Some characteristics of expository writing in Cameroon English
One of the major characteristics of English in non-native settings is that it exists alongside indigenous languages and most people who study English here come to the language classroom with knowledge of at least an L1. Because the rhetorical structure of the L1 of these learners is not the same as that of English, what is written in these settings often exhibits features that do not meet the expectation of a typical western mind. This study analyses the structural configuration and some syntactic features that characterise students’ essays in a formal academic situation in Cameroon. The corpus is composed of 104 essays written by two batches of students (2002/2003, 2003/2004 academic years) in the department of English of the Ecole Normale Supérieure Yaoundé. Findings reveal that the structure of most essays examined does not follow the strict logical sequence that is characteristic of the typical English essay. And this may well reflect the narrative style that is foreign to the English native speaker. Again, there is a general tendency of register “mixing” in most of the essays. The article concludes that expository writing in Cameroon may well constitute a fruitful area of research into aspects of “nativization” of cohesion and rhetorical strategies of English in the “Outer Circle”.
Keywords: Cameroon English, cultural transfer, English as a Second Language, expository writing, rhetorical structure
Published online: 23 March 2006
Cited by 2 other publications
van Rooy, Bertus & Lize Terblanche
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