Connector Usage in the English Essay Writing of Japanese EFL Learners


Masumi Narita (1), Chieko Sato (2), Masatoshi Sugiura (1)

(1) Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University, JAPAN; (2) Multimedia Division, Nihon IR Inc., JAPAN




In this paper we report on our quantitative analysis of 25 logical connectors in advanced Japanese university students' essay writing and compare it with the use in comparable types of native English writing. We also present a brief comparison of the Japanese learners' usage with that of advanced French, Swedish or Chinese learners of English. As our research targets, we chose 25 logical connectors and selected two sub-corpora of the ICLE (International Corpus of Learner English) project to obtain comparable data on the usage of these logical connectors by advanced Japanese EFL learners and English native speakers. Every instance of our target logical connectors was extracted from the two corpora, and not only the frequency counts but also the occurrence position of each connector was examined. Our research findings show that Japanese EFL learners significantly overuse these logical connectors in sentence-initial position and that they significantly overuse such connectors as 'for example,' 'of course,' and 'first,' whereas they significantly underuse such connectors as 'then,' 'yet,' and 'instead.' The findings also show that there exist certain similarities and differences among the four learner groups in the use of logical connectors.


Connector Usage, Learner English, Learner Corpora, Japanese EFL Learners, Corpus-based Analysis of Interlanguage

Language(s) English
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