S-Space College of Education (사범대학) Foreign Language Education Research Institute (외국어교육연구소) 외국어교육연구 (Foreign Language Education Research) 외국어교육연구 (Foreign Language Education Research) vol.19 (2016)
Use of Conjunctions as Cohesive Devices in Korean High School EFL Learners’ Argumentative and Descriptive Essays
- Soohye, Yeom
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 외국어교육연구소
- 외국어교육연구, Vol.19, pp. 19-43
- This study examined the use of conjunctions in Korean high school EFL learners’ writings in two discourse modes–description and argument. A corpus of seventy-six descriptive essays and eighty argumentative essays was developed, in which the essays were rated based on their cohesiveness and divided into three groups by their grades. Conjunctions were analyzed based on Halliday and Hasan’s (1976) framework: additive, adversative, causal, and temporal conjunctions. The results revealed different trends of using conjunctions in the two different discourse modes. The descriptive writings with high scores on cohesion tend to exhibit more conjunctions when compared to lower-quality writings, and the argumentative writings with high scores showed fewer conjunctions. The high-quality writings in descriptive mode showed highly frequent uses of additives and adversatives, while those in argumentative mode displayed a lower frequency of additives and a more frequent use of adversative however. Small numbers of causal and temporal conjunctions were used in both discourse modes, and they were particularly limited in descriptive writings regardless of the cohesiveness of writings. This implies that more explicit instructions on causal and temporal conjunctions for each mode are needed in the writing classes. In addition, the scores on cohesion were significantly lower for the descriptive essays than for the argumentative essays, and a much narrower range of conjunctions was employed in descriptive writing. These results suggest a more balanced focus on various discourse modes of writing and the introduction of conjunctions that are appropriate for each mode, since the ability to use conjunctions in one mode does not seem to be automatically transferred to another mode in high school EFL learners’ writings.
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