Composing in English: a study of the effects of L1 or L2 planning and topic choice by Japanese learners of English

Malik, Junaid Jalal (2011). Composing in English: a study of the effects of L1 or L2 planning and topic choice by Japanese learners of English. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Often when teaching oral communication, great emphasis is placed on the use of target English language only in the classroom. Reasons often given to defend this policy include the use of L1 in learning English causes unwanted language interference and extended “thinking-time” slowing down a conversation. However this may not be the best policy when producing L2 writing, particularly in the early planning stage where the use of L1 might in fact reduce cognitive loads on L2 writers especially if the topic of the writing is linked to a writer’s L1 and may be best recalled in L1. This PhD study explores the questions and reservations regarding the optimum methods of planning an English essay by Japanese writers of L2 English, both in the UK and in Japan, at intermediate and advanced proficiency levels, with particular focus on the variables of language of planning and topic choice

The overarching aims of this PhD study are
* To investigate whether planning in L1 about an L1 related topic or planning in L2 about an L2 related topic (language and topic match conditions) enhances L1 Japanese writers’ final essay texts in L2 English.

* To investigate whether topic choice independent of planning language, or planning language independent of topic choice (language and topic mismatch conditions) have any impact on plans or resulting L2 English final essay texts.

This investigation takes place in three common contexts in which L1 Japanese writers of L2 English operate. The design of the study and methods used to collect, analyse, discuss and compare data are done both quantitatively and qualitatively, that is empirically and also hermeneutically.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English


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