EFL reading as seen through translation and discourse analysis: Narrative vs. expository texts

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Though in some respects easier than expository texts, narrative texts can pose special problems for foreign language learners. Such differences can be examined in terms of the macro- and microlevels of prepositional content, communicative functions, vocabulary, verb tenses, parts of speech, pronoun agreement, and grammatical cohesion. Learners reading expository texts are expected to follow a logical argument (with explanations, contrasts, cause/effect, etc.) usually organized with typical markers of cohesion. Readers of narrative texts may need to follow dialogues characterized by description, irony, subtle nuances, and double entendres. This paper proposes to examine reading problems by means of discourse analysis of students' translations. It is based on two previous experiments in which first-year university students translated English texts into their native language, Hebrew or Arabic. For both text types, learners had difficulty with prepositional content, vocabulary, and pronoun agreement. Communicative function appeared to cause difficulty in the narrative but not the expository text. Grammatical cohesion, in contrast, proved difficult in the expository but not the narrative text.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49-66
    Number of pages18
    JournalEnglish for Specific Purposes
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1990

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Education
    • Linguistics and Language


    Dive into the research topics of 'EFL reading as seen through translation and discourse analysis: Narrative vs. expository texts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this