EFL Learners’ Development of Voice In Academic Writing: Lexical bundles, Boosters/Hedges and Stance-taking Strategies

  • Christian Christian Fallas Escobar Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica
  • Lindsay Chaves Fernández Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica
Keywords: Academic writing, lexical bundles, boosters/hedges, stance-taking strategies, learners’ voice, discoursal and authorial voice


In EFL composition courses, teaching and learning normally orbit around norms of unity, coherence, support, and sentence skills that L2 learners are expected to comply with, at the expense of opportunities to develop voice. Against this backdrop, we resolved to examine the extent to which students’ exposure to and practice with lexical bundles, boosters/hedges and stance-taking strategies allows them to build a stronger discoursal and authorial voice as future academic writers. Evaluation of the students’ works revealed their level of success in this endeavor and analysis of student surveys unveiled the tensions and struggles they faced along the way. At the end of this paper, we advocate for academic writing courses to be transformed into spaces where students not only come to terms with the basic norms they have to conform to, but also build a discoursal and authorial voice as L2 writers.


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Author Biographies

Christian Christian Fallas Escobar, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica

Cristhian Fallas Escobar holds an M.A. in Second Languages and Cultures from Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, and a Certificate in Teacher Training from the School of International Training. He has been an EFL instructor for over fourteen years and currently works for the School of Literature and Language Sciences at the Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica. Among his research interests are critical thinking, reflective teaching, composition and rhetoric, multiculturalism & multilingualism, language ideologies, justice and equity in Education, and the intersection between economics, politics and EFL. He has co-authored a textbook for EFL and published several papers dealing with translanguaging in EFL contexts, bilingual approaches to EFL teaching, bilingualism and the spread of English in Latin America, and neoliberal discourses and their connection to the rise of EFL.

Lindsay Chaves Fernández, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica

Lindsay Chaves Fernández holds an M.A. in Second Languages and Cultures from Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica. She has been an EFL instructor for over fourteen years and currently works for the School of Literature and Language Sciences at Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica. Among her research interests are composition and rhetoric, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in teaching, learners’ diversity and motivation, approaches to EFL teaching as well as accreditation practices in higher education, and she has published papers dealing with the previously mentioned topics.


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How to Cite
Christian Fallas Escobar, C., & Chaves Fernández, L. (2018). EFL Learners’ Development of Voice In Academic Writing: Lexical bundles, Boosters/Hedges and Stance-taking Strategies. GiST Education and Learning Research Journal, (15), 96-124. https://doi.org/10.26817/16925777.392