less intelligent when you’re speaking. Use a variety of discourse markers.
Do not keep repeating the same one in the same conversation.
Let’s have a look at the Marking Criteria: Fluency and Coherence for the
IELTS test. If we look at band 7, it says ‘uses a range of connectives and
discourse markers with some flexibility.’ For your speaking, for a band 7, these
discourse markers will be very helpful in getting a higher score. Now, so, I think, you see, well,
Oh, as I was saying, I mean, okay, actually, I think … These are all Spoken Discourse Markers.