Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Teresa Dalle

Committee Member

Emily Thrush

Committee Member

Angela Thevenot

Committee Member

Mark Conley


Prepositional verbs are essential for English as a foreign language (EFL) and English as a second language (ESL) learners in academic writing. However, most learners, regardless of their proficiency, encounter difficulties using these verbs, and there is a lack of research on these difficulties. This study sought to describe, analyze, and understand Saudi EFL learners knowledge and use of English prepositional verbs in academic writing. The study also assesses the relevant teaching contexts and reasons behind common errors.The study utilized a mixed-methods approach with data collected from a cloze test, multiple-choice test, and semi-structured interview. The two tests were administered to 46 fourth-year undergraduate Saudi EFL students (23 male, 23 female). The interviews were conducted with 20 participants chosen based on their test scores (seven with low scores, seven who scored in the middle, and six with high scores).The findings revealed Saudi EFL learners had extremely low knowledge of and poor performance using English prepositional verbs, committing frequent errors because of L1 interference and other issues. This study offers recommendations to develop EFL teaching methods and curricula to address this problem. One of the major suggestions is to encourage teachers to learn more about these verbs and expose students to more authentic input.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest