MODAL VERBS IN THE INTERLANGUAGE OF MACEDONIAN LEARNERS OF ENGLISH
The study presented in this paper is a part of my research “Modal verbs in the interlanguage of Macedonian learners of English” which has a significant role in formulating speech acts and communication in general. Modal verbs are incredibly versatile and are used for several different functions in the English language. This is why they are absolutely essential for Macedonian learners of English. People use them to show if they believe something is certain, possible or impossible, talk about ability, make requests, offers, to express prohibition, permission or obligation. We pose two research questions: 1. Do the Macedonian learners of English significantly overuse modal verbs both in speaking and writing? 2. How Macedonian learners differ from native English speakers in the use of modal verbs? The participants of this study were 76 students of English at the Department of English language and literature, Goce Delchev University, Shtip. 28 of the participants were male and 48 were female. Their age ranged from 19 to 25. All participants learnt English for at least five years in primary school and four years at high school. After high school, they enrolled in English philology at the English department. Very few of the students had been to an English speaking country and had had a chance to learn English in an informal environment: seven had been on Work and travel for two to six months in the USA and one of them has been part of student exchange program in the USA for ten months. All students sat the Quick Placement Test and their proficiency level in English was determined. A few topics were selected: problems with dogs in our cities, living and working abroad, tattoos and piercing, the healthy amount of time to spend with the person you‟re dating, and talking on the phone while sharing time with friends. The results showed that Macedonian learners of English overuse just a few modal verbs such as should, will, have to and could. This study found some important differences in the ways Macedonian learners of English and native speakers use modal verbs in research articles, differences in degree of use and the purpose and functions for which they are used for. The aim of this research is to facilitate the proper usage of modal verbs and it gives evidence about how Macedonian students use English modal verbs for their communicative purposes.
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