Rashwan Ramadan Salih

Salahaddin University- Erbil

[email protected]


This paper investigates the effect of using discourse markers on the writing skills of Kurdish university students. By revising the related literature, it appeared that so far there is no consensus on the actual effect of the explicit presence of discourse markers on foreign language writing.  Many studies came  to  the  conclusion  that  different  discourse  markers  have  different effects  on  the  writing  of  foreign  language  learners  (Morell,  2004;  Ying,  2007;  Castro,  2009; Dariush and Mohamad 2015). The current research tries to find out if there are any cross-linguistic factors that could cause issues for students in EFL modules.  Data for the current study were collected from essays written by Kurdish students at the English Department in Salahaddin University, Erbil. In total, 20 essayswere received with total of 19872 wordsand total 261 DMswere found in the data. A mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods wasused to analyse the data. The raw frequencies of the DMs were: Additive (101= 0.5 %), Adversative (45= 0.22 %), Causal / Conditional (83= 0.4 %), and Temporal (32= 0.16 %). The findings suggested that level of attention to and appropriate use of discourse markers were significantly unbalanced, and various misuses were found. Sample errors in using the DMs were selected for a qualitative analysis. It is recommended that discourse markers are taught individually not in groups with more focus on the more difficult discourse marker types.

Keywords: TEFL, Writing, Discourse Markers

Doi: 10.23918/vesal2022a28