The preliminary study focuses on exploring the topic of prepositions. Understanding and mastering prepositions is considered as one of the hardest tasks of both learning and teaching English. Are you in school? Are you at school? Are you inside the school? Or waiting outside? They are confusing and challenging sometimes, they are interchangeable and in other situations they aren't. They have multiple meanings and their function in sentences varies, they can describe time, place, direction, location, and space. They can be one word such as in, on, at, of, or a complex phrase such as complements to nouns, verbs, adjective, adverbs, as well as some other prepositions. Teaching prepositions has always been challenging for both teachers and students, some EFL learners tend to translate prepositions in order to understand its function in a sentence and how to use it. Teachers are aware that a preposition is an essential part in English and cannot be ignored for its importance. This study is based on a corpus of a collection of written samples done by high school students. Examining the importance of learners' errors is an essential and effective tool for pedagogy. Teachers can gain insights and figure out ways to teach and implement new teaching methods and students can benefit from using correct language. This study emphasized only upon prepositions and ignored other grammatical errors within student's written tasks.
Arabic and English are two broad language families. English belongs to the Germanic languages whereas the Arabic belongs to the Semitic family. As a result, the two language families have two different systems of preposition which vary depending the number of words in the set which defines their characteristic features. Language acquisition and learning involve understanding as well as mastery of what constitutes its grammar. However, in learning a new language, mild attention should be given to several grammatical aspects and their original first language. Similarly, in acquiring the second language, learners need to pay much attention to a preposition and their correct use. Studying relationship between two distinct grammar systems can reveal interesting correlation between them and allow learners to adapt quickly to the new language.
Regardless of the mother tongue of a person, dealing with prepositions in the English language is remarkably one the most challenging tasks for English learners of Foreign Language (EFL). The reason for that is that most EFL learners tend to relate the El prepositions with the ones in their mother tongue (Rizwan, Akhtar & Sohail, 2017). Lack of one-to-one mapping and the difference in the number of preposition between the languages is the leading cause of confusion. Similarly, due to the great idiomatic relationship that existence between two different languages in the EL prepositional usage, specifically in case of prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs, makes it difficult for EFL learners to bring a comprehensive relationship (Rizwan, Akhtar & Sohail, 2017). As a result, native EL speakers who are not sure of the proper preposition usage tend to find the whole process hard to go through, especially in attempts to face the differences with a clear concept.
In the recent years, application of the communicative approach in teaching and learning the second language has been seen as the primary cause of change in the language emphasis from form to meaning ministry of education Israel. Consequently, the focus on grammar has experienced a massive reduction, especially in oral forms. Similarly, the centrality of prepositions and prepositional phrases adequately changed as rapid learning- takes place for the negotiation in meanings of that follows a given acquisition process and form. It has also been realized that second language conversational interactions are mostly a channel for the prepositional phrases. Currently, among the Arab learners, the use of prepositional phrases in the EFL rely more on associative memory, not on the grammatical emphasis.
Moreover, the experience of a foreign language has been met with challenges which are associated with inference. Inference refers to the negative influence which the mother language, learner's native language has on the performance of the word being targeted (Cook, 2016). Research shows that the acquisition of the second language experiences passive influence of the native tongue which linguistic features are easily transferred while learning. However, when the foreign language teacher shares his or her first language, L1, with the students, distinctive transfer errors occur in a natural way without explicit awareness from both sides. As described by Al-Bayati from personal experience, this is a common issue between ESL learners and a teacher (Al-Bayati, 2013). The problem is apparent in most Arab learners who have significant differences in their first language, L1 and the ESL.
The research will focus on addressing error analysis which is prevalent in language acquisition, Corpus Linguistic in the EFL context learning and usage as well as the differences between prepositional and prepositional phrase system in Arabic and English.
Studies indicate further that though the grammar-focused method of teaching a second language was favored in the past, it is outdated. The reason that academic gives for this phenomenon is that the assumption of the method of second language instruction was that any language has a series of grammatical structures and forms and that learners should be keen with accuracy and repetition (Oxford, 2015). The cited author indicates that this approach to language instruction is not effective in the enhancement of autonomy, which may lead to the enhancement of form communicatively. It is also noted in extant literature on second language instruction that fluency is a critical factor in the teaching and learning of language. Up to the end of the 20th century, as Nunan (2004) notes, research was yet to unravel an approach that would combine fluency and accuracy in addition to considering meaning and form in teaching a second language. For this reason, researchers proposed the development of a task-based approach that would deal with the shortcomings of the grammar-based method of teaching a second language.
