The Acquisition of Plurals in English Writings by Hong Kong Students
Su Feng, Law
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This paper sets out to examine the effect of age differences on two groups of Hong Kong secondary school students’ rate of acquisition of plurals. It also aims to look at the degree of L1 influence on the acquisition in their writing productions. A total of 57 pieces of student writings from their final-year examination were collected to investigate these two aims. It was found that both groups of students attained a similarly high rate of acquisition of plurals despite the obvious, and negative, L1 influence on their acquisition. However, age differences between these two groups of students were not a key factor in determining their acquisition of plurals. The kinds of errors made by students suggested that they have confusion about mass and count nouns. Hence, it is encouraged that the concept of distinction of mass and count nouns, from both grammatical and semantic aspects, should be introduced to students early in their secondary school education.