Relating Theory and Practice in the Teaching of Connectors
Gathigia, Moses Gatambuki
Njoroge, Martin C.
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Coherence and cohesion are essential elements that a well-constructed written sentence or text should consist of. Connectors are usually used to indicate coherence and cohesion between units of a discourse. A sample of academic writing with connectors present is perceived to be more logical, convincing and authoritative than the same sample with all the connectors removed. Learners of English as a second language tend to misuse connectors in their writing creating comprehensive problems that may be so impenetrable as to defy normal decoding of a text. With this background information, this paper examines the teaching of connectors using the conventional approach and the essay-based approach, which is also complemented by the Coherence and Relevance theoretical framework. The study is conducted using a pretest / posttest paradigm to test the efficacy of the two approaches of teaching connectors. Two Form three classes were sampled for this study. A pretest on logical connectors was administered in each school, marked and results recorded. The experimental class was exposed to the teaching of connectors using the essay - based approach (textual) method as a tool of teaching while the control class was exposed to the conventional approach of teaching. A posttest, the same test administered as a pretest, was given to the two groups. The scores recorded in both tests were analyzed quantitatively using the Levene's Test for Equality of Variances. The analysis is then presented in tables, graphs and findings discussed. In addition, the paper proposes recommendations for pedagogy.