This study attempted to determine the effect of explicit
instruction of metadiscourse markers on pre-intermediate EFL
learners' reading comprehension skill. To this end, 90 students
were selected following a pre-test and divided randomly into three
groups. Then three versions of the same test, original, modified and
unmodified metadiscourse-free texts, were provided. Results revealed
that the group receiving the original version outperformed the group
with the unmodified version, but their performance was about equal with
the group receiving the modified version. In addition, two of the groups
answered a questionnaire on how they judged the texts. Next, one of the
groups received instruction on metadiscourse. Finally, a posttest was
administered. Results revealed the positive influence o f form-focused
instruction of metadiscourse. It also revealed that metadiscourse
markers are primarily responsible for cohesion rather than coherence.
For many researchers, the concept of metadiscourse is defined as
discourse about discourse, and it is based on a view of writing as a
social and communicative action between the writer and the reader. It
deals with the study of textual resources at above-sentence levels and
can be defined as the linguistic resources used to organize a discourse
or the writer's stance toward either its content or reader and
includes a heterogeneous series of cohesive and interpersonal features,
which help the readers connect, organize, and interpret materials in a
way preferred by the writer and with regard to the understandings and
values of a particular discourse community (Hyland, 1998, 2000; Vande
Kopple, 1985). As noted by Hyland and Tse, through metadiscourse, a
writer is able not only to transform a dry, difficult text into
coherent, reader-friendly prose, but also relate it to a given context
and convey his personality, credibility, audience-sensitivity, and
relationship to the message (2004). Metadiscourse markers, according to
Vande Kopple, help readers organize, classify, interpret, evaluate, and
react to propositional content (1985).
Metadiscourse markers are discourse elements that help both the
writer and the reader in two ways. On one level, they help the writer
organize the propositional content and his ideas mainly through using
connectives such as and, therefore, in addition, etc. Additionally,
connectives, such as the sequencers first, then, finally, etc., guide
the reader through the maze of the writer's units of thoughts by
indicating the organization of the text. On the other level,
metadiscourse markers build an interaction between the reader and the
writer and account for the atmosphere and reader-friendliness of the
text. As an example, the writer reveals his own ideas when he uses
illocution markers like I recommend that, or I believe that, or, by
using hedges like perhaps, might, and apparently and emphatics such as
clearly, undoubtedly, and surely, which allows the writer to send
signals to the reader about whether he is doubtful or sure about what he
is pointing out. Such markers, however, may not signal coherence on
their own. Once metadiscourse ties are removed from the text, slight
modifications can still make the text coherent. In the following
example, taken from one of the texts in the present study, the second
version appears incoherent; however, slight modifications on it made it
coherent and meaningful even though the metadiscourse elements were
Many researchers have made attempts to scrutinize the contributions
that metadiscourse can make to language pedagogy. Traditionally, the
focus of an immense part of the literature on metadiscourse has been on
writing skill. However, only a few of these studies have been
experimental in nature and have tried to tease out the effect of
metadiscourse on the students' writing; rather, they are chiefly
comparative studies that have applied cultural and discipline specific
viewpoints as their point of departure. Conceding that a great number of
theoreticians have brought metadiscourse knowledge within the context of
writing to the center of attention, the role that this crucial part of
discourse plays in reading comprehension skill seems to have sunken into
oblivion. On the grounds of this conspicuous disregard, there is an
opaque picture of the correlation between the recognition of
metadiscourse markers and the promotion of students' reading
A number of researchers have conducted studies on metadiscourse
markers in relation to different modes of language and have
substantiated the facilitative role of metadiscourse markers (Dahl,
2004; Hyland & Tse, 2004; Ifantidou, 2005; Lee, 2002; Perez &
Macia, 2002; Steffensen & Cheng, 1996; Suau, 2004). Steffensen and
Cheng (1996) studied the propositional and pragmatic functions of
metadiscourse in writing. Lee (2002) focused on coherence in writing in
terms of five features including metadiscourse. Perez and Macia (2002)
investigated the role of metadiscourse in lecture comprehension. Dahl
(2004) studied the role of national culture and academic discipline in
textual metadiscourse in research articles. Suau (2004) attempted to
bridge the gap between research articles and popular science articles
from the viewpoint of metadiscourse. Camiciottoli (2003) studied the
effect of metadiscourse on reading comprehension ability.
