A Guide (not only) for Teachers
Abundance, However, is not Always Desirable: Connectors in Polish EFL Learners’ Texts
The research reported in this chapter investigates the use of connectors in texts written by British native speakers (expert writers and students) and Polish advanced learners of English. The data used in this study were drawn from three existing corpora containing samples of written English: the International Corpus of Learner English (ICLE), the Louvain Corpus of Native English Essays (LOCNESS) and the Freiburg-London-Oslo-Bergen (FLOB) Corpus. The quantitative analysis involved a comparison of the frequencies of connector use in each sample. It revealed the highest rate of linking expressions in the Polish essays with the normalized frequency three times higher than in the British expert writing. The average frequency of connector use by native-speaking students was smaller yet close to the Polish rate. The qualitative examination of chosen essays from each sample demonstrated that novice writers (both native and non-native) tended to use linking expressions appropriately, to mark semantic relations between neighbouring clauses, yet in many cases the use of connectors masked a more global problem of the lack of logic in the structure of the argument. Implications for teaching are briefly discussed in the conclusion.
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