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ERIC Number: ED234622
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Toward a Descriptive Rhetoric of the ESL Paragraph.
Elkhatib, Ahmed Shafik
Several English as a second language (ESL) expository compositions written by four Arab college freshman students majoring in English are analyzed. The analysis is intended to describe intersentence structural relationships. Sixty-nine percent of the sentences the students wrote were coordinate sentences. There was no correlation between verbal ability or comprehension level and the percentage of coordinate sentences each student wrote. Topic sentences were not restricted to the initial position in the paragraph. Whether the students' use of coordination between sentences was attributable to transfer from their native language or merely their lack of experience as writers, the result was that they employed a rhetorical strategy which failed to produce acceptable writing in English. It is suggested that ESL students should be taught how to determine what sentences they should subordinate and why. Students should begin by examining some well written paragraphs containing intersentence structural relationships. Then they can produce single sentences and practice adding additional, linked sentences. It is also necessary to familiarize ESL students with such concepts as paragraph unity and coherence. (RW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A