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Title: An Analysis of the Use of Modal Verbs in Senior High School Students' Compositions
Authors: 張翠杏
Chang, Tsui-hsing
Contributors: 尤雪瑛
Yu, Hsueh-ying
Chang, Tsui-hsing
Keywords: 情態助動詞

Modal verbs
Contrastive Analysis
can, will
Date: 2002
Issue Date: 2009-09-17 16:32:40 (UTC+8)
Abstract: 國立政治大學英國語文學系在職碩士班




本研究採用質與量的分析方法。質的分析包括: (一) 情態助動詞之意義與功能; (二) 學生誤用情態助動詞之情形; (三) 影響學生誤用情態助動詞之原因。量的分析則重在研究: (一) 學生使用各個情態助動詞之頻率; (二) 學生最容易誤用之情態助動詞之頻率。
本研究結果如下:學生最常使用的情態助動詞為can和will,這兩者也最容易被誤用,學生除了會把各個情態助動詞互相替換使用之外,也會在不需要情態助動詞的情形下使用情態助動詞。造成學生誤用情態助動詞原因包括: (一) 學生誤解不同情態助動詞的用法,而把一種用法運用在其他情態助動詞上; (二) 學生把情態助動詞的用法簡化; (三) 學生受到固定用語的影響; (四) 學生受到母語的影響直接把中文翻譯成英文。
The purpose of this study is to analyze the use of modal verbs in students’ compositions and to understand students’ difficulty in learning and using modal verbs. Modal verbs’ surface forms and grammatical characteristics are very easy for students to remember. However, their complicated meanings and usages are somewhat difficult.
This study adopts qualitative and quantitative analyses. The qualitative analysis includes: (1) the meanings and functions of modal verbs, (2) students’ misuse of modal verbs, and (3) the reasons that affect students’ misuse of modal verbs. The quantitative analysis includes: (1) the frequency of the use of every modal verb in students’ compositions, and (2) the frequency of the misuse of modal verbs.
The results of this study are summarized as follows: the most often used modal verbs are can and will. Students tend to use wrong modal verbs or add modal verbs to sentences that don’t need one. The reasons affecting students’ misuse of modal verbs are: (1) students’ misunderstanding of the use of modal verbs, (2) students’ oversimplification of the meanings and functions of modal verbs, (3) the effect of frozen idiomatic expressions, and (4) the effect of students’ native languages.
Finally, the study provides pedagogical suggestions and implications in teaching modal verbs. First, subtle usages and meanings of modal verbs should be presented. Second, they should be taught in different contexts. Third, apply pragmatics to the teaching of modal verbs. The goal is to help students learn authentic usages of modal verbs.
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