Second language acquisition and the impact of first language writing orientation

Samia Naqvi*, Jesudasan F. Thomas, Kakul Agha, Rahma Al-Mahrooqi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Arabic has a right to left writing orientation, whereas English, which Arab students learn as a foreign language, uses a left to right orientation. This reverse directionality leads to such issues as the jumbling and mixing of letters within words among adult learners. Hence, this chapter identifies, describes, and diagnoses Omani Arabic speakers' errors when writing English and also attempts to find the sources of these errors and possible remedies. It further seeks to determine whether these phenomena are transient in nature and thus subject to correction. Comparable populations of foundation-level students are studied and also the potential effects on adult learners of content delivery methods in English that mimic the writing orientation of their L1. In addition, EFL teachers with diverse multicultural backgrounds are surveyed to find the extent of the problem, the level of teacher awareness, and whether ongoing limited classroom intervention could tackle the problem.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethodologies for Effective Writing Instruction in EFL and ESL Classrooms
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781466666207
ISBN (Print)1466666196, 9781466666191
Publication statusPublished - Oct 31 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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