Assessment by Thai academic English writing teachers of the flow of given to new topic information within academic writing

David D. Perrodin


Adhering to a structured process of the flow of given to new topic information within academic written discourse is a significant challenge for most tertiary-level non-native EFL students. The progression of given to new topic information in written academic text is equally difficult for many non-native academic English writing teachers to distinguish, much less assess. This research seeks to determine if given to new information progression can be significantly identified, and explore the possibility of such topic progression being utilized as a practical form of academic writing assessment by experienced Thai tertiary teachers of academic English. Multiple Linear Regression was employed to determine the relationship between the Thai writing teachers' identification of the flow of given to new topic information and a preliminary analysis of topic information flow by a qualified native English writing teacher. The insights gained from this study show that the Thai academic English writing teachers could not significantly detect the presence of given to new topic information progression within the academic texts. The implication of this research suggests that at this time, the practical utilization of a given to new progression analysis may not be a feasible evaluative measure in written assessments for Thai academic English writing teachers.


academic English teachers; given to new progression; information flow; written assessment

Full Text:


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 343 times | PDF view : 48 times


Al-Zubeiry, H. Y. A. (2019). Metadiscourse devices in English scientific research articles written by native and non-native speakers of English. International Journal of Linguistics, 11(1), 46-61.

Alshakhi, A. (2018). Revisiting the writing assessment process at a Saudi English language institute: problems and solutions. English Language Teaching, 12(1), 176-185.

Arabi, H., & Ali, N. (2015). Patterns of textual coherence in students’ written discourse: a study of Sudanese English majors. International Journal of English Linguistics, 5(1), 91-103.

Azen, R., & Walker, C. M. (2021). Categorical data analysis for the behavioral and social sciences (2 ed.). Taylor & Francis.

Barkaoui, K. (2011). Effects of marking method and rater experience on ESL essay scores and rater performance. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 18(3), 279-293.

Beck, S. W., Llosa, L., Black, K., & Anderson, A. T. G. (2018). From assessing to teaching writing: what teachers prioritize. Assessing Writing, 37, 68-77.

Berge, K. L., Skar, G. B., Matre, S., Solheim, R., Evensen, L. S., Otnes, H., & Thygesen, R. (2019). Introducing teachers to new semiotic tools for writing instruction and writing assessment: consequences for students’ writing proficiency. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 26(1), 6-25.

Branthwaite, A., Trueman, M., & Berrisford, T. (1981). Unreliability of marking: Further evidence and a possible explanation. Educational Review, 33(1), 41-46.

Chafe, W. L. (1976). Givenness, contrastiveness, definiteness, subjects, topics, and point of view. In C. N. Li (Ed.), Subject and Topic (pp. 25-55). Academic Press.

Clark, H. H., & Haviland, S. E. (1977). Comprehension and the given-new contract. In R. O. Freedle (Ed.), Discourse Production and Comprehension (pp. 1-40). Ablex.

Cohen, A. D. (1994). Assessing language ability in the classroom (2 ed.). Heinle & Heinle Publishers.

Connor, U., & Farmer, M. (1990). The teaching of topical structure analysis as a revision strategy for ESL writers. In B. Kroll (Ed.), Second language writing: Research insights for the classroom (pp. 126-139). Cambridge University Press.

Cook, W. R. A., Luke, J., Valeo, A., & Barkaoui, K. (2021). Institutional language policy and ESL teachers’ L2 writing assessment practices. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 77(2), 93-109.

Downing, A. (2015). English grammar: a university course. Routledge.

Farnia, M., & Barati, S. (2017). Writing introduction sections of research articles in applied linguistics: cross-linguistic study of native and non-native writers. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 7(2), 486-494.

Fitriati, S. W., & Yonata, F. (2017). Examining text coherence in graduate students of English argumentative writing: Case study. Arab World English Journal, 8(3), 251-264.

Gadd, M., & Parr, J. M. (2017). Practices of effective writing teachers. Reading and Writing, 30(7), 1551-1574.

Gonzalez, E. F., Trejo, N. P., & Roux, R. (2017). Assessing EFL university students’ writing: a study of score reliability. Revista Electrónica de Investigación Educativa, 19(2), 91-103.

Grimes, J. E. (1984). The thread of discourse. Mouton Publishers.

Haines, C. (2004). Assessing students' written work: marking essays and reports. Routledge Falmer.

Hakala, C. M., & O'Brien, E. J. (1995). Strategies for resolving coherence breaks in reading. Discourse Processes, 20(2), 167-185.

Halliday, M. A. K., & Matthiessen, C. M. I. M. (2014). Halliday’s introduction to functional grammar. Routledge.

He, M. (2020). A review on studies of theme in academic writing. Journal of Contemporary Educational Research, 4(3), 25-35.

