Lexical Aspect in the Development of the English Progressive Among Arab EFL Speakers
Recent research calls into question the predictive power of the Aspect Hypothesis as it has been found that it is advanced learners rather than beginners who show the developmental pattern predicted by the hypothesis. Following the identification of several design issues including lack of rigorous treatment of proficiency level and reliance on controlled elicitation tasks, this cross-sectional study used an Arab learner corpus (BALC) that controls proficiency level and task. This corpus-based study analysed the development of tense-aspect among Arabic-speaking EFL learners at two levels, beginner and advanced, by comparing their performance on 200 essays. Contrary to the recent research on Aspect Hypothesis, it was found that lexical aspect influences the early acquisition of the English progressive as the lower proficiency level in the present study extensively attached the progressive on activity verbs.
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