A Guide (not only) for Teachers
The Effects of Modes of Discourse and L1 on the Writing Quality of Iranian Advanced EFL Learners
As an extension of discourse analysis studies in the realm of applied linguistics, the present study takes discourse mode as a rhetorical criterion in the development of writing with a focus on L1 as a leading cross-linguistic issue affecting the mode. The research aimed to examine the two most frequently encountered modes: narration and exposition. Based on a language proficiency test and comparison of the students’ writings in the pilot study, we selected 40 out of 100 EFL learners, both female and male, from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, as more proficient and advanced learners. They were then asked to write two narrative and two expository texts both in English and in their L1 (Persian).The written data were analytically rated using a scale adopted from Engelhard, Gordon & Gabrielson (1992). The results, both quantitative and qualitative, indicate that subjects’ L1 has an influential but variant effect on their ability to write in the given modes. The learners also show more cognitive burden in writing the expository mode than the narrative mode in both languages. A detailed description of the domains and the components (features of the text) used to define these domains along with the pedagogical implications of the study are also discussed.
Keywords: modes of discourse, L1 and L2, writing, advanced learners
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