While reading a text, second language learners all too often
confront difficulties comprehending the author's line of reasoning
due to not being acquainted with the organizational content and
interactive features of metadiscourse markers that shape the text.
Therefore, this is a common problem from which many reading
comprehension classes are suffering. However, research has not addressed
the role of explicit instruction of metadiscourse markers for the
pre-intermediate language learners. Steffensen and Cheng assert that
"in spite of its importance, metadiscourse as a pragmatic system is
rarely taught and is typically approached even by skillful writers on an
intuitive basis" (1996, p. 3). Concerning the dearth of
experimental studies on the influence of metadiscourse markers on
reading comprehension in EFL contexts, it is evident that the
experimental research into the impact of the knowledge of metadiscourse
markers on reading comprehension skill is still in its infancy.
Moreover, previous studies have not offered convincing evidence on the
functional role of metadiscourse markers, whether they help achieve
coherence or cohesion. Therefore, the present research aims to uncover
the existence of any relationship between the knowledge of metadiscourse
markers and the EFL learners' reading comprehension ability. To
this aim, the present study is motivated to answer the following
1. Are metadiscourse markers helpful to readers in recognizing the
ways by which writers style their texts?
2. Does reference to metadiscourse markers during reading affect
reading comprehension ability?
3. Does the direct teaching of metadiscourse markers enhance the
EFL learners' reading comprehension ability?
4. How do metadiscourse-free texts appear to the readers?
5. How does the removal of metadiscourse markers from a text affect
6. Does modification or reorganization of sentences on a
metadiscourse-free text contribute to its comprehensibility?
Initially, 130 male and female TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign
Language) students, who were enrolled in a two-credit Reading
Comprehension course as a requirement for their BA degree at Masjed
Soleiman Islamic Azad University, took a sample proficiency test. Ninety
of these students were selected as the homogeneous pre-intermediate
sample based on their scores on the English language proficiency test.
Then, they were randomly divided into three groups, 30 subjects
representing each group. Only one of the groups received instruction on
For the purpose of this experiment, six reading comprehension
passages including 36 multiple-choice test items from a sample
proficiency test were selected as the pretest. The test was used to
enable the researchers to select a homogeneous sample. As calculated
through the Kudar and Richardson's formula (KR-21 Method), the
reliability of this test was 0.823. The same test was again administered
at the end of the semester to trace possible changes in the
students' reading comprehension ability.
Another test that included four reading comprehension passages from
a sample TOEFL test (Broukal & Nolan-Woods, 2001) was also designed.
The reliability of the texts based on KR21 was 0.961. Each passage
included 132 words on average, and the semantic complexity of these
texts averaged out at about 21 propositions per text.
In order to determine the effect of metadiscourse markers on the
participants' reading comprehension ability, three versions of this
latter test were designed. The original version included metadiscourse
markers. In the second version, metadiscourse markers were removed, and
the passages were structurally modified to account for possible
distortions as a result of the omission of metadiscourse markers. Due to
the removal of metadiscourse markers from the texts, the unmodified
texts appeared loose and incoherent because connectives that constitute
a huge part of metadiscourse markers and logically bond the propositions
together were unavailable. To make up for this unwanted incoherence, the
researchers modified the texts as follows:
1. Long sentences were broken into smaller ones in order to be much
less confusing. For example, note the following two passages.
But when language characters develop and an alphabet and number
system have reached a certain stage, there comes a demand for some
formal teaching and so schools are established for a select few,
prospective rulers and priests, to supplement the education given by
family and tribe. [The original text] (Broukal, & Nolan-Woods, 2001,
p. 253) Language characters develop. An alphabet number system has
reached a stage. There comes a demand for some formal teachings. Schools
are established for a select few, prospective rulers, priests, to
supplement the family-tribe education. [The modified text]
2. To sound clearer, some ambiguous sentences were paraphrased.
The family is the first educator and a life-long influence. [The
original text] (Broukal, & Nolan-Woods, 2001) The family is the
first educator with a life-long influence. [The modified text]
3. Because the canonical word order was disrupted, words were
combined to make compound nouns or adjectives and some parts of speech
were also changed. For example, the unmodified sentence "family
tribe provide all the education"(Broukal, & Nolan-Woods, 2001,
p. 253) in the first text was modified into the phrase
"family-tribe provision of all the education".
