Duy Van Vu

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The question of whether the first language (L1) has any effects on foreign/second language (L2) acquisition has attracted the curiosity of numerous linguists as well as language educators and led to a significant number of studies being conducted on the issue. This empirical research was aimed at exploring the possible interference of Vietnamese language (L1) with the acquisition of English (L2), or the negative transfer, reflected through pieces of English writing by Vietnamese learners of English as a foreign language (EFL). Error analysis of written English academic essays by 15 Vietnamese EFL tertiary students on a given topic with time and word restrictions was conducted and then the errors in their writing were examined in comparison with L1 characteristics to identify the possible negative effects of L1 on L2. The analysed results showed evidence of negative transfer in word forms, articles, prepositions, pronouns and the possessive case in the students’ L2 writing which resulted in underproduction, overproduction and production errors.


negative transfer, English writing, EFL learners, second language acquisition

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