Coherence Problems of EFL Students’ Writing in Light of the Gricean Maxims
Keywords:coherence, writing skills, Gricean maxim, EFL learners
Aim. In academic writing, lack of coherence is thought to occur mostly due to the lack of necessary linguistic skills and knowledge in L2. Thus, the analysis of a written text is concerned with understanding the local relations among the ideas conveyed in a text.
Concept. As is usually the case, students writing in a second language generally produce texts that contain varying degrees of grammatical and rhetorical errors. Most of the studies have been conducted with only one criterion for the analysis of coherence and they reported different results. Also, most of them have been conducted on a small scale in terms of the number of participants, and writing samples collected. Therefore, this study tries to investigate the coherence problems/errors of university students in their writing, if any, on a fairly large scale in light of the Cooperative principle and its maxims.
Results and conclusion. The study revealed that the basic problem of the students in their essay writing was the way the text should be structured with reference to how cohesion and coherence are established. In the analysis of maxim violations, the violation of the Quality maxim was identified as making overgeneralisations or giving inadequate or no evidence/support for the claims/ideas. The violation of the Quality maxim indicates that students tend to do it due to their linguistic inadequacies.
Ambrózy, M., Kralik, R., Tavilla, I., & Roubalová, M. (2019). Sustainable life conditions from the view of logic, physics and astronomy. European Journal of Science and Theology,15(3), 145-155.
Azizi, M., & Kralik, R. (2020). Incorporating mindfulness into EFL literature courses to foster critical reading ability. Education and Self Development,15(4), 21–31.
Azizi, M., Kralik, R., Petrikovicová, L., & Tkácová, H. (2020). A comparative study of the effects of self-assessment and peer feedback on literature students’ oral production.Science for Education Today,10(5), 7–27.
Al-Hamadi, H., M., & Muhammed, B. J. (2009). Pragmatics: Grice’s conversational maxims’ violations in the responses of some western politicians. Journal of the College of Arts of University of Basrah, 50, 1-23.
Bamberg, B. (1983). What makes a text coherent? College Composition and Communication, 34(4), 417-429.
Brown, G., & Yule, G. (1985). Discourse Analysis. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press.
Carrell, P. L. (1982). Cohesion is not coherence. TESOL Quarterly, 16(4), 479-488.
Carrell, P. L. (1984). The author responds…[Reply to Rankin, 1984]. TESOLQuarterly, 18(1), 161-167.
Celce-Murcia, M., & Olshtain, E. (2000). Discourse and context in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cox, B. E., Shanahan, T., & Tinzmann, M. B. (1991). Children’s knowledge of organization, cohesion, and voice in written exposition. Research in the Teaching of English, 25, 179-218.
Crothers, E. J. (1978). Inference and coherence. Discourse Processes, 1, 51-71.
Cumming, A. & Riazi, M (2000). Building models of adult second-language writing instruction, Learning and Instruction 10(1), 55-71. https://www.doi.org/10.1016/S0959-4752(99)00018-3
Edalat, A. (2004). A new outlook to L2 learners’ writing errors. Journal of Faculty of Letters and Humanities, 195, 133-154.
Enkvist, N. E. (1979). Coherence, pseudo-coherence and non-coherence. In. J. O. Ostman, (Ed.), Reports on text linguistics: semantics and cohesion, (pp.109-127). Abo Akademi (Finland).
Fatemi, M. A. (2008). The Relationship between Writing Competence, Language Proficiency and Grammatical Errors in the Writing of Iranian TEFL Sophomores (Doctoral dissertation). Universiti Sains Malaysia. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10292/466.
Ficzere, A., Stranovska, E., & Gadusova, Z. (2020). Tolerance of Ambiguity and Reading Comprehension in Foreign Language Education. Efficiency and Responsibility in Education 2020: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference. Prague: Czech University of Life Sciences, (pp. 62-68).
Foroughi, A., & Lotfi, A. R. (2013). The Gricean maxim of quantity in academic texts: A study of English and Persian journal articles written by both native and non-native speakers. International Journal of Basic Sciences & Applied Research, 2(21), 1023-1029.
Ghafar Samar, R., & Seyed Rezaie, S. H. (2002). Analysis of errors made by Iranian English learners in their written productions: A new answer to an old question.Foreign Language Teaching Journal, 21(80), 59-64.
Givon, T. (1995). Coherence in text vs. coherence in mind. In: Gernsbacher, M. A. & Givon, T. (Eds.), Coherence in spontaneous text, (pp. 59-115). Amsterdam:John Benjamins.
Goldman, S. R., & Wiley, J. (2003). Discourse Analysis: Written Text. In: N. K. Duke, & M. Mallette (Eds.), Literacy Research Methods, (pp. 1-40). New York: Guilford Publications, Inc.
Grabe, W., & Kaplan, R. B. (1996). Theory and practice of writing. London: Longman.
Green, G. M. (1989). Pragmatics and natural language understanding. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Grice, H. P. (1975). Logic and conversation. In: Cole, P. & Morgan, J. (Ed.), Speech Acts, (pp .41-58). New York: Academic Press.
Halliday, M. A. K.,& Hasan, R. (1976). Cohesion in English. London: Longman.
Horvathova, B. (2020). Developing critical thinking by enhancing compensation strategies in TEFL. Slavonic Pedagogical Studies Journal, 9(2), 181-197.
