Tense, aspect and passive voice

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Information about Tense, aspect and passive voice
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Published on November 30, 2008

Author: emysegarra

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Tense, aspect and the passive voice in L1 and L2 academic textsEli Hinkel : Tense, aspect and the passive voice in L1 and L2 academic textsEli Hinkel Presented by: Emy Segarra Choe All quotes taken from the online article Tense, aspect and the passive voice in L1 and L2 academic texts, unless otherwise noted. Basic Terminology : Basic Terminology NNS NS Tenses Aspect Voice Goal of the Study : Goal of the Study …identify the patterns and the frequency in which NS and NNS make use of the English tenses, aspects and passive verb structures in their academic writing. Introduction : Introduction Important Findings “ …NNS’s learning and acquisition of such features of L2 grammar as inflected forms of verbs associated with particular tenses, aspects, and the passive voice markers.” “… uses of references in specified contexts of various lengths, such as sentences or portions of discourse.” Tenses, aspects and passive in textbooks for writing instruction : Tenses, aspects and passive in textbooks for writing instruction Hacker (2003) “simple tenses indicate relatively simple time relations” “active verbs express meaning more emphatically and vigorously than their weaker counterparts” “. . . verbs in the passive voice’, which ‘lack strength because their subjects receive the action instead of doing it.” “In much scientific writing, the passive voice properly puts the emphasis on the experiment or process being described, not on the researcher”. Tenses, aspects and passive in textbooks for writing instruction : Tenses, aspects and passive in textbooks for writing instruction Beason and Lester’s (2000) guide to grammar and usage of features in academic writing “Verb tense indicates when the action occurred’ “present tense should be used ‘to make statements of fact or generalizations’ or to describe habitual or repeated actions” “the past is necessary when describing or discussing events that were completed in the past” “using the passive voice is not really an error because there is no universal rule against using it” Tenses, aspects and passive in textbooks for writing instruction : Tenses, aspects and passive in textbooks for writing instruction Reid (2000: 283) points out that writing conventions require specific verb tenses in different academic writing situations. Tenses, aspects and the passive voice in written academic prose in English : Tenses, aspects and the passive voice in written academic prose in English Swales (1990) “the perfect aspect can be found in introductory or literature review sections of academic papers” “ the progressive aspect is hardly ever found in written academic genre.” “uses of the passive voice are largely expected throughout a text.” Tenses, aspects and the passive voice in written academic prose in English : Tenses, aspects and the passive voice in written academic prose in English These conventions usually determine how a writer decides to use tense and voice in formal prose at the university level. The Study : The Study The purpose of the study is to determine whether or not NS and NNS used different verb tenses and voice features in a similar way in both argumentation and exposition essays. The Students : The Students The essays analyzed in the study were written by 746 NS and NNS students during routine placement and diagnostic tests in four U S universities. All students were admitted to degree programs and were enrolled in mainstream classes. All students were given 50 minutes (one class period) to write the essays. The 631 NNS’s students who wrote the essays had attained a relatively high level of English language proficiency sufficient for a university admission. Their TOEFL scores ranged from 527 to 617, with a mean of 593. They included 117 speakers of Chinese, 111 of Japanese, 102 of Korean, 113 of Indonesian, 94 of Vietnamese and 94 of Arabic. O f the NNS students, 84% holders of US associate degrees earned in various community colleges, and were admitted as transfers at the junior level in four- year comprehensive universities. These students had received at least three years of E SL and composition instruction in the U S. The remainder included 10% first-year students and 6% graduate students. Data : Data Many people believe that grades do not encourage learning. D o you agree or disagree with this opinion? Be sure to explain your answer using specific reasons and examples. Some people learn best when a classroom lesson is presented in a serious, formal manner. Others prefer a lesson that is enjoyable and entertaining. Explain your views on this issue. U se detailed reasons and examples. Some people choose their major field of study based on their personal interests and are less concerned about future employment possibilities. Others choose majors in fields with a large number of jobs and options for employment. What position do you support? U se detailed reasons and examples. Conclusions : Conclusions Advanced NNS students may have difficulties with the use of certain verb phrase features in written academic discourse, despite advanced studies. Advanced NNS students might simply choose to avoid using complex verb constructions. First year NS students showed to have a slightly better command of the use of verb phrase features over trained NNS students.

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