Document Type: Original Article


Department of Foreign Languages, Shanghai University. Shanghai, China.


This study intended to explore the linguistic and rhetorical features of written narratives produced by language learners of different levels of proficiency. A large and comprehensive number of linguistic and rhetorical features were analyzed adopted from Hinkel (2002). Learners from a mixed-age group in a private language institute in Iran took part in this study. Three levels of B1, B2, and C1 learners were assigned into two conditions: Differentiated Instruction (DI, N = 84) that received individualized writing instruction according to each writer’s needs and skills and Traditional Instruction (TI, N = 76) that presented the features followed by some exercises. Results revealed that both C1 and B2 learners used more accurate linguistic features, while only C1 learners were successful in employing rhetorical features. In TI, however, C2 learners implemented a restricted number of linguistic and rhetorical features. Significant differences were found between DI and TI groups in each proficiency level. A comparison of the effect sizes, however, indicated that DI was less effective in the case of rhetorical features.


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