This proposal is intended to introduce the study of the acquisition of tense in the English language by those whose first language is Arabic. For people in this position, learning the tenses of the English language is a difficult process and can take years to fully master…
This proposal was motivated by an interest in the subject as well as the knowledge that the results of the study are potentially productive and could provide necessary knowledge in the area of linguistic science. This subject is a problem of significance for the students it affects and the knowledge to be gained from this study stands to benefit more than the population of peoples with Arabic as a first language. It is my hope that the findings of this study will also be used to assist other L2 students, and perhaps enrich their relationship with a second language. Among the problems faced by English students with Arabic as their first language is the acquisition of tenses. The morphemes of the English language differ greatly from those of Arabic, and the irregularities of tenses must be memorized, making the acquisition of tenses one of the most difficult parts of the learning process. As stated by Johanne Paradis, this situation “…is a vulnerable domain for English language learners across acquisition contexts…” Since one of two allomorphs pertaining to the past tense is possible, either [td] or [t or d], the English past tense exhibits a quasi-regularity. These combined attributes create difficulties for the would-be English learner. To appreciate the hardship of the L2 student, data will be collected from thirty students at three consecutive levels of ability. Two approaches will be taken while analyzing the data in an attempt to prove two hypotheses....
Since one of two allomorphs pertaining to the past tense is possible, either [td] or [t or d], the English past tense exhibits a quasi-regularity (McClelland). These combined attributes create difficulties for the would-be English learner.
To appreciate the hardship of the L2 student, data will be collected from thirty students at three consecutive levels of ability. Two approaches will be taken while analyzing the data in an attempt to prove two hypotheses.
Learning difficulties arising for L2 students can affect certain aspects of their lives. In the case of foreign students, attempts to integrate into a new country can be inhibited by linguistic difficulties. "knowing a language involves mastering an intricate system full of surprising regularities and idiosyncrasies." (Sag and Wasow, 2001) For people attempting to learn English as a second language, it can be embarrassing and often debilitating to incorrectly express tenses. In the workplace, people with English as a second language are often misjudged as unintelligent. Added to the difficulties most adults have with the correct acquisition of phonological sounds, (Escudero, 2005) the learning of English for Arabic speakers is quite a challenge. The confusion of past tenses was one of the major errors in tenses reported in a study of Arab learners of English at the University of Sudan (Kambal, 1980). Therefore, a study concerning the acquisition of English tenses by Arabic students can assist students with similar problems by determining the most effective solution.
There are two hypotheses which will be used to attempt an explanation of the difficulties that ...
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