4. Punctuation was modified as well.
In the third version of the test, metadiscourse markers were
removed leaving the four passages metadiscourse-free, but no
modification was made on the passages. Finally, a questionnaire with
five questions on metadiscourse markers was designed for the
participants in two of the groups (see Appendix I for a sample
questionnaire). The purpose behind administering this questionnaire was
to find out to what extent the omission of metadiscourse markers from a
text affects comprehension from the language learners' point of
view. We also wished to see how they judged the text difficulty and
whether they found the writers' styles helpful.
In order to locate metadiscourse markers in the texts, we used the
comprehensive classification by Vande Kopple (1997). The rationale for
the selection of this classification was that it is based on
Hallidayan's (1985) macro-functions of language including textual
and interpersonal categories. Moreover, the classification has been
subject to many revisions and modifications by Vande Kopple himself and
other theoreticians in the field (Vande Kopple, 1985, 1997; Crismore,
Markkanan & Steffensen, 1993; Longo, 1994, Mao, 1993; Rahman, 2004).
Vande Kopple's (1997) classification, which is a revision of his
two previous proposals, is as follows:
1. Connectives reveal organization and intertextuality (e.g.,
2. Code Glosses are parenthetical definitions within sentences.
3. Illocution Markers identify discourse acts (e.g., we recommend,
we claim, we conclude, to sum up).
4. Validity Markers assess the probability of truth of the
a. Hedges (e.g., perhaps, may, might, often, usually, apparently);
b. Emphatics (e.g., clearly, undoubtedly, it is obvious that, of
course, very crucial);
c. Attributors (e.g., according to Einstein).
5. Narrators let the readers know who said what (e.g., Mrs. Jones
6. Attitude Markers reveal the attitudes of the writer toward
propositional content (e.g., surprisingly, unfortunately).
7. Commentaries direct comments to the reader (e.g., the reasons
for these choices are simple, most of you will oppose the idea that).
Having selected the groups, in order to test the effect of
metadiscourse markers on the subjects' reading comprehension
ability, the researchers administered the three versions of the same
test. Group One received the original version of the passages. Group Two
received the modified metadiscourse-free version, and Group Three took
the unmodified metadiscourse-free version. Next, the participants in
Groups Two and Three were asked to provide responses to the
questionnaire and indicate how smoothly they read the passages.
Following this, the researchers made comparisons between the results of
the different versions of the test and the responses to the
The next phase of the experiment lasted for one academic semester
and began with training the learners. Throughout the semester, the
instructor, who was one of the researchers, provided Group Three with
explicit instruction on how metadiscourse markers are used by the
writers and interpreted by the readers, following the presentation,
practice, production (PPP) model, whereas the other groups did not
receive any instruction on the significance of metadiscourse markers.
The teaching procedure followed these steps:
The researcher first described the concept of metadiscourse and
then gradually presented the above classification. He selected one
category of metadiscourse devices and explained and exemplified the
category with examples so that a vivid picture of metadiscourse, its
importance and the functions that it performs in a text, was created in
the students' minds. This was the presentation phase. To make sure
that the students had a good grasp of metadiscourse markers, in each
session, the researcher provided more explanation on metadiscourse
markers, and as the learners were reading the course-required passages,
they were required to find the metadiscourse devices and recognize to
which category they belonged. This was the practice phase. They were
also given metadiscourse-free texts to complete by suggesting the right
elements. This stage was considered the production phase.
Groups One and Three, finally, took a reading comprehension test
(the pre-test in the study) that included metadiscourse markers. Since
at this stage, we wished to see only the role of explicit instruction on
metadiscourse, one group was excluded from this phase of the study.
Later, we applied the statistical t test to compare the mean scores
obtained by the students in the two groups on the posttest.
Comparison of the original and the unmodified texts
Group One took the reading comprehension test that included
metadiscourse markers, whereas Group Three took the version of the same
reading comprehension test in which metadiscourse markers were left out
with no modification made on the texts.