Jakubickova, B., & Welnitzova, K. (2019). Corpora and their applications in linguistics and translation studies. ICERI 2019: 12th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, (pp. 3787-3793), Seville: IATED, Spain.
Kobylarek, A. (2010). Integration of elderly citizens through learning. New Educational Review, 22(3-4), 24.
Kozárová, N. (2020). Self-regulation and preference of learning style. Slavonic Pedagogical Studies Journal, 9(1), 52-60.
Králik, R., & Máhrik, T. (2019a). Interpersonal relationships as the basis of student moral formation.ICERI 2019: Proceedings of the 12thInternational Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, (pp.8896-8900), Seville: IATED, Spain.
Králik, R., & Máhrik, T. (2019b). Metaphysics as a base for improving critical thinking. ICERI 2019: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, (pp. 8901-8903), Seville: IATED, Spain.
Johns, A. M. (1986). Coherence and academic writing: Some definitions and suggestions for teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 20(2), 247-265.
LaFond, D. (2000). Telling truths or Titanic tales: The interrelatedness of Gricean maxims. Carolina Working Papers in Linguistics, 1(1), 8-42.
Lenovský, L. (2018). The relation of language, culture and identity in the environment of ethnic minorities.Slavica Slovaca,53(3-4), 243–251.
Liu, M.,& Wang, G. (2011). Paragraph-level errors in Chinese undergraduate EFL learners’ compositions: A cohort study. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 1(6), 584-593.
McCulley, G. A. (1985). Writing quality, coherence, and cohesion. Research in the Teaching of English, 19, 269-282.
McNamara, D. S., & Kintsch, W. (1996). Learning from texts: Effects of prior knowledge and text coherence.Discourse Processes, 22, 247-288.
Morgan, J.,& Sellner, M. (1980). Discourse and linguistic theory. Spiro, R. J. et al. (Eds.),Theoretical issues in reading comprehension (pp. 165-200). New York: Erlbaun.
Odlin, T. (1997). Language transfer: Cross-linguistic influence in language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ozhan, D. (2004). Using Grice’s Cooperative Principle and Its Maxims for Analyzing Coherence: A Study on Academic Writing. Unpublished MA Thesis. Ankara: Middle East Technical University.
Petlák, E. (2020). Motivation in the educational process.Slavonic Pedagogical Studies Journal,9(2), 106-114.
Roubalová, M., Králik, R., & Kondrla, P. (2021). Importance and method of teaching biblical Hebrew and Aramaic in religious education of children and adults. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 12(1), 59-67.
Samorodova, E. Belyaeva, I. Birova, J.,& Ogorodov, M. (2021). Teaching a foreign language for professional purposes: peculiarities of legal terms used in teaching the language of a speciality for international specialists. Journal of Education Culture and Society,12(1),253-261.
Shakir, A. (1991). Coherence in EFL student-written texts: Two perspectives. Foreign Language Annals, 24(5), 399-411.
Sperber, D., & Wilson, D. (1986). Relevance: Communication and cognition. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Spiegel, D. L., & Fitzgerald, J. (1990). Textual cohesion and coherence in children’s writing revisited. Research in the Teaching of English, 24(1), 48-66.
Stranovska, E., & Gadusova, Z. (2020). Learners’ success and self-esteem in foreign language reading comprehension. Education and Self Development,15(3), 109–119.
Stranovska, E., Gadusova, Z., & Ficzere, A. (2019). Factors Influencing Development of Reading Literacy in Mother Tongue and Foreign Language. ICERI 2019: conference proceedings. Valencia: IATED, 6901-6907.
Stranovska, E., Ficzere, A., & Gadusova, Z. (2020). Cognitive Structure and Foreign Language Reading Comprehension. https://www.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2020.1369.
INTED 2020: 14th annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference, Valencia: IATED Academy, 5010-5016.
Tohochynskyi, O., Yermak S., Popryzhna, A., Tvrdoň, M., & Oleksiuk, N. (2021). Professionally oriented training of specialists to work in the conditions of the inclusive educational environment. Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences,16(3), 1244-1254.
Tierney, R. J., & Mosenthal, J. H. (1983). Cohesion and textual coherence. Research in the Teaching of English, 17(3), 215-229.
Vahid Dastjerdi, H., & Hayati, S. (2011). Quality of Iranian EFL learners’ argumentative essays: cohesive devices in focus. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 2(2), 65- 76.
Van Dijk, T. A. (1972). Some aspects of text grammars.The Hague: Mouton.
Van Dijk, T. A. (1978). The semantics and pragmatics of functional coherence in discourse. Retrieved December 20, 2005, from http://www.discourse-insociety.org.
Wikborg, E. (1985). Types of coherence breaks in university student writing. Enkvist, N. E. (Ed.), Coherence and Composition: A Symposium, (pp. 93-133). Abo Akademis Kopieringscentral.
Witte, S. P., & Faigley, L. (1981). Coherence, cohesion and writing quality. College Composition and Communication, 32, 189-204.
Zor, B. M. (2006). Using Grice’s Cooperative Principle and its Maxims to Analyze Problems of Coherence in Turkish and English Essays. Unpublished MA Thesis. Ankara: Middle East Technical University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10292/466.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Fatemeh Khonamari, Ehsan Hashemi, Martina Pavlikova, Bozena Petrasova
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. All authors agree for publishing their email adresses, affiliations and short bio statements with their articles during the submission process.