A diagnostic analysis of ELT students' use of connectives


Proceedings of the 1st GlobELT Conference on Teaching and Learning English as an Additional Language, Antalya, Turkey, 16 - 19 April 2015, vol.199, pp.325-333 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 199
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.07.555
  • City: Antalya
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.325-333
  • Keywords: connectives, coherence relations, cohesive devices, written English
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: No


Pragmatic competence in foreign language learning depends on appropriate and correct use of the target language. Textual competence, on the other hand, is the ability to produce coherent texts. Appropriate and correct use of connectives in writing reflects the extent of textual competence. The significance of this study is that it was conducted in a Turkish ELT Department setting with a particular focus on the use of connectives. Since these students will become future English teachers, it is vital to identify and prevent their errors before they become fossilized. The study investigated the use of connectives in unplanned argumentative essays by Turkish freshman ELT department students. Participants were asked to write an unplanned, well-developed argumentative essay. Afterwards, a questionnaire was conducted in order to collect information about their language backgrounds. In data analysis, connectives in each essay were manually counted by the researcher. Number of sentences and number of words in each essay was also counted to determine sentence length. As a further step, coherence relation categories indicated by each connective was identified. Main findings of the study revealed that students did not use a large variety of connectives in their essays. Many instances of grammatical and punctuation errors were observed in their writings and for what relations students used connectives could not be determined in some cases. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.