What is a discourse community? By definition it is a group of people who share a basic set of values and assumptions, and have ways of communicating about those goals. According to John Swales, there are specific requirements that a community must meet to be considered a discourse community. Here I will be analyzing a discourse community at Boise State University known as BroncoFit.
The first thing is the community's common goals. Everyone who was placed in the BroncoFit community was chosen because they all described themselves as being interested in fitness, exercise, and wanting to learn how to implement healthier lifestyle habits in one form or another. These students were committed to attending the gym, making healthy meal choices, and they supported each other as if they were close, long time friends.
The next one is intercommunication, which was typically done in a classroom setting on Tuesday evenings. Every member meets for an hour long class where they engaged in conversations with each other, while also receiving information from their instructor that helped expand their knowledge toward their goals. They were educated on how food groups benefit the body in certain ways, while also being informed about the actual mechanics of the human body and why it responds to things the way that it does.
After that came participatory mechanics which helped measure progress and gave a sense of feedback. Currently, they are in the process of using personal workout and meal plans. These were designed, by them, for them, to help obtain specific goals. Members were required to be disciplined and committed to their plans, by then which they would be measured by their instructor to ultimately determine if their plans should be altered, or they, as individuals, needed to change things to remain on a successful track.
Communicative genres are the next characteristic in line. They utilize these to back their aims. Their class is specifically tied in with a kinesiology course. They use that information to help break down and incorporate specific scientific terms and information with their fitness strategies. Education on the muscle groups and what specific muscles were called helped the students learn how to target areas of their own bodies when engaging in exercises.
Lexis, which are terms unique to the desired field, help with the intercommunication process. For example, in the LLC they use professional terms for bones, muscle groups, and certain body positions that may not be understood by someone outside their community. Some of these included terms like biomechanics, proximal or distal, and sagittal planes. These are unique to the kinesiology aspect of BroncoFit and are regularly used among the members.
Teachers, or members with expertise, are also valuable. In this case, the members have one head instructor and two sub instructors who all share their expertise regarding the subject with the students in hopes that they will, at some point, leave with a relatively similar amount of knowledge. In addition, guests, which are also professionals in the field, are brought in occasionally to assist with the classes on Tuesdays. They share anything from information on meal plans, to additional courses and emotional support systems that can be utilized to the students benefit.