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ISSN : 1226-4822(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea Vol.30 No.3 pp.165-186

A Study on Word Choice Errors in EFL Writing at the Tertiary Level : The Impact of L1 and Cultural Background

Claudia Sangmi Yun
Lecturer, School of Liberal Arts, The Catholic University of Korea


The present study aims to categorize common word choice errors in Korean EFL writing and help teachers understand students’ word choice patterns. This study reassures that both L1 and its background cultures affect language learners’ choice of vocabulary in English learning. Korean first-year undergraduate students with low levels of English proficiency participated in this study. The students were required to carry out a writing log, a collection of nine pieces of weekly assignments of paragraph writing during the semester. They were allowed to use any type of automatic translation such as Google Translate or Papago for revision and editing. The errors that the students produced were classified into three categories, and significant findings were obtained regarding lexical errors caused by literal translation, cultural differences, and L1 word order. The findings are interpreted in terms of cultural and linguistic differences between the first and target languages. They can give ideas for teachers to instruct EFL writing strategies on students’ word choice errors.




  1. Journal Abbreviation : j. Korea Saf. Manag. Sci.
    Frequency : Published three times annually in April, August and December, including an international issue
    Doi Prefix : 10.14353/sjk.
    Year of Launching : 2013
    Publisher :
    The Sociolinguistic Society of Korea
    Indexed/Tracked/Covered By :

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