Research Proposals



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Title Page


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Table of Contents




1.1          Background to the Study

1.2          Statement of the Problem

1.3          Purpose of the Study

1.4          Research Questions

1.5          Hypotheses

1.6          Significance of the Study

1.7          Scope/Delimitation of the Study

1.8          Definition of Operational Terms






3.1          Design of the Study

3.2          Population of the Study

3.3          Sample and Sampling Techniques

3.4          Research Instrument

3.5          Validity of the Instrument


3.6          Reliability of the Instrument

3.7          Administration of the Instrument

3.8          Data Analysis Technique




4.1          Analyses of Data Results

4.2          Summary of Major Findings

4.3          Discussion of the Findings



5.1          Summary

5.2          Conclusion

5.3          Recommendations

5.4          Suggestions for Further Studies






1.1 Background to the Study

Prepositions are always considered as the most crucial elements in teaching English particularly in the teaching of speaking and writing skills.  Also, the uses of wrong preposition make a meaning of a sentence ungrammatical and ambiguous in written and spoken English to second language learners of English (L2). Moreover, researchers and linguists have examined the different problems of precision in written and spoken communication (Mukundan & Norwati, 2009).

Grubic, (2014) for instance concluded that speakers of English always encounter three problems with precision in English prepositions.  These problems are using the incorrect preposition, deleting the necessary preposition or using an additional preposition.

Therefore, the acquisition of English prepositions on the above becomes a difficult task for students learning English as a second language. Furthermore, Thahir, (1987) states that wrong placement of prepositions can cause a problem for second language learners of English. However, what makes it harder for these learners of English to master preposition usage is the influence of their mother tongue (L1).



Hornby (1987) claims that a preposition is a word or group of words that is often placed before a noun and pronoun to indicate place, direction, source and method.

Then, it is obvious from the above that preposition as a word show the relationship between things in time, space and direction that help to connect a phrase with another to construct the whole meaning. For instance, students find preposition of place (at, in and on) difficult when they are asked to write a suitable speech. In general, some of these students use (at) for examples, at the end of the street, (in) for an enclosed place e.g. in the garden and (on) for a surface e.g. on the wall.


Hooper cited in Suzanne, (2017) observed that learners have difficulty in using   correct prepositions of time; at, on, in, since, for, by, prepositions of place, inside, on, at, to, into, by, beside, next, between, near away, off, across etc. However, the reason is that preposition in English language is a development word that can be added every time it is needed; it cannot be decided on the definite numbers of English prepositions (Essberger, 2012).

However, linguists over the years have deliberately examined the problems of precision in English prepositions as one of the major challenges to second learners of English.


According to Warriner (2019) the problems of precision in English prepositions is as a result of lack of learners’ competence of foreign language (L2) that interfere with correct use of prepositions. For example, some expressions in English do not use a precise preposition like ‘he married with her’, ‘I hate from that’ and ‘I accessed to the internet.’ Between and among are two tricky prepositions that are often used wrongly by students.

To choose the appropriate use of precision of preposition as: Okon was unable to choose between the biker magazine and Poetry for Weightlifters.  If one is talking about more than two, among is the appropriate word ‘‘Okon strolled among the parked motorcycles’’.  Another problem of precision in English prepositions is the misplacement of:  ‘in’, ‘on’ and ‘at’ that impose difficulties for the learners to distinguish between their various uses. Problems of problems of precision in English prepositions among students.


Studies have also shown that preposition is one of the most problematic categories that students encounter in learning English.

Hayden, (2016) states that the problem of English preposition is because it is multiple. Indeed, the usage of English preposition has gotten a great concern coming from English learners, teachers and grammarians.

In addition to this challenge, many speakers of English as a second language commit one error or another in their placement of   prepositions in written and spoken communication. In line with the explanations above, the researcher intends to investigate the problems of Precision in English prepositions among students in College of Education Afaha Nsit.  


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The attainment of precision in English prepositions is a problem to many English language learners. Failure to achieve precision in prepositions sometimes leads to vague sentences. Moreover, even educated users of English  quarrel over which preposition to use in the introduction of behavioral objectives in a lesson. They quarrel over whether it should be – by the end of the lesson, or at the end of the lesson.

Many a user of English also assumes that English prepositions have a one-on-one correlation with particular case relations. Thus, this probably is the reason for arguments as in the case of educated users in the College of Education Afaha Nsit. This study therefore is focused on examining the problem of precision in English prepositions with a view to making suggestions on how best to achieve precision (if possible) with English prepositions. Reasons connected to the confusion with English preposition selection are worth researching into for the purpose of reducing vague and misguided sentences.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this research is to find out the problems of problems of precision in English prepositions among students. Specifically, the research aims:

  • to investigate the extent to which users of English are able to attain precision in meaning with English prepositions;
  • to examines the problems of attaining precision with English  prepositions;
  • to proffer solutions to these problems.


1.4 Research Questions 

The following research questions were formed to guide the study:

  • to what extent are users of English language able to attain precision in meaning with English prepositions?
  • what are the problems of attaining precision with English prepositions?
  • what are the solutions to these problems of precision in English prepositions?


1.5 Significance of the Study

The significance of the study will be of great value to the teachers of English. Syllabus designers will benefit much on ways to improve usage of prepositions through enriching syllabuses with prepositions activities.

The results of this research will be relevant to the teaching and learning of English as a second language, both in Primary and Tertiary institutions. Whenever language learning is mentioned, teaching is implicated. This study will also be of immense significance in two important ways – to the teachers and speakers of English as a second language. Problems of problems of precision in English prepositions among students.

Also, this study will in turn give the reader of this research and to the learners the holistic knowledge they need to acquire to improve on their usage of preposition in English. Most importantly, this research will particularly be relevant to researchers for advance research studies.


Definition of Terms

Problem: A problem can be generally considered as a task, a situation, or person which is difficult to deal with or control due to complexity and in transparency.

Precision: In brief, precision refers to how close measurements of the same item are to each other. Problems of problems of precision in English prepositions among students.

English: English may be defined as the language of the people of West Germanic of the Indo-European, England, United State of American (U.S.A) that is widely used in many varieties throughout the world.


Preposition: A preposition may be defined as a word or group of words that are used before a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase to show direction, time, place, location, or to introduce an object. Examples of prepositions are words like “in,” “at,” “on,” “of,” and “to.”

Student:  A student may be defined as a person who is enrolled in a school or other Educational Institution of higher learning; such as, University, Polytechnic and College of education.


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Joselyn Nya

My Name is Joselyn Nya A Publisher in Project Boss Team. I'm a Nigerian I'm a graduate/Educational Researcher. Project Boss Team. We are the best for Project materials and project writing services. Email:

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