The Accuracy Order of Grammatical Morphemes in Pakistani Intermediate Level Students

Haleema Majeed

  • Haleema Majeed Department of English – Air University – Islamabad, Pakistan
Keywords: Accuracy Order, Morpheme Order Acquisition, L2 Acquisition, Grammatical Morphemes, Dulay and Burt (1973), Krashen (1977)


Grammar is one of the essential aspects of language learning, particularly in second language learning.  There have been various studies conducted to address the grammatical problems students face in writing while learning English as a second language. Therefore, this study explored the accuracy order of the grammatical morphemes in learners of English at an intermediate level.  Specifically, it looked at the accuracy order of five English grammatical morphemes: plural –s, possessive –‘s/ ‘morpheme, regular and irregular past, progressive –ing morpheme, third-person singular s/es.  Further, this study aims to compare the order of acquisition of the grammatical morphemes in male and female students and the overall order of acquisition of five grammatical morphemes in the intermediate level students. The current study is based on the theoretical assumptions provided by Dulay and Burt (1973) and Krashen (1977) for the morpheme order acquisition for L2 contexts. The data was collected through a stratified sampling technique in questionnaires from thirty male and thirty female students of intermediate level from different areas of Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. The study's findings show that the accuracy order for the grammatical morphemes are:  regular and irregular verb, third-person singular morpheme, possessive morpheme, plural morpheme, and progressive morpheme. The results also show that the order of morpheme acquisition in male and female students is different. Females acquire regular and irregular verbs first, and at last, they acquire progressive morpheme, while males acquire regular and irregular verbs first, and at last, they acquire plural morphemes. Moreover, the current research contradicts Dulay and Burt's (1973) and Krashen's (1977) research concerning grammatical morpheme acquisition. In the light of generated results, the current study also suggests a need to adequately designed classroom activities to facilitate the grammatical morpheme acquisition of EFL/ESL learners.