Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number1. March 2022 Pp.161-172
Use of Discourse Markers among Senior University Students
College of Humanities & Sciences in Alghat, Majmaah University
Majmaah, Saudi Arabia
Received: 10/4/2021 Accepted:2/14/2022 Published:3/24//2022
The study of discourse markers has attracted the attention of researchers as a facet of linguistics since the 19th century. The focus of research has been based on the theoretical status of discourse markers in relation to how they are used and for what reasons, explored in different contexts and settings; however, few studies have been conducted in the context of Saudi Arabia. This study, therefore, attempted to look at the use of discourse markers by senior university students majoring in English in Saudi Arabia and its functions. Fraser’s (2004) semantic perspective, classifying discourse markers into four categories, was adopted, together with Hiilker’s (1991) features of discourse markers, consistent with the view that the meaning of discourse markers is related to their function of clarifying the intrinsic value of an utterance. The results revealed that students in their essays employed discourse markers in all four of Fraser’s (2004) categories. However, it was evident that the participating students struggled with the appropriate use of discourse markers. This issue should be examined in greater depth and the reasons for this difficulty assessed. One reason lies in students’ low exposure to discourse markers in class. It is thus highly recommended that teachers raise EFL students’ awareness of discourse markers by providing them with more related tasks and exercises.
Keywords: combining discourse markers, discourse markers, EFL learners, university students, written discourse
Cite as: Alsaawi, A. (2022). Use of Discourse Markers among Senior University Students Arab World English Journal,
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