Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 Research Background
With an increased interest in English learning, the teaching of English is facing greatchallenges in China. Writing, as the embodiment of a comprehensive command of English,is a hard nut for language teachers to crack. Writing is such a complicated process that apiece of qualified writing with a coherent structure and a clearly-expressed content needsrepeated considering and careful polishing. Non-English majors in colleges have evenmore problems in writing. Researches show that students have been doing great in CET4and CET6 examinations in recent years, but with a poor performance in the writing part.(Dong Hongyue, 2002) In spite of the top universities, only 15%-20% students pass thewriting examination. After the analysis of the problems in students’ writing, it was foundout that students couldn’t fully express themselves. Moreover, their English, with plainvocabularies and simple sentence patterns, is far from native-like, including a great deal ofChin-glish. (Sun Yanmei，Gao Jiangmei. 2011) College English Curriculum Requirementsmakes it clear that college students should be able to write in English with no less than 120words within half an hour. Passages that students write must be fully expressed with aclear topic, proper words and coherent structures, which students are evidently not up to.Therefore, it is a high priority to improve the teaching of English writing in order to enhance students’ writing ability.
1.2 Research Objective and Research Questions
This thesis aims at finding out the relationship between the use of ideationalgrammatical metaphor and coherence in students’ writing. Zhu Yongsheng (1994) oncepointed out that ideational metaphor in written English outnumbered that in oral English,so writers choose metaphorical expressions in their writing in order to achieve novelty andattractiveness. College students tend to use simple sentences with little variation insentence patterns. Infinitives and passive voice are frequently used as well. If ideationalmetaphor can be adopted in EFL writing, such problems might be solved and studentswriting can be more fluent and coherent.Therefore, this research tentatively applies ideational metaphor in the EFL writing incollege, and tries to answer the following questions:
(1) Is there a correlation between the use of ideational grammatical metaphor andcoherence in students’ writing?
(2) How do English teachers apply the knowledge of IGM into EFL writing in classroom?
Chapter 2 Literature Review
2.1 Previous Research on EFL Writing Instruction
Researches on EFL writing have gone through a short history of 40 years.Researchers and experts have done numerous studies on EFL writing from differentperspectives and different levels. The number of the research on writing has beenincreasing steadily ever since 1970s. With teaching materials and linguistic theoriesflourishing, more and more language researchers and teachers devote themselves intointroducing new principles and practice, endeavoring to figure out the effective andefficient ways to improve EFL writing. Recently, linguistics, pragmatics, cognitivelinguistics, functional linguistics, psycholinguistics and second language acquisition havebeen developing rapidly, which lay a solid theoretical foundation for studies on writing.As a result, researches on writing also develop into diverse directions. This part focuses ontwo main approaches to EFL writing. Influenced by the behaviorism theory of learning and the structural view of language,product approach regards writing as a “stimulus-response” process. Writing instructionwas then seen primarily as a matter of reinforcing vocabulary, grammar, sentence patternsand cohesive devices. According to Hudelson, writing instruction is concerned with“teaching specific organizational patterns and kinds of sentences; using specific kinds ofwriting assignments to illustrate specific grammatical and rhetorical points; or movingstudents through a predetermined sequence of writing activities.
2.2 Previous Research on Grammatical Metaphor in FLT and FLL
Coherence is a general principle for the interpretation of all human activity instead ofa typical linguistic problem. However in linguistics, coherence is viewed as a feature of atext, which has the quality of hanging the parts of a text together. Alexander Baincarriedout the first analysis in the nineteenth century, claiming that “coherence is the bearing ofeach sentence upon what precedes shall be explicit and unmistakable.” (Brain，1988)Nuttall1 (Nuttall1982) suggests that coherence is “a quality of the underlying thoughts andthe way they are organized into a message”. Coherence is, according to Connor(1984), aproperty that is assigned to a text by its reader rather than a property inherent in texts. Itmeans texts are not automatically coherent but become coherent when the readers of thetexts find them coherent. Conner was the first to bring readers into the picture whentalking about coherence.In spite of all the different definitions of cohesion and coherence, we can make thefollowing summary. Coherence focuses on the ways in which the components of thetextual world are mutually accessible and relevant, while cohesion，on the other hand，focuses on the ways in which the components of the text are connected with each otherwithin a sequence (deBeaugrande&Dressier1981).
Chapter 3 Theoretical Framework: the Theory of Grammatical Metaphor.........11
3.1 The Theory of IGM ........11
3.1.1 Transitivity System........12
3.2 The Nature of IGM........15
3.2.1 Congruence and Incongruence........15
3.2.2 Lexical Metaphor and Grammatical Metapho........16
3.2.3 Rank-shift........ 17
3.3 The Textual Functions of IGM........18
Chapter 4 Methodology........22
4.1 Data Collection........22
4.1.1 The Pre-test........23
4.1.2 The Experiment........23
4.1.3 The Post-test........25
4.2 Data Processing........26
Chapter 5 Results and Discussion........27
5.1 Results of the Pre-test........27
5.2 Results of the Post-test........29
Chapter 5 Results and Discussion
The followings are the results of the two writing tests, including the number ofstudents in high, middle and low writing scores, the mean number of IGM used indifferent score group in both tests, the independent samples test for scores of EG and CGin both tests, the scatter plot of scores of EG and number of IGM in EG, and thecorrelation of scores and number of IGM in post-test. Then the results of the two writingtests are going to be discussed and illustrated by students’ compositions in the tests. The numbers of students in each score group in CG are respectively 3, 23 and 19,which are similar to that in EG, namely, 2, 22 and 21. The mean numbers of IGM in CG ineach score group are 5.33, 2.83 and 1.95, and that in EG are 5.00, 2.78 and 1.86, whichbear no great differences from that in CG.
Based on the results of this experiment, the major findings are summarized and statedfurther in accordance with the research questions. Some pedagogic implications andsuggestions inferred from this experiment for the teaching of EFL writing in college arestated as well. Finally the limitations of this research and suggestions for future study willbe listed at the end of this Chapter. The purpose of this experiment is to testify whether IGM is valid in solving the aboveproblems and improving the textual coherence further. With an analysis and contrast of theresults of student’s pre-test and post-test, a conclusion that IGM is contributive to thecoherence of EFL writing an be drawn. The data and statistical analysis in the previouschapter are the most powerful evidence to prove its validity as is shown in the correlationbetween the rising of the students’ score and the application of IGM. But we should bearin mind that there are many factors affecting its acquisition, as language is one of the mostcomplicated things in the world. Therefore, it should be recognized that IGM is aneffective approach, but not the unique one to the advance of EFL writing.