Cultural Diversity and Its Implications for Second Language Writing

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Abstract

Today the importance of culture on the process of language learning is widely recognized, namely that learning to communicate in a second language always implies understanding the existing interrelation between culture and language. Many different aspects of language are influenced by cultural factors. Nonetheless, research on the influence of cultural diversity on writing in a second language has been problematic. To address this concern about the differences between L1 and L2 rhetorical paradigms in written discourse, we focus on a comparative study based on content- and language-integrated learning (CLIL) or content-based instruction (CBI) and English as a foreign language (EFL), Spanish groups of upper-secondary students and their competence in written English. To this end, this study aims toward a descriptive analysis based on contrastive rhetoric. In order to address this sociolinguistic component, it has been determined that the most appropriate methodology is content analysis based on a T-unit analysis, relying on Hunt’s proposition along with an interlinguistic (L1 interferences) error analysis. Results show that the written texts of both groups reflect Spanish-writing patterns and cultural conventions and that interlinguistic error analysis can help us to predict students’ linguistic and pragmatic difficulties in written expression, given that their L1 may cause negative interference.