Attrition of Nouns and Verbs among Iranian EFL Learners after a Two-Year Non- Exposure

Zahra SHEIKH, Behrooz GHOORCHAEI, Nematullah SHOMOOSSI

Abstract


In comparison with language acquisition, language attrition has remained largely unnoticed and has so far received very little attention and among the small number of studies, the subject of most of the attrition research is attrition of the first language. Language attrition has perhaps not been able to attract much interest because losing a language does not seem as interesting as acquiring it (Schmid, 2002; 2004). This paper investigated the rate of attrition in nouns and verbs among 60 Iranian EFL learners who were students and graduates from Payame Noor Universities of Golestan province and had not used English for at least 2 years at the time of study. The instrument was a translation task; students were asked to translate nouns and verbs out of context. Paired samples t-test was run to investigate to what degree the language knowledge of subjects under investigation showed attrition. Results showed there was a difference between attrition of nouns and verbs among Iranian EFL learners; verbs were more vulnerable to attrition than nouns. The results provide implications for vocabulary teaching in the EFL context. 


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