Exploring the Transfer Relationship of Summarizing Skills in L1 and L2

  •  Makiko Kato    


The purpose of the present study is to examine whether the summarizing skills in the first language (L1) of learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) affect their summary performances in a second language (L2). To examine the transferring of L1 summarizing skills to L2 summary performance it is necessary to figure out which L1 knowledge and skills EFL learners already possess. A total of 47 Japanese university students with low intermediate English proficiency were asked to write a summary in their L2 (i.e., English) and L1 (i.e., Japanese) of a text written in each of the same languages after they received a quick lecture on how to write a summary. The relationship between their L1 and L2 summarizing skills was examined by using the scores from their L1 and L2 summary performances. The results showed that a small variance of L1 summarizing skill affected the overall summary performances in L2, which supports the Cummins’s (1976) Linguistics Threshold Hypothesis. This study concludes by offering several suggestions for teachers of summary writing, and implications for future research.

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