The statistical t test was administered. The t value of 7.857
observed for a degree of freedom 58 was significantly above the t
critical value of 1.671 at the .05 level of significance. Therefore,
there was a meaningful difference between the two mean scores, and the t
value was significant enough to confirm that Group One outperformed
Group Three. This led researchers to conclude that structurally the
omission of metadiscourse markers from the extracts and the lack of any
modification on the texts naturally made the participants fail to
comprehend the texts and this resulted in their lower performance.
Table 1 shows the data related to the results of the original and
the unmodified versions of the subjects' reading comprehension
tests on the effect of metadiscourse markers on their reading
Comparison of the original and the modified texts
The results did not indicate a significant difference in the mean
scores of Group One, taking the original reading comprehension texts,
and Group Two, taking the modified versions. The statistical t test was
administered. The t value observed for a degree of freedom of 58 was
1.063, which was less than the t critical value of 1.671 at the .05
level of significance. Therefore, there was not a meaningful difference
between the two mean scores, and the t value confirmed that the groups
performed rather equally on the reading comprehension test. It is likely
that the omission of metadiscourse markers from a text does not hinder
the comprehensibility of the propositional content presented in the text
once enough structural modifications are made on the text.
Table 2 reveals the statistics related to the results of the
original and the modified versions of the participants' reading
comprehension tests on the effect of metadiscourse markers on their
reading comprehension ability.
Comparison of the modified and the unmodified texts
Comparisons of the two mean scores of the second and third groups
revealed a drastically significant difference. In order to make sure
that the difference in the mean scores was statistically significant,
the statistical t test was administered. The t value observed was 7.353
for a degree of freedom of 58, which was high above the t critical value
of 1.671 at the .05 level of significance. The results, therefore,
confirmed that Group Two performed much better than Group Three on the
reading comprehension test. This showed that the omission of
metadiscourse markers from a text made it difficult to comprehend unless
enough modifications were made on it. The results, on the one hand,
support the idea that the removal of metadiscourse markers from a text
hinders its comprehensibility. On the other hand, the results reinforce
the idea that structural modifications made on a metadiscourse-free text
increases its comprehensibility significantly.
Table 3 illustrates the results of the unmodified and the modified
versions of the subjects' reading comprehension tests and the
effect of metadiscourse markers on their reading comprehension ability.
Results of the groups on the questionnaire
Table 4 details the number and percentage of the third group's
responses to the questionnaire on the unmodified version of the reading
comprehension test of metadiscourse markers. This questionnaire
encompassed five questions.
The results made clear that a great proportion of the students,
83.5%, admitted that the text was difficult. In addition, more than
two-thirds of the students reported that they could not follow the main
points of the texts in the test, which could possibly imply that
metadiscourse markers create a link between the idea units in a text and
that once they are absent, the whole passage becomes less clear.
In regards to the author's style of writing and his attempt to
create a dialogue with the reader, half of the students denied the
author's helpfulness, and this response was due to the absence of
metadiscourse markers, which in turn made the passages dry and
incohesive. That is, metadiscourse markers account for the cohesion and
reader-friendliness of the text. In addition, more than half of the
students agreed that the extracts in the test did not include any
introduction to help the reader comprehend the texts with more ease.
This observation may indicate that a metadiscourse-free passage is
difficult to understand because it is disorganized. The conclusion to be
drawn from this questionnaire is that metadiscourse markers are
responsible for creating organization in the propositional content of
Table 5 shows the number and percentage of the second group's
responses to the same questionnaire on the modified version of the
reading comprehension test of metadiscourse markers.
The results made clear that still a great proportion of the
students, 43.5%, found the text difficult, while slightly above the same
proportion found the text to be of average difficulty, although the
texts were modified. The dearth of these metadiscourse devices failed to
link the propositions in the text and the sentences, as such, they
appeared less related to one another. Here, 56.5% of the students
reported that they had an average understanding of the main points of
the extracts in the test, but nobody claimed a complete grasp of the
main points. This result might imply that once metadiscourse markers are
absent, the sentences in the passage remain less cohesive. However, the
propositional content of the passage remains stable, but the function of
organizing these propositions is not fulfilled properly. Therefore, many
of the students could at least partially comprehend the texts due to the
reshaping of the propositional content.
