A Survey on College English Writing in China: A Cultural Perspective

  •  Junhong Ren    
  •  Na Wang    


This survey investigates to what degree the Chinese learners know about the discrepancies between Chinese and English thought patterns and their possible effects on English writing. Eighty-one students from North China Electric Power University participate in the survey. Qualitative and quantities approaches, involving the adoption of both questionnaire and data analysis, underpin the survey. Questionnaire is used to examine five constructs, namely, students’ writing condition, students’ knowledge about discrepancies of the Chinese and English thought patterns and their effect on Chinese learners’ English writing in terms of wording, sentence structure and discourse organization. Data collected from the questionnaires are then analyzed. Findings from the study reveal that a vast majority of Chinese students are surprisingly not fully aware of the important influence thought patterns exert on languages and how discrepancies in thought patterns are associated with differences in languages. As a consequence of this, their English essays preserve some features of Chinese despite years of English learning. The results of the study contribute to a good understanding of the Chinese learners’ current writing condition in EFL teaching. Suggestions to alter this undesirable situation are put forward.

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