A Study on the Relationship between University Students’ Chinese Writing Proficiency and Their English Writing Proficiency

Xiaoyu Huang, Xueying Liang, Effie Dracopoulos


Up to now, most researchers have been paying attention to the negative transfer of mother tongue to second language writing. Few studies, if any, have touched upon the positive transfer. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the positive transfer of Chinese to 26 first-year university students’ English writing holistically and segmentally in the use of words, grammar, coherence, and content and organization. The result of the Pearson correlation coefficient turned out to be 0.43 at the 5% significance level, indicating a positive relationship between the Chinese writing and the English writing. The questionnaires have also confirmed the result of the correlation analysis. In particular, the positive transfer of Chinese seems to be more apparent in the content and organization of the English writing, followed by coherence and use of words. Thus, it can be concluded that the positive transfer of mother tongue can facilitate English writing.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v4n2p55

Copyright (c) 2011 Xiaoyu Huang, Xueying Liang, Effie Dracopoulos

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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