An Empirical Study on the Correlation between Chinese Language Proficiency and English Writing Proficiency to Uygur Senior Students
|School||Northwest Normal University|
|Course||Curriculum and Pedagogy|
|Keywords||Uygur students English writing Chinese proficiency language transfer correlation study|
China is a multi-nationality country consisting of 56 nationalities, among which Han nationality is the largest group. The other 55 nationalities are called minority nationalities which account for 8% of the whole population. The distribution of minority nationalities covers a large part of the whole country. Due to geographical and historical factors, minority regions have legged behind other regions in China. With the importance of English being prominent, enough attention should be paid to the English teaching and learning in minority regions.Among the EFL and ESL learners, Uygur English learners in Xinjiang are a special group with unique features. They have their own language---Uygur language, in both spoken and written forms, in the process of learning their mother tongue, they are required to learn their second language---Chinese. Although, some researchers have carried out some investigations into this unique group, the research on the role of Chinese as the medium in the process of Uygur students’third language learning especially in the English writing is rare. This study aims to probe into the role of Chinese as the medium in the process of Uygur students’third language learning, especially, in third language writing. The author used questionnaire, language assessment and interview to collect data from 50 senior high school students in Hami, Xinjiang. There are 6 chapters in this paper.Chapter one presents the background of the research and its purpose, emphasizes the unique trilingual phenomenon of Uygur students in Xinjiang, as well as the significance of this study, including theoretical significance and practical significance.Chapter two provides a literature review, first a review of language transfer studies, which included the studies on language transfer abroad and studies on language transfer in China is given. Studies on language transfer of minority students in china are particularly mentioned. Then models of writing process is given, two figures (Hayes-Flower’s and Wen Qiufang’s) are presented in this part. Lastly, empirical studies on factors affecting L2 writing are talked about.Chapter three gives the theoretical framework of this study. There are 4 items in this section.: Interlanguage theory and language transfer; bilingual education theory; theory of third language acquisition; second language acquisition vs third language acquisition; native language, first language (L1), second language(L2), and medium of instruction(MI); the linguistic interdependence hypothesis (LIH) and the linguistic threshold hypothesis (LTH). Chapter four is research design. First, an overview was given. Then, the research questions, the subjects, the instruments are put forward.Chapter five gives the data analysis and results.Chapter six is centered on conclusion of the present study. After the data analysis, it is found that: (1) the transfer from second language to third language do take place, which reflected by the correlation between English writing and Chinese writing, Chinese vocabulary. (2) the third language writing---English writing has correlation with English vocabulary and English grammar. Upon these, the author gives suggestions to the teaching and learning of minority learners: (1) try to improve the minority students’Chinese proficiency, especially their Chinese writing, so that, the positive transfer can take place between their second language and third language. (2) by improving the minority students’third language itself, including grammar, vocabulary and writing items to improve their third language’s proficiency. Then the implications for high Uygur students’English writing teaching and learning are reported, suggestions for future research are made, and eventually limitations of this research are discussed.