The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Choonkyong Kim

Second Advisor

Shawn Jarvis

Third Advisor

Maria Mikolchak

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

L1, L2, spelling strategies, native language, spelling accuracy, ESL


Many studies suggest that a native language (L1) may influence the second language acquisition (L2). This study is interested in the possible impact of L1 orthography on the choice of spelling strategies of Chinese, Arabic, and French speaking learners. Data was collected through a short test in which participants were asked to memorize new English words. Afterwards, they reported strategies which were used in order to learn the spelling. After calculating individual and group average of employed strategies, the most commonly used among them were determined for the members of the same language group, and for all participants as a group. I also wanted to identify which language group would be the most successful in spelling orthographically challenging English words. This empirical study provides evidence that regardless of a native language, the same strategies were used most of the time by all participants. The findings related to accuracy of each language group support the influence of L1 on the spelling process in L2. Implications for ESL teachers are discussed.