Investigating Moroccan University Students Difficulties in Dealing with Concrete and Abstract Prepositions: The Case of the English Department in the School of Arts and Humanities, Meknes, Morocco


Authors : Sophia Abouelwafa

Volume/Issue : Volume 4 - 2019, Issue 8 - August

Google Scholar : https://goo.gl/DF9R4u

Scribd : https://bit.ly/2HhlULH

The present study attempts to investigate the semantic problems that Moroccan EFL (English a Foreign language) university students encounter in their process of learning English prepositions, the case of ‘in’, ‘on’, and ‘over’. The main objectives are to investigate 1- the semantic problems which are related to concrete and abstract prepositions. 2-the relationship between students’ level and the proficiency in the use of prepositions. 3- the effect of L1 linguistic knowledge on learning English prepositions. The sample involved in this study includes 85 EFL university students from three different instructional levels (S2, S4, and S6) at the school of arts and humanities, Meknes. The instrumentation used in this study includes a test which is in the form of sentence completion. It aimed at examining students’ proficiency in the use of English prepositions. The results obtained show that Moroccan EFL learners face more difficulties while dealing with abstract prepositions than concrete ones, and L1 (First Language) has a negative impact on learning English prepositions. Put differently, when there are dissimilarities between Moroccan Arabic and English, most errors made are due to interference from L1; however, the results do not support the hypothesis which claims that more advanced learners gradually get rid of the semantic problems and difficulties when dealing with English prepositions.

Keywords : Prepositions; Moroccan EFL Learners, Level of Proficiency; Transfer.

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