Foreign Language Writing and Translation

TEFLIN Journal. 2003;14(1)


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: TEFLIN Journal

ISSN: 0215-773X (Print)

Publisher: Association for the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language in Indonesia (TEFLIN)

LCC Subject Category: Language and Literature: Philology. Linguistics

Country of publisher: Indonesia

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Wuri Soedjatmiko
Agnes Santi Widiati


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 20 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

In L1 writing, every writer is said to have experienced writer's block. To overcome this writers are suggested that they continue writing without stopping to edit typing mistakes or find appropriate words. Using 14 fourth-semester students of the English Department whose L1 is Indonesian as subjects, and consulting experts' findings and experience in writing, this study attempts to qualitatively describe the flow of thoughts of the subjects while writing in English, i.e., whether or not they think in bahasa Indonesia and translate it into English. Three steps are employed. The first is by evaluating the subjects first writing draft to see whether or not they choose appropriate words, compose sentences, and put them in coherent paragraphs. Some guiding assumptions are drawn from their work on the strategies utilized to overcome writer's block. The second step is checking through open interviews. The last step sees whether or not the strategies are related to the writer's language competence as shown by the average of subjects grades in dictation, reading, writing and structure from Semester 1 to Semester 4. The findings show that strategies used whether or not translation is used are not affected by the subjects' language competence. Almost all subjects think in bahasa Indonesia and translate their thoughts into English. From the four subjects who claim to always write directly in English, only two write clearly and well-organized writing, and one of them the best of all even says that she does not hesitate to consult dictionary if necessary. This study then suggests the teaching of EFL writing in class encourage students to think in Indonesian. In writing the first draft, students should be allowed or advised to write the Indonesian expressions to maintain the flow of their writing.