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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

1.0. Overview

This is an introductory chapter which paves the way for the rest
of the thesis. Here the researcher will present the statement of
the problem, the theoretical framework or model of the research,
questions of the study, aims and objectives of the research,
significance/contributions of the research, general background
information about Malaysia, status of the Arabic language in
Malaysia, as well as the site of the present research: National
Religious Secondary School in Kuala Lumpur (henceforth
NRSSKL). It will also outline the limitations of the research and
give a definition of certain terms used in the research. Finally,
there is a summary with a tentative plan of the research.

1.1 The Problem


1.1.1 General Background

Foreign/second language learners find difficulties in learning the


Arabic language ( ‫ جاسم‬Jāssem 1996a). Some of these difficulties
lie in learning language skills which are listening, speaking,
reading and writing. One of the most difficult skills is writing
(Pilus 1993; Jassem et al 1998). The difficulty in writing lies
most noticeably in grammar. In his study of Malay learners of
Arabic, Abukhudairi (1992:46) noted that

Malay students have great difficulties in writing Arabic.


These difficulties were clearly reflected in their errors they

 N.B. if the reference is written in both Arabic and English, it means that
the reference is in the Arabic language.
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made in their papers … the highest number of errors


occurred in the grammar category.

Other scholars supported this claim. Abdul-Rauf (1983)


mentioned that Arabic grammar is difficult and complex, for both
native speakers of Arabic and foreigners. Similarly, ‫ السمِّد‬As-
Saiyyed (1988), who made a study on common written
grammatical errors of native Arabic secondary school students,
found that these native speakers of Arabic find difficulties in
Arabic grammar especially in the use of Arabic tense and
agreement.

Furthermore, not only students make errors in grammar but also


educated native speakers of Arabic make errors in grammar.
Educated native speakers fail to speak standard Arabic properly
all the time. Indeed, the distorted language can be heard even
among such educated people. In this respect, Khisbak (1957)
says:

To be frank, we can say that only a few among our


educated people and academics can avoid making
grammatical mistakes. ( quoted in Ahmed, Mowafak 1991:
6)

As to non-native speakers of Arabic, they certainly have more


difficulties than the native speakers of Arabic. In his study of the
written errors of non-native speakers of Arabic, ‫ زهماا‬Zahrān (no
date:140) reported that:

The phenomenon of tense for non-native learners of Arabic


is difficult and is considered a difficult and very important
problem. (Translation mine)
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Another problem is subject-verb agreement (henceforth SVA).


As ‫ زهاا‬Zahrān (no date:137) puts it,

The agreement between the verb and its subject is a great


and serious problem for non-native speakers of Arabic; it is
very important indeed. (Translation mine)

Difficulties in learning grammar, especially tense and SVA, are


universal in the sense that they affect learners of all languages. In
his study of the written errors of Malaysian learners of English,
Haja Mohideen (1991) found tense and SVA to be particularly
problematic. As he puts it,

… tense and aspect is a very problematic area of verb


phrase (henceforth VP) for Malay learners. Haja Mohideen
(1991:344)

Concerning SVA, Haja Mohideen (1991:316-7) reported that

…getting the verb to agree with the subject in a sentence


appears to be quite difficult for Malay learners.

In his study of the written errors by Malay learners of Arabic


Abdalla (1996:4) emphasized that

…as found by some studies and observed by Arabic


teachers, tense … are areas of difficulty for Malays who
learn Arabic. (c.f. Wilkins et al. 1992; Azma Abdul Hamid
et al. 1992)

So grammar is difficult to learn which consequently leads to


errors. Mature learners often point and bear witness to this. For
example, during the presentation of the proposal of this study on
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(28/6/1997), Dr Nor Azizah Mohammad Salleh said that “I am


learning Arabic and find tense is very difficult”.

Moreover, in his teaching and supervising Arabic trainee


teachers during their teaching practice in the NRSSs, the
present researcher has noticed that they make serious errors
in the use of the Arabic VP. E.g.

‫صاح ال يك فوق السور كل يوم‬


(Şāha al-dīku fawqa al-sūri kulla yawm)
the cock crowed above the wall every day.

This example has a tense error. As the cock crows everyday,


the tense of the verb should be in the present rather than in
the past. That is, ‫ يصِّح‬.

‫األستاذة يأكل األرز‬


(al-ustādhah ya’kulu al-’aruz)
The female teacher he-eats rice.

This example has a SVA error. It has a feminine subject and


a masculine verb, which should be ‫ تأكل‬.

1.1.2 Statement of the Problem in This Research

The problem of this research is to investigate the use of


certain aspects of the Arabic verb phrase by Malaysian
Islamic secondary school learners of Arabic. There are many
reasons for examining this topic.

First, the verb is a very central area of grammar which causes


a lot of difficulty to second or foreign language learners in
general. In the words of Haja Mohideen (1991:2)
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verbs are the pivots to which other sentence constituents


are linked. Moreover, it is also the case that treatment of
the verb phrase (hereafter VP) in grammar books takes up
a lot of space. Errors in the VP also tend to be rated as
serious.

Secondly, the verb in Arabic is one of the most difficult areas


that encounter the learner of Arabic as a foreign or second
language. It has a very complex structure. Some aspects of
this complex structure include agreement, tense, mood and
voice.

As to agreement, the Arabic verb agrees with its subject in


person, number and gender. All these are indicated by certain
inflectional endings ( i.e. suffixes, infixes and prefixes). Here
are some representative examples.

A: Person: There are three persons in Arabic: 1st person,


2nd person and 3rd person. There must be agreement
between the person and its subject (noun /pronoun) and form
of the verb. For example,

’anta taktubu ‫ " أنت تكتب‬You write"


Malaysians often say:

‫’ أنمت يكتمب‬anta *yaktubu "you write" where the prefix ( ‫ت م‬


ta ) should be used instead of ( ‫ يم‬ya ) ‫أنت تكتب‬.

The error renders two conflicting meanings in Arabic with


the same doer:
* you he writes.
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There are 14 pronouns in Arabic, and the verb forms vary


accordingly. This places a great burden on the foreign
learner, thus committing more and more errors.

B. Number: There are three numbers in Arabic, which are


singular, dual and plural. The Arabic verb inflects for
number, e.g.

‫’ أنت تكتب‬anta taktubu "you (singular) write"


‫’ أنتما تكتبا‬antumā taktubān "you (dual) write"
‫’ أنت تكتبو‬antum taktubūn "you (plural) write"

C. Gender: In Arabic, there are two genders: masculine and


feminine. The Arabic verb inflects for gender: i.e., the
inflection indicates the sex of person. E.g.

‫أنت تكتب‬ ’anta taktubu "you (masc.) write"


ِ
‫أنت تكتبني‬ ’anti taktubīna "you (fem.) write"

Malaysian students are very confused by this and commit lots


of errors here. E.g.

ِ ’anti taktub.
‫أنت تكتب‬
They use a Masculine verb form with a feminine pronoun.

Arabic tense is a major problem. There are three tenses in


Arabic: past, present and future. The Arabic verb is inflected
for tense. E.g.
‫’ أنا كتبت‬anā katabtu "I wrote (past)"
‫’ أنا أكتب‬anā ’aktubu "I write (present)"
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‫’ أنا سأكتب‬anā sa'aktubu "I will write (future)"

Tense inflections vary according to person, gender and


number. This is a most difficult problem for Malaysian
learners of Arabic. They confuse and mix up the wrong
tenses with the wrong inflections. E.g.

‫أكتب البارحة‬ ‫أنا‬


’anā ’aktubu albāriha.
I write yesterday.

The correct verb form should be ( ‫ كتبمت‬katabtu ) which


indicates the past tense.

Thirdly, lack or rarity of studies of error analysis in Arabic in


general and the use of the verb phrase in particular by Malaysian
learners of Arabic. As ‫ أبو خضريي‬Abūkhudaīrī (1994:49) puts it,

Contemporary Arabic researchers have only lately turned


to this kind of research (i.e. error analysis EA hereafter),
and that on a very narrow scale. In the area of EA of
language in the teaching the Arabic language, few attempts
have been made, all of which are limited to the area of
teaching Arabic language to foreigners.

Jassem (1993b:65-66; 1992:130) specifically called for


research on Arabic tense and time which is both 'interesting'
and complicated'.

The Arabic verbs also inflect for case or mood. There are
three moods in Arabic: the nominative, accusative, jussive.
For example,
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‫أنا أكتب‬ ’anā ’aktubu. "I write - nominative"


‫’ أنا لن أكتب‬anā lan ’aktuba. "I will not write-accusative"
‫أكتب‬
ْ ‫أنا مل‬ ’anā lam ’aktub. "I did not write - jussive"

Moreover, some of these endings are deleted for certain


grammatical reasons. E.g.

‫’ أنت مل تكتبوا‬antum lam taktubū "you did not write (jussive)"

This is a grammatical category and is difficult not only for


Malaysian learners but also for native speakers of Arabic.

1.2 The Theoretical Framework or Model of the Research

The researcher shall follow the error analysis approach as


proposed by Corder and others. This approach first arose in the
1960s to counter the contrastive analysis hypothesis according to
which the errors are caused by the influence of the mother
tongue on the foreign language. Such influence is called
interference or transfer. The error analysis approach rejects
interference and suggests that errors are developmental. In other
words, they have no relation to one's first language. Rather they
are committed by the learner as he progresses in learning the
language. It is hoped that this research will shed further light on
the hypothesis.

1.3 Aims and Objectives of the research

The research aims to examine the errors in the Arabic verb


phrase of Malay learners of Arabic. It will attempt to:

1- Identify the types of VP errors that Malay learners make in


learning Arabic;
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2- Specify the major and minor VP errors;


3- Familiarize the Malay students with the problem of mother
tongue interference.
4- Provide acceptable explanation for the causes of errors;
5- Help the Malay students to learn the Arabic language more
effectively by pointing out and studying their errors. Errors have
been found to be very crucial in language learning; and
6- Help the Arabic language teachers to design valid techniques
to overcome the difficulties faced by their students.

1.4 Questions of the Research

There are three questions and five sub-questions in this research.


These are as follows:

1- Do the Malay Students find difficulties in Arabic VP in


general?
a) Is there any difficulties in tense choice used by the students?
b) Is there any difficulties in lexical category used by the
students?
c) Is there any difficulties in category of errors used by the
students?
d) Do the students use the tense particle correctly with the
verb?
e) Is there any spelling errors of the verb?
2- Do the Malay Students use the agreement of the verb with its
subjects in person, number and gender correctly ?
3- Are the errors caused by L1 Interference or are they
developmental ?

1.5 Significance/ Contributions of the Research

The research is very significant to the learners and teachers of


Arabic in Malaysia. It will contribute the following:
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1- Specifying the nature of errors in the use of Arabic verb


phrase by Malaysians;
2- Sheding some light on some theoretical issues in error analysis
such as whether the errors are due to mother tongue interference
or are developmental;
3- Simplifying the teaching of Arabic grammar to non-Arabs. As
Abu Ali Al-Farisiy said:

The main purposes of laying down these grammatical rules


are to assist in connecting non-Arabs with the Arabs easily,
and to help those who are less fluent in language to
become more fluent. (quoted in ‫ ابن يعِّش‬Ibn YaCīsh:9)
4- Incorporating Arabic langugae teaching as part of school
curriculum, at all levels, especially in the Muslim world;
5- Spreading and encouraging the teaching of Arabic language in
the world, as a communicative langugae. Omar Bin Al-Khatab
said: "Be acquainted with the pure standard Arabic and Islamic
duties fara'id because they are relevant to the religion deen of
Islam" (cited in Al-Qalqashandī 1993:148).
6- Working out solutions that may help remedy this problem at
the level of:

A: Teaching;
B: Learning of Arabic verb phrase; and
C: Syllabus.

1.6 Malaysia: General


1.6.1 Geography

Malaysia is situated north of the equator right in the middle of


southeast Asia, between two latitudes 1-7 North, and two
longitudes 100-119 East. It has a land area of 330,434 square
kilometers, which is divided into two parts: West and East
Malaysia which are separated by south China sea. The former
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consists of 12 states and the latter of two states, Sabah and


Sarawak. The country is bounded by Thailand in the North,
Singapore and Indonesia in the South, the Philippines in the East,
and Straits of Malacca and Indonesia (Sumatra Island) in the
West. See map below.

Map 1 Malaysia

1.6.2 History

Malaysia obtained its independence in 1957 from the British and


became a federal state in 1963 (Haja Mohideen 1991:3, 8-9;
Jassem 1994:7; ‫ وا حسمني زميم‬Wān Hussain Cazmī 1988:275; ‫زبم‬
‫ الوهما بمن اجماي كِّما‬cbdul Wahāb Bin Al-Hāj Kayā 1993:13-14). The
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capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia practises


parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch.

1.6.3 Society

The population of Malaysia is around 21 Millions (TV3 in


Malaysia 1998). The country is multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-
religious and multi-cultural. There are three major races in it. The
Malays who are the largest group ( about 61% of population),
the Chinese (about 30%) and the Indians (about 8%), ( for
further detail, see Mcnally 1993:1-25; Haja Mohideen 1991:3, 8-
9; Jassem 1994:7; ‫ وا حسمني زميم‬Wān Hussain Cazmī 1988 ; ‫زبم‬
‫ الوها بن اجاي كِّا‬Cbdul Wahāb Bin Al-Hāj Kayā 1993).

According to ( ‫بمن اجماي كِّما‬ ‫ زبم الوهما‬Cbdul Wahāb Bin Al-Hāj


Kayā 1993:21-22), the Malays came from Yunnan Heights in
south-west China. They departed from there to Indo-China
around 2000 BC. They first stayed in Cambodia. After that they
were attacked by the Chinese which led them to flee to the Malay
archipelago where they settled in Kelantan and Terengganu
initially and later they spread everywhere in the Malay
archipelago (c.f. Nik Safiah Karim 1995:1). The majority of
Malays stay in the countryside whose major sources of living are
farming and fishing. The rest work in the police, military and civil
service. However, Malay youth are flocking to urban centres for
jobs (Haja Mohideen 1991:3).

Malays are classified, together with other indigenous groups


such as Kadazans and Dayaks, as 'Bumiputras ('sons of the soil")
whereas the Chinese, Indians and others are classified as non-
Bumiputras (Haja Mohideen 1991:3). This is because the latter
groups arrived in Malaysia during or after the British
colonization of Malaysia.
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1.6.4 Language

The national language in Malaysia is called Bahasa Malaysia


(BM), which is the native language of the Malays. It is also used
by all people in the country. There are other languages in
common use such as English, Chinese and Tamil.

BM draws a good deal of its vocabulary from three main


languages: Sanskrit, Arabic and English (Beg 1983:77). It has
two scripts which are Jawi and Latin. The Jawi one is writing in
Arabic form. After the acceptance of Islam by the Malays, the
Jawi script became the official means of writing for six centuries
( ‫ زبم الوهما بمن اجماي كِّما‬Cbdul Wahāb Bin Al-Hāj Kayā 1993:127;
Lewis 1954:1; Nik Safiah Karim 1995:2). However, after the
1950s, Latin script gradually replaced Jawi because of the British
colonization (c.f. Othman Sulaiman 1975:17; Lewis 1965:20). In
spite of this, Jawi is still widely used in some books, newspapers,
journals and magazines.

1.6.5 Religion and Islam

Prior to Islam, the people in the Malay archipelago worshipped


different objects of nature and believed in other religions such
Buddhism and Hinduism ( ‫وا حسممني زمي م‬Wān Hussain Cazmī
1992:58-63). Present-day Malaysia is multi-religious. The official
religion in Malaysia, though, is Islam. Most Muslims are Malays.
The freedom of religion is granted in Malaysia where the
government allows other religions (such as Buddhism,
Christianity, Hinduism and others) to be practiced as well. As ‫وا‬
‫حسني زمي‬Wān Hussain Cazmī puts it,
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Islam is the religion of federation, but other religions may be


practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the federation. ( ‫وا‬
‫حسني زمي‬wān Hussain Cazmī 1988: 295)

Moreover, there are still some people who do not believe in any
religion, such people have been categorized as free thinkers,
pagans and orang aslis (jungle men). The latter live in the
jungles. The government tries hard to educate them and convert
them to Islam.

Islam started to arrive to the Malay archipelago in the time of


prophet Mohammed (p.b.u.h) after the 9th year of Hijra at the
hands of Arab traders ( ‫وا حسممني زمي م‬Wān Hussain Cazmī
1988:274, 1990:77; 1992:64; ‫زبم الوهما بمن اجماي كِّما‬Cbdul Wahāb
Bin Al-Hāj Kayā 1993:32). In the beginning Islam has spread in
the Malay archipelago through personal contact, but it appeared
clearly in the 10th century AC ‫وا حسمني زميم‬wān Hussain Cazmī
1990:80). Trade was the carrier of Islam to Malaysia. After the
introduction of Islam, missionaries helped to spread their religion
further (Jogider Singh Jessy 1961:18). No Muslims came out
solely to spread the new religion.

Thus, Islam entered the Malay archipelago in a very peaceful way


without war or fighting. Allah (S.W.T) says in the Qur'an:

Invite (all) to the way of the Lord with wisdom and


beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are
best and most gracious. For thy Lord knoweth best, who
has strayed from his path, and who receive the guidance.
(Holy Qur'an 16: 125, translated by Ali 1991: 669).
1.6.6 Education
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Education is available for all. It is compulsory for every body at


the primary and preparatory stages ( ‫ جموةة و همارو‬Jūdah & Hārūn
1984:479). There are five languages in the education system
which are: BM, Chinese, Tamil, English and Arabic.

1.6.6.1 Stages of Study in Malaysia

The Malaysian Educational System consists of six stages of


study, (Ministry of Education Malaysia 1997 and Yazid Kechik,
Deputy Director of Islamic Education Department, Ministry of
Education (pers. com) 1995) say. These are:

1- Pre-School: Children normally begin their education at the


pre-school level, between four and five years of age.
Kindergartens have set up all over the country by both
government and non-government agencies and the private
sectore. Within the broad guidelines set by the Ministry of
Education, a high degree of flexibility prevails in terms of
teaching approaches and medium of instruction. Within these
guidelines, kindergartens have to provide a secure and
stimulating environment that will prepare children for their first
year in school.

2- Primary School: Primary school begins at six years of age,


and may be completed within five to seven years. Sensitive to the
multi-ethnic nature of its population, Malaysia has set up two
categories of schools: the National and National-type schools. At
this level, the emphasis is on acquiring strong reading and writing
skills as well as building a solid foundation in mathematics and
basic sciences. Two assessment examinations at years three and
six are used to evaluate student performance. Outstanding
students at year three can opt to go straight into year five.
3- Secondary Education: Education at this level is provided in
national secondary schools. The medium of instruction in these
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schools is the Malay Language. As is the case in primary schools,


English language is taught as a second language in all schools.
Chinese, Tamil and indigenous languages are also offered as
additional subjects. Under the Education act 1996 foreign
languages such as Arabic, Japanese, French, German are
introduced in secondary schools. The curriculum presribed for
secondary schools is the Integrated Curriculum for Secondary
Schools. There are two levels in secondary schools. These are:

i. Lower Secondary Level (Form I to Form III)

The lower secondary level covers a period of three years (Form I


to Form III). Pupils from the national primary schools entre
Form I whereas pupils from the Chinese and Tamil meduim
schools proceed to a transition year (Remove Class) before
entering Form I. This Remove Class is for pupils to acquire
sufficiency in the Malay Language, which is the medium of
instruction in secondary schools. However, pupils who have
performed well in the (Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah
(U.P.S.R.) are allowed to proceed directly to Form I. At the
lower secondary level subjects are categorised as core and
additional subjects. Arabic Language is taught as additional
subject for communication.

In line with the emphasis on science and technology in national


development, students are given an early exposure to vocational
educational through the Integrated Living Skills Subject. The
core components of this subject are Manipulative Skills,
Commerce and Entrepreneurship, and Family Life Education.

On completing three years at this level, pupils sit for a common


puplic lower secondary school examination, the Lower
Secondary Assessment (Penilaian Menengah Rendah (P.M.R.),
which is a combination of centralized and school-based
assessment. The school-based assessment follows guidelines set
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by the Examinations Syndicate. In tandem with the policy of


providing five years of secondary education for all, the PMR is
no longer a terminal examination, rather it is more a diagnostic
evaluation. As a consequence universal education has been
extended from nine to elleven years.

ii. Upper Secondary Level (Form IV to Form V)

Education at the upper secondary level covers a period of two


years. Besides following the general education programme, it is
at this stage that pupils begin to specilize in either the arts,
science, technical, vocational or religious disciplines. Specific
schools are designated for each discipline. These schools are
academic schools, technical schools, vocational schools and
religious schools.

1- Secondary Academic Schools

Most secondary schools are academic schools which offer


courses in the arts and science streams. The subjects offered
under the Integrated Curriculum for Secondary Schools are
categorised into core subjects, elective subjects and additional
subjects. On completing two years at the upper secondary level,
pupils sit for the Malaysian certificate of Education (Sijil
Pelajaran Malaysia (S.P.M) examination. Arabic language is
taught as additional subject for communication.

