Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Emily Thrush

Committee Member

Teresa Dalle

Committee Member

Fogle Wright

Committee Member

Angela Thevenot


AbstractAlmuhailib, Badar. Ph.D. The University of Memphis. December, 2018. The Influence of L1Writing Proficiency on the L2 Writing Ability of Saudi College Students. Major Professor:Emily A. Thrush, Ph.D.This study investigated the influence of first language (L1) writing proficiency on secondlanguage (L2) writing ability among Saudi college students. The research was built on Cumminscommon underlying proficiency theory and linguistic interdependence hypothesis, whichadvocate the L1s effect on L2 learning. Participants consisted of 38 students in the Departmentof English at Qassim University representing English Levels 6, 7, and 8. A mixed-methodsapproach was employed. For the quantitative section, the researcher obtained students Qiyas testscores to gauge their Arabic language skills and gave an English prompt test adapted from thewritten portion of the Oxford Placement Test. For this test, they had to write an argumentativeessay for 30-45 minutes. Two raters graded the writing samples following the CommonEuropean Framework of Reference for Languages. Then, the researcher used Pearson correlationcoefficients to determine any potential correlation between the Arabic and English test scores. Inthe qualitative section, the researcher provided a questionnaire containing 11 questions toexplore three variables that may correlate with L1 writing proficiencys influence on L2 writingability. These variables were parents education level and role, participants educationalbackground, and the first-year participants were introduced to English. The analysis of thequalitative data followed Corbin and Strausss (2008) thematic and inductive approach. Thefindings revealed a significant correlation between L1 and L2 writing proficiency. However, thethree variables showed no significant influence. The study recommends L2 instructors andprogram designers keep in mind the importance of L1 influence and introduce it in practice, and future studies may investigate reading, speaking, and listening skills in addition to writing to findfurther correlations between L1 and L2 proficiency.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest