Problems of English Definite Article: Determinants for Arabic ESLIntroductionThe learning of a second language has proven to be more advantageous in creating intercultural cohesion. The current trends in globalization provide plenty of opportunities to multi-lingual individuals. In addition, the European policy encourages many individuals in the region to learn a second language to gain a competitive advantage. Not only does learning of a second language provide an economic benefit, but also a political advantage. These major factors drive the world today. Movement and intercultural socialization force many individuals to learn a second language.
Other factors that make people explore to learn a second language include education, personal interest, and occupational demands. Learning of a second language has therefore proven to be a fundamental step. People may only develop an interest to learn languages that have greater influence globally or languages that are widely spoken. Currently, English and Arabic are two of the most spoken languages in the world. The two languages have proven to be very significant thus having knowledge of the two languages is encouraged. However, learning the two languages may not be easy, as many differences exist between the two.
Learners face challenges in various aspects such as language structure. Some authors have referred to this as problems in English that determine the learning of Arabic as a second language. According to Thouësny (pp 1), language interference is a major factor when it comes to second language learning. The challenges witnessed in language transfers have attracted the attention of many scholars to study the phenomenon. The primary causes of the differences are the similarities and errors in one language that may affect acquisition of the second language.
According to James pp (167), a first language (L1) can either have a positive or negative effect on a second language (L2). Positive influence implies that a first language gives a person an advantage in learning a second language while negative influence means the vice-versa. Background InformationAccording to Alamrani and Zughaibi (pp 93), Arabic and English native speakers provide an excellent example of phonological and phonetic errors. For instance, most of the Arabic speakers have been found to confuse the /p/ and /b/ in English.
Confusion results from the single bilabial letter in English. Another challenge that Arabic speakers face when learning English is mastering the tenses. Often, the Arabic speakers face a difficulty in complex sentences that have a difference between time and verb. Some words in Arabic can be used interchangeably, which cannot always be a case in English. The interchangeability proves the existing differences in word usage and structure between English and Arabic language. The use of articles between English and Arabic languages has a significant variation. The errors of articles in English language that determine Arabic also have a significant effect on comprehension of sentences and phrases.
The significant difference between the functions of articles often leaves new learners confused. It is, therefore, important to understand the existing shift in the linguistic characteristics required for either English or Arabic. The purpose of this paper is to identify the major differences that exist between English and Arabic language. The identification will play a major role in establishing the problems of English that affect the learning of the Arabic language.