The qualitative aspects of the composing ability of subordination acquired at a specific grade

Jennifer Dsouza

Research in Second Language Acquisition has been the subject matter of linguistic interests since the 20th century. Although multiple dimensions of written language are examined by researchers, very few studies have focused on the acquisition of grammatical structures specific to a particular grade in the Indian setting. The purpose of this study is to investigate the subordinating quality of written constructs produced by students at a particular grade – in this study Std VI students studying in schools in Mumbai metropolitan city. In order ascertain that the set of structures acquired are specific to Std VI a comparison was made by examining the subordination in structures produced by the students of the preceding grade and the succeeding grade i.e Std V and Std VII. Kellogg Hunt’s use of the T-Unit (Hunt, 1965) has been replicated in this study. The students were assigned essay topics and the essay was assess the quantity and quality of the multi clause T-Units produced. Based on this analysis, the subordinators acquired were clearly identified as being specific to Std VI students, in contrast with the subordinators acquired by students of Std V and the grammatical patterns produced by students of Std VII. The results lend support to development of pedagogy in writing connected discourse as it lay bare a the quality of subordinators that could be expected from students at a particular grade. i.e. Std VI.

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