Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 9. Number 4. December 2018                                   Pp. 392- 406
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol9no4.29

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Syntactic Errors in an Arab EFL Postgraduate Student’s Spoken English during a Thesis
Supervision Session
 

Ahmed Abdoualzhraa Yaseen
Centre for Rehabilitation & Special Needs, Faculty of Health Sciences
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 Kemboja Ismail
Centre for Literacy and Sociocultural Transformation, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

 Mohamad Subakir Mohd Yasin
Centre for Literacy and Sociocultural Transformation, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)
Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

 

 

Abstract:
This study investigates the syntactic errors in speaking among an Arab L2 post-graduate student in an academic speaking context. Specifically, the objectives are to describe the syntax error patterns committed by the student while engaging in speaking and to explore the contributing factors that may affect the errors. To address these objectives, a qualitative research method is employed. Data was collected through audio-tape recordings and a face-to-face interview with the participant. The recorded data was transcribed and coded based on Noor Hashim’s (1996)  seven categories of errors. The findings indicate that some of the  first language (L1) negative transfer errors fall into five out of seven categories of Noor Hashim’s classification; however, new categories are discovered, such as wrong verb choice, noun forms, overly restricted use of pronouns, and omission of necessary complementizers. These errors can be explained by interference from the L1 and another contributing factor is the limited use of some strategies, such as repetition and confirmation. The significance of this study is a direct pedagogical implication to expose post-graduate students to academic spoken English. This is to avoid miscommunication between students and their academic supervisors. It is recommended that future research examine new teaching and learning techniques of academic spoken English to be incorporated into the classrooms.
Keywords: Academic conversation, Arab L2 speakers, L1 interference, syntactic errors, thesis supervision

Cite as:  Abdoualzhraa , A. Y., Ismail, K., & Yasin, M. S. M.(2018). Syntactic Errors in an Arab EFL Postgraduate Student’s Spoken English during a Thesis Supervision Session. Arab World English Journal, 9 (4), 392- 406.
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol9no4.29

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Ahmed Abdoulzahraa Yasin received his Bachelor degree in Education, Department of English
from Basra University-Iraq. He is currently doing his master degree by research in Health Sciences,
Speech and Hearing Department, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. His current research is in
English language syntax. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8633-9720