L1 Use in L2 Academic Essays: A Study of L1 Arabic Writers’ Views

  •  Nahla Bacha    


Research findings indicate conflicting views as to interference from L1 rhetorical patterns in the essays written by students whose first language is not English. Essays are still considered important for required assignments and exams in institutions of higher learning, but the challenge for L1 Arabic students is to express their ideas clearly. Although there have been studies of the use of L1 in L2 writing, there are very few rigorous ones done on L1 Arabic texts in Lebanon and specifically from the students’ viewpoint. This study aims to evaluate, holistically and analytically, according to language, organization and content, the expository academic essays written by first year university L1 Arabic students and to examine any significant correlation between these scores and the quality of these essays through content analysis. In addition, students’ perceptions of any problems they have in writing the academic essay are surveyed through a questionnaire. Results indicate a significant positive correlation between students’ essay scores and the content analysis. However, findings from the student questionnaire revealed that they do not view any significant interference from L1 nor any significant problems in writing the academic essays which are contrary to the essay scores and content analysis results. Recommendations are made for L2 contexts and future research. 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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