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Browsing by Subject "formal language"

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  • Nummela, Katja (2023)
    This thesis set out to find out to what extent language proficiency is related to language learners’ ability to use discourse markers in general, in formal and informal registers, and in different tasks. Over the past decades, discourse markers have been studied extensively from various perspectives in multiple subfields of linguistics. In general, discourse markers have been found to pose great difficulty even for university-level language learners, with textual organization, cohesion and coherence being the main issues in L2 language use. The data for this research was collected from Finnish general upper secondary school students using a language test created specifically for this thesis. The aim is to tap into the participants’ active and passive English knowledge as well as their knowledge on language registers of different levels of formality. The test consists of a language proficiency test, a multiple-choice test to measure the participants’ passive vocabulary, and a cloze test to measure the participants’ active vocabulary. The results were analyzed using the Pearson correlation coefficient r, and after an item analysis and a distractor analysis of the test items, the most problematic items were analyzed qualitatively to gain more information about the participants’ use of discourse markers. The results indicate that English language proficiency is moderately correlated with the use of discourse markers overall, in formal contexts and in the cloze test measuring active vocabulary. A slightly lower correlation was also found between proficiency and the score on the multiple-choice test measuring passive vocabulary.