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Volume 2 Number 1, Spring 2005, Pages 1-205   

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What Influences the Quality of Japanese College Students' Writing in English as a Foreign Language?

    Chiharu Nakanishi

The objective of this research is to correlate the factors that might influence the quality of Japanese college students' descriptive writing in English as a foreign language. The factors included students' Japanese descriptive writing, English proficiency, knowledge of English writing, processes of English writing, past instructional and writing experiences of both Japanese and English, and likes and dislikes of writing. Forty five Japanese college students wrote two descriptive writings, one in Japanese and the other in English, and then answered questionnaires. Fourteen of the students also participated in oral interviews. The quantitative analysis suggested that three factors such as Japanese descriptive writing, English proficiency, and knowledge of English writing, influence the quality of English descriptive writing. Among them, Japanese descriptive writing correlates most highly to English descriptive writing. In addition, there were also relatively high correlations between the ratings of Content and Organization in Japanese and English writings. The analysis of questionnaires showed that good writers gained experience and instructions of writing, feedback from the teachers, and also opportunities to revise both in Japanese and English. In addition, good writers designed the organization of writing using a separate sheet of paper, with taking into account of their readers to be.