Acquiring English Language Prepositions by Iranian EFL Learners: The Effect of Proficiency and Gender



University of Isfahan


This study was an attempt to examine the relationship
between Iranian EFL students’ general knowledge of English and their
use of English prepositions. To discover whether there was any sig-
nificant relationship between EFL university and high school students’
English proficiency level and their performance on a preposition test,
three groups of beginning, intermediate, and upper intermediate stu-
dents have been selected based on their scores in the TOEFL test. In
addition to investigating the relationship between the level of proficiency
of the learners and their use of prepositions, the present study was also
an attempt to examine the differences between the female and male
participants in using the prepositions. For this purpose, 32 male and 58
female learners were selected to investigate the effect of gender. All of
the participants were requested to provide answers to the preposition
test developed by the researcher. The results of the correlation coeffi-
cient test showed that there was a moderate and significant relationship
between the learners’ proficiency level and their use of prepositions. The
analysis of the second research question indicated that there were no sig-
nificant differences between the gender of the participants and their use
of prepositions.