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The Influence of First Language Transfer on Arab Learners’ Use of English Prepositions in Iraq

Hind Mohammed Sami Al-Janabi,

Department of English, College of Education, Al-Zahraa University for Women, Iraq

This study investigates whether Arabs who have learnt English as a foreign language (L1) are more likely than native English speakers to use the preposition “and.” Students of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at the high school, university, and graduate levels in Iraq were the intended audience. Participants (N=531) were given a multiple-choice question. Students who began the year with a greater level of English proficiency performed much better than those who began the year with a lower level of fluency. This evidence suggests that the impact of L1 transfer on L2 acquisition diminishes as students’ competency grows. On, at, to, and of were the most often misused prepositions on the exam. More emphasis must be placed on teaching pupils about the many English and Arabic prepositions, as well as their various meanings and uses. Increasing support for comparative linguistic studies between English and other languages, such as Arabic, can enhance students’ understanding of the subtleties of each language’s usage in its native context.

Keywords: Prepositions, English and Arabic Prepositions, First Language

The above abstract is a part of the article which was accepted at The Eighth International Conference on Languages, Linguistics, Translation and Literature (WWW.LLLD.IR), 14-15 February 2023, Ahwaz.