Cohesion in the Narrative Writing of Young EFL Learners: Correct and Incorrect Use of Local Cohesive Ties

  • Pedro Antonio Férez Mora Universidad de Murcia
  • Yvette Coyle Universidad de Murcia
  • Juan Antonio Solís Becerra Universidad de Murcia


This study examines the correct and incorrect use of local cohesive ties and local cohesion errors in the written narratives of eleven- to twelve-year-old Spanish learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at different proficiency levels. The study was carried out with pairs who collaboratively wrote a narrative text in response to a picture prompt. The young learners’ written texts were examined to identify their correct and incorrect use of four categories: lexical, referential, conjunctive and temporal cohesion. The results show that higher and lower proficiency learners are significantly different in their use of the causal conjunction because, personal pronouns and noun phrases containing possessive, definite, indefinite and zero determiners. The two groups also differ in their incorrect use of pronouns, simple verb forms and noun phrases containing definite, indefinite and zero determiners. Attention is drawn to the need to explore the diversity in young learners’ use of cohesion and some pedagogical implications are drawn.

Author Biographies

Pedro Antonio Férez Mora, Universidad de Murcia
Pedro Antonio Férez Mora is a senior lecturer in the Department of Didactics of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Murcia. His research interests include critical pedagogy, queer theory and the integration of content and language in CLIL contexts. He has published in academic journals such as Hispanic Research Journal and Bulletin of Hispanic Studies.
Yvette Coyle, Universidad de Murcia
Yvette Coyle is a senior lecturer in the Department of Didactics of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Murcia. Her research interests include written corrective feedback and genre pedagogy. Her research articles have been published in journals including the Journal of Second Language Writing, Language and Technology and System.
Juan Antonio Solís Becerra, Universidad de Murcia
Juan Antonio Solís Becerra is a senior lecturer in the Department of Didactics of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Murcia. His fields of interests are bilingualism and the use of ICT for both primary students and future English teachers. He has published his scholarship in journals such as System.


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