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The Use of Discourse Markers in Argumentative Compositions by Learners of Spanish as a Foreign Language

  • Author / Creator
    Sanchez Sanchez, Sofia
  • The role of discourse markers in determining the quality of compositions has received increasing attention in the literature on second language learning. The present study investigates the use of discourse markers in compositions by students of Spanish as a foreign language, a topic that, so far, has barely been addressed in the field of ELE (Español como Lengua Extranjera "Spanish as a foreign language"). This study examined the frequency, the variety, and the accuracy in the use of discourse markers in argumentative compositions by learners of Spanish as a foreign language. The study also explored the correlation between the use of discourse markers (ratio, tokens, and variety) and the quality of the compositions. A mixed method approach was used; a total of 64 compositions from 5 levels of proficiency were analyzed to identify connectors, discursive operators, and metatextual connectors, following Calsamiglia & Tusón's (2001) classification of discourse markers. Findings from the study revealed that there is a statistically significant increase in the number and the variety of discourse markers used from beginners to advanced levels. The accuracy in the use of discourse markers decreased as the proficiency level increased. Furthermore, discourse markers were shown to be more important for the quality of the compositions at the advanced levels; a higher number and a broader variety of discourse markers correlate more strongly with quality scores at the higher levels. The results of the study contribute to an understanding of the use of discourse markers in Spanish L2 compositions.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2019
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-8p52-cg48
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.