Evaluating EFL Learners’ Recognition of Near-Synonyms


  • Hiba Mohammed Yaqoob


near-synonyms, EFL learners, denotative meaning, connotative meaning, recognition


The current study revolves around evaluating the problematic degree of near-synonyms for EFL learners as a second language, which consequently results in misunderstandings or threats to others’ faces or can cause problems in the formulation of exam questions for English teachers. The researcher selected students from the "Open Educational Collage-Nineveh Study Center," Department of English who are originally certified by different outputs: English teachers who have no university certificates, teachers of other disciplines, and non-teachers. The sample number was 45 out of 70. The researcher prepared a test that included17 items divided into synonyms of denotational meaning and synonyms of connotative meaning (See Appendix). After the test was presented to a group of experts at the University of Mosul, Collage of Arts, Department of English, it was applied, after some of the modifications proposed by the experts. The results indicate that EFL learners showed an ability to distinguish the target synonyms, and there was a remarkable ability to distinguish synonyms of denotational meaning more than those of connotative meaning. For the variable of grade, students in the fourth grade showed the ability to distinguish the target synonyms compared to other grades. As for the specialty variable, EFL learners who work as EFL teachers, who have no university certificates, showed an ability to distinguish the target synonyms compared to other teachers of other specializations and non-teachers.