Regarding the author's style of writing and his attempt to
create a dialogue with the reader, more than three-fourth of the
students agreed on the author's helpfulness. Because of the
structural modifications made on the sentences, the texts did not appear
too hard or incoherent, although they were less cohesive. Therefore,
although metadiscourse markers account for the cohesion and
reader-friendliness of the text, modifications partially compensated for
their absence. Furthermore, a large number of the students claimed that
the extracts in the test hardly included enough introduction to help the
reader comprehend the texts with more ease. The conclusion to be drawn
from this questionnaire is that metadiscourse markers are primarily
responsible for creating organization in the propositional content, but
they do not add to the propositional content of a text.
Results of the explicit instruction of metadiscourse
The results revealed a significant mean difference. The statistical
t test was also administered. The t value observed was 4.405, which was
significantly above the t critical value of 1.671 at the .05 level of
significance. This substantiated that Group Three outperformed Group One
on the sample reading comprehension posttest. These results, as such,
not only rejected the third null hypothesis (H03) of the study that
explicit instruction of metadiscourse markers has no effect on EFL
students' reading comprehension skill but also confirmed the idea
that explicit instruction of metadiscourse markers promoted EFL
students' reading comprehension skill.
The findings of this study are in line with other works on
metadiscourse markers such as those by Perez and Macia (2002) and
Camiciottoll (2003), who have substantiated the effective role of
metadiscourse markers in spoken and written texts.
Table 6 shows the descriptive and inferential statistics related to
the results of the subjects' posttest on the influence of
instruction on metadiscourse markers to the first group.
This section reflects on the results by providing answers to the
questions raised in the beginning of the paper.
(1) Are metadiscourse markers helpful to readers in recognizing the
ways by which writers style their texts?
Through the use of textual metadiscourse markers, a writer fashions
his text and organizes the propositional content that he wishes to share
with the readers. In the same vein, interpersonal metadiscourse markers
allow him to create a dialogue with the readers and to style his
writing. However, the students answering the questionnaire in relation
to metadiscourse-free passages denied the writer's helpfulness to
the readers and, as a result, they failed to understand the main points
of the passages. Therefore, owing to the experimental results of this
study and others (Hyland & Tse, 2004; Lee, 2002, and Steffensen
& Cheng, 1996), metadiscourse markers make the texts syntactically
complete, and thus, they facilitate comprehension by helping readers
recognize the writer's style of writing.
(2) Does reference to metadiscourse markers during reading affect
reading comprehension ability?
A comparison of the results of the pre and post tests showed that
the reading comprehension ability of the first group did not improve.
This finding could be described as the subjects' weakness applying
metadiscourse markers in an efficacious manner on their own. It is also
in line with Schmidt's Noticing Hypothesis that language items that
learners are supposed to pick up by themselves had better be brought to
their attention through activities that focus on form, repeated
noticing, and continued awareness of the language features like
metadiscourse markers (1990).
(3) Does the direct teaching of metadiscourse markers enhance the
students' reading comprehension ability?
Following studies by Spada and Lightbown (1993), Perez and Macia
(2002), and Camiciottoli (2003) and based on the results of the posttest
of this study, it was revealed that explicit instruction of
metadiscourse markers proved effective in enhancing the subjects'
reading comprehension ability. That is, the subjects in the instructed
group performed far more successfully on the posttest. The reason for
this phenomenon can be that the participants in the instructed group
were able to recognize different kinds of metadiscourse markers,
interpret the functions performed by them, and predict the following
events from the preceding propositions in the text due to being
instructed on metadiscourse markers and consciously drawing on them
(4) How do metadiscourse-free texts appear to the readers?
As indicated by the data collected from the questionnaire, more
than half of the students who read the unmodified metadiscourse-free
passages stated that the texts were difficult to understand and that
they could not follow the main points of the texts. The distortion in
comprehension might well be ascribed to the dearth of textual
metadiscourse that is responsible for organizing the propositions and
"managing quite extended stretches of discourse" (McCarthy,
2005, p. 49) in the text. These connectives "presuppose a textual
sequence" and establish "a relationship between segments of
the discourse" (McCarthy, 2005, p. 46). The removal of these
markers from the texts broke the bonds existing among the propositions
and, consequently, the texts' sentences appeared confusing.
