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Thematic structure in reading comprehension texts in English textbooks

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To, VT ORCID: 0000-0002-2698-3207 2018 , 'Thematic structure in reading comprehension texts in English textbooks' , International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, vol. 4, no. 1 , pp. 45-51 , doi: 10.18178/ijlll.2018.4.1.148.

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Abstract

Theme choice in academic texts plays an important role to the reader’s comprehension as it facilitates the coherence and cohesiveness of the text. However, research on thematicstructure in academic settings in developing world has still received less attention. This paper reports findings on the use of thematic structure in four English textbooks in a book series used in tertiary education in the Vietnamese context. It employed functional grammar as the main theoretical framework to the analysis of different types of themes includingsimple themes, multiple themes and clausal themes in the 24 reading comprehension texts across four levels, specifically elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate and upper-intermediate. The analysis revealed three main findings. First, simple themes, which include topical/unmarked and marked themes, were used most across levels, while multiplethemes took the second position, and clausal themes were used the least. Second, the number of multiple and clausal themes increased in accordance with the textbook levels from low to high, though that of simple themes demonstrated a decreasing pattern. Third, among components of multiple themes, the frequency of experiential and textual themes was significantly high in all four books, compared with that of interpersonal themes. It is concluded that a variety of theme types were employed in reading texts across levels, contributing to the coherent organisation of the texts.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:To, VT
Keywords: theme, rheme, English textbooks, reading texts
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics
Publisher: Premier Publishers
ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI / ID Number: 10.18178/ijlll.2018.4.1.148
Copyright Information:

© The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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