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Besides … on the other hand: using a corpus approach to explore the influence of teaching materials on Chinese students’ use of linking adverbials

Leedham, Maria and Cai, Guozhi (2013). Besides … on the other hand: using a corpus approach to explore the influence of teaching materials on Chinese students’ use of linking adverbials. Journal of Second Language Writing, 22(4) pp. 374–389.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2013.07.002
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Abstract

Studies conducted on first and second language student writing in English have pointed to the latter group's high use of features such as informal language, pronouns, and linking adverbials, yet few studies have been conducted on assessed undergraduate writing produced within an English-speaking environment. This paper reports findings from a corpus study of Chinese and British students’ writing in UK universities, confirming that a key area of difference is the Chinese students’ higher use of particular linking adverbials (e.g., besides, on the other hand). We hypothesize that one reason for this higher usage is the influence of secondary school teaching materials in mainland China prior to UK university study and examine a set of model texts from the English paper in the Chinese university entrance test, selected as these texts comprise much of the teaching material in the final year of secondary education. We argue that Chinese students are “primed” (Hoey, 2005) to favour particular linking adverbials, to disregard issues of informality, and to prefer sentence-initial positioning. It is hoped that the reported findings will challenge English language teachers and textbook writers to consider the requirements of writing within the academy.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 Elsevier Inc.
ISSN: 1060-3743
Keywords: Chinese students; teaching materials; corpus linguistics; linking adverbials; intensive reading lesson; National Matriculation Test
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics > English Language & Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Language & Literacies
Item ID: 38667
Depositing User: Maria Leedham
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2013 08:36
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2019 14:59
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/38667
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