Paper Information

Journal:   JOURNAL OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING AND LEARNING   SPRING-SUMMER 2011 , Volume 5 , Number 7; Page(s) 115 To 143.
 
Paper: 

CROSS-LINGUISTIC TRANSFER OR TARGET LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: WRITING PERFORMANCE OF TRILINGUALS VS. BILINGUALS IN RELATION TO THE INTERDEPENDENCE HYPOTHESIS

 
 
Author(s):  MODIR KHAMENE SIMA*
 
* UNIVERSITY OF URMIA
 
Abstract: 

This study explored the nature of transfer among bilingual vs. trilinguals with varying levels of competence in English and their previous languages. The hypotheses were tested in writing tasks designed for 75 high (N= 35) vs. intermediate (N=40) proficient EFL learners with Turkish, Persian, English and Persian, English linguistic backgrounds. Qualitative data were also collected through some think aloud procedures. The findings revealed: 1) a significantly positive relationship between writing skills of the languages known by participants; 2) trilinguals performed significantly better than bilinguals in English writing tasks, although, qualitative data revealed that both groups used the same language, i.e. Persian, as the most frequently referred language and; 3) the higher-level writers tended to present less cross-linguistic influence than the lower level writers. The results are discussed in relation to different patterns of linguistic Interdependence Hypothesis and implications for language teaching in multilingual contexts.

 
Keyword(s): BILINGUAL, INTERDEPENDENCE HYPOTHESIS, TRANSFER, TRILINGUAL
 
References: 
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