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This paper highlights the importance of teaching ESL students adverb placement to increase rhetorical awareness. Instructors are encouraged to consider designing grammar lessons at early stages in ESL composition for adverbs that focus not only on prescriptive accuracy but also on those that create rhetorical emphasis. As previous researchers have indicated, placing adverbs in unique positions can add emphasis to particular words or phrases such as using an interrupting adverbial modifier or adverbial fronting. This paper provides a review of literature that promotes teaching adverb placement as rhetorical emphasis, which is significant in ESL composition because it can help ESL writers gain native competency, and foster in them rhetorical awareness.

Faculty Supervisor

Ettien Koffi

Author Bio

James Rutledge is completing a Master of Science degree in Social Responsibility at St. Cloud State University. In 2013, James earned a MA in English, and in 2010, he earned a BA in English, philosophy, and sociology. James lives in Brainerd, Minnesota, teaches English as an adjunct instructor at SCSU, and is working toward a master’s degree in TESL. Email address:

Zachary Fitton is taking graduate level courses through St. Cloud State University. He received his BS from Adams State University Colorado in Business Administration. He has been teaching English as a Second Language to children and adults in Korea since 2010. Email address:



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