Sylvi Octaviani Chandra, Ignasia Yuyun


Writing skill is considered a difficult skill for some of the students because of limited vocabulary as well as grammatical weakness. Since the students face this problem, they often take a shortcut if they have a writing assignment, which is using Google Translate (GT). Many studies have focused on this translator to find out the error from GT’s output and rarely discuss the way students utilize GT in their language learning. Therefore, this study aims to investigate further the practice of GT in EFL essay writing as wells as its role in language learning. The study was conducted in Universitas Kristen Krida Wacana, involving eight respondents from Ukrida Department of English. Two methods were used, such as mediated-observation and interview. A writing task was given to each respondent and her/his writing process was recorded using screen-recording application. The data collected from the writing task was analyzed by classifying it into appropriate writing aspect while the interview data were transcribed. The result showed that students used GT in three different aspects: vocabulary, grammar, and spelling. Vocabulary became the highest used, with word-level became the first one, followed by phrase as a second highest, and sentence as the third. Spelling became the fourth highest used, while grammar was the least used among students. It is also found out that GT is perceived as a dictionary as students used GT mostly in vocabulary.




EFL; essay writing; Google Translate; language learning

Full Text:



Ahmed, A. H. (2010). Students’ Problems with Cohesion and Coherence in EFL Essay Writing in Egypt : DifferentPperspectives. Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal (LICEJ), 1(4), 211–221.

Al-Badi, I. A. H. (2015). Academic Writing Difficulties of ESL Learners. WEI International Academic Conference Proceedings, 63–76. Retrieved from

Al Darwish, S., & Sadeqi, A. A. (2016). Reasons for College Students to Plagiarize in EFL Writing: Students’ Motivation to Pass. International Education Studies, 9(9), 99–110.

Alqahtani, M. (2015). The Importance of Vocabulary in Language Learning and How to be Taught. International Journal of Teaching and Education, III(3), 21–34.

Alred, G. J., Brusaw, C. T., & Oliu, W. E. (2009). Handbook of technical writing (9th ed.). USA: Bedford/St.Martin’s.

Alsulami, S. (2016). The Effects of Technology on Learning English as a Foreign Language Among Female EFL Students at Effatt College : An Exploratory Study. Studies in Literature and Language, 12(4), 1–16.

Belkhir, A., & Benyelles, R. (2017). Identifying EFL Learners Essay Writing Difficulties and Sources : A Move towards Solution The Case of Second Year EFL Learners at Tlemcen. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 16(6), 80–88.

Bozorgian, M., & Azadmanesh, N. (2015). A survey on the subject-verb agreement in Google machine translation. International Journal of Research Studies in Educational Technology, 4(1), 51–62.

Clifford, J., Merschel, L., & Munné, J. (2013). Surveying the Landscape: What is the Role of Machine Translation in Language Learning? @Tic. Revista D’Innovació Educativa, 121(10), 108–121.

Fredholm, K. (2014). Effects of online translation on morphosyntactic and lexical-pragmatic accuracy in essay writing in Spanish as a foreign language. CALL Design: Principles and Practice - Proceedings of the 2014 EUROCALL Conference, Groningen, The Netherlands, (2014), 96–101.

Fredholm, K. (2015). Online Translation Use in Spanish as a Foreign Language Essay Writing: Effects on Fluency, Complexity and Accuracy. Revista Nebrija de Lingüística Aplicada, 18.

Ghasemi, H., & Hashemian, M. (2016). A Comparative Study of Google Translate Translations: An Error Analysis of English-to-Persian and Persian-to-English Translations. English Language Teaching, 9(3), 13.

Hamadouche, M. (2010). Developing the Writing Skill through Increasing Learners’ Awareness of the Writing Process: The Case of Second Year Students - University of Constantine. Mentouri University - Constantine.

Huwari, I & Al-Khasawneh, F. (2013). The Reasons behind the Weaknesses of Writing in English among Pre-year Students’ at Taibah University. English for Specific Purposes World, 14(38), 1–9.

Ibnian, S. K. S. (2011). Brainstorming and Essay Writing in EFL Class. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 1(3), 263–272.

Jin, L., & Deifell, E. (2013). Foreign Language Learners’ Use and Perception of Online Dictionaries: A Survey Study. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 9(4).

Medvedev, G. (2016). Google Translate In Teaching English. The Journal Of Teaching English For Specific And Academic Purposes, 4(1), 181–193.

Nomass, B. B. (2013). The Impact of Using Technology in Teaching English as a Second Language. English Language and Literature Studies, 3(1), 111–116.

O’Neill, E. M. (2012). The Effect of Online Translators on L2 Writing in French. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Oxford, R. (2004). Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University Level Intermediate Spanish Students. University of North Texas.

Salem, M. S. A.-S. (2007). The Effect of Journal Writing on Written Performance, Writing Apprehension, and Attitudes of Egyptian English Majors. Ph.D Dissertation. The Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved from

Santoso, I. (2010). Analisis Kesalahan Kebahasaan Hasil Terjemahan Google Translate Teks Bahasa Indonesia Ke Dalam Bahasa Jerman. Seminar Internasional Jurusan Pendidikan Bahasa Jerman.

Souhila, D. (2015). Developing EFL Writing Skill through the Use of the Process Approach. University of Biskra.

Starkey, L. (2004). How to Write Great Essays. New York: Learning Express.

van Rensburg, A., Snyman, C., & Lotz, S. (2012). Applying Google Translate in a higher education environment: Translation products assessed. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 30(February 2015), 511–524.

Walker, A., & White, G. (2013). Technology Enhanced Language Learning: Connecting Theory and Practice. China: Oxford University Press.

Younes, Z. B., & Albalawi, F. S. (2015). Exploring the Most Common Types of Writing Problems among English Language and Translation Major Sophomore Female Students at Tabuk University. Asian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 3(2), 7–26.


Indexed and abstracted in:






This work is licensed under CC BY-SA.

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

LLT Journal DOI:

p-ISSN: 1410-7201 (since 12 March 1998); e-ISSN: 2579-9533 (since 16 May 2017)

LLT Journal Vol 22, No 1 (current edition), publication date: 10 April 2019

View My Stats

Free counters!

  LLT Journal: A Journal on Language and Language Teaching is published by the English Language Education Study Programme of Teacher Training and Eduation Faculty of Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.