Toward a Reappraisal of the Role of MD Markers in EFL Learners’ Perception of Written Texts


Interactional markers, interactive markers, MD markers, perception


Once regarded as the author’s passive message produced to be decoded by the readers, the written text is now viewed as a dynamic entity through which the notion of interactivity between the writer and the readers is thought to be made feasible. Based on the argument that metadiscourse markers help transform a dry and tortuous piece of text into coherent and reader-friendly prose, the researchers in the current study attempted to investigate the effect different metadiscourse markers might have on Iranian EFL learners’ perception of written texts. To this end, 120 undergraduate English students were given three different texts chosen from the most common textbooks in BA (in TEFL), along with their doctored versions (all MD-removed, interactive-removed, and interactional-removed). Each text duo was then accompanied by an 8-item questionnaire adopted from Ifantido (2005). The statistical analysis of the data pointed toward the positive role of metadiscourse markers in bringing about ameliorated text perception on the part of EFL learners. Furthermore, the comparison of the results gained in each separate phase of the study, processed through the application of ANOVA and LSD tests, revealed that texts with both interactive and interactional resources had more effect on learners’ perception of written texts. Moreover, it was found that interactive and interactional resources had more or less the same effect on learners’ reactions to texts. To summarize, in line with the findings of the present study further evidence is gathered in favor of the argument holding that metadiscourse markers bring about an increased amount of coherence and reader-friendliness in texts.