A TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF STUDENTS’ BUSINESS WRITING TASKS IN A ROMANIAN UNIVERSITY SETTING
Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
This article presents the results of an analysis of Romanian students’ business writing tasks. The population of the study consisted of 120 first-year students studying Business English in a Romanian university. The study aimed to identify language features of students’ business writing tasks through the use of a textual analysis. The main purposes of the study were to identify specific linguistic properties (syntactic, lexical and grammatical complexity) found in students’ writing tasks, to identify the extent to which they use business vocabulary in their tasks and to investigate how inter-lingual transfer affects students’ writing. The research design involved a qualitative technique that was applied in text and discourse analyses. Pedagogical implications in the case of teaching business writing skills in a university setting are also addressed as are factors that explain students’ approach to writing skills. In addition, this paper details the specific features of Romanian students’ writing skills and the way their first language impacts their foreign language writing abilities.
Keywords: Textual analysis; Writing skills; Business vocabulary; Inter-lingual transfer; ESP; Business communication
Al-khresheh, M. (2010). Interlingual interference in the English language word order structure of Jordanian EFL learners. European Journal of Social Sciences, 16(1), 106-113.
Argamon, S. (2006). Gender, genre, and written style in formal written texts, Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse, 23(3), 321-346.
Baker, W. (1975). Teaching Business Writing by the Spiral Method, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Business Communication Association. Retrieved from
Bargiela-Chiappini, F., & Harris, S. J. (1996). Requests and status in business correspondence. Journal of Pragmatics, 26, 635-662. DOI:
Barrot, J. (2012). Exploring the lexical and syntactic features of the learners’ narratives. Philippine ESL Journal, 9, 38-55.
Brown, H, D.(1980). Principles of language learning and teaching. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc.
Chen, D. (2003). Genre analysis and writing strategies of English business letters. Foreign Languages Teaching, 2, 52-56.
Corder. S. P. (1974). Error analysis: Perspective on second language acquisition. London: Longman.
David, I. (2013). Developing business English writing skills: Views of students at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies. Synergy, 9(1), 12-19. Retrieved from http://www.synergy.ase.ro/issues/2013-vol9-no-1/07-irina-david-developing-business-english-writing-skills-views-of-students-at-the-bucharest-university-of-economic-studies.pdf
Dwyer, J. (2005). Communication in business: Strategies and skills (3rd ed.). Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education Australia.
Ellis, M., & Johnson, C. (1994). Teaching business English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Frendo, E. (2005). Teach business English. London: Pearson Education Limited.
Gimenez, J. C. (2000). Business e-mail communication: Some emerging tendencies in register. English for Specific Purposes, 19, 237-251. DOI:
Goudarzi, E., Ghonsooly, B., & Taghipour, Z. (2015). Politeness strategies in English business letters: A comparative study of native and non-native speakers of English. Psychology of Language and Communication, 19(1), 44–57. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/plc-2015-0004
Killeen, J. (2013). Poor writing skills lead to lost business and career paralysis. The Los Angeles Business Journal, An advertising supplement. Retrieved from https://www.nsaglac.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/LABJ-Exec-Education_1303.pdf
Liu, J. (2004). Phatic communion in English business letters. Journal of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, 4, 29-32.
Maican, M.A. (2010), Enhancing business writing skills in English for economics undergraduates. Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Braşov, 3(52), 103-110.
Ming, L. (2004). On the linguistic and textual features of business English. Journal of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, 2, 32-37.
Murcia, M., & Olhstain, E. (2000). Discourse and context in language teaching: A guide for language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Richard, J. C. (1974). Error analysis: Perspective on second language acquisition. London: Longman Group Ltd.
Shunhui, Z. (2010). Analysis of language features in business correspondences. Proceedings of the 2010 International Conference on Information Technology and Scientific Management. Retrieved from
Solano, P. A. C. (2014). Spanish interference in EFL writing skills: A case of Ecuadorian senior high schools. Canadian Center of Science and Education. 7(7), Retrieved 5 September 2018 from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1076023.pdf
Touchie, H. (1986). Second language learning errors: Their types, causes, and treatment. Proceedings of the JALT Journal, 8(1), 75-80. Retrieved 7 August 2018 from http://jalt-publications.org/sites/default/files/pdf-article/art5_8.pdf
Vaezi, S. (2012). Learner characteristics and syntactic and lexical complexity of written products. International Journal of Linguistics, 4(3), 671-687.
Vergaro, C. (2002). Discourse strategies in Italian and English money chasing letters. Journal of Pragmatics, 34, 1211-1233. DOI:
Vizental, A. (2008). Strategies of teaching and testing English as a foreign language. Iași: Editura Polirom.
Wang, M. (2007). Pragmatic errors in English learners’ letter writing. Sino-US English Teaching, 4(2), 39-43.
Wang, X. (1997). Stylistic features of English business letters. Journal of Sichuan International Studies University, 364-72.
Wood, I. (2015). Does progress in English slow as you get more advanced?, Retrieved from
Wood, I., Sanderson, P., Williams, A., & Rosenberg, M. (2013). Pass Cambridge BEC Vantage. Summertown Publishing.
Xu, J. (2004). Genre analysis of business English letters. Journal of Xian International Studies University, 1, 26-29.
Xuansong, L. (1997). Genre analysis and business text. Journal of Foreign Languages, 2, 26-29.
Zhong, D. (2012). Analysis of lexical and clausal cohesion of a novel written by Thai students. The New English Teacher, 6(1), 33-60.
How to cite this article: Cojocnean, D. (2019). A textual analysis of students’ business writing tasks in a romanian university setting. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 12(2), 29-42. DOI: https://doi.org/10.29302/jolie.2019.12.2.2
For details on subscription, go to: http://jolie.uab.ro/index.php?pagina=-&id=19&l=en