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  1. #1
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    Default Any English as a second language users? Need you help

    Hi,
    I am hoping someone is able to help me.
    I am currently completing a TESOL course at an Australian University and for part of an assignment i need to interview someone who speaks English as a second language about the use of prepositions in their first language.
    It would be really helpful if there was anyone who could answer the following questions for me.

    1. What is your first language?

    2. In your language do you have words for common English prepositions such as on, in, beside, near, far under?

    3. Did you have any difficulty learning the meanings of these prepositions? How did you learn them?

    4. In your first language is the word order the same as these phrases-
    on the seat
    in my car
    under the bed
    near the tree

    5. There can be different meanings for the same preposition e.g up. Was it difficult to understand the meaning of up in the following phrases?
    look up a phone number
    to make something up
    to walk up a hill
    she is stuck up
    i hung a picture up

    6. How did you learn these 'slang' uses of prepositions?

    7. Did you ever encounter the following problems when learning English prepositions-
    - they were difficult to learn because English speakers do not pronounce many prepositions clearly e.g bottle o' beer- rather than bottle of beer?
    -Was it difficult to learn prepositions with similar meanings e.g in, into, inside?
    -Did you ever just not use prepositions in spoken speech because they are just too tricky?
    - Did you ever use the wrong preposition when speaking and writing? How did you overcome this?

    8. How did your knowledge of your first language hinder or help you learn English prepositions?

    Thank you so much for spending some time answering these questions.
    Your answers are truly valuable and i really appreciate your time.
    Thank you,
    Belinda

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Any English as a second language users? Need you help

    1Chinese

    2yes

    3no, very easy to understand

    4no
    e.g. 在座位上
    在车里
    在床下
    在树旁
    obviously the last character make sense

    5 it's hard for some like look up a phone number while it's easy if "up" only shows relevent to directions like "to walk up a hill"
    to the former situation, I prefer to memorize it as a whole phrase

    6 Is this what I've answered in the previous one?

    7
    -If the speed of speaking is too quick, I can't figure out anything. I think sometimes I may take a phrase as a whole, I may not care much about what exactly the preposition is.
    -up to now, I think they are almost the same. When I am speaking or writing, I won't try to list them all and then pick one. I may just choose one by instinct.
    -never
    -yes. just correct it and memorize the right answer.

    8 I don't think it has much relationship between them.
    if the preposition shows direction, I'll think it visually. if it shows "slang" use, I just memorize it as a phrase.
    I think chinese is chinese, english is english, I don't want to build the connection. because if I try to translate english to chinese, it will hinder the speed of understanding.

  3. #3
    Kemaru is offline Newbie
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      • Finnish
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      • Finland
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      • Finland
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    Default Re: Any English as a second language users? Need you help

    1. What is your first language?
    Finnish.

    2. In your language do you have words for common English prepositions such as on, in, beside, near, far under?
    Yes.

    3. Did you have any difficulty learning the meanings of these prepositions? How did you learn them?
    I learnt them in school.
    4. In your first language is the word order the same as these phrases-
    on the seat
    in my car
    under the bed
    near the tree

    No, in Finnish, prepositions are actually postpositions, meaning they are used after the noun/verb.

    5. There can be different meanings for the same preposition e.g up. Was it difficult to understand the meaning of up in the following phrases?
    look up a phone number
    to make something up
    to walk up a hill
    she is stuck up
    i hung a picture up

    It was at first.

    6. How did you learn these 'slang' uses of prepositions?

    TV, Native speakers' speech, books...

    7. Did you ever encounter the following problems when learning English prepositions-
    - they were difficult to learn because English speakers do not pronounce many prepositions clearly e.g bottle o' beer- rather than bottle of beer?
    -Was it difficult to learn prepositions with similar meanings e.g in, into, inside?
    -Did you ever just not use prepositions in spoken speech because they are just too tricky?
    - Did you ever use the wrong preposition when speaking and writing? How did you overcome this?

    - No.
    - Well, sometimes I confuse in with on.
    - No, I always use prepositions even if I'm not sure, it's not that big a deal if it's not right.
    - I still do.

    8. How did your knowledge of your first language hinder or help you learn English prepositions?

    Well I can't say it helped, but it hasn't been much of a hindrance, either. I've learnt these phrasal uses through trial and error, and it all comes down to practise.

  4. #4
    mmasny is offline Key Member
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      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
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    1,704
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    Default Re: Any English as a second language users? Need you help

    Quote Originally Posted by belinda2 View Post
    Hi,
    I am hoping someone is able to help me.
    I am currently completing a TESOL course at an Australian University and for part of an assignment i need to interview someone who speaks English as a second language about the use of prepositions in their first language.
    It would be really helpful if there was anyone who could answer the following questions for me.

    1. What is your first language?
    Polish
    2. In your language do you have words for common English prepositions such as on, in, beside, near, far under?
    Yes.
    3. Did you have any difficulty learning the meanings of these prepositions? How did you learn them?
    If you mean the basic meanings of them I don't have any difficulties. They're just the same in Polish. But the details of their usage is the hardest thing in learning English to me. I learn them as everything - watching movies, reading books, surfing the Web, reading dictionaries.
    4. In your first language is the word order the same as these phrases-
    We have no articles in Polish. Save that, it's the same.
    on the seat

    in my car
    under the bed
    near the tree

    5. There can be different meanings for the same preposition e.g up. Was it difficult to understand the meaning of up in the following phrases?
    look up a phone number
    to make something up
    to walk up a hill
    she is stuck up
    i hung a picture up
    I don't remember how difficult it was. Except the third they're all counter-intuitive for a Pole.
    6. How did you learn these 'slang' uses of prepositions?
    By these you mean the above? I learn slang watching movies, reading books, surfing the Web and reading dictionaries.
    7. Did you ever encounter the following problems when learning English prepositions-
    - they were difficult to learn because English speakers do not pronounce many prepositions clearly e.g bottle o' beer- rather than bottle of beer? Yes, sometimes, but not often. I read more than listened to on that stage.
    -Was it difficult to learn prepositions with similar meanings e.g in, into, inside? Not particularly these, but yes. The distinction between 'on' and 'at' is still unclear to me in some cases.
    -Did you ever just not use prepositions in spoken speech because they are just too tricky? Many times. I try to reword sentences when I'm not sure if they're OK.
    - Did you ever use the wrong preposition when speaking and writing? How did you overcome this?
    Of course, I did. And of course I overcame it by learning.
    8. How did your knowledge of your first language hinder or help you learn English prepositions?
    The answer is as it must be - it helped me where there were similarities and hindered when I encountered differences.The fact that my language is a modern European Indo-European language was a big plus I guess.
    Thank you so much for spending some time answering these questions.
    Your answers are truly valuable and i really appreciate your time.
    Thank you,
    You're very welcome.
    Belinda
    M

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Any English as a second language users? Need you help

    Thank you so much to everyone who replied. Your comments are invaluable.
    Thanks,
    Belinda

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