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It Don't Matter...Or Does It? The Significance of Non-Standard Grammar Features in Relation to Reading Comprehension

Lu, Julia LU and Nilsson, Frida LU (2018) ÄENM92 20181
Educational Sciences
English Studies
Abstract
The development of English into a dynamic and diverse compound of language varieties has led to a spread of non-standard grammar features. Such linguistic development affects language education, and thus the significance of common non-standard grammar features needs to be explored. The purpose of this study was thus to investigate the significance of traditional “correctness” of grammar in relation to reading comprehension. The grammar features we examined were attested and pervasive non-standard conjugations of be and do, frequent in World English varieties, namely: Invariant don’t for all persons in the present tense, was for conditional were, was/were generalization, deletion of auxiliary be: before progressive, deletion of auxiliary... (More)
The development of English into a dynamic and diverse compound of language varieties has led to a spread of non-standard grammar features. Such linguistic development affects language education, and thus the significance of common non-standard grammar features needs to be explored. The purpose of this study was thus to investigate the significance of traditional “correctness” of grammar in relation to reading comprehension. The grammar features we examined were attested and pervasive non-standard conjugations of be and do, frequent in World English varieties, namely: Invariant don’t for all persons in the present tense, was for conditional were, was/were generalization, deletion of auxiliary be: before progressive, deletion of auxiliary be: before gonna, and existential/presentational there’s/there is/there was with plural subject. The study was carried out through a reading comprehension test taken by 108 Swedish upper secondary school students, where the success-rate of non-standard grammar features was compared to the success-rate of their standard counterparts. The results showed that although the standard test generated slightly higher results, the difference was small and most non-standard grammar features proved successful for comprehension. One test item regarding was/were generalization stood out, since this received a higher score of correct answers on the non-standard reading comprehension test. Two other items, regarding deletion of auxiliary be before gonna and was for conditional were, generated the same percentage of correct scores on the non-standard and standard tests. Deviant from the trend, however in the reverse direction, was invariant don’t for all persons in the present tense, where the standard-test generated significantly higher results. We conclude that most of our examined non-standard grammar features do not appear to drastically affect reading comprehension negatively, and that due to the high success-rate of some non-standard grammar features, teachers ought not to dismiss them as erroneous without consideration. (Less)
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author
Lu, Julia LU and Nilsson, Frida LU
supervisor
organization
course
ÄENM92 20181
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Non-Standard Grammar, World Englishes, Be-Conjugations, Do-Conjugations, Reading Comprehension
language
English
id
8955742
date added to LUP
2018-08-16 13:52:00
date last changed
2018-08-16 13:52:00
@misc{8955742,
  abstract     = {The development of English into a dynamic and diverse compound of language varieties has led to a spread of non-standard grammar features. Such linguistic development affects language education, and thus the significance of common non-standard grammar features needs to be explored. The purpose of this study was thus to investigate the significance of traditional “correctness” of grammar in relation to reading comprehension. The grammar features we examined were attested and pervasive non-standard conjugations of be and do, frequent in World English varieties, namely: Invariant don’t for all persons in the present tense, was for conditional were, was/were generalization, deletion of auxiliary be: before progressive, deletion of auxiliary be: before gonna, and existential/presentational there’s/there is/there was with plural subject. The study was carried out through a reading comprehension test taken by 108 Swedish upper secondary school students, where the success-rate of non-standard grammar features was compared to the success-rate of their standard counterparts. The results showed that although the standard test generated slightly higher results, the difference was small and most non-standard grammar features proved successful for comprehension. One test item regarding was/were generalization stood out, since this received a higher score of correct answers on the non-standard reading comprehension test. Two other items, regarding deletion of auxiliary be before gonna and was for conditional were, generated the same percentage of correct scores on the non-standard and standard tests. Deviant from the trend, however in the reverse direction, was invariant don’t for all persons in the present tense, where the standard-test generated significantly higher results. We conclude that most of our examined non-standard grammar features do not appear to drastically affect reading comprehension negatively, and that due to the high success-rate of some non-standard grammar features, teachers ought not to dismiss them as erroneous without consideration.},
  author       = {Lu, Julia and Nilsson, Frida},
  keyword      = {Non-Standard Grammar,World Englishes,Be-Conjugations,Do-Conjugations,Reading Comprehension},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {It Don't Matter...Or Does It? The Significance of Non-Standard Grammar Features in Relation to Reading Comprehension},
  year         = {2018},
}