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Academic Paper


Title: An Investigation of the Correlation between Language Proficiency, Cultural Awareness and Rhetorical Performance of ESL Learners
Author: Lafi M. Alharbi
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Kuwait University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: This paper debates the nature and the source of 'influence' on NN writing. In particular, it investigates the influential factor among language proficiency and cultural awareness on the rhetorical performance of ESL learners. /L/The subjects were Kuwait University students majoring in English language and literature (n=86). The investigation was three-fold. First, the subjects' linguistic competence was assessed by means of a diagnostic English language proficiency test (Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (MTELP)). Second, the same subjects' pragmatic competence was assessed by means of a diagnostic cultural awareness test (a contextualized 50-question cultural test). Finally, the same subjects were asked to write job-application letters in response to a job advertisement. These letters were investigated to determine the level of compliance with English rhetorical conventions. Rhetorical conventions are examined in terms of form and content structures according to the scheme set up in Alharbi (1997,a). /L//L/The investigation of the correlation between language proficiency, cultural awareness and rhetorical performance of ESL learners revealed that:/L/(a) The learner's level of linguistic proficiency does not necessarily correspond to the learner's level of acquaintance with the target culture. /L/(b) There isn't enough statistical evidence to support the claim that ESL learner's cultural awareness influences the learner's linguistic proficiency./L/(c) The ESL learner's cultural awareness contributes more to the learner's rhetorical performance than to the learner's linguistic proficiency.
Type: Collection
Status: In Progress


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