Recurrent and not-so-recurrent pragmatic errors in academic writing in English as a Foreign Language
Keywords:English as a Foreign Language, CEFR companion volume, pragmatic error, writing, learner corpus
In our globalised world, the need of a common language is encouraging the massive learning of English. Much effort has been dedicated to help improve proficiency at different levels of language learning, but, as students face greater levels of complexity, proficiency in pragmatic aspects of language continues being deficient (Romero-Trillo, 2002; Author and Carrió Pastor, 2013). This must be addressed in the Foreign Language (FL) classroom (Sperber and Wilson, 1995; Wang, 2007). In this regard, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), grounded on the communicative approach, has provided guidelines to teach and established Foreign Language proficiency levels. The CEFR Companion Volume proposed more detailed descriptors to identify and outline language proficiency. The present paper displays a 10-year pseudo-longitudinal study of a learner corpus of 125 written texts produced by University students in which pragmatic (coherence and cohesion) errors are analysed. The aim of the study has been to examine improvement in student production in the years subsequent to the publication of the reference book. Results point to errors that have been minimised after training and instruction, but they also identify some recurrent errors in English as an FL writing.
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