The Relationship between First and Second Language Literacy in Writing

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

Islamic Azad University - Tabriz Branch

Abstract

This paper explores the ways in which the transfer of assumptions from first language (L1) writing can help the process of writing in second language (L2). In learning second language writing skills, learners have two primary sources from which they construct a second language system: knowledge and skills from first language and input from second language. To investigate the relative impact of first language literacy skills on second language writing ability, 60 EFL students from Tabriz Islamic Azad University were chosen as participants of this study, based on their language proficiency scores. The subjects were given two topics to write about: the experimental group subjects were asked to write in Persian and then translate their writing into English. The control group wrote in English. The results obtained in this study indicate that the content and vocabulary components of the compositions were mostly affected by the use of first language.
 
 

Keywords


Anton, M., & Dicamilla, F. (1998). Socio-cognitive functions of L1 collaborative interactions in the L2 classroom. Canadian Modern Language Review, 54, 314-342.

Candlin, C. (1987). Towards task-based language learning. In C. Candlin, & D. Murphy (eds). Language learning tasks. Englewood Cliffs N.J. Prentice Hall International.

Cumming, A. (1989) Writing expertise and second language proficiency. Language Learning, 39(1). 81-135

Cummins, J. (1981). The role of primary language development in promoting educational  success for language minority students: A theoretical framework. Los Angles: Evaluation, Dissemination and assessment Center.   

Dyer, B. (1996). L1 and L2 composition theories: Hillocks’ environmental mode and task-based language teaching. ELT Journal,50(4). 312-317

Edelsky, C. (1982). Writing in a bilingual program: The relationship of L1 & L2 texts. TESOL Quarterly, 16(2). 211-228

Hall, C. (1990). Managing the complexity of revising across languages. TESOL Quarterly, 24(1). 44-61.

Halliday, M. (1975). Learning how to mean. London: Edward Arnold.

Hamp-Lyons, L. & Kroll, B. (1997). TOEFL 2000. Writing composition, community and assessment. Cambridge, Longman.

Harmer, J. (2001). The practice of English language teaching. Cambridge, Longman.

Jones, S. & Tetroe (1987). Composing in a second language. In A. Matsubashi (ed.) Writing in real time: Modeling production processes. New York: Longman.

Kim, Y., & Kim, J. (2005). Teaching Korean University writing class: Balancing the process and the genre approach. Asian EFL Journal, 7(2). 68-89.

Krashen, S. (1984). Writing: Research, theory and applications. Oxford: Pergamon Institute of English.

 

 

Mace-Matluk, B.J.,  Dominguez, D., Holtzman, W., & Hoover, W. (1983). Language and literacy in bilingual instruction. Austin, Tx: Southwest educational laboratory.

Schoonen, R., Gelderen, A.V., Glopper, K., Hulstine, J., Simis, A., Snelling, P., & Stevenson, M. (2003). First language and second language writing: The role of linguistic knowledge, speed of processing, and metacognitive knowledge. Language Learning 53(1). 165-202.

Scriber, S. & Cole, M. (1981). Psychology of literacy.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Swain, M. (1995). Three functions of output in second language learning. In G. Cook & B. Seidhofer (eds.) (1995). Principles and practice in applied linguistics studies in honour of H.G. Widdowson. Oxford: Oxford university Press.

Swain, M. (1999). Language production in SLA: From social to cognitive and back again. Plenary address at SLRF. University of Minnesota.

Swain, M. (2000). The output hypothesis and beyond: mediating acquisition through collaborative dialogue. In J.P. Lantolf  (ed.), Sociocultural theory and second language learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (1998). Interaction and second language learning: two adolescent French immersion students working together. Modern Language      Journal, 82. 320-337.

Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (2000). Task-based second language learning: the uses of the first language. Language teaching Research, 4(3). 251-274.

Villamail, O.S., & De Guerrero, M.C.M., (1996). Peer revision in the L2 classroom: Social-cognitive activities, mediating strategies, and aspects of social behavior. Journal of Second language Writing, 51-57.

Wang, W.Y. (2002). L1 use in the L2 composing process- An explanatory study of 16 Chinese EFL writers. Journal of Second Language Writing, (11), 225-246.

White, R., & Arndt, V. (1991). Process writing. London: Longman.