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This study investigates the effects of discourse-related factors on the English dative alternation in Korean EFL learners’ writing by comparing a learner corpus (YELC) and a corresponding native speaker corpus (LOCNESS). Factors of interest are pronominality, definiteness and linear length of the two post-verbal arguments of the dative construction, which have been shown in previous studies to affect the choice between alternative double object and prepositional constructions. The results suggest (i) that Korean learners generally prefer the prepositional construction over the double object construction as compared with native speakers and (ii) that constraints involving pronominality is acquired earlier or more easily than those involving definiteness or length. These findings are discussed in terms of the role of instruction and L1 transfer in L2 acquisition of the English dative construction.