ERROR ANALYSIS REVISION TEST 1 CORDER: INTERLANGUAGE- the language learner at all points of his learning career 'has

a language', in the sense that his behaviour is rule governed and therefore describable in linguistic terms Interlanguage-changing all the time, rules are constantly undergoing revision, consistent and inconsistent, deficient as a means of communication -we must regard the learner as the only 'native speaker' of his language -he has 'intuitions' about the grammaticality of his language which are potentially investigable -we want to identify the differences between the two sets of rules and discover what he has still to learn, so that we may take appropriate and remedial action -Error analysis viewed in this way is a branch of applied comparative linguistics -in error analysis we are comparing the learner's language with the 'whole' of the target language (or with what has been selected for incorporation in the syllabus) = prospective comparison -the distinction between the notion of input and the notion of intake is relevant -learners do not immediately learn, on first exposure, what the syllabus prescribes should be learnt at that point -reasons for that: the nature of the data or the manner in which they are presented is defective, or while the data are adequate, the state of the learning device is such that it cannot take them in (the learner has to know certain things before he can learn something new) -learners are programmed cognitively to process data in a certain way -Some data may be presented prematurely so that they cannot form part of the intake, or alternatively some data may not be available when they are logically required. -the goal is to discover the relationship between the nature of the data presented and the state of the learner's grammar. -we need a longitudinal study of learners exposed to particular syllabuses (captive learners), or even exposed to no particular syllabus (non-captive learners) -two sorts of data: textual data and intuitional data are related to the two levels of adequacy, observational and descriptive. -A description based only on textual data cannot achieve mofe than observational adequacy -To be descriptively adequate a grammar must accord with the intuitions of the native speaker -in theory, error analysis is based on textual data, so it cannot achieve descriptive adequacy, but in practice, a teacher has an insight into linguistic development of his pupils and he has at some point been a native speaker of his pupil's interlanguage, so error analysis incorporates intuitional data as well. -We need therefore in the investigation of the learner's language to supplement textual data by intuitional data and devise systematic methods of investigating these. -Textual data cannot be regarded as a representative sample of the learner's language because the sample is biased due to external constraint and internal constraint -the textual data we usually work on is not spontaneous language produced by the learner under the pressure of natural communicative needs, but material produced as exercises in classroom conditions with a consequent variety of artificial constraints imposed on it - restricted topics, restricted functions, restricted time, etc. -Secondly, the learner himself will place limitations upon the data we work with, by selecting from his actual repertoire, where possible, only those aspects of his knowledge which, rightly or wrongly, he has most confidence in. -We need, therefore, techniques which allow us to correct this sampling bias, which will enable us to elicit information about the learner's interlanguage which he is not required to reveal by the ordinary tasks we set him -tests and examinations – not useful for descriptive purposes because we want to know what actual rules he uses, what we need is an elicitation procedure. -An elicitation procedure is any procedure which causes a learner to make a judgement about the grammatical acceptability of a form or provokes him into generating a linguistic response. It is clear that his judgements and responses can only be based upon the grammar of his interlanguage. -elicitation procedures are used to find out something specific about the learner's language -constraints must be placed on the learner so that he is forced to make choices within a severely restricted area of his phonological, lexical, or syntactic competence -elicitation procedures VS tests - the selection of the contexts in elicitation procedures is based not upon a description of the target language, but upon what is known (however limited) of the learner's interlanguage -the investigator must have some prior hunch or hypothesis about the possible nature of the learner's interlanguage as a guide -the main notions about the learner's language will derive from the two systematic techniques already mentioned: formal error analysis and contrastive analysis -The role of contrastive analysis is now increasingly seen as explanatory rather than predictive -analysis of a textual corpus can yield no more than a number of equally likely hypotheses -that is why the devising of systematic elicitation procedures must follow, not precede, as complete and explanatory study of the learner's language -requirements of the informant (the subject being tested): he should be able to make judgements about the acceptability of forms, give the authoritative interpretation of a linguistic form (the ability to give a translation equivalent) and in 1

useful hypotheses about the nature of the learner's language. when analysed. or institutionalized language. -errors are regarded as useful evidence of how the learner is setting about the task of learning. interlanguage. approximative system -term transitional competence (Corder) borrows the notion of 'competence' from Chomsky and emphasises that the learner possesses a certain body of knowledge that is constantly developing -linguistics has traditionally concerned itself with the institutionalized realizations of human language — that is with 'langues' in de Saussure's terminology. It is because of the dynamic nature of approximative systems that their investigation presents peculiar theoretical and methodological problems. -because of the effect of the internal and external constraints on its production. however. Their objective is descriptive not evaluative -two methods of investigation we can call clinical and experimental respectively and they form the basic techniques used by any linguist investigating particular manifestations of language -child language. in this approach. so we cannot use de Saussure's approach with interlanguage -interlanguages are not institutionalized manifestations of language. what 'sense' he is making of the target language data to which he is exposed and being required to respond. a body of utterances by the learner . This means making successive descriptions of their interlanguage. Approximative interlanguage systems are therefore unstable. learners rarely communicate. his 'transitional competence' or 'approximative system' by responding to various types of tests. -the exception is a child – cannot use metalanguage 2 . then his own peculiar version of the target language must be based on some systematic knowledge or personal 'competence -learners' versions of target languages were given the collective name interlanguage by Selinker in 1972 -The study of interlanguage is. in the devising of techniques for getting at the learner's knowledge more directly than by inference from his functionally constrained utterances in the classroom. indeed a necessary part of the learning process. when attempting to communicate. -Linguistic theory copes with the problem of describing change by postulating a succession of 'stable states' or 'etats de langue' -the learner's approximative systems merge gradually into each other rather than switch from one discrete state to the next. has some metalinguistic knowledge) CONCLUSION: To discover something about the processes of second language learning we need to be able to make longitudinal studies of language learners. These hypotheses require explanatory refinement by contrastive analysis. -learners' errors are in some sense systematic and not random. CORDER'S INTERLANGUAGE -errors arise because there has not been enough effort on the part of the learner or enough explanation or practice on the part of the teacher -another view of errors is that they are all the result of the influence of the mother tongue on the learning process. -two tendencies therefore emerge: there has been an increased interest in the study of learners in informal settings of language learning and use and. but it has no socially given name or fixed grammar. They provide.the textual data. test results are probably not a representative sample of the learner's language. rather than with the particular idiosyncratic manifestations of the individual native speaker's versions of particular languages. is seen as an inevitable. so such situations are not very relevant to the study of interlanguage -Learners typically produce a different set of errors in their spontaneously generated utterances. on the other. native informant. They do not therefore develop 'norms'. that is. that is with idiolects — or 'parole' -interlanguage can be viewed as idiosyncratic individual dialect. the study of the language systems of language learners. The making of errors. from the habits of the first language. -These techniques take the form of elicitation procedures of various sorts. then. They have the objective of requiring the learner to reveal what he knows. They appear to operate according to two differing sets of rules. Widdowson refers to these as 'rules of use'and 'rules of usage.intuitional data. correlating their linguistic development with the data which is put before them. in the first instance.order to understand the instructions given in elicitation exercises some linguistic metalanguage is almost inevitably needed -three types of informants: infant. otherwise there would be nothing for the teacher to learn from them . In the classrooms. Indeed the norms which interlanguage speakers implicitly accept and aim at are those of the target language. The data on which we base these descriptions is. 'interference' as it was called. than in their practice utterances. and are finally validated or otherwise by elicitation procedures whose object is to gain access to the learner's intuitions about his language . -other terms: interlingua (James).if the learner's errors are systematic. or simply the study of language learners' language. they're highly dynamic -learners do not use their interlanguage very often in the classroom for what we may call 'normal' or 'authentic' communicative purposes. language learner (the best informant.

