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English Language Learning: Students Difficulties Proposal

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Updated: May 28th, 2021

Abstract

The research proposal will determine the major difficulties that students face in an English-based curriculum as English Language Learners (ELL) or English First Learners (EFL). The research will come up with an understanding surrounding the grammar topics that are most challenging to the students. A total of 61 participants, all EFL students, are to be interviewed for purposes of either proving or disproving the hypothesis, by use of a questionnaire. Reported speech, passive voice and the coinage are expected to be the major problem areas for the students. Instilling communicative competence and creating awareness of grammar rules is the best option to solve the said difficulties.

Difficulties Faced By ELL Students

Purpose Statement and Rationale

The research proposal will determine some of the major difficulties that English Language Learners (ELL) or English First Learners (EFL) students face in English-based curricula (Janzen, 2008). The proposed research works as an error analysis and will identify some common problem areas. This is the rationale behind the purpose and hypothesis of the study. The research will affect researchers, teachers and curriculum designers. This will play a vital role in determining the methods for imparting the required English language and communication skills (Abedi & Herman, 2010).

There are three topics that will be used in the research study. The first is the use and challenges of English tenses for English language learners. The second topic that will also be highlighted is the use of everyday words and challenges arising from real-life application of English language for English language learners. Last but not least, the third topic will be the impact of proficiency in English language on future careers.

Statement of Qualification

English is a second language for me. Thus, I have a better understanding of the challenges that ELLs face. Additionally, I am an Engineering student currently undertaking my degree.

Literature Review

As stated, grammar has several aspects. One such aspect is prepositions. This forms a significant percentage of the grammatical errors that the ESL students make (Lee, Quinn, & Valdés, 2013). Alghazo, Bani Abdelrahman, and Abu Qbeitah (2009) suggest that grammatical mistakes due to the misuse of prepositions add to around 29% of the total percentage of errors that are committed by the ESL students. Also, Abushihab, El-Omari, and Tobat, (2011) argue that mistakes due to prepositions form a high percentage of approximately 26% as opposed to the errors made due to active voice, passive voice, tenses, articles, and verbs.

Savage, Bitterlin, and Price (2010) argue that grammatical mistakes that ELL students make normally arise from the wrong usage of the language on a day-to-day basis. Grammar is identified as a method of dictating how the sentences of a language are formed (Freeman & Crawford, 2008). Mastering foreign grammar is considered a complicated process (Lucas, Villegas, & Freedson-Gonzalez, 2008). The learner has to understand not only meaning but also context (Shatz & Wilkinson, 2010).

Methodology

A total of 61 ELL students will be used in the study. 38 of the total students are to be from the Middle East while 21 of the students will be from Asian countries. The remaining two students will be from Colombia. All the students will possess the upper-intermediate EFL certificate. Three-thirds of them are to be males while the rest will be female. A questionnaire will be used as the interviewing tool.

Findings and Implications

It is expected that the students who will be in pure grammatical classes will have more grammatical errors than the rest. Additionally, it is likely that the said errors will be complicated and related to the daily usage of the language. Thus, the errors will be made in real-life applications as well. The main challenges that are likely to face the pure grammar class will also include tense confusion. Indeed, in assisting these students, teachers must ensure that they have a clear understanding of the grammatical rule and be in a position to apply it in real-life situations (Wright, 2010).

References

Abedi, J., & Herman, J. (2010). Assessing English language learners’ opportunity to learn mathematics: Issues and limitations. Teachers College Record, 112(3), 723-746.

Abushihab, I., El-Omari, A. H., & Tobat, M. (2011). An analysis of written grammatical errors of Arab learners of English as a foreign language at Alzaytoonah private university of Jordan. European Journal of Social Sciences, 20(4), 543-552.

Alghazo, K. M., Bani Abdelrahman, M. S., & Abu Qbeitah, A. A. (2009). The effect of teachers’ error feedback on Al-Hussein Bin Talal University students’ self-correction ability, European Journal of Social Sciences, 12(1), 145-159.

Freeman, B., & Crawford, L. (2008). Creating a middle school mathematics curriculum for English-language learners. Remedial and Special Education, 29(1), 9-19.

Janzen, J. (2008). Teaching English language learners in the content areas. Review of Educational research, 78(4), 1010-1038.

Lee, O., Quinn, H., & Valdés, G. (2013). Science and language for English language learners in relation to next generation science standards and with implications for common core state standards for English language arts and mathematics. Educational Researcher, 42(4), 223-233.

Lucas, T., Villegas, A. M., & Freedson-Gonzalez, M. (2008). Linguistically responsive teacher education: Preparing classroom teachers to teach English language learners. Journal of Teacher Education, 59(4), 361-373.

Savage, K. L., Bitterlin, G., & Price, D. (2010). Grammar matters: Teaching grammar in adult ESL classes. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Shatz, M., & Wilkinson, L. C. (2010). The education of English language learners: Research to practice. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Wright, W. (2010). Foundations for teaching English language learners: Research, theory, policy. Philadelphia, PA: Caslon.

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IvyPanda. "English Language Learning: Students Difficulties." May 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/english-language-learning-students-difficulties/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "English Language Learning: Students Difficulties." May 28, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/english-language-learning-students-difficulties/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'English Language Learning: Students Difficulties'. 28 May.

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