2- Secondary Technical Schools

Secondary technical education is aimed at producing an adequate


pool of qualified pupils who excel in mathematics and science, as
well as in basic engineering subjects. These schools provide
technically-biased academic education. As is the case in academic
schools, pupils in secondary technical schools follow the same
core subjects of the upper secondary curriculum but only choose
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the elective subjects from Group II (Vocational &Technology).


Admission to these schools is through application based on the
PMR results. Only pupils with strong background in
Mathematics and Science are selected. These schools also
provide courses at the Sixth Form level. Pupils from these
schools are expected to continue their studies in science and
technology-related courses at the diploma and degree levels as
well as in advanced skills.

3- Secondary Vocational Schools

Secondary vocational schools provide courses in pre-


employment skills as well as general education in order to give its
leavers flexibilty and mobility in working life. These schools offer
courses in two streams, namely the vocational educational stream
and the skills training stream.

a) Vocational Education Stream

In the vocational education stream, emphasis is given to general


and technical subjects in order to provide students with good
foundation for admission into polytechnics or other institutions
of higher education without signifcantly affecting their vocational
skills development.

b) Skills Training Stream

In the skills training stream, more emphasis is given to practical


work to develop competency in trade skills as required by the
related industries. Pupils are prepared for the National
Vocational Training Certificate, a skill assessment conducted by
the National Vocational Training Council, Ministry of Human
Resourse. These pupils are expected to pursue industrial
employment after completing their training. Two types of
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courses are conducted: (i) The two-year course and (ii) The one-
year course.

4- National Religious Secondary Schools/ (Sekolah Menengah


Kebangsaan Agama SMKA)

These schools aim at developing successful individual with noble


values who are able to balance spiritual and intellectual
knowledge. These individuals will be able to integrate knowledge
in Islam with other fields, such as, science and technology.

The core curriculum includes general subjects which are similar


to those offered in academic secondary schools. Other
compulsory courses are Arabic Language (Communcation),
Arabic Language (Advanced), Islamic Tasawwur, Al-Quran and
As-Sunnah Education, and Islamic Syari’ah Education.

Pupils are admited at the lower secondary level. They sit for
similar assessment examinations as the academic secondary
schools, that is, the PMR and SPM.

4- Post-Secondary Level: Education at this level prepares


students for entry into local and foreign universities, and other
institutions of higher education or the world of work. Education
is provided in the Sixth Form (Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia
S.T.P.M.), in Matriculation Classes conducted in universities, in
polytechnics and in government assisted colleges, such as, the
MARA Institute of Technology and the the Tunku Abdul
Rahman College. (For further detail see Ministry of Education
Malaysia 1997).

5- Higher Eduation: There are two kinds of higher education.


These are: teacher education and the university.
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1)- Teacher Education: Teacher education is provided by teacher


training colleges and universities. (For further detail see Ministry
of Education Malaysia 1997).

2)- The University: As education becomes increasingly


international in character, Malaysian universities are becoming
more contemporary in outlook. Each university has developed its
own competitive strengths, positioning itself as a centre of
selective excellence. Educational programmes are shaped by
forces operating in the marketplace. Courses and programmes
are demand-driven and sensitive to changes in the global
environment. This period can be three, four years or more.
Almost all Universities offer undergraduate and postgraduate
studies in the Arabic language and Islamic studies. These
disciplines are taught in Arabic (for further detail, see 1.6.7.5
below).

1.6.7 Status of the Arabic Language in Malaysia

Arabic enjoys different types of status in Malaysia, which can be


mentioned briefly below.

1.6.7.1 Arabic as an Islamic Language

The link of Arabic to Islam has been stressed by many scholars.


Beg (1983) affirms that:

Arabic is the liturgical language of Islam. The main sources


of Islam,-Al-Qur'an and Hadith (tradition) are written in
Arabic language. These sources of Islam are read in
original Arabic by all Muslims, Arabs and as well as non-
Arabs, throughout the world. Arabic is the medium of
Islam. In other words, Arabic and Islam are intertwined.
Islam, a global missionary religion, has carried Arabic in its
trail (Beg 1983: 14).
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Abukhudairi (1992:54) similarly notes that:

Arabic is an Islamic language, is not second or foreign or


alien language to all Muslims, Arabic is (Fardhu'ain) an
individual duty to all Muslims. Arabic is considered for
Malays as language of Al-Qur'an, the prophet, Jannah
(heaven), knowledge, etc.

Jassem et al. (1995: 11) concur that:

Arabic... is the language of Islam, the holy Koran, and


about 250,000,000.00 native speakers who spread in 24
Arab countries, kingdoms, republic, and emirates stretching
from the Atlantic to the Iraq-Iran border. Many more
millions of Muslims all over the world have, moreover,
various degrees of competence in this language because of
its relation to Islam and the Quran.

Thus, as Malaysia is a Muslim country, Arabic is not a strange


language to the Malays as well as to Muslims anywhere in the
world. It is the language of their religion, faith and culture
although they do not necessarily have to speak it. As such, both
the student of Arabic and ordinary man try to learn it. As Jassem
et al. (1995:11) put it,

Nowadays there are two types of people who want to learn


Arabic: students of Arabic language and culture, Muslim
history and civilization and the ordinary Muslims from
other languages.
So it is very difficult to dissociate Arabic from Islam in Malaysia.
In fact, Malays have started to learn Arabic after the entrance of
Islam to Malay Archipelago (cf. Abdul Rahman Bin Chik
1988:14). This is because of Islam with Arabic being the
language of the Qur'an and Sunnah tradition. Nowadays, the
Malays continue to learn the Arabic language because of religion
22

and some noticeable political, economical, cultural and


educational changes which happened in the country in the late
1970s (Islamic Education Department, Ministry of Education
1992:1). The Malaysian government sends every year hundreds
of Malay students to Arabic countries to study Arabic and
Islamic studies.

The love of Malays to Islam resulted in the fact that Arabic has a
strong influence on BM, its script and its vocabulary. In BM
there are thousands of words which are borrowed from Arabic (
Beg 1983: 78; ‫زبم الوهما بمن اجماي كِّما‬Cbdul Wahāb Bin Al-Hāj Kayā
1993:133). The Arabic vocabulary are used in BM more than any
other language. As Al-Jundī (1982) puts it, "very often when a
Malay speaks a sentence he uses some Arabic words" ( ‫ اجلنم ي‬Al-
jundī 1982:85).

In Malaysia, the Islamic aspect of Arabic is utilized to its fullest


extent in spreading the language at all levels: public and private.
One can mention the Islamic Education Department of the
Ministry of Education which was established in 1958. The
Ministry of Education has started officially the first time thirteen
national religious schools to teach Arabic in 1977. These schools
are completely different from other secondary schools ( Islamic
Education Department, Ministry of Education 1992:1-4) (see
above).

One also needs to mention the work of the Malaysian country-


wide Islamic Center which is strongly interested in teaching
Arabic language, especially through its Institute for memorizing
Al-Qur'an. Moreover this centre opens courses every now and
then for teaching Arabic. It also holds an international Quranic
competition every year in which Arabic is used alongside Malay
and English.
23

Arabic and religious schools play an active role in spreading the


teaching of Arabic which in turns will help the students to get
better understanding of Islam in the country. There are hundreds
of such private schools for teaching Arabic language and Islamic
subjects. The Arabic and religious schools spread everywhere in
the country especially in Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and
Johor.

The mosques hold Arabic classes every now and then. Almost
every mosque has a school for teaching students Arabic and
Islamic subjects together ( ‫زبم الوهما بمن اجماي كِّما‬Cbdul Wahāb Bin
Al-Hāj Kayā 1993:89-90).

1.6.7.2 Arabic as a First Language

No Malaysians speak Arabic as a first language: i.e., between


children and parents. There may be Malaysians of Arabic stock
but these use Malay as their mother tongue.

However, there are certain schools in Kuala Lumpur which teach


all subjects in Arabic. These include the Saudi School, Libyan
School and Iraqi School. But most of their students are the sons
of Arab expatriates. (see 1.6.7.3 below).

1.6.7.3 Arabic as a Second Language

This means the use of Arabic as a medium of instruction in all


school subjects. There are certain Arabic schools in the country
such as the Saudi School, Libyan School and Iraqi school which
use Arabic as the main medium of instruction. For those locals
who may study there, Arabic can be considered a second
language to them (see 1.6.7.2 above).
24

1.6.7.4 Arabic as a Foreign Language

Here Arabic is taught as a school subject, which has been


discussed above (1.7.6). As Abdul Rahman Bin Chik (1988:15)
put it,

Today the Arabic language is not only being taught in


Arabic / religious schools but is also made a compulsory
subject in full boarding government secondary schools,
colleges of higher education and most of the local
university.

1.6.7.5 Arabic at Tertiary Institutions

Tertiary institutions play an important role in teaching Arabic and


Islamic studies. The International Islamic University, Malaysia
uses Arabic (as well as English) as the only mediums of
instruction. There is an Arabic Department which runs under-
and postgraduate degrees in Arabic language. Moreover, all
students of all faculties in the University must attain a certain
competence level in Arabic. National University of Malaysia
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia has an Arabic Department
which offers degrees upto Ph.D. level in all areas of
specialization. Its Faculty of Education is teaching Arabic at the
diploma level as a subject. Similarly Prince University of
Malaysia Universiti Putra Malaysia is opened a new course in
teaching Arabic as a second language. Science University of
Malaysia Universiti Sains Malaysia also has a program of
teaching Arabic as a second language.
University of Malaya Universiti Malaya teaches Arabic and
Islamic subjects in three Faculties: Faculty of Languages and
Linguistics, which has an Arabic Department and teaches in
Arabic; Islamic Academy teaches Arabic and Islamic subjects in
Arabic; and Faculty of Education teaches Arabic at the
postgraduate Diploma and Master of Education level and for
25

fourth year students of Teaching English as a Second Language


(TESL); the latter is offered as an elective. University of Malaya
also wants to develop a course of teaching Arabic as a second
language in the Education Faculty.

Furthermore, other places of higher learning include Mara


Institute of Technology Institut Technologi Mara which has an
elective course of Arabic as a second language. The International
Islamic College in Selangor teaches Arabic. Also a branch of the
University of Al-Azhar has already been opened in Kedah for
teaching Arabic and Islamic studies and another will be opened in
Johor due to shortage of staff in Arabic and Islamic studies (New
Straits Times 1995:15). In Pahang, a new college has been
established for under-and postgraduate studies in which the
medium of instruction are Arabic and English. The Departments
of Arabic and Islamic studies teach in Arabic. A new university
will open 1998 which is Islamic College University of Malaysia.
The medium of instruction in it is Arabic only. It will be situated
in Kuala Lumpur.

1.6.7.6 Arabic in the Mass Media

The Ministry of Information is encouraging Arabic as well ( ‫وا‬


‫حسمني زميم‬wān Hussain Cazmī 1988: 297-298). For example,
Malaysian TV shows Arabic language programs, like " ‫العربية‬
‫ للحيةة‬Al- Carabīah Lil-hayāt" as well as films. There is an
Arabic broadcasting station for transmitting Arabic news to the
Arab world on the short waves. Finally, there is a lot of Arabic
publications for teaching Arabic by both local and Arab scholars.

1.6.7.7 Arabic as a Script: Jawi Script


26

Some states in Malaysia like Terengganu are committed to


writing in Arabic script in their offices, schools, administrations,
centres, names of the streets, etc.

The government has, moreover, taken a resolution to teach


Arabic script in the primary stage as a core course in the
beginning of 1980s ( ‫زبم الوهما بمن اجماي كِّما‬Cbdul Wahāb Bin Al-Hāj
Kayā 1993: 133).

1.7 National Religious Secondary School Kuala Lumpur


(Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Kuala Lumpur
SMKAKL)

1.7.1 Location

The school is located in Bandar Menjalara, Kepong, 52200


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The school is fully equipped whose facilities can be listed as


follows:

1) 4-story School Building (2 blocks);


2) 4-story Hostel for boys and girls (2 blocks each);
3) 1 Mosque;
4) 1 Dining Hall;
5) 1 Main Hall;
6) 1 Canteen;
7) Quarters for Wardens and Non-academic Staff;
8) 1 Soccer Field / Hockey Field / Track;
9) 1 Multi-purpose Court;
10) 1 Living Skills Workshop;
11) 1 Electronic Resource Centre;
12) 1 Language Laboratory;
13) 1 Computer Laboratory;
27

14) 1 Library;
15) 1 Meeting Room;
16) Science Laboratories;
(SMAKL 1996:12).

1.7.2. History

National Religious Secondary School Kuala Lumpur (NRSSKL)


was set up on 1 January, 1988 (SMAKL 1996:6-7). At that time,
the boys and the girls were placed separately in two different
schools. The boys had to share the premises with Sekolah
Menengah Wangsa Maju, Seksyen 2, Wangsa Maju, Setapak,
Kuala Lumpur and the girls went to Sekolah Menengah Puteri
Wilayah, Jalan Dewan Sultan Sulaiman, Kampung Baru, Kuala
Lumpur.

NRSSKL moved to its own premises on 2 January, 1994. It is


situated on a hill covering 19 acres of a bustling commercial area.

1.7.3. Philosophy

The school has its mission, goals and objectives, all of which
make up its philosophy (SMAKL 1996: 5-6).

As to its mission, NRSSKL generates intellectual Muslim


scholars who are wise, versatile, loyal to God and who would be
able to use the knowledge for doing good deeds. This mission is
based on it vision: excellence in worldly matters and the world
hereafter. This is put into practice or policy. The administrators
and staff of NRSSKL try hard to put that into effect; they
promise and pledge:

* to manage education services of the highest quality.


* to provide efficient and effective services.
28

* to provide unparalleled and excellent education (SMAKL


1996:1).

Its goals (SMAKL 1996:5) are:

1- To produce well-balanced individuals in mental, emotional,


physical and spiritual aspects.
2- To produce knowledgeable, well-behaved and versatile
students who are able to contribute their energy and ideas to the
society and the country.
3- To produce students who are loyal to God and leaders who
are able to bear the responsibility of being good Muslims.

With respect to its objectives (SMAKL 1996:6), there are:

1) To attain academic excellence, spiritual growth, emotional


stability and physical strength.
2) To attain optimum knowledge; devotion and possessing
excellent character and conduct.
3) To produce responsible beings and pious Muslims.
4) To provide conducive environment for self-development.

Thus, NRSSKL stands tall as an institution for secondary studies


based on the Islamic concept.

1.7.4 Insignia

As the school sets itself high ideals and objectives, it sets itself
off by having its own insignia (SMAKL 1996:2), which include
its own badge and own song. The badge of NRSSKL is formed
by a crescent and a book on top with the word 'Iqra' which
means 'read'. The words 'Berilmu, Beramal, Berbacti' in 'jawi'
(the traditional Malay writing which originated from the Arabic
letters) are written across. A piece of nib is placed under the
29

book. Underneath, the school abbreviation, SMAKL, is


engraved.

The song is entitled my beloved school, which translates as


follows (SMAKL 1996: 4):

Sekolah Menengah Agama Kuala Lumpur


The landmark of the nation success
Possesses a high and noble vision
Knowledgeable and do good deeds
Sekolah Menengah Agama Kuala Lumpur
Excellence in culture and splendid in behanour
Beloved teachers give noble examples
Students are diligent and successful
My school you are the torch
Bringing light to the world
My school you generate
Muslim scholars
(SMAKL 1996: 4)

1.7.5 Student Population

In 1997, the total number of students was: 689. They are divided
into:

First year 198 Fourth year 117


Second year 136 Fifth year 85
Third year 150 Sixth year upper 7 and lower ø.

The students in the fourth year are in two streams: 60 students in


the science stream and 57 in the Islamic stream. (SMAKL
1996:9). Haji Ahmad Bin Ismail, Headmaster of the School
(pers. com.)
30

1.7.6 Entry Requirements

The school requires certain entry conditions. Students who wish


to enter form one must satisfy the following entry requirements:

1) Getting 4A's in the UPSR (primary school assessment test).


2) Passing the special tests conducted by the state education
requirements.
3) Having good health (Certified by the Government Medical
Officer) (SMAKL 1996:7-8).

1.7.7 Curricula
1.7.7.1 Academic

The school curricula contains various subjects taught at different


levels (SMAKL 1996:8-10). There are 10 subjects offered to
forms 1-3 which are as follows:

1) Malay Language 6) History


2) English 7) Geography
3) Communicational Arabic 8) Living Skills I and II
4) Mathematics 9) Islamic Studies
5) Science 10) Art

The forms 4-5 split into two streams: a science stream and an
Islamic stream. The science stream contains 10 subjects and as
follows.

1) Malay Language 5) Additional Mathematics


2) Arabic studies: 6) Physics
(form 4 Additional Arabic) 7) Chemistry
(form 5 communicational Arabic) 8) Biology
3) English 9) Islamic Studies
4) Mathematics 10) Principle Accounts
31

As to the Islamic stream, there are ten subjects as follows:

1) Malay Language 5) Science


2) Arabic Studies 6) History
(Additional Arabic and 7) Malay Literature (form 5 only)
Communicational Arabic) 8) Al-Quran and Al-Sunnah Studies
3) English 9) Islamic Low
4) Mathematics 10) General Studies

In the Upper and Lower Form Six, there are six subjects, which
are as follows.

1) Malay Language 4) Theology


2) History 5) Islamic Law
3) Arabic 6) General Studies

1.7.7.2 Co-Curricular Activities

Co-curricular activities are compulsory to all students which are


held on Saturdays beginning from 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. Each
student must involve in at least 2 societies: one of academic
societies / clubs and one of uniformed bodies.

As to Academic Societies / Clubs, there are 21 societies which


include:

1) Islamic Society 11) Young Entrepreneur Club


2) Arabic Society 12) Consumer Club
(Quranic Language Society) 13) Creative and Counseling
Club
3) Malay Language Society 14) 'BADAR"
4)English Language Society 15) Guidance and Counseling
Club
5) Mathematics society 16) Astronomy Club
6) Science Society 17) Arabic Calligraphy Club
32

7) Historical Society 18) Environmentalist Society


8) Geographical Society 19) Road Safety Club
10) Computer Club 20) 'Nasyid' Group
11) Young Entrepreneur Club 21) 'Solat Janazah' Group

As for Uniformed Bodies, there are 8 of them, which are:

1) Red Crescent 5) Fire Brigade Cadet


2) Islamic Girl Guides 6) School Youth Cadet
3) Scouts 7) Girl Guides
4) Police Cadet 8) Silat Gayung (Martial Arts)
(SMAKL 1996: 10-11)

1.7.7.3 Arabic Language Teaching at the School

Arabic is taught as a subject to all school levels (SMAKL


1996:8-10; Haji Ahmad Bin Ismail, Headmaster of the school,
pers. com.). At levels 1-3, it is taught for 6 hours a week. It is
called Communicational Arabic.

At levels 4-5, it is taught for between 6 to 10 hours a week.


Communicational Arabic is taught 6 hours a week for both
Science and Islamic streams. Another 4 hours of Higher Arabic
are taught for Islamic stream students only.

There are certain textbooks taught at the school. The names of


such text-books are as follows:

(i) For level 1-3 ‫ العابِّة االتصالِّة‬Communicational Arabic,


(ii) For level 4-5 ‫ العابِّممة االتصممالِّة‬Communicational Arabic and
Higher Arabic Language ‫ العابِّة العالِّة‬,
33

(iii) For level 6: a) Maqal 'Essay' b) MuţālaCah 'Reading', c)


QawāCid 'Grammar', d) Balāgha 'Rhetoric', e) ’adab Carabī
'Arabic literature' and f) Nusūs 'Texts'

1.7.8 Academic Achievements and Awards

The school NRSSKL has a distinguished excellent and record of


academic achievements (SMAKL 1996: 12-13), which can be
seen by referring to the results of the SPM and PMR public
examinations. Ever since the very first batch of NRSSKL
students who sat for the PMR in 1990 and the SPM in 1992, it
has managed to maintain 100% passes. Furthermore, NRSSKL
has, through the years, emerged as one of the schools which
obtain the most impressive examination results in the country.
The first STPM results for NRSSKL in 1995 produced a modest
95% passes.

As to its awards, SMAKL has received awards in recognition for


its academic achievements from various academic and non-
academic agencies. These include (SMAKL:13):

1995: Top Best school Award by public Bank/Ministry of


Education Malaysia.

1995: 'Seri Cemerlang' Excellence Awards Federal Territory


Education Deptartment (Champion in Curriculum in the
Secondary Schools Category)

1996: Nominated by the state Education Department as "the


Nation's Hope" school.
1.8 Limitations of the Research

For the purpose of arriving at precise and valid findings any


research has it own limitation, Meziani (1984), Haja Mohideen
(1991), Abdalla (1996), Azma Abdul Hamid et al., (1992).
34

Therefore, the present study is limited to the areas which will be


summarized below:

A- The Arabic VP;


B- The Subjects;
C- The School; and
D- The Written Errors.

