Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching > Teaching method

An Empirical Study of English Majors’ Acquisition of English Full Inversion Construction

Author LiuYongLi
Tutor LiuYuMei
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Construction Grammar English Full Inversion Construction Englishmajors Acquisition
CLC H319.3
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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English Full Inversion Construction (abbreviated to EFIC) serves as a significantgrammatical phenomenon, and bears some additional new meanings because of itsdifference from basic sentence types, such as SVO,and therefore has drawn muchattention from a great number of researchers. Previous studies on EFIC are mainlyconducted theoretically from the perspectives of rhetoric and linguistics whichincludes Transformational Generative Approach, Functional Approach, and CognitiveLinguistic Approach. However, empirical studies of EFIC acquisition are stillinsufficient. On the basis of this, the author attempts to conduct an empirical study ofacquisition of EFIC by English majors in an attempt to provide some revelations in itsteaching and learning.According to Construction Grammar, the reclassification of EFIC is provided inthe light of incompleteness of the classification of EFIC given by Chen Rong. Andbased on the reclassification, the questionnaire is made. Ninety students from SichuanInternational Studies University are chosen as the subjects of the study. They aredivided into three groups according to their English proficiency and whether theyhave passed the national English test for English majors, and then they are expected totake an EFIC test. By collecting and analyzing the collected data, the thesis tries toanswer the following questions:Question1: Is there a degree of difficulty in the acquisition of prototypical andnon-prototypical EFIC by English majors?Question2: Is there a positive relationship between students’ English proficiencyand their acquisition of EFIC?Question3: What are the main possible causes for students’ mistakes in usingEFIC?This paper finds that there is a degree of difficulty in the acquisition of the fourtypes of prototypical and non-prototypical EFIC by English majors. The influence ofEnglish proficiency exists. In other words, there is a positive correlation between the English proficiency and the acquisition of EFIC. As for the main possible causes forstudents’ mistakes in using EFIC, they can attribute to the unfamiliarity withnon-prototypical EFIC, the incompleteness of manifold meanings of EFIC and badmastery of pragmatic and discoursal functions owned by EFIC, and lack of awarenessof distinguishing the differences between the Chinese expressions and the Englishexpressions.Based on the above results of EFIC acquisition, the current thesis suggests EFICshould be taught as an independent construction. Meanwhile, teacher should dohis/her teaching following a continuum, gradually from the prototypical one tonon-prototypical one.

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