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This paper is a description of Error Analysis in Second Language Acquisition

Arga Kurniawan KMA A320122007

Error analysis (EA hereafter) is the first approach to the study of SLA which includes
an internal focus on learnerss creative ability to construct language (Saville Troike 2006:
38). The primary focus of EA is on learner erros and the evidence of how learner errors could
provide an understanding of the underlying processes of second language learning or second
language acquisition. Learner errors are windows into the language learners mind (Savilletroike 2006:39), since they provide evidence for the system of language which a learner is
using at any particular point in the course of L2 development and the strategies or procedures
the learner is using in his discovery of the language. Errors tell tge teacger wgat beeds ti ve
taught, tell the researcher how learning proceeds, and are means whereby learners test their
hypotheses about the second language. This section sheds light further on the main aspects of
errors analysis which include the methodology of EA and Error classification and description.
Erorr Analysis
There are 5 (five) parts of a brief view of error analysis. They are the meaning of error
analysis, the sources of error, the types of errors, the practical uses of error analysis, and the
methodology of error analysis.
1. The Meaning of Error Analysis
Human learning is fundamentally a process that involves the making of mistakes
and errors. For instance, if the learners are learning English the learners always make
some mistake and some errors, so the learners must try to correct them by themselves of
by asking the other person who has mastered English well to analyze the learner error.
Second language learning is a process that is clearly not unlike first language
learning in its trial and error nature. Inevitably the learner will make mistakes in the
process of acquisition, and indeed will often impede that process if he does not commit
errors and then benefit in turn from various forms of feedback on those (Sujoko, 1989: 4).
Error is a noticeable deviation from the adult grammar of a native speaker,
reflecting the interlanguage competence of the learner (Sujoko, 1989: 5).
Mistake refers to a performance error that is either a random guess or a slip in
that it is a failure to utilize a known system correctly (Sujoko, 1989: 5).
In science the word error does not mean mistake or blunder but rather the
inevitable uncertainty of all measurements. Because they cannot be avoided, errors in this
context are not, strictly speaking, mistakes. At best, they can be made as small as
reasonably possible, and their size can be reliably estimated (Taylor, 2006: 1).

Someone who has mastered English well knows to analyze the learner error. By
trial and error and also analyzing them, the writer hopes by error analysis the writer will
be able to master English well. In order to analyze learners errors in a proper perspective,
it is crucial to make a distinction between mistakes and errors. The differences between
error and mistake are:
The source of errors is competence and mistakes are performance.
The characteristics of errors are systematic but mistakes are unsystematic or

The duration of errors is long and mistakes are short.
The linguistic systems of errors are not mastered yet but in mistake are

The result is deviation also in mistakes.
The correction in error is helped by authorities i.e. teacher, etc but in mistakes
the correction is done by students themselves.

We knew what is mean by error, so analysis is the detailed study or examination of

something in order to understand more about it; the result of the study (Hornby, 1995:
2. The Sources of Errors or Classification of Errors
After knowing the concept of EA, there are some factors which cause the students
make errors:
a. Interlingual Transfer
Before the system of the second language is familiar, the native language the only
linguistic system in previous experience upon which the learner can draw. Students never
heard English word, so they find some difficulties in their learning. Fluent of learners
negative language aids the teacher in detecting and analyzing error, however, familiarity
with language can be of help in pointing this common source.
The sources of error can be caused by interference of the learners mother tongue
to the second language that is learned.
For example: The bag of Sarah. Instead of Sarahs bag.
The sentence The bag of Sarah is interfered by the learners mother tongue
(Tasnya Sarah), which is actually using apostrophe () Sarahs bag.
b. Intralingual Transfer
These are errors that reflect the general characteristic of the learners. That is
interference, or, put another way the incorrect generalization of rules within the target
language is a major factor in second language learning.
The source of error can also happen on intralingual transfer, which it caused
by negative intralingual transfer (overgeneralization) in target language.

For example: Does Randy can sing? Instead of Can Randy sing?
In the sentence above, a learner puts does word in the beginning of
interrogative sentence, which is actually can word.
3. The methodology or The Algorithm for Conducting Error Analysis
The methodology of Error Analysis according to S.N. Sidhar (1985: 222) is as
a. Collecting of the data (either from a free composition by students on given theme
or from examination answer).
b. Identification of errors (labeling with varying degrees of precision depending on
the linguistic sophistication brought to bear on the task, with respect to the exact
nature of the deviation; e.g. dangling preposition, anomalous sequence of the

tense, etc).
Classification into error types.
Statement of relative frequency of error types.
Identification of the area of difficulty in the target language.
Therapy (remedial drill, lesson, etc).
According to Tarigan the steps of errors analysis are as the following (1990: 71):
Collection the data of errors.
Identifying and classifying the errors.
Considering the order of error types.
Classifying the errors.
Estimating the areas of errors.
Correcting the errors.

Saville-Troike, Muriel. 2006. Introducing Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: C.U.P
Sidhar, S. N. 1985. Contrastive Analysis, Error Analysis and Inter language in Jacek Fisiak
(ed) Contrastive Linguistic and Language Teacher.
Sujoko, 1989. Error Analysis. Surakarta: Sebelas Maret University Press.
Taylor, John R and P. V. Bork. 2008. Error Analysis. Accesed in 25th, October 2015