Lexical Cohesion Patterns of Natural Science Academic Text and Implications for Lexical Teaching: Textual Analysis of IELTS Reading Passages
Keywords:IELTS reading, natural science, lexical cohesion, lexical-based teaching, lexical syllabus
With IELTS’s worldwide recognition as an accountable indicator of English proficiency level, scholars have investigated IELTS extensively to provide insights for ESL teaching. Despite the manifold investigation into the validity, typographical features, washback on candidates and practical knowledge of the reading test, little research is done to manifest its lexical cohesion patterns and pedagogical implications. To fill in the research gap, the researcher selected 20 natural science passages from IELTS reading passages and conducted textual analysis under Halliday and Hasan’s English cohesion framework. Pedagogical implications are revealed by combining research findings with a lexical-based teaching approach, lexical syllabus design and knowledge structure development in the subject matter. Research findings indicate that the lexical cohesion patterns of natural science passages share similar organisational structures with subject matter knowledge. Reiteration patterns establish a panoramic view and taxonomic framework of subject matter, whereas collocation patterns focus on detailed explanations, examples and contextual extension that can contribute to the accruement of real-world knowledge. Based on these findings, the study suggests that the teacher can integrate lexical cohesion syllabus into the traditional pre-reading, while-reading and post-reading teaching stages. Though limited in scope and validity, these findings can provide a framework of combined research between text analysis and teaching approaches. More empirical experiments can be followed up to undergird the efficacy of the suggested lexical syllabus and provide more detailed pedagogical insights.
Aarnoutse, C., & van Leeuwe, J. (1998). Relation between reading comprehension, vocabulary, reading pleasure, and reading frequency. Educational Research and Evaluation, 4(2), 143-166.
Adams, M., & Bruce, B. (1980). Background knowledge and reading comprehension. University of Illinois, Centre for the Study of Reading.
Al-Bulushi, A., Al-Issa, A., & Al-Zadjali, R. (2018). Qualitative perspectives on the English language content knowledge and methods on communicative language proficiency, implications for succeeding in the IELTS. Khazar Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 21(3), 67-89.
Bax, S. (2013). The cognitive processing of candidates during reading tests: Evidence from eye-tracking. Language Testing, 30(4), 441-465.
Baghaei, S., Bagheri, M. S., & Yamini, M. (2020). Analysis of IELTS and TOEFL reading and listening tests in terms of revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. Cogent Education, 7(1), 1-23.
Bamberg, B. (1983). What makes a text coherent?. College Composition and Communication, 34(4), 417-429.
Breyer, Y. (2009). Learning and teaching with corpora: Reflections by student teachers. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 22(2), 153-172.
Buell, J. G. (1992, March 4-7). TOEFL and IELTS as measures of academic reading ability: An exploratory study [Conference presentation]. 26th Annual Meeting o’ the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Vancouver, Canada.
Case, R. E. (2002). The intersection of language, education, and content: Science instruction for ESL students. The Clearing House, 76(2), 71-74.
Chen, C., & Liu, Y. (2020). The role of vocabulary breadth and depth in IELTS academic reading tests. Reading in a Foreign Language, 32(1), 1-27.
Chiu, C. (2009). ESL learners’ semantic awareness of English words. Language Awareness, 18(3-4), 294-309.
de Beaugrande, R., & Dressler, W. (1981). Introduction to text linguistics. Longman.
Dewey, M. (1876). A classification and subject index for cataloguing and arranging the books and pamphlets of a library [Dewey Decimal Classification]. Kingsport.
Ellis, R., & Shintani, N. (2014). Exploring language pedagogy through second language acquisition research. Routledge.
Gottardo, A., Mirza, A., Koh, P. W., Ferreira, A., & Javier, C. (2017). Unpacking listening comprehension: The role of vocabulary, morphological awareness, and syntactic knowledge in reading comprehension. Read Writ, 31, 1741-1764.
Halliday, M. A. K., & Hasan, R. (1976). Cohesion in English. Longman.
Hinkel, E. (2002). Second language writers’ text: Linguistic and Rhetorical Features. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Hu, R., & Trenkic, D. (2019). The effects of coaching and repeated test-taking on Chinese candidates’ IELTS scores, their English proficiency, and subsequent academic achievement. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 24(10), 1-16.