It is reported in Ellis (2003) a critical element factor that developers of language curriculums focused on is the creation of tasks. It is thought that this task-based perspective of teaching and learning language would be a significant response to the major drawbacks of the conventional method, which was named the Presentation, Practice and Performance approach. Instructors and researchers alike believe that learners are bound to improve their grammar if they focus on task-oriented instruction that teaches them new languages. It is imperative noting that the new method of teaching and learning a new language deal with the means and process of second language acquisition as opposed to the product (Nunan, 2004).
Corpus Linguistics in the EFL Context Learning and Usage
In the EFL context, Corpus linguistics is regarded as a relatively modern language studies field. Corpus linguistic refers to the study of language based on the expression which it undergoes in the corpora of the "real world' text. In the corpus linguistics divergent features are viewed concerning the value of corpus annotation. The method in text-corpus is a digestive approach derives abstract sets of rules that govern the nature of texts from the natural languages. Most of the languages which are learnt by means of digital format gives learners an opportunity to access their corpus through several computer software's which are developed for real patterns such as distribution and frequency of word-pairs, especially in terms of prepositions of all verbs in question (Rautionaho & Deshors, 2018).
Corpora are the most particular tools of interest for language acquisition which must be taught to all learners. Use of corpus tools is capable of expanding the context of the language for study. The amount of exposure to the target language that a learner gets in its learning environment determines the quantity of L2 acquired (Rautionaho & Deshors, 2018). Among the Arabic EFL learners, it is evident that the complexity in learning different grammatical aspects in the L2 is associated with the type of exposure they get in the two learning contexts.
Quotes Corpora is used for Teaching and their Importance
"There's no word in the language I revere more than 'teacher.' My heart sings when a kid refers to me as his teacher, and it always has. I've honored myself and the entire family of man by becoming a teacher. "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." The quotes play vital role in boosting the learner's and teaching's perception in learning and teaching a new language.
Prepositional system of Arabic and English
The Differences between Prepositional and Prepositional Phrase System in Arabic and English
There are several differences between the Arabic preposition and English. First, Arabic preposition is less in number as compared to their English counterpart thus making the learning and acquisition extremely challenging (Al-Bayati, 2013). English language has approximately one hundred prepositions which differ significantly in certain aspects, whereas the number of Arabic prepositions is about twenty. Similarly, acquiring the second language among the Arabic learners becomes a challenge because of the possibility of groupings in the English preposition into both simple and complex forms while in Arabic there are no such classifications.
Arabic prepositions are categorized into two distinct classes, semi-prepositions, and correct prepositions (Suzanne, 2017). Correct prepositions class contains the language structure which functions only as of the preposition and the prepositional phrase. Similarly, they can be divided into separable and inseparable courses based on the role they do within a sentence (Suzanne, 2017). In Arabic, some prepositions can be used interchangeably while writing some grammatical concepts or referring to specific items.
English prepositions are divided into two distinct types based on the number of words which are a preposition. They include single-word or straightforward preposition; these comprise of only one word. For example around, into, in, at, on, below, under and of among others are the most common prepositions that make learning a big challenge (Suzanne, 2017). The following types of English preposition are the complex or multi-word; they contain two or three words in their form such as according to, about, on behalf of among others. Prepositions vary depending on the functions it does in a sentence. It can represent time, for example, on, at, in since, by, from, until and for among others; place such as on, in, under, over, below, beside or introduces an object, for example, about, for, among, between and due to. This functionality helps in identifying the different types of prepositional phrases and their functions within a sentence (Richards, 2015).
Most errors that are made by students especially the Arabic EFL learners in some prepositional words such in, at and on are caused by the interference of the mother tongue or the learners' L1. Most people especially writers assume that most learners regardless of their origin use English for communication, but most of them cannot satisfactorily separate the di...
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