Volume 11, Issue 4 (2020)                   LRR 2020, 11(4): 297-326 | Back to browse issues page

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Mottaghizadeh I, Khanabadi T. Statistical Analysis of Vocabulary Interference and its Role in Writing Skill of Arabic language. LRR 2020; 11 (4) :297-326
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-32018-en.html
1- Associate Professor, Department of Arabic Language and Literature, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran , motaghizadeh@modares.ac.ir
2- Graduate of Arabic Language Teaching, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (1945 Views)
Although the existence of common words between Persian and Arabic languages occasionally facilitates learning Arabic for Persian speakers, it also causes numerous problems, including linguistic interference, for language learners putting language skills into action. Overall, language similarities between Persian and Arabic can be classified into two types: structural and lexical. Lexical similarities may have three different major kinds: 1. similarities in the shape of writing and meaning occurring in nouns, verbs, and letters, with the highest frequencies in nouns; 2. similarities in the shape of writing and complete or partial contrast in meaning, which is mostly seen in nouns and occasionally in verbs; and 3. partial similarities in meaning and contrast in form which is typically observed in Arabic and Persian prepositions. In the current research, not taking structural similarities into consideration and employing a descriptive-analytical survey approach, the effect of common words between Persian and Arabic languages on the writing skill of undergraduate students of Arabic Language and Literature was studied. The statistical population of this research consists of 10 state universities, including Arak, Tehran, Bu-Ali Sina, Kharazmi, Al-Zahra, Guilan, Shahid Beheshti, Shiraz, Allameh Tabataba’i, and Ferdowsi universities. It also includes 199 undergraduate students passing Writing Skill 1 or 3 courses. Since the current study examined the common words between Arabic and Persian languages and the effects of the words on Arabic language learners’ writing from a contrastive perspective, it is considered a pioneer study in this field. The research questions are as follows:
1. How good are the students’ vocabulary skills regarding the common words between Arabic and Persian languages in Writing Skill 1 and 3 courses?
2. How does the time difference of offering writing skill courses affect students’ vocabulary banks?
To answer the research questions, we used a self-constructed test including the common words between Arabic and Persian languages. The test was designed in four steps:
1. Collecting language learners’ highest frequency errors and including them in the test.
2. Test verification: After predicting language learners’ errors, the test was designed and 6 copies of the test were given to 6 language skills professors. Modifications were made on the test based on the experts’ comments and then the test reliability was confirmed.
3. Conducting the test: The Writing Skill 1 and 3 tests were given to students in Shahid Beheshti and Allameh Tabataba’i universities. After examining the language learners’ performance, the test was modified. The reliability coefficients were obtained for both tests. In the next step, the test was given to the students in all the above-mentioned universities.
4. Test analysis: to analyze the test, both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed. According to the quantitative method, the students’ correct answers were marked once (out of 100). The researchers used t-test to determine whether the means of the two universities’ marks in Writing Skill 1 and 3 courses are equal to each other. And to examine the effect of the time of offering the course on these errors, logistic regression analysis was employed.
Logically speaking, the signifier with a stabilized signified in our minds causes problems when referring to a different signified. In other words, it is less problematic to relate two different concepts (signified) to two different words in two languages than to relate a common word between two languages to two different concepts and, simultaneously, be cautious enough not to get the different concepts in the two languages mixed up. A lack of awareness of the common words’ semantic and practical differences results in linguistic interference. Given the high frequency of Arabic words in Persian language, mostly with semantic, structural, and practical differences, the phenomenon of linguistic interference is typically expected in the process of learning Arabic language by Persian speakers. To perceive the differences and similarities of the common words between Arabic and Persian languages, a contrastive study was conducted. As for the next step, error analysis, which is the next stage in a contrastive study, was employed because a contrastive study predicts the errors by comparing two language levels and discovering the similarities and differences between two languages, while error analysis either confirms or rejects the predictions. Furthermore, the analysis of linguistic errors, including linguistic interference, provides the researcher with a picture of language learners’ progress and enables him to identify their learning dimensions and address the overlooked aspect of teaching process; by focusing on this aspect in the process of teaching and learning a language, the researcher can help fix the problem. The research results revealed the fact that after passing the writing skill courses, the students’ vocabulary banks were significantly expanded. Also, there is a direct relationship between learners’ language interferences and the semester during which they take the course but this relationship disappears, once they pass the first two writing skill courses and start taking Writing Skill 3. This shows language learners’ capability in using the vocabulary in Writing Skill 3 course. Further, the t-test results highlighted the significance of students’ progress in Writing Skill 3, compared to their abilities in Writing Skill 1 course, in all the above-mentioned universities except Tehran and Kharazmi universities. However, the classification of students’ marks in Writing Skill 1 and 3 courses indicated that this progress was inconsiderable because none of these universities got top marks. This finding showed that despite the students’ progress in vocabulary skills during Writing Skill 3 course, compared to Writing Skill 1, they still had problems determining the semantic differences between common words as well as using the vocabulary in Arabic language. The factors leading to this weakness include vocabulary interference and vocabulary deficit. The domination of grammar-based thinking in the minds of most of the students has made them assume that a correct sentence in Arabic language is the one which is grammatically and syntactically correct. It is likely that the difference in Arabic and Persian grammars, due to their belonging to different language families, causes more problems for Persian speakers trying to learn Arabic language. However, the attitude of Arabic language teaching departments in Iran may have been effective. In other words, in teaching Arabic, the focus is mostly on learning the grammar rather than communicating and conveying a message to any target language speakers.
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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: Arabic language
Published: 2020/10/1

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