Mother Tongue Interference in English Language Writing at Derge Secondary School: The Case of Grade 9 Students

  • Tamiru Olana
  • Tigist Zeleke
  • Ketema Jiregna
Keywords: Contrastive Analysis Mother Tongue Interference Foreign language


The purpose of this study was to find out if there are any patterns of mother tongue interference in Derge Senior Secondary School grade 9 students’ written English. It explored EFL learners' writing difficulties by analyzing the nature and distribution of their writing errors. To this effect, the researcher examined students’ questionnaire, teachers’ interview and English writing samples of 30 grade 9 students and then categorized the errors according to spelling, grammar, word order types of errors and coordination of ideas. The data indicated that items such as spelling errors, grammar errors and word order were caused by negative interference of the L1 in students’ TL writing. The kind of transfer that dominated was spelling, structure, preposition, doubling of subjects, plural formation and synonyms. Most of the grammatical errors committed by the students were L1 interference in acquiring grammatical elements of L2 (English). Based on findings, it was recommended that teachers should be aware of the effect of negative transfer of grammar to MT and know how to reduce this problem and implement more effective teaching and learning.


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eISSN: 2305-3372
print ISSN: 2226-7522