the approximative systems of the learners would show certain similarities. grammatical system. his motive to improve his knowledge or elaborate his approximative system disappears. Interlanguage study is mostly limited to the scope of morpheme and syntax. Furthermore they are restricted functionally in the uses to which they can be put. -if there are indeed universal properties in human language and if the process of language learning is one of complicating some sort of more simple. organization. of the mother tongue. -the sequence of development of the interlanguage syntax of learners will show general overall similarities  This claim implies that there is a property of the human mind which determines the way language learners process the data of language to which they are exposed -It is the objective of interlanguage studies to discover what these processes are and what the 'natural' sequence of development is. -Several important criticisms about the IL studies : (1) The concentration on morpho-syntactic development and the failure to deal with semantic development (Ellis. In most multilingual communities throughout the world the learning of a second language takes place in an informal situation of language contact as a result of exposure to the second language being spoken by native speakers -In such informal learning settings. I have suggested that these similarities are evidence that certain basic processes are at work in the acquisition of a second language. -if we can find some general principles of development. whatever the target language may be. then one would expect to find that in the earlier stages of learning any language. This can be accounted for by the transfer of the articulatory and perceptual habits of the mother tongue to the interlanguage-But the syntax he creates appears to be largely uninfluenced by his phonological system. and sequencing of material for learning in a structured teaching situation. 1982). as there obviously is. -many learners exposed to inconsistent data and the range of possible heuristic hypotheses they may adopt about that data may be variable (different dialects. (2) The failure to define the concept clearly. the notion of interlanguage is trivial -the evidence is beginning to point to the conclusion that interlanguages as they develop.which was the tendency to confuse a process with a competence model (Spolsky. -different interlanguages show interesting similarities. new and complimentary methods are yet to be found to probe into the nature and underlying principles of the L2 learners’ interlanguage. if we cannot show some common formal features. about its grammar. Longitudinal and cross sectional studies are technically inadequate in themselves. on the basis of his interaction with the data he is exposed to. The phonology and phonetics of interlan-guage have been extensively studied and invariably they show features related to the phonology of the mother tongue. and the language involved (the more communicatively oriented the learning setting. then these principles can be applied to the selection. the setting (the learner therefore approaches the target language data in a fundamentally different way in a formal setting and in an informal setting). though not exclusively. -The term interlanguage was introduced because learners' languages studied up to that time had regularly displayed formal features both of the target language and of some other language. when compared with standard institutionalized languages. Selinker seems to prefer a processing model in spite of his use of competence terminology. -the phenomenon of fossilization = When his interlanguage grammar reaches that state of elaboration which enables him to communicate adequately for his purposes with native speakers. 3 . (3) The failure to develop effective approaches to facilitate empirical studies. the more similar the structural properties of their interlanguage systems will be). -It appears then that the nature of the interlanguage grammar a learner creates for himself is to a considerable extent determined by the knowledge of language the learner already possesses and how elaborate or sophisticated that knowledge is. do bear resemblances to each other -The resemblances which have been found are almost entirely syntactic ones. whatever the mother tongue of the learner. then it must be accounted for by variability in one or another of the three elements in the learning situation: the learner(age-the younger the learners. p. the more similar the structural properties of the learners' interlanguage systems will be). Where there is variability.-the overwhelming majority of bilinguals in the world have not learnt their second language in the classroom. or basic. 33). At this level there is clearly interference. or as a result of the way that he has been required to practise -The hypothesis is that the learner is creating for himself an account of the structural properties of the target language. non-standard language) -interlanguage systems are 'reduced' or 'simplified' systems. -it has now been well established that interlanguage may quite regularly exhibit systematic properties which show no obvious resemblance to the mother tongue or any other language known to the learner -the learner is making false inferences about the target language as a result of the way that the target data vhas been selected or presented to him. The important aspect of meaning is rarely tackled. notably. 1989. Spolsky raised a problem with the notion of ―interlanguage‖. particularly in the unstructured learning situation. one might expect that the interlanguage of learners would show different properties from that of learners in formal settings -so.

