An alysis of the English as a second/foreign language learners’ use of English modal verbs
MetadataShow full item record
Successful communication in the target language requires not only the mastery of syntax, morphology, phonology and lexis, but also the ability to use appropriate expressions in appropriate context. Learners of the target language always need more than linguistic knowledge and skills in order to be better language users. Many grammarians and applied linguistic researchers consider modal verbs as the most problematic grammatical element for learners and teachers due to their formal and semantic features. This study investigates the second/foreign language learners’ use of English modal verbs and the nature of difficulties and factors affecting their use. The purpose of this study is, therefore, to explore learners’ use in terms of communication strategy usage and competence in the second/foreign language. With all the problems associated with the difficulties of teaching and learning modal verbs, as well as the call for the necessity of finding out an approach to facilitate the teaching and learning of modal verbs, we hypothesized that Algerian university learners would fail to use modal verbs if they were engaged to express modality in English, and that their lack of knowledge of the semantic and the pragmatic use of English modal verbs would be the reason behind that. In order to answer the research questions and assess the research hypotheses, data were gathered through a questionnaire and a test administered to a sample of 116 students from a total population of 360 second year Master students at the Department of Letters and English at the University “Frères Mentouri”, Constantine 1. The results were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively to identify the factors that affect the students’ use of English modal verbs and to investigate the frequency and difficulties in the use of each of the selected English modal verbs at comprehension and production level. The findings derived from this study provide a comprehensive understanding about assessing students’ acquisition of modality. In this respect, possible explanation of the students’ errors was discovered and pedagogical implications were provided both theoretically and practically.
- Doctorat langue Anglaise