Teacher Beliefs about Students’ Use of Cohesion in Writing: What Does the Textual Evidence Reveal?
Despite an extensive research base in the domain of analyses for academic writing, a study of how pedagogic perceptions are revealed in students’ actual writing performance is relatively an under-researched area. This study aimed at finding out the relationships between teachers’ beliefs and textual evidence in regard to students’ use of cohesion in academic writing. Structured questionnaire and open-ended interviews were used to gauge teachers’ perceptions about the subject. Cohesion analysis of the samples of students’ academic essays was performed and collated with the teachers’ perceptions. The results revealed statistically significant correlations between pedagogic perceptions as well as between textual manifestations of cohesion use in the sample texts. Both agreement and disagreement were observed between what teachers believed about students’ ability to use cohesion as a text-forming resource and the textual analysis of cohesion. The study proposes a review of pedagogic practices with focus on academic writing literacy as well as a further research initiative with a larger sample to conduct a micro-level analysis of cohesion to be collated with both teachers’ and students’ beliefs.
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