In Algeria, an Arabic-speaking and francophone country, it is a foreign language taught as a compulsory subject matter in public schools and universities. In higher education, particularly in the departments of English, EFL students write essays, exposés and memoirs/research papers in that foreign language. However, the Algerian learners of English face several difficulties at the morpohological, phonetic and phonological, stylistic and syntactic levels. The point of departure of this study is the misuse of the verb ‘to exist’ as *to be exist under various grammatical forms with adverbs, auxiliaries, and tenses. Theoretically, the misused verb is referred to as a mistake or an error depending on frequency and repetition, over or under-generalization among the learners as well. EFL mistakes and errors may be due to interlingual or intralingual transfer, too. This paper reports on the findings of a corpus study, which analyses the wrong use of the English verb to exist as *is exists, *are existed, *does not exist, and *existness. The corpus consists of more than two thousand exam copies of mid-term, make-up (devoirs de synthése) and remedial (rattrapage) exams for the academic years ranging between 2003 and 2013 in the fields of Discourse Typology, Linguistics and Sociolinguistics, Phonetics and Phonology. The results show that, although the wrong verb is not used by the majority of students, it is nevertheless significantly found in a number of exam sheets (s=78).
Bachir Bouhania, University of Adrar, Algeria
Stream: Language education
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