A probe into the effect of explicit and implicit instruction of metadiscourse markers on EFL learners' argumentative writing performance

Document Type : Original Article


1 Urmia University

2 Department of English Language and Literature, Urmia Branch, Islamic Azad University



 Drawing mainly on Hyland's (2005) "interpersonal model of metadiscourse", the researchers in the current study strived to probe the viable impact of consciousness-raising regarding metadiscourse (MD) markers on Iranian EFL learners' academic writing performance. To this end, 75 university junior students were assigned to three separate groups (two experimental and one control, based on random assignment) and exposed to three different kinds of treatment. While the control group participants followed their normal course of instruction, learners in the explicit instruction group (the first experimental group) were provided with overt guidelines regarding the uses of metadiscourse markers through active involvement with MD-marker detection drills, and the participants in the second experimental group (the implicit instruction group) were just given hints, in a tacit manner, concerning the points at which MD markers occurred within the text (this was done through mere noticing procedure via highlighted text). It is also worth noting that an excerpt from IELTS argumentative writing tasks was used for pre and post testing purposes, and a random selection from the introduction and discussion sections of recently-published articles in peer-reviewed educational and teaching journals was utilized as the treatment material. The final analysis of data through one-way ANOVA and ANCOVA revealed significant differences in the writing performance of three groups of learners involved in the experiment.