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International Journal of English Language Education

Inappropriate Use of Transitions by National University of Lesotho Students

Puleng ’Makholu Letsoela
National University of Lesotho, Department of English, PO Roma 180, Lesotho
Abstract :
The concept of metadiscourse is based on the view that, when people communicate, they do 
so on two levels. On one level, they provide information, and on another level, which is the 
level of metadiscourse, they actively intrude into their texts to guide readers through the texts 
or simply to build relationships with them. Using the interpersonal model of metadiscourse 
which was first introduced by Hyland and Tse (2004) and further developed by Hyland 
(2005), this paper focuses on one subcategory of interactive (or organizational) metadiscourse, 
transitions. Transitions, typically conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs, are devices that the 
writer uses to explicitly indicate how arguments are linked. Through them, the writer 
specifies the inferences that he/she wants the reader to make so that the reader can interpret 
the text in ways that the writer intends. This paper seeks to find out how the National 
University of Lesotho students inappropriately used transitions in their academic writing and 
the extent to which such inappropriate uses affected text comprehensibility. Findings indicate 
that the errors ranged from minor errors that did not affect text comprehensibility to very 
serious ones. As regards the errors that did not affect text comprehensibility, it was observed 
that these were mainly grammatical. Some errors were, however, more serious and concerned 
cases where it was difficult for the reader to interpret what the writer was trying to say even 
though he/she had used transitions. In these cases, the use of transitions did not at all make 
the text easily accessible to the reader
Keywords :
academic writing, metadiscourse, transitions

Date Deposited : 28 Apr 2014 10:20

Last Modified : 28 Apr 2014 10:20

Official URL:

Volume 2, Number 1, - 2014 , ISSN 2325-0887

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