Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number3 September 2021 Pp. 411- 431
Mastering Prepositions in English: Explicit versus Implicit Instruction
Rafe S. Zaabalawi
Department of Literature and Linguistics
College of Arts and Sciences
Gulf University for Science and Technology
Received: 4/28/2021 Accepted: 9/16/2021 Published: 9/26/2021
Prepositions form a hurdle for several EFL learners, Arabs in particular. One major catalyst is that the preposition systems in English and Arabic rarely correspond to one another. Most scholars who researched this area concentrated on the problem itself, rather than finding a successful remedy that can empower these students to masterfully handle such a thorny area. This study is novel inasmuch as it concerns itself with finding means of facilitating this language area for Arab learners. It reveals the effectiveness of using translation to teach English prepositions to these learners. The research question of this study is: do students who have received explicit tuition and adequate practice on the use of English prepositions in translated texts naturally perform better using such grammatical items in subsequently translated texts than those who have not been instructed on such exemplars in similar language contexts? Sixty students at the Gulf University for Science and Technology in Kuwait participated in the field experiment. The study paradigm had a pre-test/post-test protocol. While the pre-test included four fill-in-the-gap exercises, the post-test contained three Arabic passages which participants were required to translate into English. The findings showed that teaching prepositions explicitly in translated texts is a viable technique for EFL learners’ mastery of such grammatical items. This has implications for EFL specialists and syllabus designers.
Keywords: Experimental and control groups, explicit tuition, language transfer, prepositions, translation
Cite as: Zaabalawi, R.S. (2021). Mastering Prepositions in English: Explicit versus Implicit Instruction .
Arab World English Journal, 12 (3) 411- 431.
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