Cross-linguistic Composition: Writing Skills and Self-report Strategies of University Students in Bangladesh
Mohammad Shamsuzzaman, John Everatt, and Brigid McNeill
Abstract: This article reports the findings of a study that intended to understand the development of L2 writing performances in English in the EFL context of Bangladesh. The 70 participants (male=42, female=28) of the study were freshmen at a private university in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. The age of the participants ranged from 17 to 24 years. The participants completed a background questionnaire, a grammaticality judgment, and a vocabulary test in English. The participants also completed writing tasks in their L1 (i.e., Bangla) and their L2 (i.e., English). At the end of both the L1 and L2 writing tasks, the participants completed the same questionnaires that gleaned information about their usual practices and perceptions of writing across two languages. One of the critical findings of the study was that scores in the essays in both languages correlated, which implied that a good or a poor writer in his first language is apparently the same in his L2. The study also discovered that L2 writing was significantly similar to and different from writing in L1 as far as the foci, purposes, and the times and areas of revision of essays of the participants were concerned. The study indicated that knowledge in grammar and vocabulary significantly predicted the performances in writing in English as an L2. The results implied that the teaching of L2 writing in English should be informed by characteristics common across languages as well as the essential differences between an L1 and an L2.
Keywords: L1 and L2 writing process, grammar, vocabulary
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Published in 2018