L1 Transfer in Post-Verbal Preposition: An Inter-level Comparison

Samira Mollaei, Ali Jahangard, Hemaseh Bagheri


The study intended to investigate the well-known issue of L1 transfer in L2
acquisition. The primary aim of this research was to compare the extent to which L1 transfer may take place in different developmental stages in L2 learning procedure. Persian learners of English have been observed to misuse a number of the prepositions with some of the verbs. Having scrutinized more than a hundred pieces of students’ writing assignments, the authors came up with a pattern of errors in this area. It was observed that the majority of these errors could be attributed to Persian: the learners’ choice of preposition mirror the corresponding case in their L1, Persian. Moreover, the pattern of mistakes was put to test to check whether these mistakes increase or decrease according to the level of proficiency of the learners. To this end, two groups of students, one in elementary and the other in intermediate level, were tested on their use of proper prepositions with different verbs and the results of these tests were compared to see whether any significant difference exists between the two groups of students. The results showed no significant difference between the students of the two proficiency levels.


transfer, developmental stages, contrastive analysis

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