The Effect of Negative and Positive Evidence on Acquisition of Quantifiers by Iranian EFL

Fereshteh Abolhasanpour, Ali Akbar Jabbari


The current study aimed to investigate the role of positive and negative evidence on learning English quantifiers concerning similarities and dissimilarities between the structures of the two languages in the acquisition of English quantifiers. To carry out this study 40 adults lower intermediate EFL learners through OQPT were selected. Participants were divided into experimental and control groups. The experimental group was taught the English quantifiers through negative evidence while the control group though positive evidence. Two tests namely Grammaticality Judgment Task (GJT) and Translation Task (TT) were administered in three sessions as a pretest, immediate post-test and delayed post-test. The results of the immediate post-test showed that the experimental group outperformed, especially in TT. On the other hand, the control group performed on the two tasks in the same form with no significant difference. In the delayed post-test, the results of the immediate post-test repeated. These results suggest that negative evidence was highly effective in short-term and long-term period and facilitates the phase of the acquisition of the foreign language, namely English quantifiers in the absence of naturalistic input. Furthermore, the effect of negative evidence was significantly higher than L1 transfer. 

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)

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