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A comparative study of EFL/ESL academic writing among Mandarin Chinese speakers on coherence in discourse: Cross-cultural and language development effects

Wang, Ping (2019) A comparative study of EFL/ESL academic writing among Mandarin Chinese speakers on coherence in discourse: Cross-cultural and language development effects. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the effectiveness of a teaching intervention that aims to raise L1 Chinese students’ awareness regarding cross-cultural and language impacts on the construction of (British) English academic discourse, and equipping them with skills that they may independently apply to their academic writing. Two groups of Chinese students, separated by their IELTS written test scores (n=76) were recruited, and taught in a three-month teaching intervention at two British universities, over two consecutive years. This pedagogical practice is based on a syllabus designed by me and focuses on three domains that contribute to global and local discourse coherence: topical development at the discourse level (global coherence), the development of topic sentence at the paragraph level (local coherence), and the application of logical connectors at the sentence level (local coherence). Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from pre- and post-intervention essays, questionnaires and after-study interviews. This study reveals that the explicit teaching of cross-cultural and cross-linguistic factors is beneficial to both groups of L1 Chinese speakers’ academic English writing. The findings are that the learners with lower English proficiency benefited more from the linguistic features at the sentence level, compared with their counterparts’ evident attainment in both sentences and discourses. Both groups found a positive effect on their grammar in terms of subject-verb agreement when establishing the topical development of a discourse. The group with higher English proficiency also demonstrated a better self-reflection ability by transferring what they had learned into reading strategies. There was a mixed result in the development of topic sentence within paragraphs by both groups. This study offers the option of integrating a pedagogical practice into the current British and Chinese HE teaching systems. A replication of this syllabus in a Chinese university suggests that the current findings could be applied in a wider context.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: teaching EFL/ESL, discourse coherence, TSA, logical connectors, pedagogy
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.778944
Depositing User: Mrs Ping Wang
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 13:50
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2020 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24093

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