Huang, J. (2004). Socialising ESL students into the discourse of school science through academic writing. Language and Education, 18(2), 97-123.
Kalthenbock, G., & Mehlmauer-Larcher, B. (2005). Computer corpora and the language classroom: On the potential and limitations of computer corpora in language teaching. ReCALL, 17(1), 65-84.
Karbalaei, A., & Rahmanzade, M. K. (2015). An investigation into pragmatic knowledge in the reading section of TOLIMO, TOEFL, and IELTS examinations. English Language Teaching, 8(5), 208-221.
Khoshsima, H., Saed, A., & Mousaei, F. (2018). Exploring the effect of teaching test-taking strategies on intermediate level learners on reading section of IELTS: Learners’ attitude in focus. Advances in language and literary studies, 9(2), 4-9.
Klebanove, B. B., & Shamir, E. (2006). Reader-based exploration of lexical cohesion. Language Resources and Evaluation, 40(2), 109-126.
Kovalenko, M. (2018). The validation process in the IELTS reading component: Reading requirements for preparing international students. Journal of Language and Education, 4(1), 63-78.
Lewis, M. (1993). The lexical approach. Language Teaching Publications.
Lewis, M. (1997). Implementing the lexical approach. Language Teaching Publications.
Li, Y. (2018). A comparison of TOEFL iBT and IELTS reading tests. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 6, 283-309.
Liao, L. (2020). A comparability study of text difficulty and task characteristics of parallel academic IELTS reading tests. English Language Teaching, 13(1), 31-42.
Lonsdale, M. S. (2016). Typographic features of text and their contribution to the legibility of academic reading materials. Visible Language, 50(2), 79-111.
Meneses, A., Escobar, J., & Véliz S. (2018). The effects of multimodal texts on science reading comprehension in Chilean fifth-graders: Text scaffolding and comprehension skills. International Journal of Science Education, 40(18), 2226-2244.
Mohd. Satt, R., & Othman, J. (2010). Meeting linguistic challenges in the science classroom: Pre-service ESL teachers’ strategies. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 30(2), 185-197.
Morris, J., & Hirst, G. (2005). The subjectivity of lexical cohesion in text. In J. C. Chanahan, Y. Qu, & J. Wiebe (Eds.), Computing attitude and affect in text. Springer.
Msimanga, A., Denley, P., & Gumede, N. (2017). The pedagogical role of language in science teaching and learning in South Africa: A review of research 1990-2015. African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 21(3), 245-255.
Nagy, W. E. (1988). Teaching vocabulary to improve reading comprehension (ED298471). ERIC. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED298471.pdf
Oslund, E. L., Clemens, N. H., Simmons, D. C., & Simmons, L. E. (2017). The direct and indirect effects of word reading and vocabulary on adolescents’ reading comprehension: Comparing struggling and adequate comprehenders. Read Writ, 31, 355-379.
Pando, M. & Aguirre-Muñoz, Z. (2020). Case-based instruction in science professional development: Bilingual/ESL teachers reflect about science subject matter knowledge and pedagogy. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 32(3), 286-305.
Quinn, J. M., Wagner, R. K., Petscher, Y., & Lopez, D. (2015). Developmental relations between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension: A latent change score modelling study. Chile Dev., 86(1), 159-175.
Sinclair, J. (1991). Corpus, concordance, collocation. Oxford University Press.
Sinclair, J. & Renouf, A. (1988). A lexical syllabus for language learning. In R. Carter and M. McCarthy (Eds.) Vocabulary and language teaching (pp. 140-58). Longman.
Slater, T. & Mohan, B. (2010). Cooperation between science teachers and ESL teachers: A register perspective. Theory into Practice, 49(2), 91-98.
Taylor, L. (1991). Review: Collins COBUILD English course. ELT Journal, 32(1), 69-82.
Tong, F., & Shi, Q. (2012). Chinese-English bilingual education in China: A case study of college science majors. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 15(2), 165-182.
White, R. (1988). The ELT curriculum, design, innovation and management. Basil Blackwell.
Willis, J., & Willis D. (1988). Collins COBUILD English course. Harper Collins.
Wong, Y. K. (2016). Relationship between reading comprehension and its components in young Chinese-as-a-second-language learners. Read Writ, 30 (5), 969-988.