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Language Competencies, Research Paper Example

Pages: 2

Words: 546

Research Paper

The context of learning is a high school class with a student population of around twenty students. The students are from a mixed background with average proficiency skills in English. The diversity in the student population includes students from different racial background and, therefore, dissimilar cultural influences.  The content area of the class is literature and the language modality upon which the comment is based is a written essay.

The students discourse competence is acceptable as the student provides both cohesion and coherence in the essay. The student uses linking words in the essay to establish a relationship between various ideas in the essay. However, these transitions are obvious (for example firstly, secondly, thirdly and lastly).  The essay is coherent as the student establishes a unity of ideas that are arranged in a logical manner. The development of ideas in the essay is also coherent, and the student introduces, discusses and then concludes the main idea in the essay. The student also manages to stay on the topic and does not diverge from the essays topic. He student does not use pronouns adequately, but this does not impede the level of coherence in the essay.

The student’s grammatical competence is also average, and it shows the student’s ability to write an acceptable essay. The student appropriately uses the syntax in denoting one or more items (such as… out of the millions of students…). The student also employs the right vocabulary syntax in the essay, the use of the words illiteracy, dropout rate, enrolled, and attendance, are a few examples. There are also extremely minimal grammar mistakes in the essay which shows the students competence in writing. The student also uses tenses appropriately and demonstrates a clear understanding of the essays point of view. The essay has an excellent introduction as well as a strong conclusion which is also a clear demonstration of the student’s competence in grammar.

The metalinguistic competencies of the student are, however, lacking. Although the student can consciously analyze the language and identifies how to place subparts into the greater context, the student at times fails to correctly incorporate these subparts into the whole text. The student tries place the language used in the context of the essay by providing a description of the language in the essay. The student is also aware when to ask questions in the essay. The use of language behavior that is opportune to the context of the essay is a clear indication of the student’s metalinguistic awareness. The use of a third person perspective, the second person perspective (if you think about it) as well as a first person perspective (I feel that) in the essay is an indication of the student’s metalinguistic competence.

The students pragmatic competence is still developing, and the student attempts to use communication strategies that tend to engage the reader. Despite this attempt, the student does not employ these strategies appropriately. There is an overuse of rhetorical questions in the essay, and at times the rhetorical questions are unnecessary. The student also tends to ask questions that do not contribute to the subject of the essay. Moreover, the essay contains statements that are too opinionated for academic writing such as …but let’s be realistic…, I think not and of course I might be over exaggerating…

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