Proceedings of The 2nd Global Conference on Education and Teaching
The Influence of First Language on English as a Second Language Writing of Undergraduates in a South Asian University
Teachers, in general, would like to enhance the flawless writing of their students. The same scenario is also applicable for ESL teachers regarding his or her students. However, correcting the same mistakes repeatedly and teaching grammar rules taught to the students months back when doing a lesson has become frustrating for teachers. Thus, the purpose of this study is to find whether the first language (L 1) or the mother tongue has any influence on the ESL writings of the creative arts undergraduates in a South Asian University. Learners in the ESL context are confronted with complex grammatical forms, and in that situation, they always try to compare L2 or the target language with L1, thus causing incorrect syntactic formation, particularly in their writing and morphological errors. Case study has been chosen as the approach for this research. The instruments for collecting data are a survey, focus groups, interviews, language diary, and students’ written work. As a pilot study of the research, only the data related to the survey has been used here. A 5-point Likert scale (1=strongly disagree; 5= strongly agree) (Gao et al, 2007) has been used in the survey. Descriptive statistical analysis measures have been used here to analyze data. This study aims at identifying whether there is an impact of L1 (i.e., Sinhala) on the ESL writing of undergraduates. The results indicate that the students feel confident in their English knowledge in the classroom with their peers. Thus make an implication of similar language proficiency among them. None of the participants had mentioned that their writing skill was very good.
keywords: ESL; Language 1; Morphology; Syntax; Writing.