ERIC Number: ED260590
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Concepts of Unity and Sentence Structure in Arabic, Spanish, and Malay.
Derrick-Mescua, Maria; Gmuca, Jacqueline L.
A university writing faculty conducted a study of the concepts of unity in expository prose and of sentence structure as understood by Arabic, Malay, and Spanish speakers to discover why some students grasp some concepts more readily than others. Interviews, surveys, and analysis of written compositions revealed that the reason lies in ways these concepts are understood in other languages. Arabic speakers have difficulty grasping the role of the thesis as the organizing principle in English prose because the purpose of Arabic prose is to elaborate on an accepted viewpoint. Also, for Arabic speakers, a sentence consists of a number of independent clauses. Malays present and support a viewpoint in their essays; therefore, their writing conforms more closely to American standards of unity. The reasons seem to be Malay academic requirements for tightly organized essays and straightforward sentences and the tradition of politeness toward teachers which requires students to write well-organized essays. Like Americans, Latins write to defend a point of view, and they include a range of arguments. However, like Arabic speakers, they write serial sentences. These findings should generate more effective explanations of unity and sentence structure in English prose and an increased awareness of good writing in other languages. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A