Global and Local Cohesion in the Spoken English of Arabs

By Yousif Elhindi.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study investigates cohesion in the spoken English discourse of thirty Arabs from three proficiency levels: superior, advanced, and intermediate. Two models were applied to the analysis. Halliday and Hasan’s taxonomy was used to investigate local cohesion, or cohesion withinn turns; and Schiffrin’s discourse markers approach was used to investigate global cohesion, or cohesion between turns. An ANOVA determined that the differences between the means of the three groups were significant for global cohesion and insignificant for local cohesion. The results suggest that the ability to use global cohesive ties increases with proficiency. This ability is manifested by the use of a variety of markers to achieve different communicative goals that include reorientation to information, coordination of ideas, and modification of previous responses.

Keywords: Discourse, Cohesion, Nonnative English

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.139-162. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 737.854KB).

Dr. Yousif Elhindi

Associate Professor, Department of English, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee, USA

I was born and raised in Sudan. After graduating from the University of Khartoum in the mid 1970s and working briefly as a high school teacher and interpret translator, I travelled to England to pursue a Masetr’s degree in English, which I obtained in 1981. I returned to Sudan that same year and taught at Gezira University for a couple of years. Then I joined the faculty of the college of Education at King Faisal University in Saudi Arabia, where I taught for six years. I moved to America with my family in 1990 and enrolled as a Ph.D. student at Oklahoma State University. After earning my degree in 1995, I taught at Oklahoma State before moving to Tennessee to teach at East Tennessee State University. My research interests include discourse analysis, world literature, and cognitive grammar. I also enjoy reading, travel, and sports. I am married with four children.

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