An Investigation into Undergraduates’ Errors in the Use of the Indefinite Article at Omar Al-Mukhtar University (Published)
The purpose of this study was to examine the use of English articles as well the errors made by the students at Omar Al-Mukhtar University. The research objectives consists of : To identify the types and sources of errors made by Libyan EFL Undergraduates at Omar Al-Mukhtar University in the use of the indefinite article during their written composition, To determine the major types of errors in which larger numbers of errors have been committed by the students in their written composition. Based on previous studies, A qualitative method of data collection represented by an essay-writing composition is implemented in this study. Moreover, they were asked to write essay writing composition of the following topics “Discuss The Problems You Face In Learning English Language?” The results provide of this study, reporting the information collected from Compositions and analyzed by using descriptive statistical percentages in terms of errors numbers and percentages of errors occurrences under their major types, which enabled the researchers to put these in an order of their occurrences. In other words, data were organized using categories given to each of these errors. Regarding the length of compositions, a total of (2194) English words were written by the students across their university levels. Freshmen wrote a total of (1193) words which represents (54.37%) whereas sophomores wrote (1001) words which represents (40.62%). These research also suggest that there is a significant and negative impact of the use of English Articles. Since majority of students agreed that the English Articles are important, and we should look at the importance of English language as well as how students improve their proficiency in English articles towards mastering the use of English language.
This paper addresses the issue of how people derive relational/grammatical knowledge of language from experience of language instances. The argument of the paper is framed through discussion of Hume’s theory of human understanding. Hume classified human knowledge into two kinds: relations of ideas and matters of fact, and the knowledge of language is also viewed from this theoretical perspective. Chomsky’s theory of linguistic competence is nothing but the knowledge of the relations of ideas intended to express in the process of communication through conventional language forms. The relations of ideas are verbalized and conventionalized in a particular language as the grammar or language structures. The native speaker’s knowledge of these relations of ideas derives from his experience of instances of language in use. The mechanisms of the mental operation of transformation from knowledge of language instances to knowledge of grammatical conventions reflecting the relations of ideas in communication are cause and effect, and similarity.