Journal of
Languages and Culture

  • Abbreviation: J. Lang. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6540
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLC
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 132

Full Length Research Paper

Students’ first language writing skills and their English language proficiency as predictors of their English language writing performance

Abiy Yigzaw
Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Humanities, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 July 2013
  •  Published: 30 August 2013


This study endeavored to find out whether or not grade 11 students’ L1 (Amharic, in this case) writing and their L2 (English) proficiency could significantly predict their L2 writing. It also investigated whether or not the students’ L2 reading, grammar and vocabulary knowledge could significantly determine their L2 writing. To this end, students’ first semester final English examination, and teacher-made writing (both in L1 and L2), English reading, grammar and vocabulary tests were given. Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient and multiple regressions were used for analyses. The results indicated that all the predicting (independent) variables significantly correlated with the dependent variable (L2 writing); however, only students’ L1 writing, first semester overall English and reading test scores were significant predictors of their Lwriting. Finally, it was recommended that special attention be paid for the students’ grammar and vocabulary teaching approach so that they will be able to apply them in their L2 writing.


Key words:  Linguistic interdependence, threshold level, transfer, prediction