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Linguistic, Cognitive and Cultural Dimensions of the Narrative Written Production of Arabic and Spanish Speakers

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Author(s): Hosney M. El-daly

Journal: International Journal of English Linguistics
ISSN 1923-869X

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2012;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Ever since 1980s, much research has been done investigating the writing processes of L2 writers of different ages and abilities. Despite the abundance in such a research, there seems to be a dearth of studies on comparing the writing proficiency of both Arabic and Spanish speakers narrating in English. Motivated by such a huge research gap, this study was undertaken to answer the following questions: (1) what factors affect L2 learners accurate performance in writing, apart from their level of morphosyntactic competence? ; (2) from the cognitive perspective, do Arabic speakers differ from Spanish speakers during writing narrative texts?, and what is the nature of this difference (if it exists)?; and (3) from the cultural perspective, do Arabic speakers differ from Spanish speakers in writing narrative texts?, and what is the nature of this difference (if it exists)?.The subjects were ten foreign graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh, USA. They belonged to two different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The first was from the Arabic language group, and the second was from the Spanish linguistic group. The data were taken from (1) a questionnaire; (2) writing a narrative text, and (3) individual interviews. The data were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The linguistic analysis of the data focused on the numbers of errors in the light of how many words that each subject produced in his/her essay, and the reason for these errors. In addition, both the cognitive and cultural aspects of the subjects’ written productions were examined and analyzed. Based on such analyses, recommendations were made.
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