The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

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Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 22

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 22, No. 0, pp. 396-417
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Print publication date 31 Jan 2022
Received 10 Mar 2022 Revised 20 Apr 2022 Accepted 27 Apr 2022

Linking Adverbials in Argumentative Essays of Advanced EFL Learners: A Corpus-assisted Analysis
Yalin Wang
Graduate Student, Seoul National University (

© 2022 KASELL All rights reserved
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.


The present study aims to investigate how L2 writers of different Asian backgrounds (China and Korea) with advanced English proficiency employ linking adverbials in their academic English essays in comparison to native writers. By controlling extraneous variables such as writing conditions and essay type, this study constructed a corpus of the data extracted from the International Corpus Network of Asian Learners of English (ICNALE) and 96 extra assignments from Chinese undergraduates. It analyzed the production tendencies in four types of categories of linking adverbials in the writing of different L1 groups, whether there are idiosyncratic or overlapping phenomena, and the potential rationales under the English education contexts of China and Korea. The findings revealed the common pattern of overuse of overall linking adverbials and functional categories by both groups, as well as the high dependence on specific cohesion markers that have not been emphasized previously, which indicates the non-naive writers tend to disregard issues of informality, functional degree of linking adverbials or intimacy between the sentences, and to favor sentence-initial positioning. It emphasizes the lack of faculty personnel resources and high-standard recruitment system for more qualified teachers in China, and necessary remedies for instructional methodologies for both China and Korea. This study also argues that one reason for the higher usage is the influence of negative washback of English language examinations in China and Korea and a set of model texts from reference books were examined. Pedagogical points of the results were subsequently provided.

Keywords: linking adverbials, argumentative writing, corpus analysis, L1 differences, English education contexts, education policy

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