Investigating the Effect of Structure Complexity on Students’ Recognition of the Subject Slot

Fatmah Alqahtani

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(English, 6 pages)


The subject slot is a main part of any English sentence (Martha & Robert, 2012). The recognition of the subject slot is therefore a crucial step in understanding and comprehending a sentence. This paper studies the effect of the internal structure of the subject slot on its recognition by students learning English as a foreign language (EFL). The students are given written tests containing sentences with different subject structures. Those structures vary from simple to compound-complex. The results support the main hypothesis of the study: the degree of the complexity of the structure affects the students’ recognition of the subject slot of a sentence. The surprising finding of the study, however, is that a compound subject, whether simple or complex, is easier for the students to recognize than a non-compound complex subject structure. The findings of the study are intended to positively contribute to the process of teaching a language. Regarding the findings of this study, EFL instructors can draw their students’ attention to the different structures of a sentence. The students need to know that some parts of the sentence are to extend or add information to the slots of the sentence but not change it.





International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation

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