The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Can ICT Help Overcome L1 Interference in L2 Writing? — Implications and Challenges for the EFL Classroom

Ana Albuquerque, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Portugal)

Jane Duarte, CECC, Research Centre for Communication and Culture Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Portugal)



Learning English as a foreign language can posit a number of difficulties to students whose native language is Latin-based and therefore ethymologically different from a Germanic language such as English. Despite the abundance of Latin vocabulary in the English language, syntax and morphology may be difficult to master for a speaker of a Latin language, namely Portuguese students. A number of studies (Silva 1993, Picard 2002, Bhela 1999, for example) have already highlighted how L1 can deeply interfere with the learning of L2 and how some processes of transfer are regularly applied by speakers of a foreign language. The aim of this paper is to identify the most common processes of L1 interference and transfer based on a corpus of 1st year Portuguese university students who are taking English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at a B1/ B2 level. The processes of interference and transfer that constitute mistakes in the target language will be coded for syntax, morphology and/or lexicon and remedial procedures to overcome these difficulties will then be set up for two different control groups. One group of students will be subjected to the flipped approach (Huba & Freed 2000, Crouch & Mazur 2001), whereby they will be given full autonomy to work on the technology-based activities posted on the Moodle platform and which will be designed to help them overcome their specific linguistic short comings, be it syntax, morphology or vocabulary.  The second group of students will be exposed to a traditional approach, mostly teacher-centered and will have to submit print handouts to their teacher based on the most common syntax and grammar mistakes they have made. This paper will thus examine the following: the most common mistakes in the target language that may result from L1 interference in the context of tertiary EFL teaching in Portugal; and whether the highly acclaimed flipped approach is an efficient remedial, pedagogic method to help students improve their learning experience and mastering of English as a foreign language. Namely, this paper aims at testing the "flipped" approach to hopefully derive meaningful conclusions as to which it is efficient in terms of empowering students, boosting learning autonomy and develop language awareness.



Bhela B.(1999), “Native language interference in learning a second language: Exploratory case studies of native language interference with target language usage,” International Education Journal Vol 1, No 1, retrieved from: 22

Crouch, C. H.,& Mazur, E. (2001), “Peer Instruction: Ten years of Experience and Results,”American Journal of Physics, vol 69(9): 970-977

Huba, M. E., & Freed, J. E. (2000), Teacher-Centered vs. Learner-Centered Paradigms, e-book retrieved from:

Picard, M. (2002), "L 1 Interference in secondLlanguage Acquisition:The case of question formation in Canadian French," International review of Applied Linguistics, vol 40 (1): 61-68

Silva (1993), T., “Toward an Understanding of the Distinct Nature of L2 Writing: The ESL Research and Its Implications,” TESOL Quarterly, Vol 27 (4): 657- 677



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