||The impact of L1 use on ESP learning:
A case study of English for Journalism
||Department of English
First language (L1)
English for Specific Purpose (ESP)
||Using first language (L1) is a nature way to assist English learning. The connection between L1 use and English learning are inseparable for English learners. However, a number of language researchers believe that language should be acquired by comprehensive target language instead of L1 assistance to avoid the mistakes made by language interference. Even though, many studies have shown that there are many advantages to use L1 in English teaching, such as the positive influence on affective factors. The present study aimed to investigate the influence of L1 use on English learners with different backgrounds in the English for Specific Purpose (ESP) course. In addition, the present study also discussed how students use their L1 as one kind of learning strategies to facilitate their English learning. Eighty-nine students from different departments who enrolled in the class of English for Journalism participated in the present study. The teacher uses Chinese as the major language to teach in English for Journalism course. Some of the teaching materials provide L1 information resource such as articles with Chinese translation. The teaching objective of English for Journalism is to increase students’ reading ability. After one semester of teaching, students’ perception and perspective toward L1 use in English for Journalism are collected by quantitative questionnaire and qualitative interview. SPSS software is used to analyze questionnaire through descriptive statistics and independent T-test.
The result showed that the majority of non-English majors believe that the assistance of L1 use has reduced their learning anxiety and increased their learning motivation, willingness and autonomy. On the contrary, the English majors believed that the assistance of L1 use has less impacted on their psychological, factors. Nevertheless, L1 use can still significantly increase their learning efficiency. In addition, both English and non-English majors reflected that the L1 use in English for Journalism has more benefit than its negative influences. The present study also found that participants develop a variety of learning strategies on the basis of their L1 ability, and thus facilitate their learning process. However, ESP teachers have to pay close attention to the L1 over-dependent problem and the negative influences caused by L1-L2 difference and interference. The present study showed the feasibility of using L1 in an ESP course to assist English learning, and students’ perceptions should be taken into consideration appropriately.
||TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHINESE ABSTRACT II
TABLE OF CONTENTS V
LIST OF TABLES VII
LIST OF FIGURES VII
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Background of the study 1
1.2 Purpose of the study 8
1.3 Research questions 10
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW 11
2.1 The use of L1 or L2 as a major language in language classroom and its influence on students’ affective factors 11
2.2 L1 use learning strategies in reading, writing and vocabulary learning 15
2.3 Use L1 translation in EFL classroom 19
2.4 English for Specific Purpose (ESP) with L1 use and translation 21
2.5 Conclusion of Literature Review 24
CHAPTER THREE METHODOLOGY 26
3.1 Participants 26
3.2 Data collection 27
3.3 Instruments 29
3.4 Treatment 31
3.5 Procedure 32
3.6 Data Analysis 33
CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 34
4.1 Students’ feedback toward the influence of L1 use on affective factors 34
4.2 The results of L1 and Translation Learning Strategy 38
4.3 Students’ percpetions toward the negative influence of L1 use 41
4.4 The results of students’ perspective toward teaching materials and language analysis 42
4.5 Independent Sample t-test Analysis 43
4.6 Introduction of interview analysis 49
4.7 Interviewee’s perceptions toward the affective influence of using Chinese as a major language to teach in English for Journalism course 49
4.8 Interviewees’ perceptions toward the affective influence of providing L1 information in English for Journalism 52
4.9 The frequently used L1 and translation learning strategies by interviewees 56
4.10 Interviewees’ perceptions toward the negative influence of L1 use 59
4.11 Students’ perceptions toward reading English news with L1 use 62
CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSION 65
5.1 Conclusion of the major findings and pedagogical implication 65
5.2 Limitation of the study 70
5.3 Suggestion for future research 71
Appendix A Textbook used in English for Journalism 84
Appendix B Questionnaire (Chinese Version) 85
Appendix C Questionnaire (English Version) 87
Appendix D Interview guide (Chinese version) 90
Appendix E Interview guide (English version) 91
Appendix F Interview Transcription 92
LIST OF TABLES
Table 3.1 Major distribution of participants 26
Table 3.2 Year of study distribution of participants 26
Table 3.3 Gender distribution of participants 27
Table 3.4 English study year distribution of participants 27
Table 4.1 Descriptive analysis of the influence of L1 use on affective factors 35
Table 4.2 Descriptive analysis of the L1 and translation learning strategies 38
Table 4.3 Descriptive analysis of the negative influence of L1 use 41
Table 4.4 Descriptive analysis of teaching material 42
Table 4.5 Independent sample t-test of the influence of L1 use on affective factors between English and Non-English majors 44
Table 4.6 Independent sample t-test of the L1 and translation learning strategy 45
Table 4.7 Independent sample t-test of the negative influence of L1 use 47
Table 4.8 Independent sample t-test of teaching material 48
Table 4.9 Interviewees’ background information 49
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1.1 Summary of the study’s background 7
Figure 5.1 Summary of using L1 as the major language to teach an ESP course 67
Figure 5.2 Summary of providing L1 information in an ESP course 68
Figure 5.3 The necessity of L1 use in the English for Journalism course 69
Figure 5.4 Summary of negative influences of L1 use and suggestions 70
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