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Grammaticality Judgements on the Use of Present Perfect in Croatian EFL Learners


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Ponoš, Tena. (2017). Grammaticality Judgements on the Use of Present Perfect in Croatian EFL Learners. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Geld, Renata].

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When it comes to Croatian EFL learners, the present perfect tense is one of the most problematic parts of the English grammar. There are several reasons for that: the absence of a direct grammatical equivalent to the present perfect in Croatian, various and inconsistent explanations of the present perfect found in grammar books, and the way in which the present perfect is presented and described in textbooks for EFL learners. Bearing in mind all the reasons that make this grammatical category hard to learn, it is worth investigating the way that Croatian EFL learners perceive its correct use. The aim of this paper and the study it presents is therefore to explore strategic construal, i.e. meaning construal in L2, of the present perfect tense in Croatian high school students in order to check whether they are able to go beyond the rules they were explicitly taught and recognize the schema that keeps the category of the present perfect together. The results obtained in the study draw attention to the issue of teaching grammar as an isolated system of language, reducible to “formulas” that can be learnt by heart and are considered to be sufficient to understand the meaning of grammatical categories. Without an attempt to make students aware that language structures are semantically motivated, language acquisition comes down to nothing more than students mechanically memorizing rules and exceptions to the rules. Thus, learners need to be taught that a language structure can be described by a schematic definition that keeps all members of its category together. In this way, they will be encouraged to make their own inferences about what constitutes a particular category, going beyond the explicitly learned rules.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: present perfect, cognitive grammar, grammaticality judgements, schema
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Geld, Renata
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2017 11:40
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 11:40

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