As to the Arabic VP; the study will cover the following areas: (i)
subject-verb agreement in which the verb agrees with its subject
in person, gender and number, (ii) tense, (iii) mood, and (iv)
voice.

The Subjects; the research is limited to 54 learners in form four


who study in the Islamic stream.

There is one federal state national religious upper secondary


school in Kuala Lumpur was chosen for this research.

The study concentrates only on written errors because of its


importance role in language learning.

These are the limitations of the study, but the results of the study
it maybe applicable to all form four students in the Islamic stream
who study in the national religious secondary schools in the
country due to similarity in background of L1, educational level,
social status, age etc (see 4.2.3.5 below).

1.9 Definition of Terms

Verb Phrase: The part of a sentence which contains the main


verb and also any object(s), complement (s) and adverbal (s)
(Richards et al 1992:399). In this study VP means the verb with
its subject.
35

Error: A systematic deviation from the accepted code. (Norrish,


1983:127)

Error Analysis: The study and analysis of the errors made by


second language learners. (Richards et al 1992:127).

L1 : Native Language; Mother Tongue; First Language.


(Norrish, 1983:128)

L2 Second Language: Is where the language in question is used


for some purposes outside the classroom. (Norrish, 1983:129)

Foreign Language: Is where the language is not used outside the


classroom. (Norrish, 1983:129)

Target Language: The language which the learner is learning.


(Norrish, 1983:130)

Interlanguage: The language used by the learner as he progresses


from no knowledge at all of the target language to a satisfactory
knowledge. The interlanguage is constantly changing. (Norrish,
1983:128)

Interference from L1: The effects of ‘habits’ formed in the


speaker’s first language acting upon the target language.
(Norrish, 1983:128)

1.10 Summary

This chapter has been a discussion of the statement of the


problem, the theoretical framework or model of the research,
questions of the study, aims and objectives of the research,
significance/contributions of the research, background
information about Malaysia, status of the Arabic language and
36

Islam in Malaysia, and the school from which the data has been
obtained.

The rest of the thesis will be organized as follows.


Chapter 2: Review of Literature
Chapter 3: Structure and Function of the Arabic Verb Phrase in
Standard Arabic
Chapter 4: Research Design And Methodology.
Chapter 5: Presentation and Discussion of Errors
Chapter 6: Discussion of Causes of Errors.
Chapter 7: Conclusions, Suggestions, and Recommendations.
37

CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

2.0 Introduction

The aim of this chapter is to give a general literature review on


error analysis. As this is a very broad field, the researcher
introduces contrastive analysis first which preceded and led to
EA which is the topic of this study. Then, error analysis is
reviewed at length. Interlanguage, which is the successor of error
analysis, is discussed after it, as well as variability. Previous
selected studies on EA and the classical Arabic tradition of EA
will also be discussed. And summary for the chapter at the end.

2.1 Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis

Contrastive Analysis (CA hereafter) arose and was practised in


the 1950s and 1960s, as an application of behaviorist psychology
(e.g. Skinner 1957) and structural linguistics (e.g. Bloomfield
1933) to language teaching, as discussed in Fries ( 1945) and
Lado (1957). CA simply means to compare any two or more
languages phonetically, morphologically, syntactically or lexically
for the purpose of facilitating language learning and teaching (
see Lado 1957; Odlin 1989). It is based on three main claims:
Firstly the main difficulties in learning a new language are caused
by interference from the first language, i.e. language transfer.
This language transfer can be negative or positive. Negative
transfer, also known as interference, is the use of a native-
langauge pattern or rule which leads to an error or inappropriate
form in the target langauge (TL). Positive transfer refers to
transfer of language rule which makes learning easier, and may
occur when both the native language and TL have the same form
(c.f Lado 1957:2). Secondly, these difficulties or errors can be
38

predicted by CA, and thirdly teaching materials can make use of


CA to reduce the effects of interference.

The practicality of CA in language teaching is controversial.


There are three viewpoints or versions in this respect. First, the
supporters of CA claim that CA can predict errors. Schachter's (
1974:212) study of speakers of Persian, Arabic, Chinese and
Japanese on the acquisition of English relative clauses was in
favour of the CA approach. Fisiak ( 1981:8) stated that "the CA
is essential for the teachers, designing syllabuses and preparing
teaching materials...". Nyamasyo ( 1994:91) concluded in his
study on Kenyan students that "the CA approach would be useful
in highlighting the problematic area which faces the students".
Jaszczolt ( 1995) and Georgountzou ( 1996) have shown that
CA is applicable for language teaching.

However, opponents of CA claim that it cannot predict errors,


especially in syntax. It can explain them, however. As Van Buren
(1974:279) puts it, "the justification for contrastive analysis is to
be found in its explanatory power" rather than in its capability to
predict errors or difficulties in L2. Whitman & Jackson ( 1972),
who administered two tests of English syntax to almost 2500
Japanese students to test the assumption that "contrastive
analysis can serve to predict levels of difficulty that non-native
speakers will have in learning English syntactic patterns" (
1972:29), affirmed that "the interference, or native-to-target
language transfer played a minor role in language learning" (
1972:40). Romaine ( 1988:207) stated that "CA was not a good
predictor of language errors". Felix ( 1980:107), in his study on
English children learning German in Germany, found that "
interference on L2 acquisition of syntactic structures does not
constitute a major strategy in this area".

The moderate however, argue that CA is useful. They combine


the claims of CA and EA, which should be regarded as
39

"techniques which can provide the teacher with insights into the
learning process" (Bell 1981:182). Willmott ( 1990) remarks that
the two "offer important and constructive techniques to help
learning and teaching". James concluded that:

...each approach has its vital role to play in accounting for


L2 learning problems. They should be complementing each
other rather than as competitors for some procedural pride
of place. ( 1980:187)

Strevens ( 1965:8) observed similarly that

EA is not a substitute for contrastive studies, but it is a


practical alternative which can often provide more rapid
assistance; highly sophisticated techniques of EA are now
available as a by-product of linguistics.

Steinberg (1982) argues in favour of CA. He refutes the idea that


a comparison of the native and the target languages are not
beneficial just because CA cannot predict difficulty with any
degree of exactitude. As he puts it:

Analysis of differences between languages often do


highlight potential problems for learners such that teachers
who are alerted to such potential problems may be able to
assist the learner better. An intuitive approach must suffice
until theory that adequately predicts difficulty and isolates
its cause is provided. (1982:170)

On the inability of CA to predict errors, Schachter ( 1974),


furthermore, stated that these could be due to poor analysis. As
she puts it,

the difficulties predicted by CA apriori which do not turn


out to be difficulties in the classroom may be because of
40

poor analysis or poor predictions about what is difficult


and what is not. ( 1974:213)

2.2 Error Analysis Hypothesis

The shift from CA to EA was inevitable, which happened due to


advances in psychology and linguistics. Behaviorist psychology
was replaced by cognitive psychology. Structural linguistics was
criticized and replaced by Chomsky's (1957; 1964)
Transformational Generative Grammar in the late 1950s and
early 1960s. As a result, CA declined in the 1970s where
interference was replaced by other explanations of learning
difficulties Richards et al. ( 1992: 83, 205). Thus, the attitude to
learners underwent a transformation. Their error was not
regarded as something to be eradicated or prevented at all costs;
rather, it came to be viewed as a rich potential source of wide
range of information which was serviceable to a variety of people
involved in the langauge learning process (Riddell 1990; c.f.
Juriah Long & Parkinson 1978).

2.2.1 Definition and Terms

Error Analysis can be defined as the study and analysis of the


written and spoken errors made by L2 learners. The errors have
captured the attention of language researchers in the late 1960s
as an important source of how language is acquired.

Applied linguists Norrish ( 1983) distinguish between lapses,


mistakes and errors. A lapse is a wrong usage, which can be
made by both native speakers and language learners. Lapses may
be caused by lack of concentration, shortness of memory and
fatigue. Here is an example: A French orientalist, in an interview
in Arabic on Syrian TV in the late 1980s, said: ‫البحما األبمِّا استسم وط‬
al-bahrul ’abīad al-mutasalwiţ instead of ‫( البحمما األبمِّا استوسم‬al-
41

bahrul abīad al-mutawasiţ) (the Mediterranean). However, he


corrected himself straightway.

A mistake is an inconsistent deviation. A mistake is related to


performance rather than competence. Therefore, it should not be
viewed as serious as an error. Edstorm ( 1972:125) states that
mistakes " do not reflect a defect in knowledge, but are rather
random errors in performance". (Edstorm 1972:125) argues that
as "errors are systematic in the sense that they are recurrent",
they "may be said to reveal a lack of competence" .

An error is "a systematic deviation, when a learner has not learnt


something and consistently 'gets it wrong' " (Norrish 1983:7).
Errors can be written or spoken. Richards et al. ( 1992:127) have
defined the written errors as "the use of a linguistic item in a way
which a fluent or native speaker of the language regards as
showing faulty or incomplete learning". Angelis ( 1975:294)
defines it as " any form or construction which deviates in any
way from that considered to be acceptable for standard, written
academic English". Norrish ( 1983:127) looks at it as " a
systematic deviation from the accepted code". The spoken errors
are "faults made by speakers during the production of sounds,
words and sentences" (Richard et al. 1992: 344).

Finally, goofs. This is a term used by Burt & Kiparsky ( 1972),


Dulay & Burt ( 1974c), signifies deviation from syntactic
structures which native adult speakers consider grammatically
correct. Some referred to a goof as an error.

2.2.2 Attitudes Towards Errors

Learners' errors are controversial to linguists. One can


distinguish two different schools of thought in this regard: The
behaviourists and mentalists. The Behaviourists consider errors
something bad which should be avoided wherever possible. They
42

see errors as a sign of failure on the part of the students to learn


a rule correctly or on the part of the teacher to make his meaning
clear or to give the learners enough time to practise what they
have been taught. So errors have to be tackled or even eliminated
by providing the students with right forms and lots of practice in
the form of drilling and exercising. Behaviourists believe that the
mother tongue is the prime source behind all errors (Hubbard et
al. 1983, Norrish 1983).

The Mentalists view errors more positively than the


behaviourists. Errors (Teh Geok Choon 1993; Riddell 1990) are
considered to be a natural, inevitable, rich source to linguists and
an essential part of learning since they can give data about a
student's progress in learning a language. They play an important
role in language learning, thus it would be wrong to ignore or
disregard them. Therefore we have to efficiently tackle errors
after they occur in the learner's speech.

2.2.3 Objectives and Significant of EA

Applied linguists envisage certain objectives and reasons for


undertaking EA. According to Corder ( 1981), EA has two
objectives: one theoretical which concerns the nature of learning
and one practical which concerns teaching. As he puts it ( 1981:
24):

Firstly, to elucidate what and how a learner learns when he


studies a second language. This is a theoretical object;
secondly, the applied object of enabling the learner to learn
more effectively by exploiting our knowledge of his dialect
for pedagogical purposes. The second objective is clearly
dependent on the first. We cannot make any principled use
of his idiosyncratic sentences to improve teaching unless
we understand how and why they occur.
43

In another place, Corder ( 1981:1) claims that the theoretical


justification for the study of learners' errors is

part of the systematic study of the learners' language which


is itself necessary to an understanding of the process of
second language acquisition. Whereas the pedagogical
justification is part of the fact that a good understanding of
the nature of error is necessary before a systematic means
of eradicating them could be found. (Corder 1981:1)

Candlin ( 1974:9) stated that EA has three main objectives:


Firstly, EA plays a strong complementary role to CA in the
latter's claim that errors are predictable. Secondly, EA allows
rule formulation for learners' interlingual systems, thus
incidentally providing confirmation for the teacher as regards
what is yet to be learned. And Finally, EA has psycholinguistic
importance because the theory of transfer is submitted to critical
observation and data are provided on the obstacles that lie in the
path of the learner as he attempts to discover the rules of the
target language rules.

Linguists also agree that errors are significant. Corder ( 1981:10-


11) mentioned that errors are important to a teacher, because
errors reflect how far towards the goal his learners have
progressed and, consequently, what remains for them to learn.
Errors also provide to a researcher evidences of how a language
is learnt or acquired, what strategies or procedures a learner is
employing in his discovery of the language. Furthermore, errors
are necessary to the learner himself, because we can regard the
making of errors as a device the learner uses in order to learn. It
is a way for a learner to test his hypothesis about the nature of
the language he is learning.

Richards et al. ( 1992:127) noted that EA can be carried out for


the following reasons: Firstly, to know the strategies which are
44

employed by the learners when learning the language. Secondly,


try to specify the causes of errors made by learners. And finally,
to get information on common difficulties in language learning,
as an aid to teaching or in the preparation of teaching materials.

2.2.4 Types of Errors

Linguists distinguished various types of errors as follows.

2.2.4.1 Global and Local Errors

Burt & Kiparsky ( 1972:6-8) distinguish errors as regards their


comprehensibility in the sense that some hinder communication
and cause misunderstanding while others do not affect
communication. According to Dulay, Burt and Krashen ( 1982:
191), global errors " hinder communication" as they " affect
overall sentence organization significantly". For example,

- In spite of I like my town because there are interesting anything


for to remember. (Haja Mohideen 1991:138).

It is very difficult for us to make sense of the above deviant


sentences. But maybe with the help of the learners, we can
reconstruct and understand such abnormal sentences.

Riddell ( 1990:29-30), and Şīnī ‫ ( صمِّي‬1982:167-8) mentioned


common types of global errors which may include: wrong word
order, missing grammatical items and misplaced or wrong
sentence connectors, over-generalizing pervasive syntactic rule
to exceptions, analogizing complement types, and mentioning
wrong morphological forms or functional words for expressions
of time (tense).
45

Local errors "do not usually hinder communication significantly"


and only "affect single elements ( constituents) in a sentence " (
Dulay, Burt & Krashen 1982: 191). For example,

- My village also have 2 mosque. (Haja Mohideen 1991:139).

In spite of the fact that two sentences are not well-formed, the
reader can understand what the learner means with a bit of
difficulty.

Riddell ( 1990:30) listed the following as common types of local


errors: incorrect noun and verb inflections, incorrect articles,
incorrect formation of quantifiers, omission of grammatical
morphemes, concord, copulas, inflection of indeclinable,
emphatic pronunciation of some sounds, derivation, etc.

2.2.4.2 Competence Errors and Performance Error

Competence means knowledge of the language - its rules of


grammar, its vocabulary, all pieces of a language and how those
pieces fit together whereas performance is actual production
(speaking, writing) or the comprehension ( listening, reading) of
linguistic events (see Brown, 1987:24-5). Native speakers and
learners must have competence in the "sense of being able to
recognize and produce grammatical sentences in a language and
recognize the meaning relations between them" (Corder
1973:92).

According to Riddell ( 1990:29), performance errors are not due


to the learners' lack of knowledge of the language. Rather they
reflect factors such as tiredness, nervousness, emotion, slips of
the tongue/pen, etc. Competence errors, on the other hand, show
a faulty understanding of a structure in the language on the part
of the learner.
46

2.2.4.3 Productive and Receptive Error

Lengo ( 1995:24) distinguished between productive and


receptive errors. The former occur in speaking and writing; the
latter in listening and understanding. As he puts it,

Productive errors are those which occur in the language


learner's utterances; receptive or interpretive errors are
those which result in the listener's misunderstanding of the
speaker's intentions.

An example of this would be, if a person answers: I am twelve


to a question like: What is your name? It can be assumed that
s/he did not understand the content of the question (Corder
1973:262).

2.2.4.4 Overtly Erroneous and Covertly Erroneous Sentences

Corder ( 1981:42) discerns between overtly erroneous and


covertly erroneous sentences. The former are superficially
erroneous ones while the latter are apparently acceptable ones,
but only so by chance, or because they are inappropriate in some
way. An overtly erroneous sentence exposes the error in it.
Cohen ( 1990:61) described an overt error as a "public error"
while a covert error is a "secret error".

An example of an overtly erroneous sentence is:

- I am waiting for the bus since thirty minutes. (Corder 1981:42).

We could quite rightly interpret this as: I am waiting for the bus
for thirty minutes.
Here is an example of a covertly erroneous sentence from a
German learner of English who said:
47

- You mustn't wear a hat at the party. (Corder 1981:42).

The sentence is perfectly acceptable syntactically. But what she


aid was not appropriate because hats were not forbidden at the
party. The true version is: You don't need to wear a hat.

2.2.5 Types or Levels of Error Analysis

There are different types of error analysis. Dulay, Burt and


Krashen ( 1982:146ff.) present four methods of categorization
which are useful for these purposes. These are as follows:

1- Linguistic Category Taxonomy: Errors are categorized


according to the level of language: phonology, morphology,
syntax, lexis and discourse,
2- Surface Strategy Taxonomy: This highlights ways by which
surface structures are altered, such as by omission, addition,
misinformation, and misordering,
3- Comparative Taxonomy: Here a comparison is made between
the structure of L2 errors and another type of construction,
such as errors reported for children acquiring the language as
L1,
4- Communicative Effect Taxonomy: This focuses on errors
from the perspective of the effect on the listener or reader.

These categories are not mutually exclusive in the sense that we


do not need to choose one approach of categorization and
disregard features of the others. An EA can show features of two
or more such categories.

2.2.6 Stages of Error Or Its Development

As the learner progresses in the acquiring / learning of L2, so his


errors develop. Corder ( 1973:270-272; 1974:131) identifies
three stages of development of learner errors namely: pre-
48

systematic, systematic, and post-systematic. In the presystematic


stage, the learner is unaware of the existence of a particular
system or rule in the TL. His errors are quite random. He may
even occasionally produce a correct form. When asked to correct
his sentence, he cannot do so nor give any account of why he
chose the particular form he did.

In the systematic stage, his errors are regular. He has discovered


and is operating a rule of some sort, which is the wrong one.
When asked to correct his error, he cannot do so, but he can give
some coherent account of the rule he is following. Finally, in the
post systematic stage, the learner produces correct forms but
inconsistently. He has learned the rule but fails through lack of
attention or lapse of memory to apply it consistently. This is the
practice stage of learning a particular bit of the language. When
asked to correct his error, he can do so and give a more or less
coherent account of the rule. Brown ( 1994:211) added another
stage to the above which he called emergent stage of
interlanguage. The learner here is growing in consistency in
producing the language, but he cannot correct his errors when
they are pointed out by another person.

2.2.7 Procedures of Error Analysis

Applied linguists of EA ( Corder 1973; 1974; 1981; Bell 1981;


Haja Mohideen 1991; Teh Geok Choon 1993; Abdalla 1996)
have identified six steps in error analysis. The diagram below
illustrate this.
49

Data Collection

Error Identification

Error Classification

Error Description

Error Explanation

Pedogogical
Application

Figure 1. A Diagram of Procedures of EA. Source (Haja


Mohideen 1991:150).

2.2.7.1 Data Collection

This is a methodological question, which involves things like data


collection, sample size and so on.
The research designs for EA researches have two types:
longitudinal design and cross-sectional design. Longitudinal
design (Dulay, Burt & Krashen 1982:245-246) involves the study
50

of a few learners over an extended period of time. Whereas


cross-sectional design has its language data collected from a
relatively large sample of learners at one point in their language
development.

To conclude, Dulay, Burt and Krashen ( 1982:245) stated that


there are:

no specific minimum guidelines... for sample size,


frequency of data collection, length of the language
elicitation sessions, or length of study... The decisions
regarding these parameters of study are usually controlled
.... by inevitable constraints on the researchers' resources.

EA data can be either spoken or written. For practical reasons of


administrability and systematicness, most language researchers
prefer written data. According to Corder ( 1974), there are two
ways of electing written work which are a) controlled production
via tests, translations, precise, paraphrases, retelling of stories
and b) free compositions.

Different researchers employed different methods. Arani ( 1985)


has obtained 32 compositions of his learners, although everyone
of them was required to write two compositions. Oyedepo (
1987) elicited 400 essays (two essays for each one) written by
her subjects as part of normal class work.

Sample size used for EA research also differs from case to case.
The previous studies used between 20 or less ( Noss 1979; Arani
1985; Sougaris 1996; Alicio 1996; Sasaki 1997) and 4835
subjects Mukattash ( 1981).

The subject area examined in EA differs between studies. It may


be limited to one topic such as interrogative structures (Abdul-
Latif 1986), tense and aspect (Ageli 1989), or might cover a
51

bigger area to include different grammatical, lexical, cohesion,


orthographic, phonetic, morphological and semantical items as in
El-Hibir ( 1976), Zahrān ‫( زهماا‬no date), Haja Mohideen ( 1991)
and Touba ( 1981).

2.2.7.2 Identification of Errors

All linguists (Corder 1974; Bell 1981; Taylor 1986) agree that
identification of errors it is not an easy task. For instance, Taylor
( 1986:151) emphasized "the fact that 'errors' are not primitive
absolutes whose identification is unproblematic". The
identification of error stage requires a researcher to have an
understanding of the language system which he is going to
analyze. To explain it more, let us take the following example:

I have three brother and one sister (Haja Mohideen 1991:153).

Now, we should ask the following question: Is this sentence


wrong in the TL? If yes, we have to point out the error and move
onto the next step.

