The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

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Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 19 , No. 4

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 19, No. 4, pp.668-687
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Dec 2019
Received 11 Nov 2019 Revised 15 Dec 2019 Accepted 22 Dec 2019
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15738/kjell.19.4.201912.668

Thematic Progression Patterns in English Abstracts of Doctoral Dissertations by EFL Students
Zhenzhen Zhang* ; Borim Lee**
*Wonkwang Univerisity
**Wonkwang Univerisity

* The first author is Zhenzhen Zhang and the corresponding author, Borim Lee.


Abstract

This study examines the use of thematic progression (TP) patterns in English abstracts of doctoral dissertations written by Korean and Chinese students in medical science. These EFL students’ abstracts are compared with an American university’s dissertation abstracts in the same field. The results of the mixed quantitative-qualitative analyses reveal that the three most preferred TP patterns in all three groups are exactly the same: simple linear pattern, constant Theme pattern, and constant Rheme pattern. However, the detailed uses of the three patterns vary slightly according to the groups. The EFL groups, Korean and Chinese writers, exhibit more similarities than differences with each other on their choices of TP patterns. When compared with the American control group, both EFL groups show deviations. Specifically, both EFL groups tend to overuse the alternative model. Additionally, the Chinese group also overuses the constant Theme pattern, which is known to disturb cohesion and coherence of writing. The results of a pilot study conducted to probe the reasons of these deviations suggest the writers’ native language influences. The results of this study also provide some pedagogical implications in terms of text organization for EFL academic writing.


Keywords: thematic progression (TP) patterns, Theme, Rheme, English abstracts, academic writing, Korean, Chinese, EFL, native language

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Zhang, Zhenzhen, Graduate StudentWonkwang UniversityDepartment of English Language and Literature460 Iksan DaeroIksan, Jeonbuk 54538KoreaTel: 063-850-6875E-mail: 55485233@qq.com

Borim Lee, ProfessorWonkwang UniversityDepartment of English Language and Literature460 Iksan DaeroIksan, Jeonbuk 54538KoreaE-mail: brlee@wku.ac.kr