International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Use of Discourse Markers in Written Discourse by Students of English at the University of Jordan
Eman Awni Mahmoud Ali, Radwan Salim Mahadin

This study adopts a functional approach to investigate the use of DMs in expository essays written by Jordanian EFL learners with different levels of English language proficiency. It relies on Fraser’s (2009) taxonomy to represent the targeted DMs. The comparative analysis indicates that the advanced and intermediate EFL learners employed comparable rates of discourse markers in their essays. However, the latter were found to use more restricted sets of discourse markers than the former. The intermediate learners were also observed to use these devices to perform a narrower range of functions in a more restricted set of positions. Moreover, the discourse markers that are employed by the intermediate learners are found to be drawn from more redundant syntactic categories than the ones that are used by their advanced counterparts. It was concluded that the use of discourse markers is affected by the proficiency levels of EFL learners.

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