Investigating the Use of Cohesive Devices by Chinese EFL Learners

| September 18, 2011
Investigating the Use of Cohesive Devices by Chinese EFL Learners

Keywords: China EFL Learners, Cohesive Errors, Expository writing

Justina Ong
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Bio Data
Dr. Justina Ong is a lecturer at the National University of Singapore. She has published in the Journal of Second Language Writing. Her research interests are second language writing, second language acquisition and cognitive psychology in writing.

This study investigated cohesive errors in expository compositions of People Republic of China (PRC) students, who were learning English as a foreign language in a university in Singapore. It was based upon an error analysis paradigm and Halliday and Hasan s (1976) cohesion framework and taxonomy. The purpose was to illuminate the students difficulties in using cohesion by examining the cohesive errors quantitatively and qualitatively. The quantitative analysis investigated the frequency and percentage of (1) the cohesive errors in main and subcategories of cohesion, and (2) the types of cohesive errors, committed by the students. Results show that they had the greatest difficulty in using reference cohesion, followed by conjunction and lexical cohesion. Generally, redundant repetition and misuse of cohesive devices posed the greatest challenge for them. The qualitative analysis consisted of a detailed linguistic description and explanation of the cohesive errors. It detailed how cohesion was used erroneously in their writing. The study concluded with a discussion and its limitations.

See pages 42-65

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 13 Issue 3