Sarah Nadiah Rashidi (2011). An analysis of the plural inflections of English language among Malay students. Marine Frontier, Vol 2 (2), 67-7. 1.0 Introduction
The study was conducted to analyse the plural inflections of English language among Malay students. Generally, the duration of exposure towards English language in classroom setting would be approximately 11 years among Malaysian students. Although English language has been given much respect and attention, there are still learners being underachievers and not proficient in the language at the end of their secondary school level. Due to this, the researcher claims that there are still students who fail to understand the most basic rules of English language structure, such as plurality. 1.1 Hypothesis
As cited by the researcher, Fries (1945), Lado (1957) and Van Els (1984) agree that different grammatical structure between languages is a possible factor of students’ incompetency in the targeted language. Thus, the hypothesis of this study is, Malay students find it difficult to understand and use English language plural inflections because there are no plural inflections in the Malay language. 1.2 Aims of the Study
There are three aims mentioned to be achieved throughout this study: 1. To identify and explain students’ error regarding plural inflection 2. To identify the differences & similarities of plural inflections between Malay & English language. 3. To measure and determine whether the differences of plural inflections formation between Malay and English language contribute to the errors in students’ writing. 2.0 Methodology
In this study, a total of 40 semester one students were selected as the sample of the study. They were 20 lower proficiency students and 20 higher proficiency students of a local semi‐private higher learning institution in Malaysia. The students’ level of proficiency was pre‐determined by an English Placement Test which is a compulsory assessment of the institution. Students who passed the English Placement Test are categorized as higher proficiency while those who failed are categorized as lower proficiency students. 2.2 Instruments/ Tools
In order to achieve the aims of this study, the researcher implemented 3 assessment tools to collect the data which are 1) Cloze-tests, 2) Essays, and 3) Fill in the blank. 2.3 Procedures
The first approach used by the researcher was Cloze-test. The researcher used two sets of Cloze‐test to gather a more genuine data regarding plural inflection. There were ten questions in each Cloze‐test and students have to answer to a total of twenty Cloze‐test questions. Each Cloze‐test questions consisted of various morphological & syntactical structures. However, once the Cloze‐test was collected, analysis was made only on plural inflections. The second approach implemented by the researcher was Essay. Only six essays were taken to be analyzed. These essays were chosen based on students’ proficiency levels. Three essays representing the low proficiency and three essays from higher proficiency students. All essays were about the same topic which is ‘Is television a bad influence?’ and they had been marked earlier. Instead of focusing on all grammatical errors, analysis was made only on plural inflections. The third approach applied by the researcher is Fill in the blank. There are ten questions consisting of ten singular nouns. Students were to convert these singular words into their plural forms. The data gathered from these three approaches were then analyzed and turned into percentage as the findings. 3.0 Finding
The findings will be explained in a reference to the few excerpts taken from the article.
Excerpt 1: Errors on plural inflection in Cloze‐test 1
Based on the chart in the Excerpt 1 above, it is found that 3 or 15% of the higher proficiency students committed errors in Question 1.Surprisingly, all of the lower proficiency students answered...
References: Nor Hashimah Jalaluddin, Norsimah Mat Awal, Kesumawati Abu Bakar (2008). The mastery of English language among lower secondary school students in Malaysia: a linguistic analysis. European Journal of Social Sciences, Vol 7, 1‐14.
Payne, T. (2006). Exploring Language Structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sarah Nadiah Rashidi (2011). An analysis of the plural inflections of English language among Malay students. Marine Frontier, Vol 2 (2), 67-7.
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