Native Language Interference in Writing: A case study of Thai EFL learners

Document Type : Research Paper


Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia


The interference of the native language in acquiring a foreign language is unavoidable. In an attempt to explore the phenomenon why this occurs, the study was conducted in English as a foreign language writing. The study also investigated how the native language interference occurred in the writing process. In fact, this qualitative study explored the reasons and the process of native language interference in writing performances of EFL learners. The data were collected from Thai undergraduate students through semi-structured interviews. Results obtained from the analysis of this study suggested that the reasons of native language interference in EFL writing were found in three main themes: learning strategies of language learners, inadequate knowledge of the target language, and attitude towards English. Furthermore, the interference of the native language appeared in the initial stage and repeatedly occurred throughout the entire writing process. Finally, the suggestions related to the teachers’ awareness of the problematic area, the use of English as the classroom language, and the use of monolingual dictionary are offered to the EFL writing instructors in order to help their EFL students to minimize the errors caused by the native language interference.


  • Receive Date: 18 August 2016
  • Revise Date: 12 October 2016
  • Accept Date: 24 November 2016
  • First Publish Date: 24 November 2016