International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Negative L 1 Impact on L2 Writing
Ali Ahmed Hussein, Mohammad Fawzi M. Mohammad

This aim of this study is to investigate the problem of negative L1 impact on L2 writing. In this respect, the focus is mainly on negative L1 transfer, or the transfer of errors resulting from translation during L2 writing. Three factors are believed to have impact on L1 negative transfer to L2 writing namely, language proficiency, topic and mode. The significance of this study is that it addresses and attempts to find possible solutions to this common EFL writing problem. Moreover, the findings of the study can be of general applicability to other EFL/ ESL settings.This study was conducted on Level 2 Foundation Program students at Qatar University in Spring 2010. Sixteen students whose LI was Arabic were asked to write on three writing modes, namely Process, Opinion and Compare and Contrast .The main findings of this study were: first students resorted to compensatory strategies to overcome this problem in that they tended to compose words and sentences in L1 at first and then translate them into L2 thus making negative transfer. Secondly, it was assumed that proficiency in L 2 would minimize negative L1 transfer to L2 writing, but it turned out from the results of the study that students used L1 in L2 writing irrespective of their language proficiency in L2. Third, topic and mode also turned out to be important factors that affect L1 negative transfer in L 2 writing depending on their familiarity or cultural appropriateness. On the basis of the findings some recommendations have been proposed.

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