Difficulties in The Acquisition and Use of English Articles among Adult Pashto Learners
The acquisition of the English articles is one of the most difficult areas for the second language learners particularly when there are no articles in the first language of the learners. The purpose of this study is to investigate the difficulties in acquisition and use of the English articles. The study aims at identifying the errors the EFL learners make in using the English articles. Two theoretical approaches regarding noun classification for articles choice were adopted in this study. The data were collected in the form of a gap-fill task from 75 adult Pashto learners of English. The results showed the students used the definite article ‘the’ and the indefinite article ‘a/an’ more often than the zero article Ø. In noun types, a few subjects made errors in using articles before count nouns. In the noun phrase environments, the lowest error rate was in referential indefinite while the highest error rate was in generics. The reasons for difficulties in acquiring and using the English articles were found to be mainly the identification of noun types, NPs environments, and language transfer.
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