Analysing coherence in upper-intermediate learner writing

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Previous studies on coherence and cohesion in learner writing indicate that the relationship between the two is not as straightforward as teaching practice seems to suggest. To allow for a meaning-focused analysis of coherence in learner writing, this paper presents a multi-perspective approach which incorporates (1) holistic coherence ratings, (2) logical relations which exist between parts of a text, and (3) cohesive elements. The focus of this paper is on the use of Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) for the analysis of logical relations in learner writing. A corpus of 20 learner essays is analysed to examine the applicability of RST for the description of coherence structures in learner writing.


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