2.2.7.3 Error Classification

The classifying errors should be flexible and one should let the
error determine the category ( Teh Geok Choon 1993:54; Choi
Kim Yok 1996: 92-4). In general, errors can be classified into
different categories, or sub-categories, such as semantic or
lexical errors (wrong word, wrong form, poor choice of word,
slang or colloquialism), syntactic errors (e.g. tense, preposition,
article, spelling, word order, subject-verb agreement), discourse
errors, pronunciation errors, etc. Errors can also be classified as
global errors or local errors.

2.2.7.4 Description of Errors


52

Error analysts such as Corder ( 1973), Abbott ( 1980), and


Nyamasyo ( 1994) distinguish four categories of describing error:
i.e., omission, addition, selection and ordering.

Dulay, Burt and Krashen ( 1982:154) described omission as "


the absence of an item that must appear in a well-formed
utterance". For example,

- My brother ^ still in secondary school. (Haja Mohideen


1991:157) The learner here has deleted the verb BE.

On the other hand Corder ( 1973:277) defines the error of


addition happens through "addition of some unnecessary or
incorrect element". E.g.

- I thought I can't accepted the weather here. (Haja Mohideen


1991:158). The student has added the morpheme -ed in the word
accept wrongly.

Substitution refers to the replacement of an item by another. In


the words of Richards et al. ( 1992:363) and Haja Mohideen (
1991:159), "Errors through substitution arise when students
substitute one item for another". E.g.

- My favourite colours is blue and purple. (Haja Mohideen 1991:


159). The learner has used the verb BE wrongly in this sentence.
He used the verb 'is' instead of 'are' to agree with the subject
colours.

Misplacement errors happen when a word is put in the incorrect


place. Dulay, Burt and Krashen ( 1982:162) refer to this
phenomenon as misordering. As they put it ( 1982: 162),
misordering errors are characterized by the incorrect
placement of a morpheme or group of morphemes in an
utterance.
53

E.g. Everything is quite. (Kharma & Hajjaj 1989:180). The


student has spelt the word 'quiet' wrongly. Therefore, he has
misplaced the letters 't' and 'e'.

2.2.7.5 Explanation of Errors

The description of errors differs from their explanation in the


sense that the former is a linguistic activity whereas the latter is a
psycholinguistic one. It attempts to reasonably explain how and
why errors are committed and tries to follow the sources of
errors Corder ( 1974). Corder ( 1981:24) considers error
explanation as a very crucial step since it is the "ultimate object
of error analysis". Bell ( 1981:175) regards it as "hypothesizing
about the processes in the learner's mind which have caused the
fault to occur".

In explaining errors made by L2 learners, one should ask the


following question :

Why does the student write (or say) this way?

It has to be noted that an explanation will be acceptable or


propositional but never absolute. No error analyst can be certain
all the time about why a student has committed certain errors.
Nevertheless, through their vast experience in L2 teaching,
language teachers and linguists may present reasonable good
explanations. Furthermore, the specific source of error ca be
better located if the learner is present.
For example, Abūkhudaīrī ‫ ( أبممو خضمريي‬1992:24-6; 1994:58)
mention that
‫احتماها اسعربين زن أنفسه‬
'ihtazaha al-muCabīrīna Can ’anfusihim
(the expressers have imitated it for themselves).
54

may be explained in various ways with regard to its source of


error:

The (Al-MuCabīrīna ‫ اسعمربين‬the expressers) is used by the


student in the accusative case, should be in the nominative
case " ‫ اسعمربو‬Al-MuCabirūna" because it is the subject.
Furthermore, the learner was unable to apply the sound
plural case endings rule, as well as that of adjective-
substantive voweling agreement. Yet, it is hard to
determine here whether the source of the error was mother
tongue interference or the students' inadequate
competence. Such types of errors are likely to be made by
native Arabic speakers too. But, the Malay learners are
more likely to make such errors because in Malay there is
no case ending system. A Malay word maintains one form
regardless of its position in a sentence (Marsden, 1812:29,
33, 37, 64). Therefore, it is hard for Malay learners to
apply the case endings rule to their Arabic writings
(Abūkhudaīrī ‫ أبو خضريي‬1992:24-6; 1994:58).

2.2.7.6. The Pedagogical Application of Error Analysis

Error analysis not only has a theoretical (see 2.2.3 above) but
also a pedagogical goal, which has been mentioned by its
founding father, Corder ( 1981:45), who stated that

The practical aspect of EA is its function in guiding the


remedial action ... to correct an unsatisfactory state of
affairs for learner or teacher

Many scholars have referred to the applications of EA in


language teaching. These include the learner (Corder 1981:11;
55

Bell 1981:180), the teacher (Sharma 1981:21-5; Etherton


1977:78; Haja Mohideen 1991:215-216), teaching materials and
techniques (Corder 1973:265; Ringbom 1987; Haja Mohideen
1991:218; Choi Kim Yok 1996:95), teaching methods (Corder
1981:11; Marton 1981:161; Abukhudairi 1994:60), course
design (Mattar 1978:534; Ringbom 1987; Abukhudairi 1994:60),
curriculum development (Norrish 1983:80; Abukhudairi
1994:60), and pedagogical grammar Brown ( 1987:153).

Etherton ( 1977:67-68) has summarized the areas in which EA


can be of pedagogical help as follows:

1- the areas in which the pupils are weak, and need help, either
by way of remedial teaching or by introducing new teaching
material;
2- the lexical or grammatical items, for example, infinitives and
gerunds which are difficult for the pupils to use at a certain stage
and need to be taught later;
3- the complete absence of certain grammatical items in their
work and the pupils' recourse to alternative constructions;
4- which areas of the syllabus are important for communication
and which are considered not so important at a certain stage;
5- teaching items which have not been included in the syllabus,
but are necessary at that stage;
6- inadequacies in the official syllabus, for example, lack of
organization and gradation or omission of important items which
the teacher has to take note; and
7- weaknesses or errors which may be entirely new to the teacher
or of which he may be only dimly aware.

To sum up, the pedagogical objectives of EA aim to assist


teachers, professional textbook writers and syllabus designers. It
assists them to appreciate the learning difficulties of TL students
and guides them to come up with pedagogical answers for
students to overcome their difficulties with the L2.
56

Thus, the pedagogical application is very central for EA which


aims to reduce errors committed by learners. Students must be
given help to reduce their errors or (eliminate them if possible)
after their popular errors in the areas of orthography, phonology,
grammar, lexis, discourse and semantics have been identified and
located. Teaching methods as well as materials in L2 should be
given more attention.

2.2.8 Sources and Causes of Errors

Researchers (Brown 1987; Richards 1974; Jain 1974; Haja


Mohideen 1991) have identified a number of sources and causes
of learners' errors. These are taken up below:

2.2.8.1 Interlingual Transfer

Interlingual transfer means the influence of the mother tongue


(i.e., interference) on learning a new or foreign language. Lado (
1957:5-6) indicated that the NL has a crucial role in SLA,
whether in pronunciation, grammatical structure and vocabulary.
Fried ( 1968) stated that the first language has significant role in
acquiring a TL or as he puts it, "the learner's mother tongue will
always be present as a factor of interference or support in the
teaching process" (Fried 1968:38).

Thus, it would be impossible for a learner of language to be


withdrawn totally from his NL as he acquires a L2. In this
respect, Bennett reported:

The second (or foreign) language learner moves forward


between two language systems: that of his first language,
which he 'knows' (although not consciously) as any native
speaker must: and that of the second language, which is the
object of his learning. Within the learner the two systems
57

are therefore in competition to the extent that they are


different from each other, and the learner will follow an
irregular path, as seen from either the first or the second
language, now clothing sentences from one system in the
sound-pattern or writing-system of the other, now
organizing sentence structures defined by one system in
terms of the lexical features of the other. ( 1973:123)

Touba ( 1981), in his investigation of Arab learners of English,


found the majority of his 202 subjects, who were first year
students in three universities in Egypt, were quite influenced by
their mother tongue-Arabic. 75% of the respondents to a
questionnaire felt that their background in Arabic helped them in
learning English, 59% mentally did their sentences in Arabic
before writing them in English and 70% felt that their Arabic
background affected their style in written English.

Krashen ( 1981:65-67) summed up research findings into the


influence of the first language in SLA as follows:

1- It is strongly felt in complex word order, e.g. Duskova's (


1969:16) study of the errors in the written English of
postgraduate Czech students and LoCoco's ( 1975) study of
American college students who were learning German and
Spanish in the United States of America are examples. The latter
concluded that the " high incidence of interlingual (L1
interference) errors in German was due to word order errors ..."
( 1975:101). A typical example provided by her is

*Ich bin glucklich sein hier

which is a literal rendering of I am happy to be here. The


correct form is: Ich bin glucklich hier zu sein.
2- It is strong in word-for-word translations of phrases. Duskova
(1969:18) noticed many literal translations of Czech expressions
58

into English, for example, *"another my friend" for "another


friend of mine". LoCoco ( 1975) observed the same process
where Spanish learners made word-for-word translations of L1
expressions.
3- It appears to be strongest in "acquisition-poor environments".
Duskova ( 1969:25) and LoCoco ( 1975) examined the
performance of language students in an EFL situation, and found
a high amount of influence from L1. Krashen ( 1981:66) argues
that in an EFL situation "natural appropriate intake is scarce";
therefore, not much language acquisition takes place.
4- It is weaker in bound morphology. Errors in bound
morphology include omissions of plurals on nouns and lack of
subject-verb concord. Duskova concluded that these errors in her
Czech learners of English as a foreign language were not due to
the influence of their mother tongue- Czech. Rather, the errors
were due to "interference between the other terms of the English
subsystem in question" ( 1969:21).

Thus, although mother tongue influence in L2 learning is there,


this, however, decreases with time. That is when learners make
more progress in and have more exposure to the TL, they fall
back into their mother tongue less and less. This will help them
to improve their TL. As Taylor puts it,

With increased proficiency in the target language,


(students) ... rely proportionately less frequently on their
native language grammar and rely more frequently on their
ever-increasing knowledge of the target language, coping
directly with it and overgeneralizing its rules. ( 1975:88)
Most linguists (Swan & Smith 1987:11) agree that the structure
and influence of the mother tongue language is one of the
sources of errors although they disagree about its percentage.
George ( 1972) claimed that
59

a third of all errors can be ascribed to learners' mother


tongue, but of course this can vary depending on the
learners' stage of acquisition, the conditions under which
they have been taught, their different mother tongues and
the kind of environment they are in. ( In Haja Mohideen
1991:212) also in Richards & Sampson ( 1974:5).

Green & Hecht ( 1985:86) added that the percentage of errors


attributable to the L1 may be as high as 43% , whereas Dulay &
Burt ( 1974) quoted in Tarone ( 1974), state that it may be as
low as 4.7%. Dulay & Burt's studies, however, are doubtful and
have been criticized by some langauge researchers. This is
because of their neglect of transfer as a crucial element in second
language learning and other shortcomings in their research ( see
Ringbom 1987).

2.2.8.2 Loan Words

Loan-word means that adopting words from other languages into


the mother tongue. Loan words are a major cause of error
(Khairiah Othman 1994; Sayegh 1996). Bahasa Malaysia (BM) is
very rich in Arabic loan-words (see Beg. 1983; ‫انم سمموةارنو‬
Andes Suwdārnū (no date); Amran Kasimin 1987). ( ‫سموةارنو‬ ‫انم‬
Andes Suwdārnū, quoted in ‫ زب م المماين مِّعك‬Abdul Rahmān
ChīCak 1995:7) counted 2318 Arabic loan words in it . Beg (
1983:83) notes that "Arabic words circulate ... like blood within
the body of Malay language".

A Malay learner of Arabic often wrongly uses Arabic


words that are borrowed into BM. E.g.:

- ِّ‫ يسج‬Masjīd: Mosque) for ‫يسج‬.


60

2.2.8.3 Intralingual Errors: Inherent Difficulties of the Target


Language

Interlingual errors are developmental and result due to inherent


difficulties of the target language. Some languages (e.g. German,
French, Russian) are, from the viewpoint of the learners, are
relatively more difficult than others (e.g. English, BM). Arabic is
such a difficult language. For example, in writing, every Arabic
letter has two or more shapes according to whether it occurs in
the beginning, middle or at the end of the word ( see Jassem et
al. 1995: 3 ff.). In pronunciation also there are many words
which are not pronounced the way they are spelled. For example,
the letter ( ) ta' marbuta (attached or tied 't') can be pronounced
as (‫ )ه‬ha at pause and /t/ in connected speech as in:

‫ه م جم ة ممة‬ Hadhihi majallah (this is a magazine) is


pronounced with /h / instead of /t/ as in:
‫ ه جم ة ة يفِّ ة‬hadhihi majalatun mufīdah.

2.2.8.4 The Materials

Norrish (1983:33) maintains that teaching materials induce two


types of errors (a) the 'false concept' and (b) ignorance of rule
restrictions. This happens when the materials are not well
selected, or are not well organized, or have not been collected
properly. Norrish ( 1983:33) gave the use of present continuous
tense in a wrong place such as: "His alarm clock is ringing, he is
getting up, he is washing" as a material-induced error. The
simple present tense is normally used to describe a sequence of
events that take place at the present moment. Using the
progressive tense here is neither normal nor natural and which in
turn results in false concepts being hypothesized by learners.
61

2.2.8.5 The Method

The teaching method can contribute to errors especially if the


teacher uses one method and excludes the rest. When teachers
stress the written component of a course, for instance, the learner
will improve himself in writing. His listening and speaking will
suffer. Haja Mohideen ( 1991: 194) reports that "when a student
is less proficient in writing, he can commit errors in grammar,
lexis, cohesion and the written work might lack in coherence
too".

Certain teaching methods can indirectly contribute to errors.


Grammar-Translation method stresses on reading, writing and
translation. As a result, the outcome of this method will not be
good to the students in terms of their pronunciation and general
speaking ability. The Audio-lingual Method asserts the oral
aspects of communication which results in the fact that the
students' ability of writing would be weak. The Total Physical
Response (Asher 1977) stresses on listening to understand the
spoken language first and delays the speech from learners, this
delay can contribute to oral errors (for a fuller survey see Haja
Mohideen 1991:124-5).

2.2.8.6 The Model

This refers to the teacher (s). There are two kinds of teachers
who can contribute to students' errors. First, the language
teacher. Arabic language teachers are sometimes not good
enough in the way they speak, write and teach the language.
Wilkins asserts the crucial role played by the teacher thus:
His skill and his personality are instrumental in creating the
conditions of learning. His skill is dependent on two factors, his
own proficiency in the language teaching ... . What the teachers
are able to achieve will be limited to what their own command of
62

language permits. Even with modern aids available it is which


(1974:53-54).

Secondly, the non-language subject teacher, i.e. teachers of other


subjects like arts, sciences, etc. Some, but not all, subject
teachers are a source of students' errors. Others are strong in it in
terms of grammar, lexis and pronunciation.

2.2.8.7 Ignorance of Rule Restrictions

Richards ( 1974:175) used this term to refer to the deviant


structures [in which there is] failure to observe the restrictions of
existing structures, that is, the application of rules to contexts
where they do not apply. For instance: the man who I saw him
violates the limitation on subjects in structures with who. Some
rule restriction errors may be accounted for in terms of analogy;
other instances may result from the rote learning of rules.

2.2.8.8 Incomplete Application of Rules

Richards ( 1974:177-8) refers to this as " the occurrence of


structures whose deviancy represents the degree of development
of the rules required to produce acceptable utterances". For
example,

Teacher's Question Student's Response


Do you read much? Yes, I read much.

The student's response should be: Yes, I do.


2.2.8.9 False Concepts Hypothesis

According to Richards (1974:178), this term means the


"developmental errors which derive from faulty comprehension
63

of distinctions in the target language. These are sometimes due


to poor gradation of teaching items. The form was, for example,
may be interpreted as a marker of the past tense, giving one day
it was happened and is may be understood to be the
corresponding marker of the present tense: he is speaks French".

2.2.8.10 Transfer of Training

This is happens when teachers and textbooks emphasis a certain


point and ignores its counterpart. In this respect, Selinker (
1974:39) has mentioned an example of the difficulty faced by
Serbo-Croatian speakers at all levels of English proficiency. They
almost in every occasion say he where the pronoun she would be
required. This is because of transfer of training. That is,
textbooks and teachers, almost always present drills with the
masculine pronoun he, and never with she. And even when the
speakers are consciously aware of the need to make a distinction
between "he" and "she", they do not do that. Therefore, the
error persisted or became 'fossilized'.
2.2.8.11 Medium Transfer

Tench ( 1983) has used this term to refer to the student's undue
reliance on either the spoken or the written form of a word when
the other medium is being used. If a learner pronounces the word
corps according to its spelling: that is, with / ko:rps / instead of /
ko:(r) / (singular) or / ko:rz / (plural), then medium transfer has
taken place.

2.2.8.12 Indeterminacy

According to Jain, this term ( 1974:203) refers to an


inconsistency or uncertainty in handling a linguistic item. He
shows errors of this type with respect to the use of articles,
which are sometimes present and sometimes absent for no
obvious reason as in the following:
64

I started from hostel to go to see a movie. When we were


still waiting at bus stop... I could only get some space to
keep my one leg on foot-board ... I had to request
conductor .... At last bus moved. The bus stopped at a bus
stop with a jerk. All the time I was trying to balance myself
on the footboard. I was more worried about movie. (
1974:213)

2.2.8.13 Carelessness and Ignorance

This term has been used by Abukhudairi ( 1992) to refer to the


students who do not take proper care in writing or spelling. They
misplace or drop the diacritical marks when writing in Jawi (
1992:33ff) as in:

‫ اي استاذ‬Ahmad Ustādh (Ahmad is a teacher) for ‫أي أستاذ‬.

2.2.8.14 Communication Strategies

Brown ( 1987:180) affirms that communication strategies are "a


pervasive and important source of error. According to Faerch &
Kasper ( 1983:36), a communication strategy can be defined as
"a potentially conscious plan for solving what to an individual
presents itself as a problem in reaching a particular
communicative goal". Communication strategies "occur when a
learner becomes aware of a problem with which his current
knowledge has difficulty in coping" (Littlewood 1984:83). Both
native and non-native speakers face difficulty in expressing their
communicative aims. Second language learners use some familiar
communication strategies which are listed below.

2.2.8.14.1 Avoidance
65

Avoidance means that language learners tend to avoid or not to


use certain elements or structures in speech or writing. For
example, they avoid certain sounds which are difficult for them
to pronounce; they avoid words whose meanings they do not
know. Here is an example of lexical avoidance:

Learner: I lost my road.


Native speaker: You lost your road?
Learner: Uh, ... I lost. I lost. I got lost. (Brown 1987:184)

The learner could not come up with I lost my way. Therefore,


he uses the word road in its place in the first sentence and drops
it altogether in the last one.

Schachter ( 1974:210) is an example of syntactic avoidance who


showed how her subjects - Chinese and Japanese students -
avoided using English relative clauses.

2.2.8.14.2 Prefabrication Patterns

These include a number of phrases and stock sentences which


can be used in various occasions such as "How do you do that?".
Learners may sometimes employ them in the wrong place.
Tarone, Cohen and Dumas (1983:6) provide an example of
prefabricated patterns where two stock sentences I don't know
and How do you do that? have been combined without deleting
the item which is not needed (i.e., first 'do')as in * I don't know
how do you do that.

Hakuta emphatically believes that although they are a source of


errors, prefabricated patterns

enable learners to express functions which they are yet


unable to construct from their linguistic system, simply
storing them in a sense like large lexical items ( 1976:333).
66

2.2.8.14.3 Word Coinage

This involves making a new word or phrase. A learner, who uses


this strategy, hopes that it will convey the intended meaning. For
instance, a Korean Arabic student who was not aware of the
lexical item ( ‫ ثم ي‬thadī / breast) said ( ‫ صمن وق ال من‬şundūqu al-
laban / the box of milk) (example from Abdalla 1996:141).

2.2.8.14.4 Language Switch

This means the usage of the native langauge when the student
simply "gives up" or fails to express himself in the TL. For
instance,

‫جماال رايما‬ ‫( كنمت أوموة سمِّار‬Kuntu ’aqūdu sayārati fī jālān rāyā / I


was driving my car on the highway). (example from Abdalla
1996:144).

2.2.8.14.5 Appeal to Authority

The authority here can be the native speaker, the teacher or the
dictionary to which the learner resorts when he faces a problem.
Brown ( 1987:185) provides an amusing example of this,
involving the dictionary. A foreign learner of English introduced
himself to the classmates, "Allow me to introduce myself and
tell you some of the ..." When he was stuck, he consulted his
bilingual dictionary and said: "headlights of my past". What he
intended to say is highlights instead of "headlights".

