Another Evidence of Cross-linguistic Influence: A Reflection through University Students’ Performance on Expressions of Measurement

By Kunlaphak Kongsuwannakul.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study aims to prove the influence of a mother tongue upon university students’ performance of a foreign language, in particular that of Thai on English language construction usage. The exploration combines a) a discussion about the English-Thai structural difference of certain cases of measurement expressions, b) corpus evidence and c) an empirical validation of the problematic point through a test. This measure was developed in the form of a specially designed multiple-choice test with its content validity (via the testing index of item-objective congruency) and its internal consistency (via the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient method) verified. The testing was carried out on first-and second-year English major students (two groups for each level) who were required to arrange sentence constituents containing expressions of measurement into complete sentences. Their results were then analyzed statistically (with a Levene’s test and a one-way ANOVA) and qualitatively in order to support that the English usage problem of Thai university students really exists, most plausibly owing to the cross-linguistic distinction. The analysis produced a positive result, and the stability of the measure (through a calculation of Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient) was substantiated insofar as this measure can be promisingly applied to testing a similar grammar point in other comparable languages.

Keywords: Cross-linguistic Influence, Negative Transfer, Expressions of Measurement, Test on University Students, Corpus-based Evidence, Syntactic Discussion, Thai Mother Tongue

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.293-308. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.510MB).

Kunlaphak Kongsuwannakul

Lecturer, Liberal Arts, Mae Fah Luang University, Muang, Chiang Rai, Thailand

I graduated from Chulalongkorn University, majoring in Secondary Education (English and German) for my B.Ed. and in English for my M.A. My thesis is “Characteristic Features in English Acknowledgements Written by Thai Graduates: Indicators for Thai English,” which is a study under the theory of World Englishes. Therefore, my interests lie in characteristics of New Englishes, English language and teaching, and applied corpus linguistics. At present, I am working for Mae Fah Luang University as a lecturer.

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