p. 2001. distinguishing it from CA. Briere (1968): difference by itself does not predict difficulty. 4) -―a subdiscipline of linguistics concerned with the comparison of two or more languages or subsystems of languages in order to determine both the differences and similarities between them‖ (Fisiak. p. negative transfer -in the case of negative transfer or interference. or the errors pointed out by researchers were errors teachers had already known about -1950s and 1960s the favored paradigm for studying FL/SL learning and organizing its teaching was Contrastive Analysis (James. lexical and syntactic levels: L2 would be affected by L1 -L1 learning habits will be transferred into L2 learning habits: positive vs. 1) -CA stresses the influence of the mother tongue (MT) in learning a second language in phonological. 1981. interlanguage. mainly on account of its association with an outdated model oflanguage description (Structuralism) and a discredited learning theory (Behaviourism). followed by a comparison of the two. CA places the environment as the predominant factor in SLA. error analysis and transfer analysis CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS . -The 'first-order' application of linguistics is describing language. They stop short in two ways: when their FL/SL knowledge becomes fixed or 'fossilized'. causes and consequences of an unsuccessful language. target language) pairwise. yielding three paradigms: contrastive analysis. claim was made that errors could be described without the need to refer to L1 of the learners. their version of the TL) and the TL itself. the investigation of what people do not know and how they attempt to cope with their ignorance‖ (James. and when they produce errors in their attempts at it. grammatical. often there is more difficulty in practice with similar structures than with different structures -by viewing errors simply as a result of L1 interference.JAMES -language error = an unsuccessful bit of language -Error analysis = the process of determining the incidence. 62) -the clearer the understanding of the sources of learners’ errors. p. -By the early 1970s. and learners would transfer inappropriate properties of L1 -Purists of contrastive analysis advocate a ―strong‖ approach—predictions about learner difficulties and development of teaching methods based on a comparison of phonological. for a good number of the errors made by language learners seem to be unrelated to the learner’s native language ERROR ANALYSIS -This paradigm involves first independently or 'objectively' describing the learners' IL (that is.1950s. certain elements of the MT have no corresponding counterparts in the TL. while learners are believed to play only a passive role in accepting the impositions of the environment -interference or transfer from L1 is not the sole source of errors in L2 learning. -A second or ―weaker‖ version looks for learners’ recurring errors and attempts to account for those errors by ascribing their NL/TL differences -The original weakness of CA was its failure to go beyond a statement of difference to a supportable theory of difficulty. -we can compare these three (mothertongue. -also. L1 habits would cause errors in the L2. This is a necessary first step to take before you can move on to the 'second-order' application of comparing languages. the errors predicted did not appear.the favoured paradigm for studying FL/SL learning and organizing its teaching was Contrastive Analysis -The procedure involved first "describIng' comparable features of MTand TL and then comparing the forms and resultant meanings across the two languages in order to spot the mismatches that would predictably result in error making. The novelty of EA. some misgivings about tlle reliability of Contrastive Analysis (CA) began to be voiced. so as to locate mismatches. the nature. -―the study of linguistic ignorance. the better second language teachers will be able to detect the process of L2 learning -Richards (1971) A noncontrastive approach to error analysis identified a number of different sources or causes of competence errors: -interference errors of MT interference. 1960s .. was that the mother tongue was not supposed to enter the picture. 2001. -Second language learners stop short of native-like success in a number of areas of the L2 grammar'. however.morphological. -intralingual errors within the TL itself and 4 . and syntactic features of the NL and TL.

