Investigating Cohesion and Coherence Discourse Strategies of Chinese Students with Varied Lengths of Residence in Canada

  • Krista Leo

Abstract

This study examines how three age-on-arrival (AOA) groups of Chinese-background ESL students use two types of cohesive devices on a standardized essay exam. A discourse analysis of 90 first-year students’ expository writing samples was conducted to ascertain how factors such as first language (L1) and length of residence (LOR) in Canada influence a student’s ability to create cohesive and coherent writing. The study uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore how Canadian-born Chinese (CBC) students use lexical and referential discourse markers. Twelve essay features of this group of Generation 1.5 students are compared with those of two other cohorts of Chinese students with a shorter LOR. Key writing variables that measure academic writing proficiency were quantitatively analyzed to compare the expository writings of the CBC cohort with those of the later AOAs. Results indicate that synonymy and content words distinguish the writings of the CBC students from those of their later-arriving peers. A qualitative analysis of one CBC essay reveals that a more flexible and contextualized approach to evaluating writing by longterm Generation 1.5 students is required to acknowledge fully the productive lexical and discoursal strengths of these students.
Published
2012-10-03
How to Cite
Leo, K. (2012). Investigating Cohesion and Coherence Discourse Strategies of Chinese Students with Varied Lengths of Residence in Canada. TESL Canada Journal, 29, 157. https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v29i0.1115
Section
Articles