Storytelling in English and Russian-language lecture discourse


  • Irina Khoutyz Kuban State University



storytelling, narrative, lecture discourse, communication strategy, persuasion, establishing contact


The advantages of using storytelling as a communication strategy are currently discussed in marketing, psychology, advertising, medicine, and education. It is described as an inborn skill that people relate to and which makes people listen. Storytelling is also described as an educational method (Dumović 2006, Pedersen 1995) and as a communication tool (Dahlstrom 2014, Sundin 2018) that can be used widely in education. The purpose of this paper is to analyze features and functions of storytelling used in academic lectures. For this purpose, three lecturers in Russian and three lecturers in English were analyzed. By means of a mixed-method approach, including discourse analysis and content analysis, it was established that all the lecturers used storytelling as a communication strategy for explanatory and contact-establishing purposes. The conclusion is made that storytelling was used by the Russian and the English-language lecturers to provide their audience with clear and engaging explanations. The lecturers constructed their stories using factual information, emotional and evaluative lexis, verbs of action, as well as discursive strategies that helped them to engage the audience in the topic of the lecture (e.g., the inclusive pronoun we and different kinds of questions). Though the stories have much in common, some differences between the stories in Russian and in English are identified. Based on these results, it is suggested that further contrastive studies of storytelling in academic settings can benefit those who are planning on presenting to an international audience or preparing to teach in an intercultural context.


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How to Cite

Khoutyz, I. (2020). Storytelling in English and Russian-language lecture discourse. Moderna Språk, 114(2), 73–90.



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