A comparative analysis of Greek vs. English: Can it be argued that teenagers can argue?

Maria Xargia

Abstract


The present study examined 72 Greek teenagers’ use of the rhetorical features of argument construction in Greek and English using Toulmin’s (2003) scheme of argument analysis. A questionnaire, the Quick Placement Test (UCLES 2001), an essay in English and an essay in Greek were employed as research instruments. A learner corpus of English essays and a corpus of Greek essays were compiled and examined qualitatively and quantitatively. The findings revealed that students formed better arguments in English and that L2 proficiency affected argument construction in both Greek and English indicating a possible transferability of argument skills from English to Greek.

Keywords


foreign language writing, argumentative writing, argument analysis, contrastive analysis

Full Text:

PDF

References


Berman, R. 1994. Learners’ transfer of writing skills between languages. TESL Canada Journal 12(1): 29-46.

Cheng, F.W. & Y.-M. Chen. 2009. Taiwanese argumentation skills: Contrastive rhetoric perspective. Taiwan International ESP Journal 1(1): 23-50.

Connor, U. 1990. Linguistic/Rhetorical measures for international persuasive student writing. Research in the Teaching of English 24(1): 67-87.

Connor, U., & Lauer, J. 1988. Cross-cultural variation in persuasive student writing. Writing across languages and cultures: Issues in contrastive rhetoric, 2, 138-159.

Council of Europe. 2001. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Crammond, J.G. 1998. The uses and complexity of argument structures in expert and student persuasive writing. Written Communication 15: 230-268.

Crowhurst, M. 1990. Teaching and learning the writing of persuasive/argumentative discourse. Canadian Journal of Education 15(4): 348-359.

Cumming, A. 1989.Writing expertise and second-language proficiency. Language Learning, 39, 81-141.

van Eemeren, F.H. & R. Grootendorst. 2004. A systematic theory of argumentation: The pragma-dialectical approach. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Ferris, D. 1994a. Rhetorical strategies in student persuasive writing: Differences between native and non-native English speakers. Research in the Teaching of English 28(1): 45-65.

Ferris, D. 1994b. Lexical and syntactic features of ESL writing by students at different levels of L2 proficiency. TESOL Quarterly, 28(2), 414-420.

Golder, C. & P. Coirier. 1994. Argumentative text writing: Developmental trends. Discourse Processes 18: 187-210.

Harklau, L. & R. Pinnow 2009. Second language writing. In L. Christenbury, R. Bomer & P. Smagorinsky (eds), Handbook of adolescent literacy research. New York: Guilford, 126-139.

Hirose, K. 2003. Comparing L1 and L2 organizational patterns in the argumentative writing of Japanese EFL students. Journal of Second Language Writing 12(2): 181-209.

Ito, F. 2004. The interrelationship among first language writing skills, second language writing skills, and second language proficiency of EFL university students. JACET Bulletin 39: 43-58.

Knudson, R.E. 1992. Analysis of argumentative writing at two grade levels. Journal of Educational Research 85(3): 169-179.

Kobayashi, H. & C. Rinnert. 2007. Transferability of argumentative writing competence from L2 to L1: Effects of overseas experience. In M. Conrick & M. Howard (eds), From applied linguistics to linguistics applied: Issues, practices, trends. British studies in Applied Linguistics. London: British Association for Applied linguistics, 91-110.

Kuhn, D. & W. Udell. 2003. The development of argument skills. Child Development 74(5): 1245-1260.

Loca de Larios, J., J. Marin & L. Murphy. 2001. A temporal analysis of formulation processes in L1 and L2 writing. Language Learning 51(3): 497-538.

Manzi, J., P. Flotts & D.D. Preiss. 2012. Design of a college level test of written communication: Theoretical and methodological challenges. In E.L. Grigorenco, E. Mambrino & D.D. Preiss (eds), Writing: A mosaic of new perspectives. New York: Taylor and Francis Group, LLC, 385-400.

Matsuda, P.K. & K.E. de Pew. 2002. Early second language writing: An introduction. Journal of Second Language Writing 11: 261-268.

McCann, T.M. 1989. Student argumentative writing: Knowledge and ability at three grade levels. Research in the Teaching of English 23: 62-76.

Nippold, M.A. & J.M. Ward-Lonergan. 2010. Argumentative writing in pre-adolescents: The role of verbal reasoning. Child Language Teaching and Therapy 23(6): 238-248.

Rex, L.A., E.E. Thomas & S. Engel. 2010. Applying Toulmin: Teaching logical reasoning and argumentative writing. English Journal 99(6): 56-62.

Richards, J.C. 2003. Series editor preface. In K. Hyland (ed.), Second Language Writing. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Rigotti, E. & S. Greco Morasso. 2009. Argumentation as an object of interest and as a social and cultural recourse. In N. Muller Mirza & A.-N. Perret-Clermont (eds), Argumentation and education: Theoretical foundations and practices. New York: Springer, 9-66.

Sasaki, M. & H. Hirose. 1996. Explanatory variable for EFL students’ expository writing. Language Learning 46: 137-174.

Silva, T. 1993. Toward an understanding of the distinct nature of second language writing: The ESL research and its implication. TESOL Quarterly 27(4): 657-677.

Toulmin, S.E. 2003. The uses of argument. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

UCLES. 2001. Quick Placement Test (Paper and pencil version). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Uysal, H.H. 2012. Argumentation across L1 and L2 writing: Exploring cultural influences and transfer issues. Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics 9: 133-159.

Zhang, J. 2008. A comprehensive review of studies on second language writing. HKBU Papers in Applied Language Studies 12: 89-123.

Zhu, W. 2001. Performing argumentative writing in English: Difficulties, processes, and strategies. TESL Canada Journal 19(1): 34-50.

Electronic Reference

The readability test tool. Retrieved March 2014 from http://www.webpagefx.com/tools/read-able/


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2016 Maria Xargia

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, unless otherwise stated.