Cohesion in Arab Undergraduate English Majors' Argumentative Essays
One of the most significant discussions in the domain of applied linguistics is learning English as a foreign language. Writing is a basic component of English language learning that EFL college students need to adequately learn to fulfill their courses' requirements. Students' writing should be coherent to convey their points of view in a logical and a consistent way. Coherence in students' writing is substantially achieved through using cohesive devices appropriately. Therefore, students ought to incorporate cohesive devices into their compositions adequately to establish logical connections between their sentences and compose a whole cohesive and coherent discourse. Cohesion "refers to the relations of meaning that exist within a text, and that define it as a text" ( Halliday and Hasan, 1976, p.4). On the other hand, coherence concerns "the ways in which the components of the textual world, i.e. the configuration of concepts and relations which underlie the surface text, are mutually accessible and relevant" (Beaugrande, 1981, p. 4). Further, cohesion and coherence of the students' discourse help the readers perceive the connections between the students' sentences and realize their ideas. Consequently, the readers smoothly follow the writer's flow of thought and understand his or her argumentative piece. However, Arabic EFL college students sometimes fail to observe the conventions of cohesion and coherence of the English language.
Accordingly, the cohesion studies can help highlight to EFL teachers and students the significance of appropriate employment of cohesion in writing at a discoursal level in English language; as well as, these studies motivate EFL college teachers to reconsider the marginalized cohesive devices in their teaching of cohesion; and these studies can suggest to EFL teachers pedagogical strategies that can be employed to overcome the impediments to the...