An Investigation of the Use of Conjunctive Cohesive Devices in Emirati Students’ Argumentative Essays (Published)
This study was conducted to scrutinize the use of conjunctions as cohesive devices in Emirati students’ argumentative essays. The study specifically purported to investigate how solid the correlation is between employing conjunctions and producing high quality written texts. The context was one of Ras AlKhaimah Colleges, and the participants were one teacher and six Female students who were enrolled in the English Foundation Program. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from students’ writing samples evaluation forms and through an in-depth interview with the classroom teacher. The data were analyzed in view of Halliday and Hasan’s (1976) taxonomy of cohesive devices, specifically their classification of conjunctions. In contrast to many studies that emphasized the close connection between using conjunctions and achieving high scores in writing, the findings of this study did not indicte such correlation. The findings also showed that additive conjunctions were found to be the most frequently used type, whereas temporal conjunctions were found to be the least used type. Moreover, two problems were found regarding students’ use of conjunctions: 1) adversative conjunctions seemed problematic, and 2) among the overall array of conjunctions, ‘and’ was particularly overused. Although limited to one school, this study is significant as it disvalidated the long-established belief that the use of conjunctions is an index to a high score in writing.
English for Science and Technology: A Study of Cohesive Devices in Computer Science Texts (Published)
The study examined the grammatical cohesive devices in Computer Science texts through a comprehensive genre analysis. The texts were from eight sub registers of Computer Science. The data was collected through the corpus culled from Computer Science texts. The Systematic Functional Linguistics was used as a model of analysis for the grammatical cohesive devices found in the texts. It was discovered that the texts contained grammatical cohesive in the forms of conjunctions and reference expressions. The study also revealed that absence of ellipsis and substitution in the texts. It was equally discovered that the cohesive devices enabled the Computer Science authors to hang stretches of language together and they signaled relations between sentences. The study further highlighted the functions of the cohesive devices in giving coherence to academic writing. Therefore, the grammatical cohesive devices, is an integral part of any form of writing which connected the ideas logically.
This study is an approach to investigate how far EFL students at University Level use cohesive devices skilfully in writing their essays . The important issue addressed in the study is closely related to what extent do students perceive the basic aspects of writing coherent essays as one of the requirements of graduation. The most critical question addressed was: To what extent do students use cohesive devices in the clarity and organization of their essays.? The study adopted an analytical-descriptive method. The students answered questionnaires to check their skills in mastering writing skill. In addition, samples of essays were examined and analyzed to evaluate the students’ writing abilities in using these semantic markers. A number of findings were found out. The most critical finding was that the students did not fully master the basic necessary skills required of applying these cohesive markers appropriately.
Report On a Study of Reference Cohesion in Texts of Nigerian ESL Students: Implications for the Classroom (Published)
The paper reports a study that investigated the use of reference cohesion in two essay types written by Nigerian ESL students. The sample consisted of 174 first year students of the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) programme. A set of pictures was used to elicit the first essay, and a topic prompt was used to elicit the second. Each study sample wrote two essays. The data was analysed using a model of analysis adopted from Hallliday and Hasan (1976). The study revealed a deployment of reference cohesion consistent with Standard English in one essay type and an inconsistency in the other. It was argued that limited knowledge of the passive form and the reading audience contributed to improper deployment of reference cohesion. Implications for teaching were discussed.