Identifying Errors Committed by Iraqi EFL Learners in Using Discourse Markers

Abstract

The present study aims at identifying the errors committed by Iraqi EFL learners in using discourse markers . This study addresses many questions such as : what are the common errors of using discourse markers committed by Iraqi EFL learners. To answer this question, the study hypothesizes that students’ ability to use discourse markers is limited as far as third year Iraqi EFL learners are concerned and that the most common errors committed by Iraqi EFL learners in using discourse markers are related to adversative class(i.e. the use of instead, but and however ) and sequential class(i.e. the use of after and before) . Hence, a test was done following Levenston and Blum’s (1978) discourse completion test (DCT). In this test, students were asked to do two kinds of exercises: fill in the blanks and find suitable discourse marker. The results show that the most common committed errors in choosing discourse markers are adversative and sequential classes. Also, it is noticed that the subjects of this study are unable to use the right discourse marker in the right position because they are unaware of the meaning and function of discourse markers.