Departmental Bulletin Paper Written discourse analysis : cohesive devices and online tools for improving L2 writing
HERDER, Steven

Description
 In any language, there is a major difference between one's ability to excel at spoken discourse versus written discourse. Native speakers, and even native teachers (NT), don't naturally write well. While native speakers generally master spoken discourse simply by growing up in their own country, writing is definitely an acquired skill that requires both understanding and practice. In order to be a proficient L2 writer one has to better understand text organization, writing conventions, and a range of effective cohesive and coherent devices. This paper employs a before/after approach from a student text. The author offers his own revision of the student text in order to show the efficacy of text analysis. First, the paper reviews a number of devices in written discourse including cohesion, conjunction, collocation, reiteration, ellipsis and substitution. Then two theoretical frameworks are examined: 1) the problem/solution structure, and 2) the question/answer structure. Next, it discusses pedagogical implications for both higher and lower level L2 writers. Finally, it will introduce current online technology that can provide students with immediate feedback that both motivates and allows students to quickly see areas to target for further improvements in their own L2 writing.
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