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Difficulties in Learning English - Vocabulary

Difficulties in Learning English - Vocabulary

  • Difficulties in Learning English - Vocabulary

  • Vocabulary
  • Phrasal verbs - Phrasal verbs (also known as multiple-word verbs) in English can cause difficulties for many learners because they have several meanings and different syntactic patterns. There are also a number of phrasal verb differences between American and British English.
  • Prepositions - As with many other languages, the correct use of Prepositions in the English language frequently creates confusion and it can turn out to be quite a frustrating learning experience for ESL/EFL learners. For example, the prepositions "on" (rely on, fall on), "of" (think of, because of, in the vicinity of),and "at" (turn at, meet at, start at) are used in so many different ways and contexts, it is very difficult to remember the exact meaning for each one. Furthermore the same words are often used as adverbs (come in, press on, listen in, step in) as part of a compound verb (make up, give up, get up, give in, turn in, put on), or in more than one way with different functions and meanings (look up, look on, give in) (He looked up her skirt/He looked up the spelling; He gave in his homework/First he refused but then he gave in; He got up at 6 o'clock/He got up the hill/He got up a nativity play). When translating back to the ESL learners' respective L1, a particular preposition's translation may be correct in one context, but when using the peposition in another context, the meaning is sometimes quite different. One "of" my friends translates to (transliterated) "wahed "min" isdiqa'i" in Arabic. "Min" is the Arabic word for "from" .... so one "from" my friends. "I am 'on' page 5" translates to "ich bin 'auf' Seite 5" in German just fine but in Arabic it is "Ana 'fee' safha raqm 5" .... I am "in" page 5.
  • Word derivation - Word derivation in English requires a lot of rote learning. For example, an adjective can be negated by using the prefixes un- (e.g. unable), in- (e.g. inappropriate), dis- (e.g. dishonest), non- (non-standard) or a- (e.g. amoral), or several rarer prefixes.
  • Size of lexicon - The history of English has resulted in a very large vocabulary, including one stream from Old English and one from the Norman infusion of Latin-derived terms. (Schmitt & Marsden claim that English has one of the largest vocabularies of any known language.) This requires more work for a learner to master the language.
  • Collocations - Collocations in English refer to the tendency for words to occur regularly with others. For example, nouns and verbs that go together (ride a bike/ drive a car). Native speakers tend to use chunks of collocations and the ESL learners make mistakes with collocations in their writing/speaking which sometimes results in awkwardness.
  • Slang and Colloquialisms In most native English speaking countries, large numbers of slang and colloquial terms are used in everyday speech. Many learners may find that classroom based English is significantly different from how English is spoken in normal situations. This can often be difficult and confusing for learners with little experience of using English in Anglophone countries. Also, slang terms differ greatly between different regions and can change quickly in response to popular culture. Some phrases can become unintentionally rude if misused.

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