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Grammatical Difficulties with English Morphemes Encountered by Undergraduate Students in the Context of Myanmar
- This study investigates grammatical difficulties encountered by learners in the context of Myanmar, based on the theory of grammatical difficulty with reference to the concept of explicit knowledge (Ellis, 2008). This study used the modified questionnaire including the grammatical judgment tasks designed by Shiu (2011) targeting 17 grammatical items. 50 first-year students from Yadanabon University completed the questionnaire targeting four grammatical items: plural -s, third-person singular -s, past tense -ed and progressive aspect -ing. The results indicate that the participants find most difficulty in identifying the plural -s errors though they find it harder to correct the progressive aspect -ing errors and they find least difficulty in identifying and correcting the past tense -ed errors. The learners find difficulty with plural -s and this may be because plural suffixes are not used when the noun is preceded by a number or a quantifier in Myanmar. They find difficulty with third-person singular -s because there is no grammatical system of third-person singular -s in Myanmar. They find difficulty with progressive aspect -ing because they seem to confuse progressive aspect and simple present tense. They find least difficulty with past tense - ed and this may be due to the positive first language transfer because there is a past tense morpheme in Myanmar, just as in English. Although morpheme errors do not lead to communication problems, it is recommended that the teachers should help their students overcome grammatical difficulties by providing them reinforcement activities and letting them use in their own context.
Cherry Kyaw San