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This study examines how three age-on-arrival (AOA) groups of Chinese-background ESL students use two types of cohesive devices on a standardized essay exam. A discourse analysis of 90 first-year students' expository writing samples was conducted to ascertain how factors such as first language (L1) and length of residence (LOR) in Canada influence a student's ability to create cohesive and coherent writing. The study uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore how Canadian-borndoi:10.18806/tesl.v29i0.1115 fatcat:cmrq377acrcnnb27i444lt6dly