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Hedges and boosters in the English as a foreign language undergraduate persuasive essays and job application letters

Alward, Ali Saleh Ali (2014) Hedges and boosters in the English as a foreign language undergraduate persuasive essays and job application letters. PhD. thesis, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

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Abstract

Persuasive writing is one of the most difficult types of writing encountered by EFL students where they at times need to soften statements through hedges, and at others they need to indicate certainty through boosters. Although hedges and boosters are vital in the persuasive writing, few studies on EFL writing have examined these two discourse markers in the persuasive texts of EFL students. Existing studies on these discourse markers have largely examined scientific texts written mostly in the Western context. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate hedges and boosters in the persuasive texts written by 120 Yemeni EFL students. Each student wrote a persuasive essay and a job application letter in English and in Arabic. This produced a total of 480 scripts. For the experimental part of the study, forty participants from the sample were divided equally into the experimental group and control group. The participants of the experimental group were taught hedges and boosters through the genre approach. Data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The findings reveal that Yemeni EFL students tend to use hedges and boosters largely associated with spoken features. The findings also show that the students tend to use more hedges in their EFL than in their L1 persuasive essays due to lack of vocabulary. In contrast, boosters appear to be almost similar in their L1 and EFL persuasive essays while they appear to be used more in their L1 job application letters. The findings of the experiment indicate positive impact of teaching hedges and boosters through the genre approach. Overall, the findings of the study provide further insights on the use of hedges and boosters in the EFL writing context. Specifically, they provide valuable input to both instructors and curriculum designers on the use of hedges and boosters in EFL persuasive texts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD.)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Persuasive writing, Hedges, Boosters, Genre approach, English as a foreign language (EFL)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Awang Had Salleh Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Depositing User: Mr. Badrulsaman Hamid
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2015 04:47
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2016 08:43
URI: http://etd.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/4486

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