targeted elicitation: determining the levels and systems of the TL to be sampled -purpose: receptive or productive modality.imitation. procedures and strategies. occurring as a result of failure to observe the restrictions or existing structures. and syntactic features of the NL and TL. reading. reflecting the learners’ attempts to construct hypotheses about their target language from their limited experience -EA is a systematic study and analysis of errors made by the learners of a foreign language in an attempt to account for their origin. -By the late 19605 EA had become the acceptable alternative to the Behaviourism-tainted CA of the 1950s. (2) Ignorance of rule restriction. deriving from faulty comprehension of distinctions in the TL. it can refer to the abstraction of learner language. simulations . Observational studies: role play. However. -Errors show that L1 and L2 learners both develop an independent system of language. Weaknesses: a robust error typology. their regularity. no evidence of the developmental route learners take. indescriminately -purpose: to gain a first impression of the learner's capacities and identify the areas of TL competence where they are most susceptible to error : the source for the analyst’s initial hypothesis 2. Introspection: development of students’ own metalanguage(diaries. questionnaires) 5 . information gap activities. -Errors are evidence of the learners' in-built syllabus. (4) False concepts hypothesized. cross-sectional studies vs. (3) They are means whereby learners test alternative hypotheses about the L2. arising when the learners fail to fully develop a certain structure required to produce acceptable sentences. they tell the researcher how learning proceeds. dictation. controlled elicitation (cloze test. rather than what teachers think they have put in: intake should not be equated with input. since these are governed by the same underlying mechanisms. speaking. classroom observation 2. -in his The significance of learners' errors'. 'IL' can be used to refer to any one of a number of concretizations (cf. (3) Incomplete application of rules. Experimental studies: interventionist. covering instances where the learners create a deviant structure on the basis of his experience of other structure of the TL. or of what they have taken in. de Saussure's parole) of the underlying system. Alternatively.: feedback (2) They provide to the researchers evidence of how language is learned or acquired. TA is not a credible alternative paradigm but an ancillary procedure within EA for dealing with those IL-TL discrepancies (and the associated errors) that are assumed to be the results of MT transfer or interference. stimulus modification. multiple choice items 3. processes and strategies that learners resort to in the course of tackling an additional language. First. you are comparing IL with MT and not MT with TL. grammatical. the aggregate of forms. it is the evidence of transitional competence -Errors should be distinguished from mistakes -Errors are significant in three respects: they tell the teacher what needs to be taught. one difference betiveen the two is that L2 learning is probably facilitated by the learner's knowledge of the MT. their predictability and variability -Richards (1971) : intralingual and developmental errors observed in the acquisition of English as a second language four categories: (1) Overgeneralization. broad trawl: all sorts of errors. DATA COLLECTION FOR EA Error elicitation: 1. four basic skills (listening. to elicit targeted forms which the EA is interested in: . a partial picture of what happens when one learns L2 TRANSFER ANALYSIS -Purists of contrastive analysis advocate a ―strong‖ approach—predictions about learner difficulties and development of teaching methods based on a comparison of phonological. This concept is similar to de Saussure's langue.longitudinal studies vs. writing) METHODS OF DATA COLLECTION FOR EA 1. -There are two ways to conceptualize 'IL'. -TA is a subprocedure applied in the diagnostic phase of doing EA. -A second or ―weaker‖ version looks for learners’ recurring errors and attempts to account for those errors by ascribing their NL/TL differences -in transfer analysis (James).-developmental errors. and they are a means whereby learners test their hypotheses about the L2. Corder made five crucial points: -We should look for parallels between L1 acquisition and L2 learning. EA can be highly significant to SLA in the following aspects: (1) They tell the teachers how far towards the goal the learners have progressed and what remains for them to learn.

