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Chapter 1

1.1 Description of the problem

When learning English, Spanish speaker students tend to overuse the definite article. The
influence of one language on another in the speech of bilinguals is relevant both to the field
of second language acquisition, where the interference from the learner's native language is
studied, and to the field of historical linguistics, where the effects of interference on language
change are studied. In the context of second language acquisition, interference may lead to
either negative transfer (transfer which results in non-target-like use of L2) or positive
transfer (transfer resulting in target-like use of L2).

I believe than when learning English, all areas and aspects of the target language as well as all
the steps of the learning process are important. With that being stated, I’m convinced that with
more information not only about the problem, but also more information about the source of the
problem, both teachers and students can tackle the issue in a more efficient way, as well as
being prepared for the possible situation regarding this topic when learning/teaching English.

As is mainly a descriptive research it will be possible to present data about this phenomenon.
Furthermore the data recollection and the measurement test will be applied to an already
existent group and this will facilitate the process to get the expected outcome at the end of our

1.2 General Objective

1.3 Nature of the problem
1.4 Instrument


División de Humanidades
Licenciatura en Enseñanza De Inglés

Datos Personales

Nombre: ________________________________________ Edad: _______ Sexo: F M

Carrera: ______________________________

¿Has estudiado Inglés antes?____________ ¿Por cuánto tiempo? ___________________

¿Por qué estas estudiando Inglés ahora? _________________________________________


I. Decide whether to use the definite article the or not.

Hi John
I arrived in _____ USA last Monday. We left _____ Rome, flew over _____Alps and
made a quick stop in _____ London. There we went shopping at _____Harrods, visited
_____Tower and enjoyed a sunny afternoon in _____Hyde Park. On the following day
we left for _____ New York. _____ time on board wasn't boring as there were two films
to watch on _____ monitor. _____ people on _____ plane were all _____ Italian.
Before we landed at _____JFK airport, we saw _____ Statue of Liberty, _____ Ellis
Island and _____ Empire State Building. _____ hotel I stayed in was on _____ corner
of _____42nd Street and _____5th Avenue. I don't like _____ hotels very much, but I
didn't have _____ time to rent an apartment.
Please say hello to Peter and Mandy.