EFL learners’ use of path elements in motion event expressions : a study on Turkish university students

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2014
İşler, Zeynep Nur
The study investigates spoken and written path of motion use of Turkish university level EFL learners at Pre-Intermediate and Upper Intermediate levels of proficiency. The aim of the study is to examine whether the Talmyan (1985) typology holds for EFL learners. This typology categorizes Turkish as a verb-framed language and English as a satellite-framed language. A written task and a spoken task are used. The results of the written production task supported the Talmyan typology: there was a significant language proficiency level effect on the performances. The results of the spoken production task were two-fold. Verbal production task results showed that there is a mother tongue effect on both groups of participants’ verbal path of motion uses: there was not a significant language proficiency level effect on the performances. Non-verbal production task results showed that most of the participants used gestures to express the path of motion when they do not use it verbally. This finding can be interpreted as the participants’ being cognitively ready to use a path element but not using it verbally due to performance related problems. Non-verbal production task results also showed that Pre-Intermediate level participants employed more gestures than the Upper-Intermediate group. This result suggests that the lower the language proficiency level is, the more there is need for gestures to support the spoken language.

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Citation Formats
Z. N. İşler, “EFL learners’ use of path elements in motion event expressions : a study on Turkish university students,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2014.