English Cohesive Devices Used by Indonesian EFL Learners in Their Writing

Document Type : Research Papers


1 Artha Wacana Christian University

2 State Junior High School (SLTP) 8 Fatuleu, Kupang-Indonesia.


Introduction: Cohesive devices are regarded as an important linking marker in organizing the sequence of the idea. The purpose of this study was to find out the cohesive English devices used by Indonesian EFL students in their writing. It also dealt with the factors affecting students’ writing ability with regard to English cohesive mastery.
Methodology: Participants in the current study were 100 sixth-semester EFL students studying at universities in Kupang, Indonesia. The instruments used were fill-in-the-blank tests and a sequence of pictures. The analysis of collected data revealed that the respondents were able to use references and conjunction in the fill-the-blank writing tasks.
Results: It was found that substitution and ellipsis were considered difficult cohesive devices for students. The findings also confirmed that the respondents had problems using an ellipsis based on a sequence of pictures in their writing. The obtained results indicated that the Indonesian students favored using reference and conjunction cohesive devices. Various factors, such as a lack of teachers’ knowledge in introducing cohesive devices to students, can affect Indonesian learners' use of cohesive devices.
Conclusion: The results of this research provided a general understanding of cohesive devices in Indonesian EFL learners’ writing. This will help to identify students’ problems in using cohesive devices, such as overuse, underuse, or never use of certain cohesive devices. Teachers are suggested to introduce the devices, such as substitution and ellipsis, in writing class.