Cohesion in Compositions of Turkish and Immigrant Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

Cohesion refers to the relationships established between sentences and paragraphs via the units in the surface structure of the text. This study evaluated texts written by Uzbek origin immigrant students and Turkish students living in Hatay in terms of the use of cohesion devices (ellipsis, conjunctions, lexical cohesion, reference, substitution). Within the participants of the research, 98 immigrants (Uzbek) and 103 Turkish 5'th grade students living in Hatay were asked to write a story. These stories were analyzed by means of "Cohesion Level Evaluation Scale" and "Cohesion Problems Inventory". Students' frequencies of using cohesion devices and the problems encountered in the use of cohesion devices were determined in categorical content analyze. The reliability of codifications was examined with the method of inter-rater reliability. According to the results of the research, no significant difference was found between immigrant and Turkish students in terms of the use frequencies of cohesion devices other than ellipsis. The average use of cohesion devices within each student (paper) are as follows: Ellipsis (15,4), conjunctions (15,4), lexical cohesion (11,2), reference (8,3), substitution (0,2). The study presents examples of reference, ellipsis and conjunctions from the submitted texts to illustrate typical problems experienced by the Turkish and Uzbek groups in using cohesion devices.

Key Words

Cohesion, Bilingualism, Writing Education, Text Linguistics.

From a linguistic perspective, a text is a series of sentences following one another that forms a sequential and meaningful whole (Günay, 2003). None of the texts consists of random alignment of the sentences relating to a topic. De Beaugrande and Dressler (1981) identified 7 characteristics necessary for a linguistic work to constitute a text and to form a healthy communication between people. These features are cohesion, coherence, intentionality, acceptability, informativity, stiuationality and inter-textuality.

Cohesion

Among textuality standards, only cohesion and coherence are text-centered (De Beaugrande & Dressler, 1981). In this sense, cohesion and coherence are textuality principles most frequently used in linguistic text examinations (Coskun, 2007; Rifat, 1983). Cohesion, which De Beaugrande and Dressler (1981) describe as the first standard of textuality, is based on the linguistic relationships between the components in the surface structure of a text (Enkvist, 1990); all of the uses brought out by these linguistic relationships are included in within scope of cohesion. Yue (1993) and Dillon (1992) mention cohesion as a feature ensuring textual continuity and unity and in holding sentences together. Halliday and Hasan (1976) classified devices that ensure cohesion, in their study, "Cohesion in English", which is accepted as one of the principal sources in the literature relating to textual cohesion, and which has been used in many scientific studies around the world (Abu-Hatab, 1992; Altunkaya, 1987; Bae, 2001; Coskun, 2005; Jin, 1998; Karabag & Íssever, 1995; Karatay, 2010; Mendoza, 1998; Ramadan, 2003; Said, 1988; SubasÍ-Uzun, 1995; Yue, 1993).

According to Halliday and Hasan (1976), cohesion separates a text from expressions that are not considered a text, holds together the sections of the text and arranges the meaning relationships within a text. A cohesive relationship in the text sometimes appears in a sentence, sometimes between the sentences and sometimes between the paragraphs. Halliday and Hasan (1976) evaluated cohesion under the following titles: a. Reference; b. Substitution; c. Ellipsis; d. Conjunctions; e. Lexical cohesion.

Reference: Reference is made by using another word, group of words or suffix with the same meaning in the same sentence or a subsequent sentence, instead of a word denoting a concept, entity or situation which is used earlier in the same text. …