“How the Furby Coming is…”: Interference of First Language and Culture in Thai EFL Learners’ Paragraph Writing

  •  Sakulrat Worathumrong    


This study investigated features of first language and cultural interference in Thai EFL learners’ English paragraph writing on popular culture. Drawing from theoretical grounds of interlanguage, language interference, and rhetorical interference, the sample of 30 English paragraphs of Thai EFL undergraduate learners was examined quantitatively and qualitatively. The English writing included 15 paragraphs from the Thai learners with high exposure to English language (TEH) group, and 15 paragraphs from those with the low exposure to English language (TEL) group. Using analysis models of metadiscourse markers and topical progressions, the findings revealed the preference of both groups in the use of interactive and interactional devices as well as SP, PP, and EPP types of topical progressions. The preference highlights the feature of oral-based, inductive, or reader-responsible writing orientation with a possibility of writing development, especially among the TEHs to reach expectation of the target language readers. The findings encourage assessing the Thai EFL learners’ writing as a process and raising frequent awareness of both language and rhetorical interferences when writing English texts. As the introductory stage during COVID-19 remote learning, writing to express learners’ interests could be used as an effective communication strategy for a positive instructor-learner relationship which assists the learners to further engage in the class in a more meaningful way. 

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