Examining Dentistry College Students' Recognition of the Semantic/Pragmatic Function of Hedges in English Scientific Writing
Keywords:hedging, hedging devices, semantic, pragmatic function of hedges
One of the most importantcharacteristics of English scientific writing is the use of cautious language, known as “hedging”. A proper awareness of their use and function is crucial to scientific precision, scientific integrity, and author-reader relationship. However, EFL college students face difficulties in recognizing hedging devices in academic writing. The present study aimed at examining the recognition of a scientific college final year students of the semantic/ pragmatic function of hedges in scientific English writing to answer the research question of whether they are able to perform satisfactorily in such a sensitive area as that of science, bearing in mind that they are supposed to be advanced students who have been instructed in scientific English for five years.For that purpose, final year students of the academic year 2020-2021, from the College of Dentistry were chosen. The total number of participants was 71 students. The study followed the quantitative method for its design, used as its instrument a close-ended questionnaire, and employed the SPSS for data analysis.The study showed that the students did not perform satisfactorily; a finding which calls for concern and implies that an explicit instruction in English scientific writing is needed. The study concluded that more attention should be directed towards teaching this aspect in scientific English in order to prepare the students to better deal with the requirements of academic/ scientific writing.
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