2.2.8.14.6 Circumlocution

This means to express the meaning by going about it, so to


speak. When a learner cannot use the proper words or structures
67

in the TL, s/he will describe the characteristics of the object or


the action s/he needs. For instance, a student who did not know
or remember the word ‫' واحة‬waha/ oasis' might say:

‫وسم الصممحااا واما يماا و ممجا‬ ‫’ األرض الم‬al-ard al-latī fi waşaţ al-
şahrā’ wa bihā mā’ wa shajar/ the land which is in the heart of the
desert, where there are water and trees (example from Abdalla
1996: 141).

2.2.8.14.7 Approximation

Approximation means the student uses a lexical item which is not


exactly the same although it shares certain common semantic
features with it. For example,

-The foreign ambassador 'met' the king. (Haja Mohideen


1991:201). The student said 'met' instead of saying: 'the foreign
ambassador had an audience with the king'.

2.2.8.15 Learning Strategies

The language learner always tries hard to improve and develop


his / her language as time goes by. Therefore, s/he makes new
utterances in the TL, by using learning strategies. Brown (
1987:79) defines learning strategy as

a particular method of approaching a problem or task,


mode of operation for achieving a particular end, a planned
design for controlling and manipulating certain information.

Some of the most commonly identified strategies, which often


lead to abnormal constructions in the TL are overgeneralization,
transfer and simplification. They give us an insight into their
learning processes of the language. As Littlewood puts it,
68

It seems likely that the main creative processes which


underlie second language learning are transfer and
generalization. Simplification through omission would
appear to have a less directly creative role ( 1984:30).

2.2.8.15.1 Overgeneralization

Overgeneralization is a very important strategy in human


learning. It can be defined as:

a process that occurs as the second language learner acts


within the target language, generalizing a particular rule or
item in the second language - irrespective of the native
language-beyond legitimate bounds. (Brown 1987:82)
Or
the incorrect application - negative transfer - of previously
learned second language material to a present second
language context. (Brown 1987:83)

Norrish ( 1983:129) defines it as "a failure by the learner to apply


restrictions where appropriate to the application of a rule".
Littlewood ( 1984:23) believes that the process of
overgeneralization manifests itself in the majority of intralingual
errors. For example,

* ‫ خاجموا ىل البغم اة‬kharajū ’ila al-Baghdād (they went to Baghdad)


" ‫ " ال‬was unnecessarily added to " ‫ "البغم اة‬Al-Baghdād. As a
proper name, it does not need the article " ‫ " ال‬Abūkhudaīrī (
1992:27).

2.2.8.15.2 Simplification
69

This strategy involves that learners tend to drop certain items or


elements such as inflections and morphemes. Native speakers
often use a simplified register in informal speech in BM (Richards
1975:120); for example, berbicara becomes bicara (to talk),
and bekerja becomes kerja (work). L2 learners simplify because
they think that such elements are redundant or unimportant and
could still be understood without them (cf. Meisel 1980).
Simplification strategy is, therefore, known as "redundancy
reduction" Haja Mohideen ( 1991:96). The learner, who uses
strategy of simplification, according to Haja Mohideen (
1991:97), concentrates on conveying the message and so he
avoids the use of the correct verb forms, articles, plural forms,
case forms, etc.

2.2.8.15.3 Transfer

Brown ( 1987:81) sees language transfer as something that


concerns " the carryover of previous performance or knowledge
to subsequent learning" . Norrish ( 1983:128) defines it as the "
use of what the learner knows about his first language to try and
assist expression in the TL". The difference between transfer and
overgeneralization is that in the latter a learner is using his / her
previous or current knowledge of the second language, but in the
case of transfer he is using his knowledge of his L1 (Haja
Mohideen 1991:95-96).

The transfer strategy is common in beginners due to their poor


knowledge of the L2. Advanced learners too do transfer
especially when they are under stress in examinations. As Nickel
( 1989: 298) states,

under conditions of stress as in examinations, transfers will


increase even in the case of advanced students.

2.2.9 Weaknesses of Error Analysis


70

There are weaknesses in EA which have accumulated during the


last two decades of analyses of student errors. Riddell ( 1990:28-
9) listed the following weaknesses:

1- Problems of sampling,
2- Subjectivity of "acceptability" and "error",
3- Isolation of errors from context,
4- Unreliability of precise statistics,
5- Doubt concerning how representative is a particular analysis,
6- Mechanical nature of the process,
7- Confusion of error description with error explanation,
8- Lack of precision in definition of error categories,
9- Simplistic categorization of causes,
10- Learners may avoid problem areas of structure when
expressing themselves freely.

The above criticisms of the procedures of EA imply that there is


a need on part of the researchers not to overgeneralize their
result. They need to qualify their conclusions with reference to
above considerations (cf. Haja Mohideen 1991: 167 ff.).

2.2.10 Limitations of Error Analysis

EA suffers from certain limitations. These can be summed up as


follows.
Error Analysis is problematic as far as error recognition,
description and explanation are concerned (Bell 1981:175;
Meziani 1984: 298; Morrissey 1983: 199). This is further
complicated when grammarians and native speakers disagree on
verb form meanings, degrees of acceptability (Edstrom
1972:126; Mattar 1978: 194) and when we have incomplete
language descriptions (Steinberg 1982:170-171). Corder (
1981:37) noted that the whole success of this activity " hinges
upon the correctness of our interpretation of the learner's
71

intention of meaning" while Morrissey ( 1983: 199) added that


"Errors become more difficult to describe as a learner progresses
and his speech becomes more complex"

Some linguists (Obeidat 1986), however, find recognizing errors


fairly simple because errors are identified relative to a norm
which is the standard language. Also "the context and the
researchers own familiarity with the subjects' cultural background
provided information as to what they were attempting to say in
most cases" (Obeidat 1986:41).

Guessing is another area, which happens in complex structures


for which researchers may have no clues. In that case, some
guessing about what the learner intended to say or write can be
made. For example,

*John is ill since four days (Hubbard et al. 1983:135).

Could be restructured as John was ill four days ago, or John


has been ill for four days?

In the explanation of the sources of errors, guessing is necessary.


(Corder 1974:130)

in the absence of a generally accepted theory of how


people learn second languages ( or first languages),
explanation is still largely speculative

Deviant structures do not all have easy explanations with respect


to their sources of error. There are examples which may be
explained in various ways. In other words, it is not always
possible to attribute the occurrence of an error unambiguously
to one source. For example,
‫ان البحث نفس اسوضوع‬
72

’ina al-bahtha nafsu al-mawduwC (indeed the research same


topic).

The learner has used the glottal stop Hamza neither above nor
under the alif (‫)ا‬. This error was due to either the students'
carelessness or the lack of knowledge of the hamza orthographic
rules. Abūkhudaīrī ‫ ( أبو خضمريي‬1992:34; 1994:57-9) suggests that
the error could be because of ignorance of orthographic rules or
interference from BM (Jawi) which does not place the hamza in
the beginning of word.

Not all linguists experience difficulty in locating the source of


their students' errors. For example, Edstrom ( 1972) claims that
he had no difficulty in tracing the errors in his corpus of
translations to their sources.

Another drawback of EA concerns the need for the error analyst


to have a good background of the learner's mother tongue which
interferes one way or another in the learner's TL (cf. Haja
Mohideen 1991:168). For example,

- My father's job is as Pengawas Hutan. (example from Haja


Mohideen 1991:175)

If the error analyst does not have a background of BM, what will
he do with the words ( Pengawas Hutan )? It comes from BM
which means forester.

Other shortages of EA include the non-investigation of errors of


comprehension (Sah 1981:106) which go undiscovered and that
the coverage of errors is limited to those in the productive mode.
Avoidance is another problem, which, Schachter ( 1974:212)
asserts, EA does not account for. As she puts it ( 1974:212),
73

if the student does not produce the constructions he finds


difficult, no amount of error analysis is going to explain
why.

Finally, neglecting non-errors. Hammarberg claims that

analysing only the errors and neglecting the careful


description of the non-errors is arbitrary and inadequate... (
1972:29)

These limitations are not without benefit. Ringbom ( 1987:69)


perceived the limitations of EA "as an important key to a better
understanding of the processes underlying L2-learning". Haja
Mohideen ( 1991:177) is of the opinion that " it is by
acknowledging the limitations of EA that the practical problems
faced by error analysts can be appreciated".

On the neglect of non-errors as the successful use of the target


language, Haja Mohideen ( 1991: 176 ) says these are beyond the
scope of EA as the term explicitly implies.

2.3 Interlanguage
2.3.1 Introduction

Selinker ( 1972) has used the term "interlanguage" to draw the


attention of language researchers, to the fact that the language of
L2 learners might be seen as a separate language system with its
own peculiar merits and norms. He borrowed the concept of
interlanguage from S. Pit Corder, who ( 1967:169) suggested
that "a more systematic study of the errors of learners by
discovering their "built-in syllabus" would result in a better
understanding of language learning". Selinker first used the term
with inverted commas. In Selinker's article ( 1971), the term
"interlanguage" lost its inverted commas and moved into the title,
since when it has been the focus of many papers and the central
74

concept holding together the second langauge acquisition "SLA"


school Spolsky ( 1989:32). Interlanguage describes the
observable output resulting from a speaker's attempt to produce
a target language. It is a performance phenomenon, to be seen in
the behaviour of second langauge learners attempting to emulate
the target langauge speakers' norm or competence. It includes
their errors and non-errors.

A number of linguists have given a number of terms to describe


second language learners' language. Corder ( 1971:151;
1981:17) uses the terms "idiosyncratic dialect" and "transitional
dialect" for learner language, which emphasize the unstable
nature of learner languages. Corder ( 1971:151) used
"idiosyncratic dialect" in the sense that the learner's language is
unique to a particular individual alone, and that he is forming his
own self-contained linguistic system. This is neither the system of
the target langauge nor that of the source or mother langauge,
but instead it falls between the two.

Nemser ( 1971:116) used the term "approximative system". As


he puts it,

an approximative system is the deviant linguistic system


actually employed by the learner attempting to utilize the
TL.

According to Selinker ( 1974:35), interlanguage is a:

linguistic system based on the observable output which


results from a learner's attempted production of a TL
norm.

Brumfit & Roberts ( 1983:114) regard this linguistic system as


having intermediate status. As they put it,
75

it may be regarded as the language of the learner while on


the journey between mother tongue and target language.

"Interlanguage" stresses that the L2 learner's system does not


relate to the L1 nor the TL, but has agents of both languages. In
other words, interlanguage is a kind of langauge that falls
somewhere between the first and second langauge with structural
features from both.

Interlanguage

Language A Target Language

Figure 2. A diagram of interlanguage (source: Corder 1981:17).

Interlanguage also describes the systematic process in language,


a second language learner is using at a particular stage of
learning: that is, the learner's version of L2, which deviates in
certain ways from the target form.

Interlanguage can be regarded as an indication that L2 learners


are testing hypothesis about the form of the grammar of the new
langauge. Presumably, when interlanguage speakers say
something that is not comprehended by native speakers of that
langauge, they would reject their former hypothesis and develop
new ones, gradually bringing their interlanguage into closer
conformity to the accepted forms of the target langauge. In this
respect, Haja Mohideen writes:
76

on the basis of the learner's exposure to and interaction


with the linguistic data available, the learner creates and
formulates a system of rules regarding the language he
wants to gain proficiency in. He hypothesizes about its
grammar, lexis, discourse and phonology. He tests the
validity of his hypothesis with those who have a much
better command than he has. If his utterances are
understood by his interlocutors, he assumes that he has
hypothesized correctly. On the other hand, if there is a
breakdown in communication, then he knows that he has
made an incorrect hypothesis. Hypothesis testing forms an
integral part of the development of a learner's IL.
(1991:132).

Interlanguage has certain fundamental principles which Timm (


1986:86-87) summarized as follows:

1- Learner languages are systematic.


2- There are variations in the production of IL.
3- The process of second language learning proceeds
from
one stage to another systematically.
4- The mother tongue of the learner has a role in the
learning process. It facilitates as well as impedes acquiring
an L2.
5- Learners are actively involved in "creative-
construction"
strategies which involve hypothesis-forming and
hypothesis-testing.
6- ILs have some amount of fossilizable structures.

On the other hand, the grammar of interlanguage can differ from


the grammar of the target language in various ways: by
containing rules borrowed from the target langauge; by
77

containing overgeneralization; by lacking certain sounds of the


target language; by inappropriately marking certain verbs in the
lexicon as requiring (or not requiring) a preposition; by lacking
certain rules altogether; and so on Finegan ( 1994:467).

2.3.2 Systematicity

Linguists claim that the output of the L2 learner's language is


systematic. Corder states that learner language is "regular,
systematic, meaningful..."( 1981:17). Burt & Dulay ( 1980)
found learners of different backgrounds acquiring certain
morphemes in English in a surprisingly similar manner. Sampson
( 1982:3) believes that there is sufficient evidence to reach " the
conclusion that there is systematicity underlying the production
of L2 learners".

However, other linguists disagree. Tarone ( 1988) has cast


serious doubts on the systematicity of ILs. She confirms that
there is "dramatic evidence of variation in IL" ( 1988:18). Timm
( 1986:87) contended that ILs are considered to be unstable in
spite of all their inherent systematicity, be it idiosyncratic in
nature, or inconformity with the rules of the TL. Stern (
1983:355) emphasizes that from the point of view of research the
interplay of variation and systematicity and the causation of the
IL characteristics are the main questions to be investigated. As a
result, variation has been examined in interlanguage studies in a
more systematic manner, for a review, see Hama ( 1996:27-35).

2.3.3 Fossilization

Fossilization is one of the most interesting and important


contributions of Selinker's work ( 1972, 1974, 1989, 1992). It
means 'hardening' and refers to the ungrammatical or incorrect
items and rules that manifest in the speech of second langauge
learners on a perpetual basis. It can be seen also as a permanent
78

and consistent phenomenon in the competence of second


language learners. Selinker ( 1972:213) referred to fossilization
as a failure to reach target language competence, it is the case
when learners do not reach the end of the interlanguage
continuum. Selinker describes fossilization as a "spectre" or
continuum which involves:

the cessation of IL learning, often far from TL norms, often


shown by the failure of learners to acquire a feature where
a particular TL feature is expected. (1989:287)

Richards et al. 1992:145) define it as

a process which sometimes occurs in which incorrect


linguistic features become a permanent part of the way a
person speaks or writes a language. Aspects of
pronunciation, vocabulary usage, and grammar may
become fixed or fossilized in second or foreign language
learning. Fossilized features of pronunciation contribute to
a person's foreign accent.
Fossilized items are the outcome of interaction between two
types of feedback: one cognitive and one affective. Vigil & Oller
(1976 quoted in Brown (1994:217-18) provided a formal
account of fossilization in terms of positive and negative,
affective and cognitive feedback. They noted that there are two
kinds of information transmitted between sources (learners) and
audiences ( in this case, native speakers): information about the
affective relationship between source and audience, and cognitive
information which includes facts, suppositions, and beliefs.

Affective information is primarily encoded in terms of kinesic


mechanisms: gestures, tone of voice, and facial expression.
Cognitive information is conveyed by means of linguistic devices:
sounds, phrases, structures and discourse. The feedback learners
79

get from their audience can be either positive, negative or


neutral.

Vigil & Oller ( 1967:286; also quoted in Brown 1994:217-8)


illustrated the different types of feedback as follows:

Affective Feedback

Positive: "I like it" (more of the same)


Neutral: "Waiting...." (reaction undecided)
Negative: "I don't like it" (try something else)
Cognitive Feedback

Positive: "I understand" (message and direction are clear)


Neutral: "Still processing.... " (undecided)
Negative: "I don't understand" (message and/or direction are not
clear)

Thus, if a learner gains first positive affective feedback ("I like


it"), then positive cognitive feedback ("I understand it"), this
leads to reinforce an incorrect form of language. That is,
fossilization. In that case learners with fossilized items have
acquired them through the same positive feedback and
reinforcement with which they acquired correct items (cf. Haja
Mohideen 1991:134).

Fossilized structures are problematic in sense that they would


become resistant to remedial treatment (Timm 1986:87)
especially with those L2 learners who achieved a certain
acceptable level in their IL. The linguists who stress error
correction in teaching methods caution that errors might become
fossilized if they are not tackled. As a result their deviant
linguistic structures or forms become fossilized.

2.3.4 Criticisms of Interlanguage


80

Interlanguage has been criticized by several researchers. Davies


et al. ( 1984:15) noted that "IL is still in such a state of flux that
application requires caution" and that languages other than
English ought to be investigated "both for the sake of IL theory
and to prevent IL becoming excessively narrow and abstract"
(Davies et al. 1984:15).

Spolsky ( 1989:33) has summarized the criticisms as follows:

(i) The concentration on morpho-syntactic development and the


failure to deal with semantic development (Ellis 1982).
(ii) The failure to recognize the relevance of the learner's own
standards of correctness and internalized linguistic knowledge
(Khon 1982).
(iii) The misuse of concepts related to the target langauge ( the
comparative fallacy (Bley Vroman 1983).
(iv) The failure to recognize clearly the specific features that
distinguish interlanguage from other natural languages (Adjemion
1976).
(v) The failure to deal with variability (Dickerson 1974; Tarone
1979).
(vi) The failure to define the concept clearly (Bialystok &
Sharwood Smith 1985).

In spite of all these drawbacks, people still work on


interlanguage. Perhaps the most important dimension is the
application of the sociolinguistic theory of variability to IL,
which is discussed below.

2.3.5. Variability
2.3.5.1 Introduction

Labov was the founder of the study of language variation who


devised its tools and methods, setting its goals and objectives. He
81

was followed by many others the world over (see Jassem 1993a:
ch. 4; 1994 for a survey).

Variation in first langauge very simply refers to the difference


between standard and vernacular usage of langauge, as used by
different groups of speakers in different situations. This includes
social varieties of the same language (e.g. the English of the
upper middle class and lower working class); regional varieties (
e.g. English as spoken in London and in New York); and stylistic
varieties (e.g. the language that is spoken during a job interview
and casual conversation with a close friend).

In his New York city study, Labov ( 1966, 1972a) showed the
influence of the society on language. For example, social class,
sex, and age were all reflected in and correlated with language
use. Upper classes and women used the standard more often than
the working classes and men. Labov also distinguished five
speech styles, which were gathered during the interview session.
These five speech styles can be grouped into two categories as
follows:
(i) Informal (conversational) styles which include:
a) Casual Style

Casual style is a style that is used in an informal situation, and


relaxed, everyday conversations with family and friends. This is a
difficult style to elicit, especially by strangers and artificial
settings.

b) Careful Speech

Careful speech is that part of the interview in which the


informant is answering the interviewer's questions. As Labov
calls it, "the interview situation proper". This type of speech is
more formal than everyday conversation, but it is less formal than
82

job interviews and public addresses and is thus noted for its
movement away from the vernacular towards the standard.

(ii) Formal (Reading) style: These include


c) Reading Passage Style

Reading passage style is often written in the form of a colloquial


passage in which the "phonological" variables are included.
About 10 instances for each variable are given.
d) Word List Style

Word list style directs one's attention on words written in


isolation. Labov used three types of word list:

1- a non-printed list of days of the week and months of the year


known by heart by every informant;
2- a printed list of the phonological variables investigated; and
3- minimal pairs.
e) Minimal Pairs

Minimal pairs style is used to see whether the informants are


aware of the single differentiater between the words. Words such
as (sauce) and (source) were singled out for maximal attention
on the part of the informants to see whether they were aware of
the fact that /r/ was the single differentiater between them (see
Jassem 1993a:47).

These five style are arranged along a continuum from the least
formal to the most formal. In other words, the standard occurs
most frequently in minimal pairs and least so in casual style. The
other styles are ranged in between these two extremes. The
reason is due to the amount of attention paid to speech, where it
is minimal in casual speech and maximal in minimal pairs. So
when people pay maximum attention to their speech, they use the
correct forms more often and vice versa.
83

These styles have been severely criticized by sociolinguists ( for a


survey, see Jassem ( 1993a; 48-52; 72-80).

2.3.5.2 Variation in Interlanguage

Variability in interlanguage means the different usage of the


features of second langauge, whether these occur in the
performance of one individual or more individuals, in one or
more tasks such as reading and speaking. Variability in IL
involves the alternation between correct and incorrect forms. The
correct form conforms to the standard, whereas the incorrect
form refers to errors.

Interest in variation in second language started with Dickerson (


1974), who has shown how style shifting in the interlanguage
performance of 10 Japanese learners of English in their
production of /r/ varies in three situations (free speech, dialogue
reading and word list reading). The correct production of /r/
occurred most frequently in careful speech and least frequently in
casual speech.

Tarone ( 1985) has also shown evidence of variability in the


speech of second langauge learners. She noted that there is
systematic variability in morphological and grammatical forms.
Her study included 20 ESL adult learners, 10 of them were
Arabs and 10 were Japanese. The focus of the study was on
grammatical categories such as: Third person singular present
tense verb "s"; the articles "a" , "an" and "the"; the noun plural
"s"; and third person singular direct object pronouns. The
learners were asked to perform three tasks (Tarone 1985).

