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Title:Cohesion and Coherence in the Language Production of a Selected Group of Secondary Bilingual Students
Author(s):Sunday, Betty Louise Rhiner
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Abstract:The focus of this dissertation is on the problem of describing discourse of an explanatory nature produced by a selected group of secondary bilingual students. It was necessary to find a method whereby relationships between various semantic features within a text could be identified and described and any problem which might occur in the message flow could be pinpointed.
The theoretical background for this work is broad, but two main sources, Cohesion in English (1976) by Halliday and Hasan and Teaching Language as Communication (1978) by Widdowson, furnish the notions of cohesion and coherence which encompass the characteristics of text formation. Briefly, cohesion is achieved by the use of anaphoric references between sentences, and coherence is achieved by focussing propositions upon a communicative purpose in a logical way.
Over a three-day period, eight tests were administered to twenty 15-year-old bilingual students. This group of subjects performed a Cloze Task, a Dictation Task, two Writing Tasks, two Spoken Tasks in English, and two Spoken Tasks in Spanish.
The Written and Spoken Tasks were designed from a conceptual-flow model. The charting method of analysis was borrowed from Halliday and Hasan and adapted for this study. The coherence chart was based upon Widdowson (1978).
The main findings are as follows: (1) Cloze scores were exceptionally low. (2) The conceptual-flow model and the analysis charts were effective. (3) For the written data, Conjunction was the cohesion category in which the highest number of deviations appeared, and the coherence category with the highest number of deviations was Complete information. (4) For the spoken data, the highest number of cohesion deviations were found in the Conceptual category, and the highest number of coherence deviations were in Correct information. (5) Relationships were found to exist among cohesion and coherence deviations. (6) Fourteen of the 20 Subjects performed inconsistently across tasks; however, in the written and spoken data, deviations of a type tended to reappear across tasks for a Subject.
It is concluded that these results furnish material for further research and suggest to secondary bilingual teachers potential discourse problems for their students.
Issue Date:1983
Description:477 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8324653
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1983

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