The Non-generic Use of the Definite Article the in Writing by Turkish Learners of English


Koban Koc D.

HACETTEPE UNIVERSITESI EGITIM FAKULTESI DERGISI-HACETTEPE UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, cilt.30, ss.56-69, 2015 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 30 Konu: 2
  • Basım Tarihi: 2015
  • Dergi Adı: HACETTEPE UNIVERSITESI EGITIM FAKULTESI DERGISI-HACETTEPE UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF EDUCATION
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.56-69

Özet

The aim of this study is to analyze the non-generic use of the English definite article the in several different written contexts (e.g. cultural, situation, structural, and textual) identified by Liu and Gleason (2002). The study compares 50 intermediate and 50 low-advanced level Turkish learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) in terms of overusing the definite article (in null article contexts) and omitting it in the above-mentioned major contexts. The study also determines whether or not the usage of the definite article in each of the contexts is equally problematic for the Turkish learners in different proficiency groups. The data consist of essays written by Turkish learners enrolled in the English Preparatory School of the School of Foreign Languages at Hacettepe University and were analyzed quantitatively using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The results show that all learners omitted more definite articles than they overused them. In addition, the intermediate group omitted more definite articles than the low-advanced group suggesting that as learners become proficient in English, their use of the definite article improves. The results also show that the low-advanced group overused more definite articles than the intermediate group but this difference was not significant.