ERIC Number: ED240878
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
The Acquisition of the Auxiliary by ESL Learners.
Heckler, Edward E.
A study of the acquisition of the auxiliary (tense, modal, perfect, and progressive) by 36 adult learners of English as a second language at three levels whose first languages were Arabic, Japanese, and Spanish is reported. The students were given three tests, on oral production, written production, and written reception. Nineteen verb structures were tested. Results showed that the more advanced the student's English level, the better his or her performance in the study. Productive tasks were not performed as well as receptive tasks. Little difference in performance was found between real and nonsense verbs. The overall correct response rate for tense was 71%, slightly higher for past than present tenses. The rate was 57% for verbs following modal, 59% for perfect, and 56% for progressive. The Spanish speakers gave the fewest correct responses, the Arabic speakers the next most, and Japanese speakers the most, corresponding to the students' earlier performance on English placement tests. Further research is recommended with child subjects, more natural language samples, and a larger number of structures tested. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (17th, Toronto, Ontario, March 15-20, 1983).