The Effect of EFL Learners' Mother Tongue on their Writings in English : An Error Analysis Study

Abstract

Writing is a complex process which demands cognitive analysis and linguistic synthesis .It is even more complicated to write in a foreign language , and it takes considerable time and effort to become a skillful writer. Many studies indicate that for EFL students, there tends to be interference from their first language in the process of writing in English. The present study seeks to explore EFL learners' major writing difficulties by analyzing the nature and distribution of their writing errors and it also investigates whether there is a relationship between students' L1 and their writing in English .To fulfill the aims of the study , the researcher examined English writing samples of 80 EFL college students and then categorized the errors according to the following taxonomy: grammatical, lexical/ semantic, mechanics, and word order types of errors. Understanding linguistic differences between students' L1 and English may help the learners to reduce interference from their first language.