This thesis shares a qualitative study of multilingual student writers’ perceptions and attitudes toward the use of L1 (i.e., Nepali) in L2 (i.e., English) writing. The research questions include: 1) What are Nepalese students’ attitudes toward using their L1 in a first-year composition class in the U.S.? and 2) How do Nepalese undergraduate students in a U.S. composition class use their L1 for the research writing process? A case study research design was adopted to shed light on the lived experiences multilingual writers in U.S. university writing programs. Nepalese students were recruited from two multilingual sections of English 101 Composition at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and nine participants consented. The data collection process spanned one academic semester, and data sources included a questionnaire, an interview, and written artifacts. Recursive content analysis was employed for data analysis. Data sources were transcribed and coded using MAXQDA12 software. Emerging themes from the data analysis include: L2 writing in a cross-cultural context, L1 use in L2 research writing, and multilingual writers’ identities. Findings, including participants’ perception of their L1 as an L2 writing resource and participants’ use of L1 at various stages of the L2 writing process, inform current and future writing instructors’ ability to better meet the needs of multilingual writers.


Sarah Henderson Lee

First Committee Member

Ghanashyam Sharma

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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