(1) A written task containing five English sentences. They were


asked to mark any sentence which was grammatically incorrect
and rewrite the erroneous portion correctly;
84

(2) An oral interview with a native speaker of English, focusing


on the learners' field of study in the university, plans for academic
work in the U.S.A. and plans to apply that work in their own
country; and
(3) An oral narration task, which required the subjects to look at
a sequence of events depicted non-verbally on a video screen,
and then to tell the story to a non-native listener, who had not
seen the video.

This study has revealed that the subjects' scores on the three
different tasks were indeed significantly different. Style shifting
occurred between narration and interview as well as between
speaking and writing. Further this variability has been related to
the sort of task used to elicit learners' production.

Another study that has been conducted on variability is


Wolfram's study on tense marking ( 1985). Wolfram's subjects
were 16 Vietnamese speakers learning English as a second
language in the USA. They represent four different age levels
(10-12, 15-18, 20-25 and 35-55) and two different lengths of
residency groups (1-3 and 4-7 years). The subjects were
interviewed in natural contexts and the interview lasted for
approximately an hour. The analysis of the study reveals the
influence of the linguistic context on tense marking. It was found
that there are a number of surface-level constraints that
systematically affect the incidence of tense marking, including the
distinction between regular and irregular verbs, the shape of
suffix on the regular verb, the following phonological
environment, the type of irregular formation, and the relative
frequency of the verb form. This study demonstrates also that
tense marking can be a highly variable phenomenon and there are
a number of surface constraints that may systematically affect
this variability.
85

There are other studies (Marghany 1994; Ainon Jariah Muhamad


1994; Maitama 1995; Hama 1996) of variability in IL or ESL,
which do not concern us here. (For a review, see Hama
1996:27-35; Chs. 5-6).

To Summarize, variation in second language learner's speech


occurs across and within learners. Variation within an individual
learner is likely to result from changes in communicative
function, changes in linguistic environment and changes in socio-
situational factors.

2.4 Previous Selected Studies on Error Analysis

There are many studies on EA which no single work can claim to


review. However, below is a selection of some major studies in
this field. These are divided into three types: One deals with
English errors by international students, one by Arab students,
and one by Malaysian students learning Arabic as a foreign
language.

As to the first type, we can mention the following.

French ( 1949) investigated the cause and the cure of common


errors made by EFL students, who come from Japan, China,
Burma, India, West Africa, Malta, Hawaii, and the Philippines. In
explaining their errors, he found that the majority of their errors
were due to the intricacies of English and the learners' strategies
or cognitive styles of learning. As to the role of first language
interference errors, he concluded that the cause of such errors
was not the learners' native language but the target one. He also
mentioned two possible causes: First, the learners' inability to
recognize the applications and restrictions of certain grammatical
rules. Secondly, the learners' attempt to introduce order by
regulation. He called both these processes "queer processes of
cerebral gestation" that occurred on in the learners' brain.
86

Duskova (1969) examined the written English of a group of


Czech adult learners of English who were pursuing graduate
studies. These students had a good knowledge of English which
was sufficient to enable them to read scientific materials and to
converse on subjects related to their academic pursuits and the
results of the analysis of the syntactic errors showed the
following problem areas:

i) Malformation, which included such errors as omission of plural


ending, lack of agreement between subject and verb and omission
of the third person singular verb ending -'s';
ii) Modal verbs;
iii) Tense, where present was used instead of (past), present
instead of perfect, and so on;
iv) Articles, where omission or inappropriate use of the definite
or indefinite articles were common errors, and
v) Word order.

Her findings suggest that students' errors are not only due to
native language interference, but also to interference between the
forms of the second language to be learned.

Dulay & Burt ( 1972) investigated syntactic errors made by


children learning English as a second language. The errors were
classified according to whether they were:

i) "developmental goofs" : These are errors which were found in


L1 acquisition data but not reflecting L1 structure;
ii) " ambiguous goofs" : These are errors which are either L1
developmental or interference-like goofs;
iii) "unique goofs" : These are errors that are neither reflecting
L1 structure nor found in the L1 acquisition data of the TL; and
iv) "interference-like goofs": These are errors that are reflective
of L1 structure but not found in acquisition data of the TL.
87

Dulay & Burt claimed that the presence of such errors in the
production of second language learners of English was evidence
of developmental errors. They further noted that children
learning English natively made such developmental errors such as
omission of function words and determiners, missing possessive
markers, and not marking tense.

Dulay & Burt ( 1974) conducted a second study in which they


analyzed the errors in English of Spanish speaking children
between the age of five and eight. The results showed that only
4.7% of the errors were due to Spanish influence, whereas
87.1% reflected developmental structures used by children
learning English natively. The remaining 8.2% were "unique
errors", neither reflecting L1 structure nor found in the L1
acquisition data of the target language.

In another study ( 1975) Dulay & Burt examined syntactic errors


in English made by Spanish speaking children. They found that
only three per cent of those errors were due to NL interference
while eighty-five percent were developmental errors. Their main
conclusions were:

i) the learners were learning English by constructing hypotheses


about its structure,
ii) the processes of overgeneralization were used, and
iii) when children learned a second language, their errors were
developmental rather than interference errors.

Richards ( 1971) proposed classifying errors into two categories.


The first is interference errors which are caused by the L1 or the
NL. The second is intralingual and developmental errors which
are caused by the structure of L2 or the TL. These errors reflect
the learners' competence at a particular stage. The intralingual
and developmental errors can be explained in terms of the
88

strategy of the learning which include overgeneralization,


incomplete acquisition of rules, and ignorance of rule restrictions.

Jain ( 1974) examined data from the written scripts of university


students in India who studied between seven and eleven years of
English at school. He focused on errors which were independent
of NL interference in order to identify learning and teaching
strategies that could cause such errors. A common strategy that
these students tended to use was "overgeneralization". Jain,
furthermore, distinguished between what he called "systematic
and asystematic" errors. The former showed a consistent system
and reflected what appeared to be construction rules employed
by the learners. Examples of systematic errors occurred in :

i) the use of countable and uncountable nouns,.


ii) verbal aspect,
iii) word order in declarative sentences,
iv) word order in sentences where a clause was introduced by a
question word, and
v) redundant use of "that" as a noun clause marker when wh-
words were used.

"Asystematic errors" were caused by the learners' inability to


apply a rule of English grammar with certainty. Such errors were
in the use of articles and prepositions. One reason for errors with
these forms was that "they did not submit themselves to any
generalization based on consistent regularity" (p.30).

Taylor ( 1975) conducted experimental studies comparing the


use of syntactic overgeneralization and transfer strategies by
elementary and intermediate Spanish ESL students. He drew two
conclusions from the analysis of the types of errors made by the
subjects. One concerns the elementary learners who used the
transfer strategies extensively for their lack of familiarity with the
system of the new language; the second relates to the
89

intermediate learners who because of their increased proficiency


in English, tended to rely more on English and less on their NL.
According to Taylor, the two groups of learners, however,
seemed to be using the same psychological process which
involved reliance on prior learning to make a new learning
possible.

Delvin (1983) investigated the interlanguage grammar of a


student learning English as a second language. His main aim was
to examine the degree of systematicity in the grammar of the
learners' interlanguage. The investigation showed that there were
many systematic patterns; for instance, the learner used the suffix
-"ing" with the verb and without an inflected form of the
auxiliary 'be' to indicate the progressive aspect. He interpreted
these irregular forms as rules in the formation process.

Haja Mohideen ( 1991) investigated different types of errors in


the areas of the verb phrase, lexis and cohesion. His corpus
consisted of 162 scripts written by a group of post-secondary
Matriculation level students at the Matriculation Centre of the
International Islamic University, Malaysia. In his analysis of the
VP, he found that the students had a lot of difficulties in tense,
aspect, agreement and passive voice. The sources of errors are
varied: both interlingual and intralingual errors.

In the area of lexis, the subjects faced much difficulty due to


confusion of lexical items on grounds of similarity of meaning,
ignorance of collocational possibilities and lack of a wide
vocabulary which resulted in inappropriate lexical selections,
lexical omissions and translation of BM words. The major
sources of errors are mutual interference between lexical items in
the TL, learners' ignorance of colloctional constraints and
negative transfer.
90

In the area of cohesion, the errors are fewer in number than


those made in the area of the VP and the lexis. Still the learners
faced difficulty in the definite article. The students did not
employ the cohesive device of substitution. This is maybe
because substitution is much more common in spoken language
than in written language. The learners made use of ellipsis only in
a few instances; this is presumably because ellipsis is not taught
or practised in class. Conjunctive errors revealed that the learners
were unable to logically connect sentences within a text.

Alicio ( 1996) looks into and analyzes through CA and EA


occurrences of linguistic errors among Malay students of Spanish
in the use of the verbal system of Spanish. His sample 17
Malaysian students from the ( University of Malaya) Universiti
Malaya, who enrolled in Spanish 1 (level 1) in 1993/94. The test
he made was of two parts: part I consists of 21 controlled
sentences in Malay to be translated into Spanish, while part II,
with 30 items, is 'filling in the blanks' with appropriate forms of
the Spanish verbs in the present indicative. The causes of errors
in Part I were divided into five categories according to their
importance which are: negative transfer, ignorance of rule
restrictions, incomplete application of rules, overgeneralization
and lexical error. In part II they were divided into two
categories: wrong verbal form and wrong choice of verb. The
results of the tests showed that the errors committed by Malay
learners of Spanish are interlingual in nature, that is, these are
caused and influenced by structural and grammatical patterns of
English, the students' second language not their mother tongue.
Such interferences occur because English is 'closer'
grammatically to Spanish than Malay which has a very different
grammatical system.

To sum up, all of the above studies reported certain areas of


English grammar that were problematic to international learners
91

of English as a second or foreign language, regardless of


language background and years of instruction.

Learners' errors were caused by many factors. Some related them


to the intricacies of English, rather than the learners' mother
tongue. Others attributed them to the two types of interference:
Interlingual interference from the learners' mother tongue and
intralingual interference, or so-called generalization of
interlanguage rules. In addition, errors may be caused by
psychological factors, for example, learners tend to make more
errors when they are tense, nervous or tired. Finally, errors may
have external causes, such as the influence of teaching, for
example, the overteaching of certain structures, teaching
materials etc.

Now to studies on the errors in written English made by native


speakers of Arabic. These investigations will give us some
insights into the types of errors made by Arab EFL learners.

Samhoury ( 1966) conducted an analysis of errors based on


examination scripts and the description of the students' native
language, being Damascus conversational Arabic. He claimed
that whenever there was conflict between the structure of
English and Arabic, errors would then occur as a result. Thus he
compared basic sentence structures in English and Damascus
Arabic. In his data errors occurred in word order, in verb
formation, tense etc.

As a matter of fact, Samhoury's work was more of a contrastive


study than an analysis of errors. He did not report figures on the
errors his students made or their frequency of occurrence.

Scott & Tucker ( 1974) investigated the English proficiency of


twenty-two Arab ESL learners. Their data consisted of written
and oral samples which were taken at the beginning and end of
92

the term. The results of the syntactic error analysis showed that
verbs, prepositions, articles, and relative clauses were the areas
where the majority of errors occurred both at the beginning and
end of the term. Prepositions, for example, had similar
frequencies at both times, while verbs had different patterns in
the written and oral samples. The most frequent verb errors
occurred in the use of auxiliary and the copula; auxiliary verb
errors included redundant use, omission, and substitution which
involved errors of number and tense. The most frequent error in
the use of the copula was its omission or substitution by another
verb. The third person singular verb marker "-s" was often
deleted. The majority of tense errors were in tense sequence.

Scott & Tucker came up with an interesting hypothesis about the


source of transfer by suggesting that interference in writing
comes from classical Arabic while interference in speech comes
from colloquial Arabic.

However, their study suffers from some methodological and


theoretical implications. First, the number of subjects in their
study, twenty-two, is probably too small to warrant valid and
strong generalizations about the acquisition of English syntax by
Arab ESL learners. Second, their argument of explaining the
causes of errors is not convincingly supported. For instance, they
explained the appearance of the resumptive pronoun in the
written English of the Arab learners as caused by intralingual
developmental factor. In actual reality, the appearance of the
resumptive pronoun is due to transfer from Arabic. Finally,
strategies such as overgeneralization and simplification were not
discussed.

El-Hibir ( 1976) examined the errors made by Sudanese


Secondary school students. He attempted to explain the cause of
errors in (i) verbs, (ii) prepositions, (iii) articles, and (iv)
concord. He attributed the majority of their errors to interference
93

from the students' mother tongue. No other strategies were


discussed. He gave no statistics of the errors made or their
frequency of occurrence.

Mattar ( 1978) examined the grammatical and lexical written


errors made by Egyptian students of the University of
Alexandria. The conclusions were as follows:

i) CA is very useful at the explanatory stage of error analysis;


ii) Errors of foreign language learners do have a certain
systematicity;
iii) Two thirds of the number of errors are due to interference
between forms and functions of the language being learned and
to psychological causes such as inadequate learning.
Overgeneralization is one of the main factors of error;
iv) Interference from mother tongue patterns and
overgeneralization are not always independent factors: the
division between errors traceable to L1 and those that are
independent of L1 interference is not always clear-cut;
v) Sentences in the mother tongue that corresponded literally to
their equivalents in the L2 are not necessarily the easiest to learn
and master and the probability of errors cannot be assessed only
from the degree of divergence of the linguistic structures and
consequently other factors of difficulty must be hypothesized;
vi) An important point of consideration is the limitation of EA
for culturally and linguistically different learners. EA seems to be
most appropriate for those learners who have the same
background and have already acquired a limited competency in
one or several skills of the foreign language. Theoretically it is
impossible to prepare materials based on EA for language
beginners, as they have to 'perform' so that we may find out what
the errors are;
vii) It is important to notice that even if learners have the same
cultural and linguistic background, the intelligence, motivation
and attitude of one group may vary significantly from another
94

group. Yet, once certain difficulties of a particular group are pin-


pointed, the teacher can teach those items of syntax, morphology
and lexis with which the students have most difficulty on a group
basis.
viii) The errors of foreign learners are not clearly cut into deviant
forms and non-deviant forms. Between clearly deviant forms
which are regarded as errors and the normal forms, there is a
whole scale of deviant forms varying in the degree of deviation.
This makes it very hard to decide whether or not to regard them
as errors.
ix) In the process of classification of errors some were found to
be systematic and therefore significant while others could not be
classified at all being unique in character, non-recurrent and not
readily traceable to their sources.
x) Since the learners were free to choose how to express the
given content, some grammatical points such as the articles, the
prepositions, the tense and the plural were bound to occur in all
papers while others such as the future tense, appeared only
rarely.

Mukattash ( 1978) examined all common grammatical errors in


the compositions of a sample of fifty first-year students at the
University of Jordan. The results of the analysis showed that the
students had the greatest difficulty in the use of verb (e.g. errors
in concord, tense, and copula omission), prepositions, articles,
modals, etc.

Gass ( 1979) investigated the acquisition of English relative


clauses by 17 advanced ESL learners, who were of nine different
native languages, namely Chinese, Arabic, Persian, Korean,
Italian, Portuguese, French, Japanese and Thai. In her study, she
found transfer effects in the performance of speakers of
languages with pronoun retention e.g. Arabic. An important
contribution of Gass's study is her call for the use of a multifactor
approach in explaining the errors in second language acquisition.
95

In another study Mukattash ( 1981), investigated the English


Language proficiency among various groups of students in
Jordan. The study examined variation in English proficiency
according to socio-economic, educational and demographic
variables. His data were based on objective test in English
grammar which was given to 4835 students from the University
of Jordan, teacher training institutes, and secondary schools. The
results of the analysis can be summed up as follows:

i) Science students are more proficient in English than students


following any literary specialization in secondary schools.
ii) Females are better achievers in foreign language learning than
males.
iii) Students from the capital Amman are more proficient in
English than students from other districts of Jordan.
iv) Socio-economic factors as reflected in the parents' occupation
and social standing may have a positive or a negative effect on
the students' proficiency in foreign language learning.

Kambal ( 1980) analyzed free compositions written by first year


university students of Khartoum University, Sudan. The study
handled the major errors in the verb phrase and the noun phrase.
The major types of errors in his data, related to verbs, concord,
articles, tense and prepositions. He explained the errors in
different ways. He compared the errors with the structures of the
native language. Those that match are due to NL interference,
whereas the ones that do not are due to intralingual factors.
Some of the errors found in his data were attributed to the
teaching techniques and teaching materials.

Meziani ( 1984) analyzed compositions of 50 Moroccan literary


students who were in their final year of high school, and who
studied English for two years. The purpose of the study was to
obtain a general idea of the problematic areas facing Moroccan
96

learners of English at the pre-university level. The following


results were noted:

i) the highest frequency of errors was in the tense category;


ii) prepositions and articles came next in the hierarchy;
iii) next in importance came concord, pronouns singular/plural,
possessive and word order.
The author left unresolved the source of errors as he did not
attempt to explain the causes of errors.

Hamdallah ( 1988) examined the syntactic errors of the written


English of Arab students learning English at An-Najah National
University of the West Bank of Jordan. The data consisted of 50
free compositions written by students learning English in the
Department of English of the above University. The results of
this study revealed the following:

i) Five major noun phrase and VP constructions proved to be


difficult for the learners in the study. These are relative clauses,
prepositions, articles, tense and aspect and concord;
ii) In explaining learners' errors in second language learning, a
multifactor approach which takes into consideration the NL, TL
and other learning and teaching strategies should be adopted;
iii) The sources of errors were interference as well as
overgeneralization and simplification;
iv) inadequate teaching plays a role in second language learning.

Finally, errors by Malaysian learners of Arabic. Three studies


have been conducted thus far.

Abukhudairi ( 1992) examined the written errors at the level of


grammar, orthography, lexis and sentence structure among 127
Malay learners of Arabic who were students in the Arabic
Department, Faculty of Islamic Studies at the National
University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) . He
97

concluded that Malay learners have great difficulties in writing


Arabic. Most of the grammatical errors were in the use of the
definite article, prepositions and gender. The highest number of
orthographic errors centred on the use of the glottal stop hamza.
Sentence structure errors were related to the insertion or
omission of particles, words and phrases. The lexical errors were
mostly in the area of the wrong choice of words. Most of the
errors were traceable to either mother tongue interference, or to
the Arabic language and some to students performance. The
sources of interference from the mother tongue resulted from the
fact that Malay has a grammar system and sentence structures
that differ remarkably from those of Arabic. The interference
from Arabic were generalization and false analogy. The sources
of students' performance were haste and carelessness.

Abdalla’s (1996) study attempts to enumerate and analyze the


common grammatical errors made by Malay students when
writing in Arabic. It studies their underlying causes and types and
tests the significance of differences between them.

The sample consist of 100 undergraduate Malay students


studying Arabic as their major or minor at the International
Islamic University of Malaysia. The data is drawn from 200 free
compositions written by these students in the class.

The study reveals that the learners' errors amount to 2233. The
rank order of types of errors is as follows: the definite article
(26.5 %), prepositions (23.5 %), declension ( 19 %), tense (18.1
%) and gender (12.9 %).

The study indicates that students with better grammatical skills


tend to commit less errors than their counterparts with less
competence in grammar. The errors committed vary within the
different types but, approximately all of them tend to commit
98

errors in the definite article, preposition, declension, tense and


gender.

The errors are attributed to sources such as the interference of


BM, overgeneralization, the inherent difficulties of Arabic
language, learners' incomplete knowledge or ignorance of rules,
and inadequate exposure to Arabic. Other minor sources of
errors are false analogy, Arabic loan-words in BM, method of
teaching and hesitation.

Adam (1998) investigated Arabic syntactic errors in freely


written composition of native Malay learners of Arabic in
Malaysia. His subjects were 116. 83 from the matriculation
centre of the IIUM and 33 from the Islamic Academy of the
University of Malaya. They were given five composition topics
to select from and write within one hour period. Their written
compositions were analyzed with specific focus on errors of
definite article, subject-verb, verb-subject, gender, number
(plural), and preposition usage.

The study concludes by stating the significant role that error


analysis, in the context of second language acquistion, may play
in improving the quality of teaching, learning and instructional
designing in the field of Arabic in Malaysia. The EA leads to
discussing errors in various contexts, the results of which may
lead to proper Arabic teaching strategies.

2.5 The Classical Arabic Tradition of Error Analysis1

1 Jassem, J. A. And Jassem, Z. A. 1996. The Classical Arabic Tradition of


Error Analysis. In Khan, J. U. and Hare, A. E. (eds.). Proceedings of the
International Conference on English and Islam: Creative Encounters:469-
479. Department of English Language and Literature. International Islamic
University Malaysia, December 20-22.
99

Classical Arabic Muslim linguists and grammarians studied


speech errors 12 centuries ago. The term error was referred to by
different names in their works such as: (i) ( ‫ حتايم‬tahrīf) deviation,
(ii) ( ِّ‫ تصمح‬taŞhīf) misreading, mispronunciation, miswriting, (iii)
(‫ رطانمة‬raţānah) jargon, (iv) (‫ جمن‬lahn) solecism, (v) ( ‫ غ م‬ghalaţ)
mistake or error, (vi) (‫’ أوهام‬awhām) false impression and (vii) ( ‫زلة‬
‫ لسما‬zalat lisān) slips of the tongue. They defined it as incorrect
uses of language and errors due to misperception (Ibn Makkī, pp.
41-45).

