The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

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Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21

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Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21, No. 0, pp.435-449
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Received 10 Nov 2020 Revised 28 Apr 2021 Accepted 25 May 2021

한국인 대학생 에세이에 나타난 텍스트 응집력과 영어 능력 간의 관계 탐색

The relationship between text cohesion features and English proficiency for Korean college students
Young-Ju Lee
Professor, Hanbat National University (

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This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study investigates the relationship between text cohesion features and English proficiency for Korean college students. That is, it examines how cohesion features can be used to distinguish among essays written by different English proficiency levels. The ICNALE (International Corpus Network of Asian Learners of English) corpus was employed in this study and 600 essays on two prompts (i.e., smoking and part-time jobs) written by Korean students were analyzed. The Tool for the Automatic Analysis of Cohesion (TAACO), the recently-developed program for automatic analysis of cohesion, was employed. Two statistical analyses were performed; a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and a stepwise discriminant function analysis. Results of the study showed that cohesion feature indices were significantly affected by English proficiency, implying that essays written by Korean students with different English proficiency levels can be differentiated in terms of various cohesion features. Results of a stepwise discriminant function analysis revealed that the best predictor for distinguishing three groups of English proficiency is pronoun density. High–level Korean students produced more cohesive essays than mid- or low-level students in that they used pronouns, overlapping arguments, and lemmas as a way for liking ideas across sentences. However, high–level students underused connectives, compared with low-level students. Implications of this study for English writing pedagogy are also discussed.

Keywords: text cohesion, the Tool for the Automatic Analysis of Cohesion (TAACO), L2 writing, writing pedagogy

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