Moreover, the students denied the friendliness of the texts.
Undoubtedly, since interpersonal metadiscourse accounts for the
atmosphere of the text, the lack of these markers resulted in the
texts' dryness. What is more, the participants declared that the
texts appeared incohesive and telegraphic.
Previous studies did not include modified texts as a proof for the
cohesive function of metadiscourse markers. The findings also challenged
the arguments made by Lee (2002), who claimed that metadiscourse markers
account for coherence of the texts. The results of the modified versions
of metadiscourse-free texts proved that the coherence of the texts was
not reduced by the lack of metadiscourse. This is because, in accord
with Widdowson (1978), coherence, which is meaning-bound, has little to
do with cohesion, which is grammar-bound in nature; metadiscourse
markers are associated, primarily, with cohesion not coherence, which
indicates "how the information is relevant, or what the point of
saying it is" (Salkie, 1997, p. 94). What makes a text coherent is
the semantic and not structural relatedness. Note the following example
in which the text is incoherent even though cohesive ties are present:
Therefore, although the texts in this study were incohesive in
terms of the binding relationship between the sentences, they were not
incoherent and the students could make sense of the propositional
content. Also, the incohesiveness of the passages referred to the lack
of textual metadiscourse markers, with connectors being a major part of
(5) How does the removal of metadiscourse markers from a text
affect its comprehensibility?
That the third group failed to answer the questions in the
unmodified metadiscourse-free version of the test revealed that the
removal of metadiscourse markers was a stumbling-block, and it strongly
influenced the readers' comprehension of the text. Therefore, the
distortion in comprehension resulted from the removal of metadiscourse
markers that bind the propositions together. The immense magnitude of
this incohesion made the passages hard to comprehend. However, once
modifications were made on the text, despite the absence of these ties,
coherence was enhanced and participants could follow the text. Such
cohesive ties are, therefore, part of the resources of a language which
are neither necessary nor sufficient for coherence on their own.
(6) Does modification made on a metadiscourse-free text contribute
to its comprehensibility?
The response to this question would be positive. Compared with the
first group of subjects, results of the performance of the subjects in
the second group, who took the modified version of the
metadiscourse-free test, revealed only a trivial difference. The
conclusion to be drawn is that modifications made on the
metadiscourse-free passages made up for their incohesiveness. Therefore,
the students were capable of comprehending the extracts which were not
deemed incoherent but less connected.
The aim of this study was to fill the existing gap in the
experimental work on metadiscourse markers. To this end, we attempted to
find out the effect of metadiscourse markers on reading comprehension
skill. Analysis of the data enabled us to arrive at the following
1. Pre-intermediate language learners fail to employ metadiscourse
markers in their reading comprehension skill on their own. That is, they
hardly rely on metadiscourse information unconsciously. They must be
made aware of the important roles that metadiscourse markers play in a
text to improve their language learning in general and their reading
comprehension skill in particular. Therefore, it is necessary not to let
the students be oblivious of these crucial devices through bringing
metadiscourse markers to their consciousness. Metadiscourse markers
should be taught explicitly in reading comprehension classes as a means
to enhance students' reading comprehension ability. As noted by
VanPatten and Cadierno (1993) and Fotos (1993), instruction that focuses
on output raises learners' consciousness and is sometimes necessary
as it encourages learners to be accurate while they attend to meaning.
To provide instruction on metadiscourse markers, following the
results of this study, language teachers are suggested to apply the
well-established PPP (Presentation, Practice, and Production) approach
in their treatment. To this end, the teacher may introduce one category
of metadiscourse markers each session through sufficient explanations
and examples. Then, learners may be required to practice locating those
elements in texts. Next, they may be given texts in which metadiscourse
elements have been removed, and they suggest or select appropriate
metadiscourse markers to complete the gaps. Finally, learners may be
encouraged to produce metadiscourse markers in a free writing task to
have a good grasp of that specific category. This process can be
conducted for all the categories of metadiscourse markers.
