Conjunctive Adjuncts in Undergraduate ESL Essays in Malaysia: Frequency and Manner of Use

Zuraidah Mohd Don, Sridevi Sriniwass


This paper applies Halliday’s systemic functional grammar to examine the ways conjunctive adjuncts are used in the written English of Malaysian undergraduates. Student essays selected from the Malaysian English Corpus were examined with the focus on cohesion in the light of a preliminary study of the texts which pointed to the insufficient or inappropriate use of cohesive devices. The aim is to find out what conjunctive adjuncts are used and how they are used in linking successive sentences in text. In addition to the usual grammatical problems, these students had difficulty in using conjunctive adjuncts effectively in paragraphs, and left sentences juxtaposed in inappropriate ways. Only a small part of the range of cohesive devices available in English was used at all, and much of what was used was incorrect or otherwise unsuitable.


cohesion; conjunctive adjunct; argumentative essays; SFG

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