Jones, C. (2015). Information flow in written text and the writer-reader relationship. In S. Starc, C. Jones, & A. Maiorani (Eds.), Meaning Making in Text: Multimodal and Multilingual Functional Perspectives (pp. 245-264). Palgrave Macmillan.

Jung, Y. J., Crossley, S., & McNamara, D. (2019). Predicting second language writing proficiency in learner texts using computational tools. The Journal of AsiaTEFL, 16(1), 37-52.

Koura, A. A., & Zahran, F. A. (2017). Using habits of mind to develop EFL writing skills and autonomy. Arab World English Journal, 8(4), 183-198.

Kuppevelt, J. V. (1995). Discourse structure, topicality and questioning. Journal of Linguistics, 31(1), 109-147.

Loock, R. (2013). Extending further and refining Prince’s taxonomy of given/new information: a case study of non-restrictive, relevance-oriented structures. Pragmatics, 23(1), 69-91.

Mason, J. (2019). Intertextuality in practice. John Benjamin Publishing.

Nalliveettil, G. M., & Mahasneh, A. (2017). Developing competence in basic writing skills: perceptions of EFL undergraduates. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 6(7), 332-341.

Nguyen Thi Thuy, T. (2018). A corpus-based study on cross-cultural divergence in the use of hedges in academic research articles written by Vietnamese and native English-speaking authors. Social Sciences, 7(4), 70.

Normah, O. (2014). The primary trait scoring method for classroom-based assessment of students' direct writing. International Journal of Learning & Development, 4(3), 51-61.

Paltridge, B. (2021). Discourse analysis for the second language writing classroom. In J. I. Liontas, T. I. Association, & M. DelliCarpini (Eds.), The TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching (pp. 1-6). John Wiley & Sons.

Petch-Tyson, S. (2014). Writer/reader visibility in EFL written discourse. In S. Granger (Ed.), Learner English on computer (pp. 107-118). Routledge.

Prasithrathsint, A. (2015). Linguistic markers and stylistic attributes of hedging in English academic papers written by native and non-native speakers of English. Manusya: Journal of Humanities, 18(1), 1-22.

Prince, E. F. (1981). Towards a taxonomy of given-new information. In P. Cole (Ed.), Radical Pragmatics (pp. 233-255). Academic Press.

Renkema, J., & Schubert, C. (2018). Introduction to discourse studies. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Sato, S. (2019). A corpus-based analysis of so in written discourse: a comparison between L1 English speakers and Japanese EFL learners. Applied Pragmatics, 1(1), 26-45.

Schneider, M., & Connor, U. (1990). Analyzing topical structure in ESL essays: not all topics are equal. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 12(4), 411-427.

Secolsky, C., & Denison, D. B. (2017). Handbook on measurement, assessment, and evaluation in higher education. Routledge.

Smit, T. C., Nandu, P. K., & Mostert, M. L. (2017). English second language writing activities: what role do teachers play? NAWA Journal of Language & Communication, 10(1), 41-54.

Strauss, S., & Feiz, P. (2013). Discourse analysis: putting our worlds into words (1 ed.). Routledge.

Sukandi, S. S., & Syafar, D. N. (2018). EFL students’ responses to learning basic reading and writing skills. Studies in English Language and Education, 5(1), 40-53.

Sung, M.-C., & Kim, H. (2016). Tracing developmental changes in L2 learners’ structuring of phrasal verbs: a corpus study of native and non-native argumentative essays. 3L The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 22(2), 151-166.

Toba, R., Noor, W. N., & Sanu, L. O. (2019). The current issues of Indonesian EFL students’ writing skills: ability, problem, and reason in writing comparison and contrast essay. Dinamika Ilmu, 19(1), 57-73.

Todd, R. W. (2016). Discourse topics. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Todd, R., W., Thienpermpool, P., & Keyuravong, S. (2004). Measuring the coherence of writing using topic-based analysis. Assessing Writing, 9(2), 85-104.

Truscott, J. (1996). The case against grammar correction in L2 writing classes. Language Learning, 46(2), 327-369.

Vaezi, M., & Rezaei, S. (2019). Development of a rubric for evaluating creative writing: a multi-phase research. New Writing, 16(3), 303-317.

Veloo, A., Aziz, N. H. A., & Yaacob, A. (2018). The most suitable scoring method to assess essay writing in ESL classrooms. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 9(4), 19-25.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 THE AUTHOR(S)

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

Journal on English as a Foreign Language is published by Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Palangka Raya in collaboration with the Association of Teachers of English Linguistics, Literature and Education (ELITE Association) in Indonesia [MoU manuscript].

Editor and Administration Address:

Department of English Language EducationFaculty of Teacher Training and Education, Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Palangka Raya, Jalan G. Obos Komplek Islamic Centre Palangka Raya, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia, Postal Code 73111, Email:, Website:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

stats View My Stats

Flag Counter