Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Impact of Chinese ESL Learner Interlanguage on Writing: A Syntactical Analysis

An interlanguage is a linguistic system that has been developed by a second language (L2) learner who is partially proficient in the target language with some of the first language (L1) features in target language communication. The learner’s L1 transfer is derived from the Interlanguage Theory, which believes that “ the psychological structure latent in the brain" is triggered among L2 learners in second language learning. English language has always been a perceived problem for Chinese ESL learners particularly on syntactical rules in sentence construction. However, not many studies have been conducted with a specific focus on the interlanguage of Chinese ESL learners. In this study, it is primarily concerned about how the learner’s existing linguistic knowledge influences the course of English language development among Chinese ESL learners. Since there is a limited intake of Chinese students into the programme of study, the subject of this study consists of 12 Chinese students from six different classes at one college in the northern region of Malaysia. This constitutes a suitable starting point to focus on the similarities and differences of learners’ sentence patterns of their target language.

It may be one of the possible results of the manifestation of learner interlanguage on their writing. The results of the study show that the use of the English language presented in the form of written work from the target group which has manifested itself the impact of L1 (Chinese) transfer on their second language learning. This involves negative transfer, avoidance of target language structure and overgeneralization.

Citation (APA 6th ed.):
Mah, B. Y., Hoe, F. T., & Cheang, E. K. (2010). The impact of Chinese ESL learner interlanguage on writing: A syntactical analysis. The International Conference on Linguistic, Literature & Culture 2010 Proceedings (pp. 348-354). Penang, Malaysia: School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

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