1887
Volume 24, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
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Abstract

When reading lengthy expository texts, Australian-born (Aus) learners of Modern Standard Chinese (MSC) as a second language (L2) often find it difficult to elicit the main points being expressed by the text author. Contrastive rhetoric studies attribute this to the differing stylistic patterns of argumentation between L1-English and L1-MSC discourse. This explanation, however, is far from universally accepted, with many studies refuting such conclusions. This study seeks to contribute to the debate by applying a more rigorous analytic framework, the Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) framework, to lengthy newstext, so as to explicate the lower level, more local features of Chinese discourse that may lead to the problems faced by L2 learners of MSC. Results reveal that local level placement of clauses differs between Australian and Chinese newstexts. Pedagogical implications are discussed, namely the benefits of promoting awareness of such cross-cultural variation within the language classroom.

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2001-01-01
2019-10-15
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