2.5.1 Classification of Books on Error: A General Survey

The Arabic heritage on speech errors is very rich. There are


innumerable books in which Arabic linguists and grammarians
dealt with all types of errors such as phonological,
morphological, grammatical, semantical errors and others.
Below is a general survey of such books.

2.5.1.1 Errors of the General Public

Many linguists dealt with the speech errors of ordinary people


(‫)العوام‬. Some of these books are the following:

(i) ‫" يما ت حمن فِّمل العموام ل كسما‬Mā Talhanu fihi al-cawām 'Errors
of the Populace'. This was the first book on speech errors which
was written by Al-Kisā'ī (d.189/805). Thus it was the opening for
this kind of researches. He collected the speech errors of
ordinary people.
(ii) "‫ جمن العايمة ل مبِّم ي‬lahn al-cāmmah" 'Errors of the Populace'
by al-Zubaīdī (d.379/989),
100

(iii)" ‫ال سمما وت قمِّح اجلنمما البمن يكم الصممق‬ ‫ تثقِّم‬Tathqīf al-Lisān wa
Talqiīh al-Janān" 'Sharpening the Tongue and Enriching
the Mind' by Ibn Makkī (d.501/1107),
(iv) "‫ تقمو ال سما البممن اجلموزي‬Taqwīm al-Lisān ' Correcting the
Tongue' by Ibn al-Jawzī (d.598/1201),
(v) "‫ الفصِّح لثع ب‬Al-Fasīh 'The Eloquent' by Thaclab (d.291/904 ),
(vi) "‫ىلص م ح اسن ممن البممن السممكِّت‬ ’islāh al-Manţiq 'Correcting
Speech' by Ibn As-Sikkīt (d.244/858), and others.

These books contained all types of error: phonetic,


morphological, grammatical, and lexical.

Other books handled one type of errors like substitution. For


example, "‫ اإلبم ال أليب ال ِّمب ال غموي‬al-’ibdāl" 'Substitution' by Abu
al-ţţaīb al-Lughawī (d.351/962) in which he studied the phonetic
errors only.

Other linguists and grammarians dealt with errors in one or more


chapters of their works. Of these we can mention:

(i) Sībawaīh in his book ‫لسِّبويل‬ ‫( الكتا‬d.180/796, vol. 4: 305-7),


(ii) al-Jāhiz (d.255/868) in his book " ‫ البِّما والتبِّمني ل جماح‬al-Bayān
wal-Tabīīn (vol.1&2) 'The Eloquence and the Manifestation',
(iii) ‫ األيماي ل قماي‬al-Qālī (d.356/966) in his book " al-’amālī' The
Dictations'" (vol. 2),
(iv) " ‫ اسمهمما ز مموم ال غممة وأنوازهمما ل سمِّوط‬Al-Muzhir fi cilūm al-
Lughah wa ’anwācihā " by al-Sīūţī (d.911/1505), and others.

2.5.1.2 Errors of the Professionals and the Elite


101

The professional and elite people include doctors, singers, jurists,


theologians, writers, grammarians and others. Amongst the
books that handled the errors of such people, we can mention the
following:

(i) "‫ل حايماي‬ ‫أوهمام ااموا‬ ‫ ةرة الغموا‬Durrat al-GhawāŞ fi ’awhām


al-khawāŞ" 'The Diver's Pearl into the Errors of the Elite' by
Al-Harīrī (d.516/1122),
(ii) " ‫ تثقِّم ال سما وت قمِّح اجلنما البمن يكم الصمق‬Tathqiīf al-Lisān wa
Talqiīh al-Janan" 'Sharpening the Tongue and Enriching
the Mind' by Ibn Makkī (d.501/1107),
(iii) "‫ تصمحِّح التصمحِّ وحتايما التحايم ل صممف ي‬TaŞhīh al-TaŞhīf wa
tahrīr al-Tahrīf 'The Correction of Miswritings and the
Rectification of Misspellings' by al-Şafadī (d.764/1362),
(iv) "‫ اح يما يقمف فِّمل التصمحِّ والتحايم ل عسمكاي‬Sharh mā Yaqacu fīhi
al-TaŞhīf wa al-Tahrīf" 'Explaining Examples of Reading
Errors and Deviations' by Al-cAskarī (d. 382/992), and
(v) " ‫' " جمن اااصمة ل عسمكاي‬Lahn al-KhāŞah' Error of the Elite'
by Al-cAskarī (d. 382/992) too.

It is note worthy to mention that Ibn Makkī's work dealt with


the errors of both the elite and ordinary people.

2.5.1.3 Explanation of Errors

Some books were concerned with the notion of explaining the


nature and causes of error. The error is first mentioned and its
correct form is then given. This correct version is supported by
evidence from the Quran, Hadith and Classical Poetry. One such
example is Al-cAskarī work "‫اح يا يقف فِّمل التصمحِّ والتحايم ل عسمكاي‬
Sharh mā Yaqacu fīhi al-TaŞhīf wa al-Tahrīf" 'Explaining
Examples of Reading Errors and Deviations'. One common
102

cause of errors is an external one which is the spread of Islam


outside the Arabic region and mixture of the Arabs with non-
Arabs and the natives of the new areas which Islam entered.

2.5.1.4 Methodology of Errors

Arabic grammarians did not tackle this issue of research


methodology explicitly. However, the following points are
worth-mentioning in this respect.

2.5.1.4.1 Collecting the Errors

Errors were collected via two means:

(i) hearing and reading by the writer where the author directly
heard the error from a certain person or read it in a particular
work.
(ii) reporting by the others where somebody might have told him
about it.

2.5.1.4.2 Tabulating and Listing the Error

This was the style in which errors were described. They were
listed vis-a-vis their correct forms, which was the standard
technique followed in all such books. All errors were listed
according to their type: phonetic, morphological, grammatical
and lexical.

2.5.1.4.3 Calculating Errors

This was very rarely done by scholars. However, Al-cAskarī was


the only scholar, perhaps, who referred to that in passing when
he reported (p. 195) that somebody came to him with a piece of
hand-writing which contained many errors. "I calculated the
errors in it, there were 70", he said. (p. 195).
103

2.5.1.4.4 Explanation

After the location of the error has been identified in the word,
scholars explained why it is wrong on the basis of evidence from
the Qur'an, Hadith and Classical Poetry.

2.5.1.5 Language Pedagogy

Some grammarians were interested in language teaching and


correction. Thus they hinted to and provided certain pedagogical
applications in their books. For example, Al-Farāhīdī (d.
175/791) in his book" ‫' كتما العمني ل فااهِّم ي‬Kitāb al-cAīn 'The
Book of Letter cAīn' tried to:

"... devise diacritic marks for short vowels and


orthographic symbols for some consonants on the basis of
the relationship between Arabic sounds. The marks he
added were discrete in nature; so, to solve the problem of
writing the glottal stop .. he added the sign wasla "~"
above the 'alif to represent the deletable glottal stop. As
for undeletable one, he noticed that there are similarities
between the glottal stop and the voiced pharyngeal
fricative /c/ in two respects: a) both are back sounds, and
b) some speakers used /c/ instead of /'/. He therefore tried
to show these common features in the writing system; he
used the upper part of cayn /c/ to represent /'/ and wrote it
as a small raised letter, the modern hamza. He applied a
similar strategy in solving the problem of writing the short
vowel u. Al-Khalīl realized that u is only a short
counterpart of ū which is written with wāw; so he used a
short form of wāw above the letter and wrote it as damma.
He used fatha for a, kasra for i, sukun for the absence of a
vowel (i.e., pause [ ْْ ]), and added shadda above the letter
104

to show gemination. He also represented ā by adding


madda above the 'alif, and followed al-Du'ali in doubling
the diacritic mark for nunation. So two damma's denoted
[un], two fatha's [an] and two kasra's [in]" (quoted in
Anwar 1983:20-21).

Other writers provided pedagogical rules for spelling. Ibn


Qutaība (d.276/889), dedicated one section of his work " ‫أة‬
‫’ الكاتمب البمن وتِّبمة‬adab al-Kātib" 'The Writer's Refinement' to
spelling which he called [( ‫تقممو الِّم‬ ‫ كتمما‬Taqwīm al- Yad,
Correcting of Writing)]. Ibn Makkī reserved a chapter for
spelling in his book " Tathqīf al-Lisān wa Talqīh al-Janān"
which he entitled (‫ يممن بمما ا جمماا‬Min Bāb al-Hija', Spelling
Chapter). Here is an illustrative example from Ibn Qutayba:

‫تكتمب بسم اهلل ىلذا افتتحمت اما كتابماو أو ابتم أا اما ك يماو بغمري ألم أل ما‬
‫ فحة ة ة ف األل م م اس م ممت فافاو" فة ة ة ا‬... ‫ه م م جم اج م ممال ز م م األلس م ممنة‬ ‫كثم مماا‬
( ‫توسط ك ياو أَثْةبَ ألفاو فِّها حنو أب أ بةسم وأخت بةسم اهلل وومال اهلل تعما‬
. ... ‫ اواأ بةسم ربك‬...

The word Bismi Allah (in the name of Allah) is written


without 'alif ( ‫ ) ا‬when you begin with it in writing or
speech, because it is often used as such in these occasions.
The 'alif was deleted for reasons of simplification. But if it
occurs in the middle of speech, you should add the 'alif
into it as in(
"Read in the name of your Lord" ... ‫ اواأ بةسم ربك‬...
105

After this brief introduction, we can now move foreword to


study two works on errors in some detail: one on errors in
Arabic as a first language, and the other on errors in Arabic as a
foreign language. These books are meant to show how Muslim
scholars, as examples, studied the errors in Arabic as a first
language as well as a foreign language. They provided examples
of errors from different parts of the world including the Arabic
area as in Ibn Al-Jawzī, from India, Ethiopia, Greece, Persia etc.,
as in Al-Jāhiz, from Persia as in Sībawaīh, from Sicily as in Ibn
Makkī, from Andalusia as in Al-Zubaīdī and so on.

2.5.2 Errors in Arabic as a First Language: Ibn Makkiī's Work

Ibn Makkī's important book is called " Tathqīf al-Lisān wa


Talqīh al-Janān" 'Sharpening the Tongue and Enriching the
Mind' and contains 463 pages. He collected the errors from the
ordinary and elite Arabic people in Sicily during his time (d.
501/1107). The author identified different types of errors from all
levels of language analysis. These include:

1) Grammatical Errors: These errors occur at the level of syntax .


Subject Verb Agreement is such an example:
- ‫ طلع القما‬ţalaCat al-qamar / the moon rise) (p.174-9).
- ‫( انقلع ِسنُّل‬inqalaCa sinnahu / his tooth pulled out), (p.177-9).
2) Morphological Errors: Of these we can mention the following:
i) diminutive error: ‫ص ْةي رِر‬
َ ُ‫( زصمفور ع‬Cusfuwr = Cusaīfir / small
bird), (p.183-4). The correct form is (Cusaīfeīr ‫ص ْي رِير‬
َ ُ‫) ع‬.
ii) derivation error: ‫ ( رجمل دنيةةي‬rajul dunya'ī / man who likes
life), (p.185-7). The correct form is (dunyawī ‫) ُدنْةيَ روي‬.
iii) plural error: ‫( ياآة‬mir'at / mirror) ‫’( أمرية‬amrīah). The correct
form is ( ‫ يا ٍاا أو ياايا‬mara'in or marāyā ) (p. 188-90).
106

3) Semantical or Rhetorical Errors: The following two can be


mentioned:
i) incomplete paronomasia (Jinas Naqis): This means that two
words are different in one letter like: ‫َّهش‬
ْ ‫َّهس ( النم‬
ْ ‫( النم‬an-nahs : an-
nahsh), (p.317-30).
ii) antithesis (Tibaq): This means that combining two words in
different meaning : ‫( ا مواةي ( اج مواةي‬al-hawādī: al-hawādī),
(p.331-5).
4) Lexical Errors: These errors occur in vocabulary (pp. 218-
221). For example, ‫( تخلقنة ثِّابمل‬takhalqanat thiyābahu / his
dress became old), (p.220). The correct form is ‫خ قمت أخ قمت‬
Khaluqat, ’akhlaqat.
5) Discoursal Errors: These errors relate to speech or discourse
as a whole (pp. 238-240). For example, ‫ي يثمل فم وم‬ َ ‫ ( يما ُر رو‬mā
ruwiyya mithlu Fulānin qaţ / it has never been seen like him
at all), (p.239). The right form is ( ِ‫ يا ر‬Mā ru'iyya.
6) Pronunciation Errors: These errors occur in phonology (pp. 1
19-122). For example, ‫( مبِ ْعت رش ْةبعة‬ShabiCtu shibCan / I am full
fullness), (p.121). The right form is: ‫ رشبَعة‬Shibac an.
7) Orthographic Errors: These errors occur in spelling. For
example, ‫( القمموة المةس ة‬al-quwatu al-māsikah / the holding
power) (p.271). The right form is ‫ الممسة‬Almumsika. (pp.
271-3).

The next stage that Ibn Makkī used is description of errors. He


described errors under several categories, of which the following
four are worth-mentioning: viz., (i) omission, (ii) addition, (iii)
substitution and (iv) misplacement.

A- Omission:
107

This relates to the dropping of a certain element from the word.


Omission can be grammatical, lexical, and orthographic. Here are
some examples.

(i) Grammatical omission: ‫العِم ل‬ ‫( َرَمية‬ramayt al- Cidl / I threw


the load) for ’aramayt ‫( َأرَمي‬p.155). The hamza was dropped.
(ii) Lexical omission: ‫( خشمكنا‬khushkunān / a kind of sweet
bread filled with sugar and nuts, then fried) for khushkunāng
‫( خشكنانج‬p. 194). The final letter is dropped.
(iii) Orthographic omission: ‫( ِيعمممة‬miCzah /she-goat) for
ْ
māCizah ‫( يازمة‬p.110). The second letter is dropped.

B- Addition:

This means that a certain element is unnecessarily inserted in the


word. Addition can be grammatical, lexical and orthographic.
For example,

(i) Grammatical addition: ‫’( أ َْه َزلْة ُ ةابم‬ahzaltu dābatī / I made


my animal thin) for hazaltuhā ‫ هملْتمهما‬,(p.152). Here the letter " ‫أ‬
" has been added to the word (‫ ) هملْت‬which should be deleted.
‫( ضمابتل فَة َق ْنطَرتَة‬darabtahu faqanţartahu / I
(ii) Lexical addition:
beat him on his side) for qaţţartahu ‫( و ّاتمل( وم َّرتمل‬p.101). The
letter 'n' is added to the word which is not needed.
(iii) Orthographic addition: ‫( يا ة وأَنَيف‬mā'ah wa ’anīf / hundred
plus) for naiyyf ‫( نِّدم‬p.105). They added (َ‫ )أ‬to the word by
mistake.
108

C- Substitution

This shows that a certain linguistic element is replaced by another


one. substitution can be grammatical, lexical and orthographic.
For example,

(i) Grammatical Substitution: ‫’( أنمت ُم ْعة رز ز م السمفا‬anta muCzim


Calā al-safar / you are intent or traveling) for Cāzim ‫زمازم‬
(p.167). Here the active participle is substituted for the passive
participle.
(ii) Lexical Substitution: Some people say ‫( ل ْفعمة‬lafCah) 'a kind
of snake' instead of ’afCā and ’ufCwān ‫( أفع و أفعوا‬p.99).
(iii) Orthographic Substitution: ‫( همو يبماح للشةةرد والموارة‬huwa mubāh
lilshārid wal-wārid / it is open for the goer and comer) (p.
195). The letter 'Sh' ‫ ش‬has replaced 'Ş' .

D- Misplacement

This means that a certain element occurs in the wrong context.


For instance,

(i) Grammatical Misplacement: Some people say ‫زنم ي زوج يمن‬


‫( البقما‬Cindī zawjun min al-baqar / I have a cow) instead of
‫زوجةةن‬. In Arabic ‫ زوج‬means one not two. In this context, people
use it to mean two.
(ii) Lexical Misplacement: this happens when people say for a
man of whom they are afraid ‫( رجمل َهيُةو‬rajulun hayub /
109

coward man) instead of ‫( رجة َم رِية‬rajulun mahīb / brave


man) (p.201). The former word ‫ َهيُو‬means "afraid".
(iii) Orthographic Misplacement: ‫الصم ْوجا‬َّ (aŞ-Şalwajān) for
‫الصموجلا‬
َّ (aŞ-Şawlajān) (p. 196) where the letters ( ‫ ) ل و‬have
been rearranged.

The third stage is his explanation of errors. He provided valid


explanations for the errors committed by the speakers. For
instance:
‫ووممو ( ىل مما ا م "اسنمممل" ألجممل اسمماا واألصممل " اسممااا نمممل" أي ه م ا اسمماا‬
‫ وىل مما ه ممو اسم م اسك مما ي ممن ن مممل ين مممل كم مما تق ممول هم م ا‬.‫ ول مِّس كم مما انم موا‬.‫ف ممانمل‬
. 922 . ‫ة سه سوضف اجل و‬

And when they say that: ‫( اسنْم ِمل‬al-manzil / the house of


water ) has been so called because of water. Instead, the
true origin is ‫( المةةةاُا نةةزل أي هة ا المةةةاُ فةةةنزل‬the water
dropped, i.e. this is the water and come down. So this is
not as they thought. Rather it is a name of place from
(nazala yanzilu / came down, come down). This similar
to when you say: ‫ هم ا مجلة القموم لمِ (يوضمف اجل مو‬this is a
seating place of people, for the place of sitting, (p.299).

Here is another example,

‫ ىل ا العةمة يمن‬.‫ ولِّس كما انوا‬.‫الع َمى‬


َ ‫وين ذلك وو ( العةم يشتقة ين‬
‫" العمو " ولو كانت ين "العم " لقِّل(" ر‬
.922 .‫العةميَ " بالِّاا وختفِّفها‬ ُ
110

They also say that the word "public" is derived from 'blindness'.
It is not true. It is derived from "generality". If it were derived
from blindness, it should be then said al-camīah with light ya'.

The final stage is pedagogy where he provided pedagogical


applications to improve the writing skill. He dedicated one
chapter to this which he called ( ‫ يمن بما ا جماا‬Min Bāb al-Hijā’ /
A Chapter on Spelling). Here rules are given for good writing
to avoid making errors in writing. For instance, one such rule
concerns writing / spelling ( ‫" ) ابة‬Ibn" (son of) with or without
'alif. As he puts it,

‫"يكتممب أكثمما اااصممة( وممال اب ة زممما ووممال ابة القاسم ووممال ابة وهممب‬
.‫و ايتازوا ب لك زن العاية‬ ‫ وياو أ‬.‫وأ باجم ذلك بغير ألف‬
.‫والص ةةوا ال أك ت "ة ة إابة ة إ ك ب ةةة لف ىلال ىلذا ووممف ب ممني اا ممني ز م ممني‬
‫ ف نممل‬... ‫كقولممك( زب م اهلل بممن زممما زب م الاين بممن القاس م وزب م اهلل بممن وهممب‬
p.103 "... ‫يكتب بغري أل‬

The majority of specialized people write: Ibn Omar said ...


etc. without alif (‫)ا‬. They think that they do better than the
populace in this respect.

The right way is to write "Ibn" with (alif ‫) ا‬, unless it occurs
between two proper names, as in Abdullah bin Omar,... etc.,
which is written without alif (‫ )ا‬... .

2.5.3 Errors in Arabic as a Foreign Language: Al-Jāhiz


111

Some Arabic scholars examined the errors of foreign language


learners also. The most important work is al-Jāhiz's book ( ‫البِّما‬
‫ والتبِّمني‬al-Bayān wal-Tabīīn (vol.1& 2) 'The Eloquence and the
Manifestation'. The discussion below is from volume one.

In this books, Al-Jāhiz collected errors from foreign language


speakers of Arabic. These came from India, Ethiopia, Persia,
Greece, and others. He identified three types of error which he
classified into three groups: phonetic, grammatical and lexical .
He described them all under one general category which he
called substitution which means replacing one element by
another. Here are some examples:

(i) Phonetic error: This concerns sound changes or replacing one


sound by another which foreign speakers find difficult to
pronounce. One such example is replacing /j ‫ي‬/ by /dh ‫ذ‬/ by
َّ ‫فقالت( ه ا ال َم ي دكانا‬... (...faqālat: hadhā al-
Indian learners. ‫بالسدا‬
dhamal yudhakirunā bis-sarri /... she said: this camel
reminds us of sexual intercourse). The learner was an Indian
female, who substituted the sound (dh ‫ ) ذ‬for ( j ‫ ) ي‬of Jamal
'Camel'. (p.74).

