International Journal of Advanced and Applied Sciences

Int. j. adv. appl. sci.

EISSN: 2313-3724

Print ISSN: 2313-626X

Volume 4, Issue 3  (March 2017), Pages:  101-106

Title: Describing the use of discourse markers by ESL learners in writing

Author(s):  Nor Ashikin Ab Manan 1,*, Nor Nadia Raslee 2


1Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 32610 Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia
2Academy of Language Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 35400 Tapah Road, Perak, Malaysia

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This research paper describes the use of discourse markers (henceforth DMs) in paragraph writing by English as second language (ESL) learners who were enrolled in a writing class. 25 diploma level students from Landscape Architecture programme participated in the study. The main objective of the study was to investigate the use of DMs in paragraph writing by these learners. 50 paragraphs written by the participants were scrutinized and the DMs used in each paragraph were recorded. The DMs used by the participants were classified into four categories; a) Contrastive Markers (CDMs); b) Elaborative Markers (EDMs); c) Implicative Markers (IDMs) and d) Temporal Markers (TDMs). It was found that the participants use Elaborative Markers (73%) the most followed by Temporal Markers (13%), Contrastive Markers (8%) and Implicative Markers (6%). There is a weak linear relationship (r = 0.007) between the variety of DM used and the scores awarded to the paragraphs and a weak non-linear relationship (r = -0.004) between the total number of DMs used and the scores awarded to the paragraphs. It was concluded that the students had overused the high frequency EDMs such as ‘and’ and ‘because’ and had misused some DMs in their writing. The study concluded that EFL learners tend to use more limited and redundant sets of DMs in their writing due to their low English language proficiency. 

© 2017 The Authors. Published by IASE.

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Keywords: Discourse markers, Overused, Misused, Writing ability

Article History: Received 7 November 2016, Received in revised form 16 January 2017, Accepted 20 January 2017

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Manan NAA and Raslee NN (2017). Describing the use of discourse markers by ESL learners in writing. International Journal of Advanced and Applied Sciences, 4(3): 101-106


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