Cohesion and Coherence in Proofreading and Error Correction in TEM-8

  •  Yucheng Mao    


TEM-8 (Test for English Majors-Band 8) is an advanced English proficiency test specifically for English majors in China, and those who pass it are generally considered to have a good command of English. Of this kind of test, proofreading and error correction has long been a headache for teachers and students. The sample analysis in this study reveals that, however, many of the errors in this tricky question type are related to the knowledge of cohesion and coherence, yet few studies have linked the two. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate the distribution of errors in proofreading and error correction in TEM-8 using the cohesion and coherence theory. Errors in authentic TEM-8 test papers of the recent ten years are categorized according to a classification standard which is based on Halliday and Hasan’s theory. The results show that 66% of the errors are related to cohesion and coherence with 56% of the former and 10% of the latter, which is followed by a tentative discussion about each error type from a psycholinguistic perspective. Despite limitations, this study exposes a close association between cohesion and coherence on the one hand, and proofreading and error correction on the other to some extent.

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