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The use of prepositions among adult ESL learners in Malaysia

Sudhakaran, Beena (2010) The use of prepositions among adult ESL learners in Malaysia. In: The Second International Congress of Educational Research, 29 April 2010 - 2 May 2010, Antalya, Turkey. (Unpublished)

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One predicament facing an educationist is whether grammar should be taught formally, or allowed to be naturally acquired, especially where there has generally been a deterioration of students’ grammar skills among English as second language (ESL) learners in Malaysia, particularly in the use of a syntactical category like prepositions. In order to get to the depth of the issue, a case study research design was carried out. This study was carried out on seven Malay students from the International Islamic University Malaysia. The study sought to determine the extent to which students acquired English prepositions in the naturalistic setting, the different types of errors in students’ use of prepositions, in the use of alternative locative frames, and whether there was a specific pattern in acquisition of prepositions. Data from students’ written samples were collected at six monthly intervals over three years. The progress of the students was monitored over this period. An analysis of students’ use of prepositions in the various writing tasks was carried out. Although errors persist, most subjects showed improvements in their use of prepositions, more so in the prepositions ‘to, ‘of’ and ‘in’. The errors they committed were of two kinds: errors of commission and errors of omission. They had more errors of commission than errors of omission. These findings imply that grammar should be taught in a way that is compatible with the natural processes of acquisition. Learners should also be developmentally ready to acquire prepositions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Full Paper)
Additional Information: /7811
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Centre for Languages and Pre-University Academic Development (CELPAD) > English Language Division
Depositing User: Dr Beena Sudhakaran
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2011 12:01
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2011 12:01
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/7811

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