2. The paucity of metadiscourse markers in a text, to a great
extent, affects the text syntactically rather than semantically. In
other words, metadiscourse-free passages are hard to understand due to
incohesion, and not incoherence. Therefore, it is claimed that the
removal of metadiscourse markers from a text does not influence its
coherence as much as it does influence the text's cohesion and
The research into metadiscourse markers is useful in itself. We set
our sights on how readers establish the relationship between the
propositions and interpret the text as a unified whole. The findings of
this study may be considered as tendencies and a starting point for
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Alireza Jalilifar holds a Ph.D. in applied linguistics. He has been
teaching for more than 20 years in secondary schools and universities.
He is now a member of Shahdi Chamran State University of Ahvaz, Iran.
His main interests are genre analysis, metadiscourse and thematic
structure. He has published in the International Journal of Applied
Linguistics and local Iranian Journals. He has also presented lectures
in LSP conference in Malaysia (2005), IPrA (Gothenborg 2007) and Odense
(2007). He may be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org Mohammad Alipour
graduated from the Center for Science and Research in Ahvaz majoring in
English Language Teaching. His main interest is metadiscourse.
... curious as it may sound, this relationship in many respects
comes close to that between history and literature. Economics,
after all, is the science (in the broad meaning of the term) of
something which men actually do: even if the science did not exist,
men would still make economic decisions, economic predictions and
participate in the various forms of economic organization which, in
part, it is the economist's function to describe. [The original
text] (Broukal, & NolanWoods, 2001, p. 255)
... this relationship in many respects comes close to between
history literature. Economics is the science of something men do:
the science did not exist, men make economic decisions, economic
predictions participate in the various forms of economic
organization it is the economist's function to describe. [The
This relationship is similar in many respects.
Economics is the science of something men do. Men make economic
decisions, economic predictions, participate in the various forms
of economic organization without science. It is the economist's
function to describe. [The modified text]
While David Beckham was busy playing for Real Madrid, even Jennifer
looks stunning in these pictures. Just in case you weren't aware of
it, it's Christmas time. You must have nearly had a heart attack,
so what's the deal with your girlfriend now you're a pop star?
Table 1 Results of the reading tests of metadiscourse
Groups N M SD test
G1 30 29.58 10.306 7.857
G3 30 10.73 .528
Table 2 Results of the reading tests of metadiscourse
Groups N M SD t test
G1 30 29.58 10.306 1.063
G3 30 26.825 8.528
Table 3 Results of the reading tests of metadiscourse
Groups N M SD test
G1 30 10.73 8.528 7.353
G3 30 26.825 10.306
Table 4 Number and percentage of the group's responses to the
Responses in percentage
terms Not at all Average Almost
1. Extracts were easy 25 = 83.5% 5 = 16.5% 0 = 0%
2. Understand the main 20 = 67% 8 = 26.5% 2 = 6.5%
3. Author's style is 16 = 53% 10 = 33.5% 4 = 13.5%
4. Author creates a 15 = 50% 11 = 36.5% 4 = 13.5%
dialogue with reader
5. Extracts include intro- 17 = 56.5% 7 = 23.5% 6 = 20%
Responses in percentage
terms So much
1. Extracts were easy 0 = 0%
2. Understand the main 0 = 0%
3. Author's style is 0 = 0%
4. Author creates a 0 = 0%
dialogue with reader
5. Extracts include intro- 0 = 0%
Table 5 Number and percentage of the responses to the questionnaire
Responses in percentage
terms Not at all Average Almost
1. Extracts were easy 13 = 43.5% 14 = 46.5% 3 = 10%
2. Understand the main 5 = 16.5% 17 = 56.5% 8 = 27%
3. Author's style is 4 = 13.5% 8 = 26.5% 12 = 40%
4. Author creates a 0 = 0% 7 = 23.5% 12 = 40%
dialogue with reader
5. Extracts include intro- 4 = 13.5% 8 = 26.5% 12 = 40%
Responses in percentage
terms So much
1. Extracts were easy 0 = 0%
2. Understand the main 0 = 0%
3. Author's style is 6 = 20%
4. Author creates a 11 = 36.5%
dialogue with reader
5. Extracts include intro- 6 = 20%
Table 6 Results of the sample reading comprehension posttest
Groups N M SD t test
G1 30 28.56 10.691 4.405
G2 30 38.826 8.723