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Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.

Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

Language Learner Profile

Lucas Matas Salas Ferrada.


Universidad Catlica de la Santsima Concepcin.

Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.


Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

Index:

Introduction 3
Learner background ..... 3
Interview . 4
Phonetic transcription .. 3
Data analysis . 5
General analysis .. 5
Phonetic analysis mistakes 6
Grammatical analysis mistakes . 8
Proposed treatment and remediation .... 10
Discussion ..11
Conclusion ... 12
References... 13

Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.


Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

Introduction:

To create a language learning profile it is necessary need to be considering factors


as the background of the student, adding the informal and formal approach to the
second language. The acquisition of different language can be a challenge for
most of the learners because they need to add a new vocabulary, grammar,
pronunciation, among others. This fact in most of the cases is very difficult because
the mothers tongue influence.
In order to build this language learning profile, was interviewed a first year student.
The questions created were easy, related to his background and academicals
facts. The made it questions are to recognize the weaknesses in the second
language, related with grammar and phonology in order to analyze and give a
feedback to fix these mistakes.

Learner background:

This first year student is nineteen years old boy from Penco is a current student of
English pedagogy at UCSC. His high school studies were in Liceo Comercial
Enrique Oyarzn Mondaca. His English classes during his school period were just
four hours per week. The classes were in English but usually the teachers
explanations in the second time were in Spanish because the students cannot
understand at all the explanations. He said he loves English since he was a little
boy. The student explained me he starts to be interested in learning English since
he was a child because he was really fond of know the meaning of some words in
English movies and what are some songs are saying.
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Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.


Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

The interview:
S: Interviewee
L: Interviewer

1: My name is ______ ____, I nineteen years old, I live in Penco, I study


English pedagogy in Universidad Catlica de la Santsima Concepcin.
2: And why did you decide to study English pedagogy?
3: Eeehh because I I love English. When when I was eeehh very
small
4: Ok ok. And what kind of techniques do you use to study?
5: Eeemmm Listen to music, ammm wach TV in English
6: Ok And do you feel confident with your English level?
7: No.
8: Why?
9: Because eeeemmm
10: You dont feel confident?
11: No
12: Ok, thats it.
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Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.


Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

Phonetic transcription (three chosen lines):

The objective of this part of this topic is transcribe three lines of the interview
phonetically as the interviewee said to analyse it.

1: My name is, I nineteen years old, I live in Penco, I study English


pedagogy in Universidad Catlica de la Santsima Concepcin.
3: Eeehh because I I love English. When when I was eeehh very
small

1: /|ma nem z [Sebastin Yara]| |a nantin jrz ld| |a lv n Penco| |


a std gls pdgi| |n [Universidad Catlica de la Santsima
Concepcin] /
3: /| [Eeeh] || bkz a| |a lv glt| |wn| |wn a wz| |eeehh| |vri
sml|/

Data analysis:

General analysis:

Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.


Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

According to the audio of the interview, the student has several problems with
pronunciation and structure when he was creating a sentence. In addition to the
previous problems, there are problems with the intonation of the words. This
learner possesses an elementary English level of proficiency but he can
communicate in the second language with other with simple and short sentences.
A final problem not difficult to see is the learner usually cannot finish his sentence
because is complicate for him to find the words in English to match the idea in his
head and maybe this idea is in Spanish and he is trying to translate word by word.

Phonetic analysis mistakes:

Line

Word

Interviewee

Phonetic

Correct

[Jara]

pronunciation
[Yara]| /r/

analysis
Use of

pronunciation
the [Jara]

phoneme //
instead

the

Spanish
phoneme /J/

Analysis: The use of the English phoneme // instead the Spanish phoneme
/J/ may be because of the change to the sound of the Spanish phoneme into an
English phoneme. This is a common mistake to some English beginner learners
and this mistake makes us realize that he knows the pronunciation of the
phoneme in English but he got confused trying to make his last name sounds
English according to the phonetic pronunciation of the / / phoneme. In
addition to the previous, Jara is a common proper noun in Spanish.

Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.


Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

Line

Word

Interviewee

Phonetic

Correct

years

pronunciation
/jrz /

analysis
Use of

pronunciation
the /jrz/

phoneme

//

instead

the

phoneme //

Analysis: The use of the phoneme // instead the / / phoneme is because of the
predominance of the L1 over the L2. The Spanish phonetic alphabet just has
one different type of /A/ and it sounds the same as the English phoneme / /. In
addition, the student does not take into account the letter e in the word years
and this makes the pronunciation of the word sounds just with the phoneme / /.

Line
1

Word

Interviewee

Phonetic

Correct

English

pronunciation
/gls/

analysis
Use of

pronunciation
the /gl/

phoneme
instead

/s/
the

phoneme //

Analysis: The student made the mistake changing the pronunciation of the word
English changing the final phonetic sound of the phoneme / / for the sound of
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Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.


Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

the phoneme /s/. The problem of this issue may be because he was not careful
with the final sound of the words. According to this problem, the learner
dismisses how the phoneme // sounds.

Line
1

Word

Interviewee

Phonetic

Correct

Pedagogy

pronunciation
/pdgi/

analysis
Intonation

pronunciation
/pdgi/

mistake

Analysis: In the case of this mistake, the learner changes the place of the
intonation inside of the word pedagogy. In order to answer why that mistake
was made by the interviewee may be because the L1 knowledge is once again
over the knowledge of the L2. As we know, the stress of the word in English is
very different from when we translate the word in Spanish and adding to this,
the student tries to use the same Spanish strees to the word pedagogy
because he was thinking in Spanish.

