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The Centre of Language, Discourse & Communication (LDC) runs hands-on data sessions that are designed to help students sharpen their sensitivity to the fine details of interaction, and to improve their practical skills in micro-analysis.

Each session involves one member of the group bringing a piece of data, usually audio or audio-visual data with an accompanying transcript. The data tends to be only a few minutes (a couple of pages of transcript), and once it has been introduced and contextualised, the group is invited to listen to the data several times and analyse it individually for about 15 minutes. After we have all had a chance to listen to it, look at it and think about it, we discuss our approaches, interpretations, confusions and conclusions.

The sessions are a great way to share ideas about how to approach data for the first time, to get exposed to other people’s data, and most importantly to practice close analysis of discourse data. The workshops are one of the few chances that post-grad students have to get this kind of practice, and our visitors from outside King’s have frequently commented on what a unique and useful experience the sessions are. Finally, when your turn comes to bring your data, you are likely to find as many new ways of looking at it as there are people in the room!