International Journal of English Language Teaching (IJELT)

EA Journals

English as a second language (ESL)

Report On a Study of Reference Cohesion in Texts of Nigerian ESL Students: Implications for the Classroom (Published)

The paper reports a study that investigated the use of reference cohesion in two essay types written by Nigerian ESL students. The sample consisted of 174 first year students of the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) programme. A set of pictures was used to elicit the first essay, and a topic prompt was used to elicit the second. Each study sample wrote two essays. The data was analysed using a model of analysis adopted from Hallliday and Hasan (1976). The study revealed a deployment of reference cohesion consistent with Standard English in one essay type and an inconsistency in the other. It was argued that limited knowledge of the passive form and the reading audience contributed to improper deployment of reference cohesion. Implications for teaching were discussed.

Keywords: English as a second language (ESL), cohesive devices, exophoric ties, reference cohesion, text elicitation tasks (TET)


The aim of this mixed method research is to find out positive changes in learning and behaviour of the rural students of the nursery class in the government schools at Tehsil Jaranwala district Faisalabad province Punjab Pakistan, by the use of motivational expressions within the context of behavioral perspective of Skinner’s (1957) model of reinforcement. The research makes hypothesis that the ELT teachers in government schools at primary level in Pakistan use such techniques and strategies that do not motivate the students in learning English as a second language (ESL) and the young learners especially in rural context are less interested to learn English because teachers do not motivate the students in the class. The researcher took a nursery class for 37 days and tried to motivate the students to learn English and establish their interest in studies through different motivational expressions. Moreover, a survey questionnaire, consisting of 13 close ended questions and 07 open-ended questions was distributed among 28 male and female teachers of different schools to know their views and comments regarding motivation and use of motivational expressions. The results were presented quantitatively in the form of tables, graphs, frequencies and percentages. The findings of the research results show that more than 75 % teachers agree to the view that there should be motivation in the learners and the use of different motivational strategies, for example motivational expressions, enhance the students’ interest in learning. Moreover, the classroom teaching and the questionnaire results show that students become more motivated towards learning English language when they are positively reinforced in the class. The results can be used as key for seeing the reasons behind the failure of the students at schools as well their misconduct in the society and can be a key to make improvements in both the areas.

Keywords: English as a second language (ESL), English language teaching (ELT), Motivation, Pakistan, Rural, Students, behaviourism, reinforcement

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