Correcteness: a NS’s metalinguistic decision based on prescriptive normative standards . is the FL learner's ignorance of the TL. especially on the syntactic level. (collocations). we attribute this to unacceptability. steal or borrow'. It is the grammar (not you or I) who decides whether something said by a learner is grammatical. -Errors.Ignorance: linguistic ignorance: The Error Analyst's object of enquiry.Strangeness and infelicity: cooccurrence restricitons are violated . ERRORS -Mistakes: unsystematic errors of learners -If the learner is inclined and able to correct a fault in his or her output. .Error can be defined in terms of discepancy between IL and the NS’s version of the TL FOUR CATEGORIES OF IGNORANCE . in silence. which are not governed by frxed rules but are probabilistic or 'weighted' in unpredictable ways – instances of 'locutional deviance' of the sort we expect from foreigners: He was listening *at me when I *put the statement. then. and that it is an error. This ignorance can be manifest in two ways. learners tend to make similar errors regardless of their background language. the higher the interference percentage -besides mother tongue interference (interlingual transfer). it is assumed that the form he or she selected was not the one intended. -Tendency is that the difference or partial difference between the target language and the source language in linguistic properties will affect the extent of interference the lower the language level.Silence: cultural silence(learners from 'silent cultures' such as Finns or Japanese ) vs. for instance. insisting that mistakes are of no significance to the process of language learning since they 'do not reflect a defect in our knowledge' Holly and her friends was passing by when we spotted them through the window. Second language acquisition (SlA) theoreticians study this IL sui generis.errors are the results of violating cooccurrence restrictions of English.. (3) induced errors. -Corder (1967) made use of Chomsky’s the ―competence versus performance‖ -the causes of second language errors can be classified as: (1) interlingual transfer (interference of L1). but interference from the mother tongue was not the only interfering factor. or pragmatic infelicities (performative speech acts(Austin) an infelicity will yield a sociolinguistic faux pas.Ignorance (ignorance is specific in the sense that one is said to be ignorant of such-and-such a structure. -Corder upholds the competence versus performance distinction.Grammaticality: well-formedness and ill-formedness.Acceptability: NS’s decision on the well-formednss of the expression. says or writes nothing. they do reflect knowledge. First. -owing to the complexity of the structure of English. avoidance (silence induced by ignorance) . -Errors: systematic errors of learners -an error arises only when there was no intention to commit one.Substitutive language (interlanguage): learners usually prefer to try to express themselves in the TL by alternative means: they 'beg. when the learner makes no response. and (4) performance errors -from the late 1950s to the 1960s. ) vs. .FL learner’s ignorance of TL . learners’ errors were almost always attributed to mother tongue interference -Duskova (1969) found many errors from interference of the mother tongue. Error Analysts study it in relation to the TL. (2) intralingual transfer (i. the other major cause is recognized as intralingual transfer. table manners formulae like Guten Appetit! ) MISTAKES VS. -The police was pursuing another tip from the informer. we assume that the form the learner used was the one intended. they are not self-correctable. . are everything that mistakes are not: they are of significance. -The pyjama I bought last month was totally ruined. This is the second way they compensate for their ignorance. -If the learner is unable or in any way disinclined to make the correction. when non-linguistic factors militate against the use of a form. and only learners of an L2 make them. 6 . The study of this substitutive language (called IL) is EA. Incompletness (overal insufficiency across all areas of the TL) . that is. contextually determined it is to do with 'actualization procedures'. -The door were closed when he attempted to enter the house. irrespective of one's overall proficiency in the TL.. and we shall say that the fault is a mistake. as if its speakers were a newly discovered lost tribe in Amazonia. one must assume.e. overgeneralization). .EA’S OBJECT OF ENQUIRY .

characterized by: -(1) overgeneralization. -(2) faulty rule-learning (i.g.E. reported questions). reported conditional clauses).. past tense(es) in English Overgeneralization is a general term that can cover: -(1) analogy (e.-these errors usually result from complex rule-learning behavior. ignorance of rule restriction and incomplete application of rules) (e. and -(3) ignorance of rule restriction.g. .g. and -(3) failure to observe distinction in the target language (Cro-E interface).e. 7 . -(2) incomplete application of rules.

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