A Narrative Analysis of Graduate Students’ Academic Writing Experiences across Two Languages: English and Arabic

Ahmad I Alhojailan


This study examines how Arabic and English narratives are constructed by Saudi Arabic speakers. The data consist of interviews with five Saudi Arabic speakers studying for their master’s degrees in different fields at various universities in the USA. The interviews were conducted in Arabic, and the interviewees were asked to tell a story and later retell the same story but in English. Interestingly, the role of the narratives went beyond mentioning events to include social roles. Furthermore, the interviewees used external evaluation and embedded evaluation in the Arabic versions of the narratives and only external evaluation in the English versions. Additionally, the effects of the participants’ fields of study, saving face, attempting to avoid ambiguity, and reinforcing the point of the story are possible reasons why some interviewees produced longer versions of the narratives. Finally, the English narratives did not include the historical present, which could be attributed to the effect of L1.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/selt.v8n2p99


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