The acquisition of the copula be in present simple tense in English by native speakers of Russian

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2010
Antonova Ünlü, Elena
This thesis investigates the acquisition of the copula be in present Simple Tense in English by native speakers of Russian. The aim of the study is to determine whether or not Russian students with different levels of English proficiency encounter any problems while using the copula be in Present Simple Tense in English. The study also identifies the domains related to the use of the copula be that appear to be most problematic for native speakers of Russian. To carry out the current research two diagnostic tests measuring receptive and productive skills related to the use of the copula be in Present Simple Tense in English were developed. The data were collected from three groups of Russian students who were in the first, fourth and eighth years of learning English. The data in each of the domains related to the use of the copula be in Present Simple Tense in English were classified under four main categories: (i) correct use, (ii) omission, (iii) misinformation, (iv) addition. Both, quantitative and qualitative analyses were used in the study. The results of the study indicated that all the native speakers of Russian who participated in the study had difficulties with the acquisition of the copula be in Present Simple Tense in English. The findings of the study revealed that along with the developmental mistakes/errors (i.e., omissions of the copula be and misuse of the forms of the copula be), which seem to disappear with the lasting exposure to English, there are other mistakes/errors in the performance of the native speakers of Russian which are persistent. Negative transfer at the morphological level and incomplete understanding and application of the rule are suggested as the underlying reasons for the persistent mistakes/errors made by the Russian learners.

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Citation Formats
E. Antonova Ünlü, “The acquisition of the copula be in present simple tense in English by native speakers of Russian,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2010.