Grammar analysis mistakes:

(Line 1): I nineteen years old


Analysis:
Regarding to this sentence there is a missing word mistake made by the
interviewee. The sentence must be I am nineteen years old

(Line 1): I live in Penco, I study English pedagogy


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Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.


Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

This grammar mistake is known as conjunction. In this sentence we notice a


conjunction omission in order to joy a sentence. The learner tries to number
characteristics but when he mentioned the last characteristic he should add a
conjunction. In this case: I live in Penco and I study English pedagogy
fixes better.

(Line 1): I study English pedagogy in Universidad Catlica de la


Santsima Concepcin.
In this sample, the student made a collocation mistake. This is a common
mistake for many L2 learners because they translate literally this preposition
into Spanish. The sentence must be and I study English pedagogy at
Universidad Catlica de la Santsima Concepcin.

(Line 3): When when I was eeehh very small


Analysis:
In this sentence we can notice there is a grammar mistake related to the
meaning of the lexis (adjective). In this case, the adjective small is related to
size of an object or person, but according the interpretation given to this
sentence, the interviewee is referring to his childhood and the adjective which is
more appropriate in this case should be young or change the sentence to
since I was a child.

Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.


Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

Proposed treatment and remediation:

In case of this student, his proficiency in the language is too basic. This is
notice in the number of mistakes. He tends to make the same mistakes over
and over because probably there is an interference with L1. In the case of this
language learner profile, I decided to talk about the collocation problem.
According to Forteza, Rao, Rubtsova, & Sabitov, (2009):
Collocations usually cannot be translated into other languages word by
word. A phrase can be a collocation even if it is not consecutive (e.g.: ram
something down someone's throat).The typical criteria for collocations are noncompositionality, non-substitutability and non-modifiability (p. 2).
This means that collocations are not always prepositions referring to an
expression. There are many different types of collocations, for example: make
mistakes, do the homework, watch TV, among others. In the case of the learner,
he uses the preposition in to the collocation in the Universidad Catlica de la
Santsima Concepcin. As explained before in the analysis of this mistake, he
translates the expression from the Spanish into English.
Forteza, Rao, Rubtsova, & Sabitov, (2009) explain that collocations can be
taught by showing learners collocation in context, such as showing pictures,
giving instructions, daily routines, among others. Collocations in themselves
cannot be translated literally into L1. It can cause that the learner is going to get
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Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.


Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

confuse because of the meaning. The idea of exposing the learner to common
collocation words will create as significant knowledge and a significant learning.

Discussion:

As the previous issues exposed in the language learner profile, the student has
a basic English level. The fossilization of mistakes shows interference between
his mother tongue and the second language he is studying. In addition of
fossilization issue, as Littlewood, W (1984) (as cited in Tlazado, & Basurto,
(2014: 152) :
the importance of how FL teachers deal with pronunciation and how this
pronunciation

instruction

affects

students'

performance

in

their

oral

communication deserves careful attention as all errors, if not taken care of at


some point, are very likely to become fossilized and thus very difficult to
eradicate.
In case of the samples of mistakes in this language learner profile, the audio of
the interview present several problems with the pronunciation, specifically with
the repetition of some words (in the case of English, for example). This is a
proof of the learner fossilized the bad pronunciation of the word and he needs
to be aware in this kind of problems and eliminate it with listening and speaking
exercises for example.
These problems were not corrected in the high school period, may be because
the teacher was not focused in that kind of mistakes and he just was worried
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Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.


Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

about to pass the contents to the class. Another factor of the background of the
interviewee is he had just four hours per week of English classes. This period of
time is too short to learn properly a second language. In the case of the learner,
he can communicate with people in English, but with a lot of struggles and
difficulties and these problems were not an important issue for his English
teacher in high school.

Conclusion:

As a final point in the language learner profile, the interviewee has difficulties
with his English level of proficiency, but he knows some structure of the
language and he tries to communicate. These exposed mistakes in this
investigation, came from his background because he said he loves English, but
he just know the second language in a elementary level. The analysis of the
mistakes helps to know the learner most of the cases think in Spanish and then
he tries to translate almost literally in English. One of the issues to fix this
tendency in the student is helping to study grammar and learn the structure of a
sentence. An important fact is about the few hours in high school dedicated to
study the second language. In some cases, English is an important subject and
students been forced to study more than four hours per week in the English
class in a public school. In most of the cases, this is why the mother language
affects the learners when they try to learn a new language, because the student
just listens to and repeats words in a different language but does not know
about the grammar of the language and just uses the grammar of his or her L1.

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Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.


Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

References:

Forteza, R., Rao, S., Rubtsova, E., & Sabitov, O. (2009, June). Collocations in
the vocabulary English teaching as a foreign language. In Scielo. Retrieved from
http://www.scielo.sld.cu/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S102494352009000600006&nrm=iso&lng=en
Littlewood, W. (1984). Foreign and second language learning: Language
acquisition research and its implications for the classroom. Cambridge, UK:
Cambridge University Press.
Tlazado, A., & Basurto, N. (2014, July). Pronunciation Instruction and Students'
Practice to Develop Their Confidence in EFL Oral Skills. In Scielo. Retrieved from
http://www.scielo.org.co/scielo.php?pid=S165707902014000200011&script=sci_arttext

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Acquisition and Learning of English as a Foreign Language.


Salas, L
Roa-Ghiselini, I.
Semester 1, 2015

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