Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching

A Study on Coherence in College Students’ EFL Writing from Textual Metafunction Perspective

Author KongLingYu
Tutor YangYuChen
School Northeast Normal University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords EFL writing Coherence Cohesion Thematic Structure Information Structure Textual Metafunction
CLC H319
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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EFL writing has long been regarded as a complicated and arduous task by Chinese college students. Coherence, as an important standard in evaluating a composition, has attracted many linguists, scholars and researchers to devote themselves to the study of coherence in EFL writing, and the researches have been done from different angles and with different approaches. However, according to the survey, most of the researchers attach too much importance to the function of cohesion in producing a coherent text by ignoring the fact that thematic structure and information structure are also indispensable factors for coherence. As a matter of fact, cohesion, thematic structure and information structure are the three subfunctions of the theory of textual metafunction in systematic functional linguistics.The research consists of two parts: non-English majors’EFL writing evaluation and questionnaires for both students and teachers, with writing evaluation served as the main design and questionnaires served as the complement design. 50 compositions written by college non-English majors are analyzes on the theory of textual metafunction for the purpose of proving the function of the combination of thematic structure,information structure and cohesion for the coherence of a text. The purpose of the questionnaire for students is to clarify the subjects’views on current English writing teaching, the present status of coherence instruction at college from the aspects of textual metafunction and the subjects’knowledge of thematic structure, information structure and cohesion. The questionnaire for English teachers is to clarify the teachers attitudes toward writing instruction and coherence instruction.According to the results of the analyses, the teachers’insufficient knowledge in this linguistic field of textual metafunction, especially in thematic structure and information structure, led to the students’lack of the knowledge in the coherence techniques in EFL writing and the poor performance in the writing section in CET—4. So the training for teachers with knowledge of thematic structure and information structure and the instruction for students with integral knowledge of textual metafunction are suggested at the end of the thesis.

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