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The communicative approach to teaching english prepositions to arab students

Author: Humam Abdulkarim
Degree:doctor of pedagogics
Speciality: 13.00.02 - Theory and Methodology of Instruction (on disciplines)
Scientific adviser: Galina Burdeniuc
doctor habilitat, professor, Moldova State University
Scientific council:


The thesis was presented on the 17 April, 2008
Approved by NCAA on the 19 June, 2008


Adobe PDF document0.37 Mb / in romanian


CZU 37.016:811.111(043.3)

Adobe PDF document 0.72 Mb / in english
153 pages


Methodology, the communicative approach, space prepositions, semantic kernel, algorithm, mistake, interlingual interference, intralingual interference, semantic formalization method, error mechanism, introspective analysis (self-account method), dynamic preposition, static preposition, test, methodological recommendations, communicative exercise, experimental teaching, speech activity, language comparative study


The given research deals with the problem of teaching English space prepositions to the students whose mother tongue has nothing in common with the language studied. English space prepositions being extremely frequent are more than 30 separate words, while in Arabic there are only seven. Besides, Arabic space prepositions can be expressed by other means inseparable from the governing pronoun, for example. The principal methodological idea in the thesis is that the space prepositions in the given situation should be taught on the notional orientation basis within the communicative approach.

In the theoretical part of the research, the problems of the linguistic nature of prepositions, the theory of mistake, the concept of language interference, the method of defining prepositional semantic and psycholinguistic mechanisms of mistakes are investigated and the author’s position is expressed concerning each of these problems.

In the practical part, the linguistic nature of English and Arabic prepositions, groups of the mistakes classification, the kinds of interference and other types of mistakes are described. The fundamental thesis of the research that English space prepositions should be taught to Arab students by creating a special notional zone connected with the space relations system of native speakers in the brain of the Arab students is substantiated. A logically grounded, original approach to teaching English prepositions on the communicatively based principle has been worked out. The created methodological model, algorithm and a system of exercises have been designed and experimentally tested the result of which gave the possibility to work out the methodological recommendations given to be implemented by Arab teachers.


CHAPTER I. The modern state of teaching english methodology to arab students
  • 1.1 Specific features of teaching space prepositions in modern textbooks for arab students
  • 1.2 General characteristics of the level of knowledge of english prepositions by arab students (diagnostic tests of 2001-2002)

CHAPTER II. Linguistic, psychological and psycho-linguistic causes of students’ mistakes in using english prepositions
  • 2.1 The classification of mistakes and reasons for the wrong usage of english prepositions
  • 2.2 The interpretation of the mechanisms of erroneous usage of english prepositions by arab students

CHAPTER III.The semantic analysis of the nature of english and arabic prepositions
  • 3.1 The semantic analysis of english prepositions
  • 3.2 The semantic analysis of arabic prepositions

CHAPTER IV. A way of teaching english prepositions to arab students on the basis of the communicative approach
  • 4.1 Strategies for teaching english prepositions to arab students
  • 4.2 The results of the experimental study of the designed way of teaching