Generative Comparative syntax and language education; with special reference to the teaching of English to Arab and French learners
Keywords:Arabic, auxiliary selection, English, French, null pronominals, object pronouns, resumptive pronouns
The paper is an attempt at answering certain questions posed in previous research, in particular, which areas of the L1 grammar pose a problem for the learner. Generative Comparative Syntax- a subfield of linguistic theory- is here, argued to play an important role in answering questions such as these as it reveals the crosslinguistic similarities and differences between the languages under study, and as a result, identifies the L2 aspects to be emphasized in the teaching classroom, and so enables the researcher/teacher to design appropriate teaching materials. In order to highlight the important role comparative syntax plays in language education, two different L1s, French and Arabic, in relation to L2 English are considered. More specifically, two functional categories, namely, pronominals and auxiliaries, in these three languages have been selected to illustrate the contributions of comparative syntax to language pedagogy. These contributions will be seen to yield a number of recommendations and guidelines for teaching English pronouns and auxiliaries to Arab and French learners respectively. It is argued that teaching the syntax of pronominals and auxiliaries will certainly benefit from knowing which properties must be emphasized in the classroom and which properties do not need to be taught. Therefore, based on the description of the syntax of these constructions, the properties to be emphasized and those that do not require teaching are identified.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Journal of Second and Multiple Language Acquisition-JSMULA
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