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Article: Qualification and Certainty in L1 and L2 Students' Writing

TitleQualification and Certainty in L1 and L2 Students' Writing
Authors
Issue Date1997
PublisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jslw
Citation
Journal Of Second Language Writing, 1997, v. 6 n. 2, p. 183-205 How to Cite?
AbstractA major problem for second language students writing academic essays in English is to convey statements with an appropriate degree of doubt and certainty. Such epistemic comments are crucial to academic writing where authors have to distinguish opinion from fact and evaluate their assertions in acceptable and persuasive ways. Despite its importance however, we know little about how second language writers present assertions in their writing and we often measure their attempts to master appropriate forms against the work of expert writers. Based on a corpus of one million words, this paper compares the expression of doubt and certainty in the examination scripts of 900 Cantonese speaking school leavers writing in English with those of 770 British learners of similar age and educational level. A detailed analysis of the texts reveals that these L2 writers differ significantly from the NSs in relying on a more limited range of items, offering stronger commitments, and exhibiting greater problems in conveying a precise degree of certainty. The authors highlight a number of issues raised by the research and make some pedagogical suggestions for developing competence in this important pragmatic area.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/130119
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 1.744
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.755
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHyland, Ken_HK
dc.contributor.authorMilton, Jen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-12-23T08:47:27Z-
dc.date.available2010-12-23T08:47:27Z-
dc.date.issued1997en_HK
dc.identifier.citationJournal Of Second Language Writing, 1997, v. 6 n. 2, p. 183-205en_HK
dc.identifier.issn1060-3743en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/130119-
dc.description.abstractA major problem for second language students writing academic essays in English is to convey statements with an appropriate degree of doubt and certainty. Such epistemic comments are crucial to academic writing where authors have to distinguish opinion from fact and evaluate their assertions in acceptable and persuasive ways. Despite its importance however, we know little about how second language writers present assertions in their writing and we often measure their attempts to master appropriate forms against the work of expert writers. Based on a corpus of one million words, this paper compares the expression of doubt and certainty in the examination scripts of 900 Cantonese speaking school leavers writing in English with those of 770 British learners of similar age and educational level. A detailed analysis of the texts reveals that these L2 writers differ significantly from the NSs in relying on a more limited range of items, offering stronger commitments, and exhibiting greater problems in conveying a precise degree of certainty. The authors highlight a number of issues raised by the research and make some pedagogical suggestions for developing competence in this important pragmatic area.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jslwen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Second Language Writingen_HK
dc.titleQualification and Certainty in L1 and L2 Students' Writingen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailHyland, K:khyland@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityHyland, K=rp01133en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0038781019en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-0038781019&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume6en_HK
dc.identifier.issue2en_HK
dc.identifier.spage183en_HK
dc.identifier.epage205en_HK
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK

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