An Analysis of Chinese Students’ Performance in IELTS Academic Writing.

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Siqi Yao


This study aims at investigating the cohesion and coherence problems in EFL essay writing in terms of the second part of IELTS academic writing task. There are fifteen sample articles written by fifteen Chinese students who studied in BJ IELTS School in Beijing. These texts consist of 3 levels:band 5, band 6 and band 7 and the articles have an equal number in each level. The selected data were analyzed with Halliday and Hasan’s (1976) framework.

The result of the study revealed that there were five major types of cohesive devices in these writings. It involved reference, ellipsis, substitution, conjunction and lexical cohesion. In terms of the frequencies of occurrences, reference was the highest, followed by conjunction and lexical cohesion, while substitution was the lowest among the five types of cohesive devices in the three levels. There were few ellipses appearing in the data.

Moreover, the study highlights some of the cohesive problems found in writing. Those problems were misused,overused and mechanical use of conjunctions and reference, and lack of substitution devices due to a large number of repetitions appearing, as well as some cohesive problems were influenced by grammatical mistakes and inappropriate task response.

The study suggests that EFL teachers and students should foreground the importance of cohesion and coherence in their text. In addition, they should not overemphasize the quantity of cohesion used but also focus on other factors such as task response, lexical resource and grammatical features.

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Research articles
Author Biography

Siqi Yao

Srinakharinwirot University Bangkok