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ERIC Number: ED354739
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1015-2059
Sentence Sequence and Coherence: In Search of Readers' Problems in Academic Discourse.
Allison, Desmond
Hongkong Papers in Linguistics and Language Teaching, v12 p29-38 Apr 1989
A study looks at two broad issues: (1) the relationship between sentence sequence and 'coherence' in writing of academic discourse in a second language; and (2) identification of likely areas of difficulty for second-language readers. Two approaches to the diagnosis of coherence problems, using experimental manipulation of sentence orders in paragraphs or extended text, are discussed. One involves reconstruction of a text from scrambled sentences, and the other looks at changes in sentence order on cloze test performance. The study used one of these approaches, the reconstruction of text, to investigate student ability to reconstitute original sentence orders for each of 6 paragraphs from a science textbook. Subjects were 49 University of Botswana science students; none were first-language speakers of English. Results indicate that students had problems with contrast relationships, sometimes leading to misrepresentation of original meaning. Other anomalies often concerned the order of old and new information. Few problems were found with level of generality. Implications for reading difficulties are examined briefly. A brief bibliography and the texts used, with synopses, are appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A