Master of Arts
Department of English
First Advisor's Name
Dr. Virginia C. Mueller Gathercole
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Dr. Feryal Yavas
Second Advisor's Committee Title
Third Advisor's Name
Dr. Marisa Filgueras-Gomez
Third Advisor's Committee Title
Date of Defense
The acquisition of English prepositions is particularly challenging for students learning English as a second language. This project explores the acquisition of English spatial expressions by Arab ESL learners. This study examines several issues that may affect the processes of acquiring the English prepositions among Arab ESL learners such as the age of acquisition, learning transfer, and frequency. Furthermore, it considers the difficulties that Arab learners may encounter when learning English spatial locatives via transfer phenomena. These phenomena involve possible positive transfer and negative transfer in second language acquisition. This is especially problematic in the case of the lack of a one-to-one mapping and the different number of prepositions in Arabic and English. The study elicits English prepositions by Arab ESL learners through a Cloze procedure. The experiment focuses on the use of the spatial prepositions in, on, and at across different levels of Saudi students in Miami.
Keywords: spatial, learning transfer, positive transfer, negative transfer
Alshammari, Maha, "Spatial Prepositions in Arabic and English" (2017). MA in Linguistics Final Projects. 6.
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