Discourse Markers Acquisition in the Iranian Students Writings at Primary and Secondary Schools
AbstractDiscourse markers (DMs) are the linguistic elements that represent different relations and show the coherence between units of talk. Most of the research in the area of DMs has focused on conversations rather than essays. As it is axiomatic, all students in Iran from the primary school to high-school and universities are speaking and writing in their standard language, i.e. Farsi. In fact Farsi is the first language (L1) of almost all the students in Iran. In order to understand Iranian students’ ability in using DMs in their essays in L1, a sample of 80 bilingual and monolingual students were selected. Frasers’ (1999) classification used to identify DMs in the students’ writings. The learners were supposed to write essays of about 300 words on different topics. The subjects of compositions were the same for all of the learners. Findings showed that students employed DMs with different degrees of occurrence. Elaborative markers were the most frequently used, followed by inferential, contrastive, causative, and topic relating markers. Also, the use of some DMs varied with proficiency level and some others remained constant across proficiency level.
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