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“Cohesion and Pragmatic Theory in Second-Language Writing Instruction”

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Abstract

Textual coherence is often characterized in English as a second or foreign language (ESL/EFL) writing classes as a function of the presence of overt cohesive elements. A common result of a cohesion emphasis is learner overuse of connective expressions. This paper sketches a rationale, grounded in current pragmatic theory, for a pedagogical approach to connectives that addresses both underuse and overuse in relationship to writer audience. Though textbooks typically supply checklist questions centering on audience, these questions are mainly topic-specific. The inclusion of additional questions oriented to more general reader comprehension issues is recommended.

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