Distribution of Articles in Written Composition among Malaysian ESL Learners

  •  Mia Emily Abdul Rahim    
  •  Emma Marini Abdul Rahim    
  •  Chia Han Ning    


The study aimed to investigate the distribution patterns of the English grammar articles (a, an, and the) as well as the distributions of their colligation patterns in written compositions of English among Malaysian ESL learners. This paper reports the results of a corpus-based study on articles used by these learners. The method used in this study was quantitative content analysis, in which it utilized the data from the Malaysian Corpus of Students’ Argumentative Writing (MCSAW). The findings indicated that all the three articles were presented throughout the entire compositions and that the frequency of occurrences made up 18 percent of the entire tokens. The findings also showed that the distributions of the colligation patterns of the articles were at variance. Some of the colligation patterns were used heavily while others were not often applied in the compositions. The findings can help language teachers identify areas in the structure that need further emphasis in their teaching.

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