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Cohesive devices in the writing of near-tertiary students : A study of acquisitional influences and their pedagogical implications

Mbali, Charlotte (1993) Cohesive devices in the writing of near-tertiary students : A study of acquisitional influences and their pedagogical implications. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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Abstract

The main hypotheis of this thesis is that the use of cohesive devices in the writing of near-tertiary students (both Ll and E.S.O.L.) reveals different patterns of acquisition. Three possible acquisitional influences are investigated: familiarity with different registers (narrative, descriptive and expository); maturation (age differences) and cross-linguistic factors (for the E.S.O.L. students). The E.S.O.L. data is drawn from the examination writing of school leavers in Botswana, as well as from overseas students in pre-sessional English courses at London and Leicester University. The Ll data is from school students in Leics. preparing for G.C.S.E. The main data is drawn from free writing in essays and from elicitation by gapfill. The quantitative findings reveal that the register and maturation variables show up different repertoires of cohesion, and that Ll and E.S.O.L. students develop cohesion differently. The E.S.O.L. data is also examined qualitatively with quotations from scripts. This is data-driven research, of pragmatic validity. The empirical sections discuss many small findings about cohesive patterns which may be of use to teachers working with similar students. Overall the sequence of acquisition seems to be from common core connectives towards more advanced cohesion containing topic-organising connectives and attitudinals. The evidence of core connectives can be interpreted in the light of Accessibility theory, in that they may represent universals of cognitive maturation. The evidence about attitudinals can be interpreted in the light of modern theories about negotiated meaning and "discourse communities". The pedagogical implications of these findings are discussed• alongside textbook examples of how cohesion is currently taught with such students. It is asserted that progress towards an enlarged repertoire of cohesive devices must go beyond immediate co-text and syntactic constraints towards a more holistic view of the text, taking into account the wider socio-semiotic context of the writer's and readers' presuppositions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: PhD University of London Institute of Education [Department of English for Speakers of Other Languages] 1994..
Depositing User: Batch Import
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2014 12:51
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2015 12:06
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