The link between morphosyntactic accuracy and textbook presentation

The morphosyntax of subject-verb agreement in Arabic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The acquisition of morphosyntax presents challenges for learners of all second/foreign languages. This cross-sectional study investigated English-speaking learners’ morphosyntactic accuracy in the symmetrical subject-verb agreement type (in subject-initial sentences) and in the asymmetrical subject-verb agreement type (in verb-initial sentences) in Arabic. In addition, it examined the extent to which their accuracy rates were reflected in implicit exposure to and explicit presentation of those structures. The results of a prompted production task showed that first-, second-, and third-year learners exhibited low morphosyntactic accuracy rates only in the asymmetrical type. In addition, the production of Group 2 (second-year) and Group 3 (third-year) was patterned after that of Group 1 (first-year) in the symmetrical type but exhibited greater variation in the asymmetrical type. Implications for explicit textbook presentation and instruction of morphosyntactic intricacies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalForeign Language Annals
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

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textbook
Group
cross-sectional study
foreign language
speaking
instruction

Keywords

  • grammar
  • grammatical accuracy
  • learning/acquisition
  • Modern Standard Arabic and dialects
  • second language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

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title = "The link between morphosyntactic accuracy and textbook presentation: The morphosyntax of subject-verb agreement in Arabic",
abstract = "The acquisition of morphosyntax presents challenges for learners of all second/foreign languages. This cross-sectional study investigated English-speaking learners’ morphosyntactic accuracy in the symmetrical subject-verb agreement type (in subject-initial sentences) and in the asymmetrical subject-verb agreement type (in verb-initial sentences) in Arabic. In addition, it examined the extent to which their accuracy rates were reflected in implicit exposure to and explicit presentation of those structures. The results of a prompted production task showed that first-, second-, and third-year learners exhibited low morphosyntactic accuracy rates only in the asymmetrical type. In addition, the production of Group 2 (second-year) and Group 3 (third-year) was patterned after that of Group 1 (first-year) in the symmetrical type but exhibited greater variation in the asymmetrical type. Implications for explicit textbook presentation and instruction of morphosyntactic intricacies are discussed.",
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AB - The acquisition of morphosyntax presents challenges for learners of all second/foreign languages. This cross-sectional study investigated English-speaking learners’ morphosyntactic accuracy in the symmetrical subject-verb agreement type (in subject-initial sentences) and in the asymmetrical subject-verb agreement type (in verb-initial sentences) in Arabic. In addition, it examined the extent to which their accuracy rates were reflected in implicit exposure to and explicit presentation of those structures. The results of a prompted production task showed that first-, second-, and third-year learners exhibited low morphosyntactic accuracy rates only in the asymmetrical type. In addition, the production of Group 2 (second-year) and Group 3 (third-year) was patterned after that of Group 1 (first-year) in the symmetrical type but exhibited greater variation in the asymmetrical type. Implications for explicit textbook presentation and instruction of morphosyntactic intricacies are discussed.

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