Dissertation Defense Announcement

College of Arts and Sciences announces the Final Dissertation Defense of

Hatim Masoudi

for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

November 20, 2019 at 10:00 AM in Patterson Hall Room 448

Advisor: Teresa S Dalle


ABSTRACT: " English prepositional verbs (EPVs) are essential in English academic writing, and thus mastering using their rules would accelerate the English acquisition process for English as a foreign language (EFL) and English as a second language (ESL) learners. The rules of use for English prepositional verbs are considered challenging for EFL / ESL learners. Most learners, regardless of their proficiency level encounter difficulties using EPVs. Although these rules are essential, there is a lack of research in the body of literature to investigate the difficulties EFL learners face when producing and recognizing English prepositional verbs. Given that, the objective of this study is to describe, analyze, and give a complete picture of Saudi learners' knowledge and use of English prepositional verbs in academic writing. The study also inspects the teaching contexts involving EPVs that learners have been exposed to in classrooms and finds out the reasons behind students' errors using prepositional verbs. The motivation for the study comes during my years of experience teaching composition to students who speak EFL in the Saudi context as it was noticed that learners have difficulty using English prepositional verbs. The study utilized a mixed-methods approach with data collected from three main instruments. Two different cloze and multiple-choice tests followed by a semi-structured interview were administered to undergraduate EFL Saudi students at one of the public universities in Saudi Arabia. The two tests were applied to 46 fourth-year undergraduate students (23 Male, 23 Female). While the one-on-one semi-structured interview was conducted with 20 participants who were chosen regarding their scores in the above-mentioned tests. This study contributes to the field of second language acquisition to develop teaching methods and curricula for the EFL classroom. The collected data revealed that Saudi EFL learners have extremely low knowledge and performance using English prepositional verbs. The data, moreover, revealed that Saudi EFL students committed frequent errors using English prepositional verbs because of L1 interference. One of the major pedagogical implications of this study is to expand teachers' knowledge of the experience of EFL learners in learning EPVs. "