The Role of Transfer in the Use of English Articles by Moroccan Learners

Naima Trimasse


This study investigates the acquisition of the English article system by Moroccan EFL learners. More specifically, the focus is on transfer and the extent to which it accounts for errors in the use of these articles by Moroccan university students.  The study purports to investigate: 1- the effect of proficiency level on transfer errors by Moroccan learners in the use of articles, 2- the difference between transfer errors made in comprehension and in production in using articles and 3- the difference in transfer errors according to the three English articles. In order to answer the aforementioned questions, data was collected from university students (40 in first year and 40 in third year) through their performance on a grammaticality judgment test and an essay. The findings of the study show that: 1- proficiency level has an effect on transfer errors made in article usage. This effect is clear in comprehension but not in production, 2- subjects made more transfer errors in comprehension than in production, 3- the effect of transfer differs according to the three English articles. The findings of the study have some important implications for the methodology of teaching articles.

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