How isiZulu speakers use cohesion in their academic writing in English

Andrew Meikle Drummond


Achievement rates for black students in South African higher education remain low after 20 years of democracy. Writing academic English according to existing conventions is a complex skill. One aspect of this skill is producing cohesive text. In this article, the writing of a group of isiZulu speakers at Wits is analysed to determine how Hallidayan cohesion is operating therein: how does this language group use conjunctions, lexical cohesion, referencing, ellipsis and substitution when writing in English? From this analysis, it is evident that there are elements of referencing, conjunction use and lexical cohesion which are well developed in their writing. At the same time, evidence of speech-type syntax in the data indicates areas where further development is possible. These findings have led to suggestions on how academic language input could facilitate writing skills development for this language group. 


cohesion, academic literacy, IsiZulu speakers' written English

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Per Linguam

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

Powered by OJS and hosted by since 2011.


This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help