L1-L2 translation versus L2 writing tasks
An empirical study on non-language major students’ improvement in writing proficiency
Keywords:Translation from L1 into L2, L2 writing, L2 classrooms, lexical improvement, grammatical improvement, judicious use of translation, parallel texts, writing instruction
With growing interest in the relationship between translation and language learning, a number of studies have begun to examine the pedagogical value of translation and explore the best ways to utilize it in L2 classrooms. Some may doubt the need to include translation in L2 classrooms when language pedagogy is a far more wellestablished discipline. An answer to this concern requires empirical research on the role of translation in the L2 classroom. To this end, this study compares how L2 learners react to particular translation tasks and writing tasks. The findings suggest that translation tasks can yield better results than direct L2 writing tasks in encouraging and facilitating students to improve their lexis and grammar. The results also suggest that both translation and writing tasks have greater potential to prompt lexical than grammatical improvement. These findings offer new insights into alternative writing instruction and contribute to an increasing body of research on the pedagogical value of translation in L2 classrooms.
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