Proceedings of The Global Conference on Education and Teaching
Beyond shadow of doubt: Proficiency and use of non-generic use of English definite article by L1-Persian EFL learners
Masoumeh Ahmadi Shirazi
This study was an attempt to hit upon the performance of the Persian speakers of English on the four non-generic uses of the English definite article. To that end, 80 participants in the study were grouped into three categories of low, intermediate, and advanced learners of English by using a Nelson Quick Test. Following that an 81-item instrument stripped of its definite articles was given to each of the participants. In 40 of the sentences, there were a total of forty deleted obligatory uses of the, i.e., 10 for the Cultural Use group (CU), 10 for Situation Use SU, 10 for Structural Use (STU) and 10 for Textual Use (TU). The remaining 41 sentences were included as distracters. Multiple Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) was run to see if proficiency level has an effect on learners’ supplying of the in obligatory contexts for all four uses and the results showed that the variable of proficiency does induce changes in the SU and TU use of definite article. In order to check if four major categories of non-generic use of the pose different levels of difficulty to learner, four one-way between-groups ANOVAs were run: the results were non-significant for four non-generic uses of definite article the. The findings, though, indicate the fact that more attention will be allocated to teaching definite article to learners with different language backgrounds and proficiency levels.
Keywords: English Article system; discourse; generic use; indefinite articles; grammar.