ِ ‫وِّمل لنب م‬
Another pronunciation error is this example: ‫(مل ابتعمت هم جم‬
"‫( األتما ومال(" أركبهما وتَةلَة ُ ي‬someone said to a Nabtiy man: why
did you buy this female donkey? He said:” I ride her and she
begets to me”). He mispronounced ُ ‫ تَةلَة‬taladu (beget), instead of
ُ ‫ تَلر‬talidu, (p.74).
(ii) Grammatical error: This phenomenon occurs when speakers
say feminine nouns and pronouns in masculine forms. He did not
provide any examples here.
112

(iii) Lexical error: This refers to replacing one word by another.


For example, ‫رع َجةةةن أ ديكم‬ ‫( ووممف اجلم ْماةا‬waqaCa al-jurdānu fi
Cijāni ’ummikum / the rat fell in your mother anus). She said
( ‫ العجمني‬al- Cajīn which means 'paste', as ‫ زجما‬Cijān which
means 'anus'). (p.73).

The causes of these errors, according to al-Jāhiz as mentioned in


his book, are four :

(i) The influence of the first langauge (i.e., language transfer).


When a learner comes to learn Arabic at an old age, he will be
influenced to a very great extent by his mother tongue (p.40, 70);
(ii) Marriage to lisping women. If a person marries a lisping
woman, she will deliver him a lisping son (p.57);
(iii) Lisping person. The lisping person cannot pronounce certain
sounds. Thus he will make errors; and
(iv) Loss of some teeth. The person who loses all his teeth is
better in pronunciation than the person who loses some of his
teeth. (p.58 ff.).

All these reasons were supported by empirical studies conducted


before him and by what he himself saw and noticed.

Finally, it is worthwhile to note that Al-Jāhiz made some


pedagogical remarks (p. 36) in passing that can be applied to
overcome the difficulties faced by foreign learners and speakers
of Arabic. He recommended doing more practice, drills and
exercises on the complex areas they encounter. However, he did
not specify how.

2.6 Summary
113

This chapter has been a discussion of error analysis and related


phenomena. The main points can be summed up briefly as
follows:

(i) CA is interested in investigating the similarities and


differences between L1 and L2. Most errors are due to L1
interference. Errors are harmful and must be eliminated.
(ii) Error Analysis rejects the notion of L1 interference as the
only cause of errors. Errors can be caused by many sources.
Learners make errors as their learning of L2 progresses and
advances. In other words, errors are developmental.
(iii) Interlanguage is a further extension of error analysis. It
means the learner's langauge, which includes both their errors
and non-errors, has agents or elements of both their L1 and L2.
(iv) Variability in Interlanguage means that learner's language
varies according to linguistic, social and stylistic factors. This is
basically the application of Labov's work to English as a second
language.
(v) There were a number of studies has been done on EA. These
studies concluded that the sources of errors were not interlingual
interference from L1 but also intralingual and other factors.
(vi) Error Analysis is not a totally new area of research especially
in Arabic Applied Linguistics. It had been studied twelve
centuries ago by Arabic Muslim linguists and grammarians.
Contemporary Western Error Analysis Studies Corder ( 1973)
are, when compared with their classical Arabic counterparts,
very, very much alike, indeed. Thus, classical Arabic linguists
were the predecessors in this field of linguistics (cf. Fromkin
1988). Also they were never affected by other linguists. A
leading British historian of linguistics, R. H. Robins ( 1990:111)
says in this respect:

It is certain that Arabic linguists developed their own insights in


the systematization of their language, and in no way imposed
Greek models on it as the Latin grammarians had been led to do.
114

The next chapter deals with the structure and function of the
Arabic verb phrase in standard Arabic.
115

CHAPTER III

STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF THE ARABIC


VERB PHRASE IN STANDARD ARABIC

3.0 Introduction

This chapter deals with the structure and function of the Arabic
verb phrase in standard Arabic as explained by Arabic
grammarians. It consists of five sections: (i) an introduction to
the verb in general, (ii) subject-verb agreement in which the verb
agrees with its subject in person, gender and number, (iii) tense,
(iv) mood, (v) voice, (vi) action of the verb, and (vii) summary.

3.1 The Verb Phrase: A General Introduction

A phrase means one or more words that express one thing. The
verb phrase always starts with the verb first. It may consist of: (i)
one verb such as ‫ جماا‬jā'a 'came', kataba 'wrote' or (ii) two verbs
such as ‫' كا يكتب‬was writing'.

3.1.1 The Verb and Its Types

The verb can be defined ( Sībawaīh ‫ سِّبويل‬1983: 12; ‫اسفصل ل مخمشاي‬


Az-Zamakhsharī: 244 , ‫ ماح اسفصمل البمن يعمِّش‬Ibn YaCīsh: 2; ‫بم ري‬
Badrī, 1404: 42 ff.) as something which indicates: 'an action or
accident which is connected with time'. E.g. ‫ ( كتمب‬he wrote/ has
written) indicates the action of writing which took place in the
past time.

The Arabic verb has several categorized, which can be


summarized briefly below.
116

The first is called the sound verb ( ‫) الفعمل الصمحِّح‬, which has no
long vowels in it (i.e., ‫) ا و ي‬. It has three types which are:

1) ‫( اسهموز‬Al-Mahmuz) Hamzated Verb: This means that the verb


has hamza (glottal stop) as one of its original letters, such as: ‫أكل‬
'ate'‫' سأل‬asked' ‫' واأ‬read'.
2) ‫( اسضمع‬Al-MudaCaf) Doubled Verb: This means that the verb
contains a doubled letter. This may be either:
a) ‫ اسضممع الث ثم‬Al-MudaCaf al-Thulathy (Doubled Triliteral).
This means that the verb consists of three letters whose second
and third letter are the same, as in: َّ ‫' ز‬pulled' َّ 'counted' .
b) ‫ اسضمع الابماز‬Al-MudaCaf Al-Ruba'y (Doubled Quadrilateral).
This means that the verb has four letters whose first and third
letter, and second and fourth letter are the same, as in: ،‫حصمح‬
'allot', ‫' زلمل‬shook'.
3) ‫( الصمحِّح السمامل‬Aş-şahīh As-Sālim) Sound and Whole Verb: This
means that the verb has no hamza or doubled letter as in: ‫لعمب‬
'played'. (For further detail, see ‫ زنر‬cantar 1409 ).

The second is the weak verb ( ‫) اسعتمل‬. A weak verb has a long
vowel (i.e., ‫ ) ا و ي‬as one of its elements. It has five types as
follows:

1) ‫( اسثمال‬Al-Mithal) Ideal Verb: This means that the verb starts


with a vowel letter as in: ‫' ووف‬fell' , ‫' وز‬promised'.
117

2) ‫( األجمو‬Al-Ajwaf) Hollow Verb. This means a verb whose


middle letter is a vowel as in: ‫' باع‬sold', ‫' وال‬said' .
3) ،‫ ( النماو‬An-Nāqis) Defective Verb. This means that the verb
ends with a vowel as in: ‫' سع‬tried', ‫' ةزا‬called'.
4) ‫اسفماوق‬ ‫( ال فِّم‬Al-Lafīf Al-Mafrūq) The Separately Folded. This
means that the verb contains two vowels which occur in separate
positions as in: ‫' وو‬protect', ‫' وىف‬fulfilled'.
5) ‫اسقماو‬ ‫( ال فِّم‬Al-Lafīf Al-Maqrūn) The Jointly Folded. This
means that the two vowels follow each other in the same verb as
in: ‫' روى‬watered', ‫' هوى‬loved'.

(For further detail, see ‫ اجلاجماي‬Al-Jurjānī 1987:36-43; ‫ ابمن زقِّمل‬Ibn


CAqīl 1979: 268-310; ‫ زنر‬Cantar 1409: 163-197).

A third type is transitive ( ‫ ) استعم ي‬and intransitive ( ‫) الم زم‬. The


former takes an object as in ‫( كتمب الم ر‬kataba al-dars); the latter
does not take an object, as in ‫ نام‬slept.

A fourth type of verb is called complete and defective. The


complete verb ( ‫ ) التام‬means that the verb takes a subject. E.g. ‫نام‬
‫ الول‬nāma al-walad 'the boy slept'.

The defective verb is a verb which enters into a nominal


sentence, thus making the first noun (called its subject ‫ ) اسم‬in the
nominative, the second (called its predicate ‫ ) خممرب‬in the
accusative. For example, ‫( كمما دم م ةته م او‬kāna Mohammadun
118

mujtahidan) Mohammed was clever. There are thirteen defective


verbs in Arabic, which are:

‫بمماا يمماةام يممازال يمما بمماح يمما‬ ‫أيس م‬ ‫كمما صممار ل مِّس أصممبح أضممح‬
. ‫فتئ يا انفك ال‬

But some of these verbs can be complete, e.g. ‫ كما‬. ( For further
detail see Ibn YaCīsh; Ibn Al-Hājib).

A fifth type is declinable ( ‫ ) اسعا‬and indeclinable verb ( ‫ابن ) اسبي‬


‫ هشمام‬Ibn Hishām (1992a:19-20). The former means that the end
of the verb changes according to its position in the sentence. It
applies to ‫ اسضارع‬the present tense only. For example, ‫ينام ينمام ينما ْم‬
, 'he sleeps' whose endings indicate the nominative, accusative
and jussive moods respectively ( see 3.4 below).

The latter means that the end of the verb assumes one eternal
form. It can apply to the past ‫اساض‬, present ‫ اسضمارع‬and imperative
‫ األيما‬tenses ). The first is marked by a fatha [ ْ ]as in,
‫'كتمب‬wrote'; the second is marked by sukun [ ْْ ]as in, ‫' يكتمن‬they
(fem.) write'; and the third is marked by sukun [ ْْ ]as in, ‫مب‬ْ ‫اكت‬
'write'.

3.2 Agreement

This is also called concord. In Arabic, verbs agree with their


subjects in person, gender and number ( ‫ اجِّم رة‬Al-Haydarah 1984:
196 ff. ; ‫ حسن‬Hassan 1974: 262 ff.).
119

3.2.1 Person

There are three persons in Arabic: first, second and third person.
The verb should agree with its subject in person. Here are some
examples:

Verb First Person Second Person Third Person


‫كتب‬ ‫أكتب‬ ‫تكتب‬ ‫يكتب‬
Kataba ’Aktubu Taktubu Yaktubu
To write I write You write He writes

There are fourteen pronouns in Arabic with which the verb has to
agree. These pronouns are:

ِ ‫’ أن‬You‘ ‫'؛ أنمت‬We' ‫' حنمن‬I' ‫أنما‬.


’You‘ ‫’ أنتمما‬You‘ ‫’ أنتمما‬You‘ ‫مت‬
'They' ‫مه مما‬ 'They' ‫' مه مما‬She' ‫' هم م‬He' ‫’؛ ه ممو‬You‘ ‫’ أنم م‬You‘ ‫أن ممت‬
. 'They' ‫هن‬ 'They' ‫ه‬

It has to be noted that the verb forms differ if used in the present
or the past tense. Thus there are 28 different verb forms the
students have to master ( see tables 3.1, 3.2 below). In the
present tense forms, the agreement is indicated as a prefix
whereas in the past as a suffix. For example, ‫‘ أكتمب‬Aktubu 'I
write'; ‫ كتبت‬Katabtu 'I wrote'.

3.2.2 Number

In Arabic there are three categories for number which are


singular, dual and plural. The verb in Arabic agrees with its
subject in number. For example,
120

Verb Singular Dual Plural


‫كتب‬ ‫كتب‬ ‫كتبا‬ ‫كتبوا‬
Kataba Kataba Katabā Katabū
To write He wrote They wrote They Wrote

3.2.3 Gender

There are two genders in Arabic: masculine and feminine. The


Arabic verb inflects for gender. That is, there should be
agreement between the verb and the gender of its subject. Here
are some examples:

Verb Masculine Feminine


‫كتب‬ ‫زي كتب‬/‫هو‬ ‫ فاطمة كتبت‬/ ‫ه‬
Kataba huwa / Zayd kataba hiya / Fātima katabat
To write he / Zayd wrote she / Fātima wrote

The following two tables summarize all the inflections of the verb
for person, number and gender: The first table in the past tense
and the second in the present tense form.
121

TABLE 3.1 Verb inflections by person, number and gender


( past tense form)
_________________________________________________
Singular Dual Plural

1st (M & F) ‫أنا كتبت‬ ‫حنن كتبنا‬ ‫حنن كتبنا‬


’anā katabtu nahnu katabnā nahnu katabnā
I wrote We wrote We wrote
9 nd (M) ‫أنت كتبت‬ ‫أنتما كتبتما‬ ‫أنت كتبت‬
’anta katabta ’antumā katabtumā ’antum katabtum
You wrote You wrote You wrote
2nd (F) ِ ‫أنت‬
‫كتبت‬ ِ ‫أنتما كتبتما‬ َّ ‫أن كتب‬
’anti katabti ’antumā katabtumā ’antunna katabtunna
You wrote You wrote You wrote
3rd (M) ‫هو كتب‬ ‫مها كتبا‬ ‫ه كتبوا‬
huwa kataba humā katabā hum katabū
He wrote They wrote They wrote
3rd (F) ‫كتبت‬
ْ ‫ه‬ ‫مها كتبتا‬ ‫هن كتن‬
hiya katabat humā katabatā hunna katabna
She wrote They wrote They wrote
____________________________________________________________
122

TABLE 3.2 Verb inflections by person, number and


gender (present tense form)
__________________________________________________
Singular Dual Plural

1st (M & F) ‫أنا أكتب‬ ‫حنن نكتب‬ ‫حنن نكتب‬


’anā ’aktubu nahnu naktubu nahnu naktubu
I write We write We write
9 nd (M) ‫أنت تكتب‬ ‫أنتما تكتبا‬ ‫أنت تكتبو‬
’anta taktubu antumā taktuban ’antum taktubūn
You write You write You write
2nd (F) ِ
‫أنت تكتبني‬ ‫أنتما تكتبا‬ ‫أن تكتن‬
’anti taktubīna ’antumā taktubān ’antunna taktubna
You write You write You write
3rd (M) ‫هو يكتب‬ ‫مها يكتبا‬ ‫ه يكتبو‬
huwa yaktubu humā yaktubān hum yaktubūn
He writes They write They write
3rd (F) ‫ه تكتب‬ ‫مها تكتبا‬ ‫هن يكتن‬
hiya taktubu humā taktubān hunna yaktubna
She writes They write They write
__________________________________________________

3.3 Tense
3.3.1 Time

Time is an abstract element which can refer to any continuous


period either in the past, present or the future. Jassem (1993b:
47) refers to time as a general concept that has nothing to do
with language and its grammar. It is temporal (today, yesterday
and tomorrow); it is a physical phenomenon manifesting itself in
the alternation of day and night; it is philosophical and abstract as
its mental representation is difficult to describe.
123

Grammarians (Declerck 1991:16) make a distinction between


objective (physical time) and linguistic time (cf. ‫ بم ري‬Badrī, 1404:
23). From the point of view of physics, time is a unidirectional
continuum, which may be represented by a time line, and which
consists of two parts, the past and the future, separated by the
present. This corresponds to what Jassem calls temporal and
physical aspects of time.

Linguistic time is time as perceived and talked about by language


users. The most important difference between physical time and
linguistic time, between real, objective time and psychological
time is that the tense system of a language does not normally
treat the past, the present and the future as equally important.
Linguistic time usually divides time into two time spheres: the
past time-sphere and the present time-sphere. The past time-
sphere is an indefinite length of time and the present time-sphere
is an indefinite time span (Declerck 1991:16).

3.3.2 Tense
3.3.2.1 Introduction

Tense is a grammatical category which refers to the time of the


action or event ( ‫ سمِّبويل‬Sībawaīh 1983: 12; ‫ اسفصمل ل مخمشماي‬Az-
Zamakhsharī: 244; ‫ ابمن اجاجمب‬Ibn Al-Hājib, vol. 2: 223 ; Badrī,
1404: 42 ff.). It is indicated by the form of the verb. There are
two tense forms: past and present. Both are related to
distinctions in time although some people believe that there is no
connection between tense and time. For instance, the present
tense generally refers to a time that includes the time of speaking,
while the past tense describes an action in the past. Declerck
(1991:4) states that the basic distinction between the past and the
present tense is that between representing situation as non-actual
(remote) and representing it as actual.
124

Weinrich (1970) (cited in Declerck 1991:4) holds that the


essential difference is that the past tense is used in (narrative
contexts of discussion), whereas the present tense is used in
(contexts of discussion).

The function of tense is to indicate time in the sentence. This


indication, however is not always straightforward. Sometimes a
certain tense indicates a certain time and sometimes a certain
tense may indicate more than one time: in fact, all time; and
sometimes a certain tense indicates its opposite time (Jassem
1993b:48). E.g.

‫ النما يمأك و اابمم‬Humans eat bread. (general fact, true


all the time).
‫ لمو كنمت هنما‬Wish you were here. ( Were indicates the
past, the sentence as a whole is a wish that has been
made at the present time (Jassem 1993a: 37-38).

Tense can be marked in a number of ways:

(a) morphologically by a variation in the form of the verb itself (


‫' كتب‬he wrote' vs. ‫' يكتب‬he writes' ) or
(b) by using certain particles. Particles are certain words that
express grammatical functions such as pastness, presentness and
infinitiveness or negativeness. Of such particles, we mention the
most common ones, especially those that have been employed by
the students.

1- Jussive Negative Particles:


i) “ lam” ‫مل‬
125

- Lam ‫( مل‬i.e. (did) not): It negates or indicates the negative in the


past tense. However, the verb after it should have a present tense
form. E.g. lam yaktub ‫“ مل يكتب‬He did not write”.
ii) “ma” ‫يا‬
Ma ‫( يما‬i.e. (did) not): It negates or indicates the negative in the
past tense. However, the verb after it should have a past tense
form. E.g. ma katabtu ‫“ يا كتبت‬I did not write”.

2- Negative Particle
i) “la” ‫ال‬
La ‫( ال‬i.e. (do (not): It negates or indicates the negative in the
present tense. However, the verb after it may have a present or
past tense form. E.g. la taktub ‫“ التكتمب‬you do not write”; la
nama wa la ’akala ‫‘ النام وال أكل‬he neither slept or ate’..

3- Accusative Infinitivizer Particles: “ ’an” ‫أ‬


i) Infinitivizer “ ’an” ‫أ‬
This is called ‘An ‫أ‬ al-masdariyyah, which indicates the
infinitive. The verb after it can have a past or present tense form.
E.g. baCda ’an kataba ‫“ بعم أ كتمب‬after he wrote” ; baCda ’an
yktuba ‫“ بع أ يكتب‬after he writes”.
ii) Causative Particle: “li’an” ‫أل‬
This is accusative causative particle “to, because”. This particle
expresses causality. The verb following it must have a present
tense form. E.g. ‫ جئمت أل أكتمب‬ji’tu li’an ’aktuba “I came to
write”.
126

iii) Negative Particle: “lan” ‫لن‬


Lan ‫( لمن‬i.e. (will) not): It negates the future tense. Or it indicates
the negative in the future tense. Unlike “lam”, the verb after it
should have a present tense form. E.g. lan yaktuba ‫“ لمن يكتمب‬He
will not write”.
iv) Particles: Kaī ‫ & ك‬Likaī ‫“ لك‬to”
Both particles indicate the cause for doing something in the
future tense without any differences between them. The verb
after them should have a present tense form as in: qara’tu kaī /
likaī ’anjaha ‫ لك أجنح‬/ ‫“ واأا ك‬I studied to pass”.
v) Causative Lam: “L” ِ‫“ لم‬to”
This is called Lam Al-TaCleel ‫( لِم‬i.e. to) which indicates the
reason for doing something in the future tense. The verb after it
should have a present tense form: E.g. jalasa li yaktuba ‫لِّكتمب‬
‫“ ج س‬he sat to write”.

To sum up, as can be seen from the above desription, “li’an, kai,
likai and li” have the same function (i.e., causality) in Arabic
grammar. Together with ‘lan’ and ‘lam’, the following verb must
have a present tense form. For ‘an, both present and past tense
verb forms are admissible after it.

4- Future Particles: ( ‫ سم‬sa “will” and sawfa ‫“ سو‬will” )


There are two particles which indicate the present future tense.
These are:

( ‫ س م‬sa “will” and sawfa ‫“ سمو‬will” ) which indicate the near


and distant future respectively. E.g. ‫( سمأكتب الم ر‬sa’aktubu al-
127

darsa) “I will write the lesson”; ‫ ( سمو أكتمب الم ر‬sawfa ‘Aktubu
al-darasa) “ I will write the lesson”.

Both particles must be accompanied by a present tense verb


form, as can be clearly seen from the examples.

3.3.2.2 Arabic Tense

Arabic grammarians ( ‫ ابمن األنبماري‬Ibn Al-Anbārī: 315; ‫ ابمن جمي‬Ibn


Jinnī 1988:28; ‫ ابمن اجاجمب‬Ibn Al-Hājib: 223) mention three tenses
in Arabic. These are past, present and future tense. There is
another tense which is called the imperative; this is a (variety of
the ) present tense with different inflections unique to the
imperative form.

3.3.2.2 .1 The Past Tense


3.3.2.2 .1.1 Form

The past tense may be formed in different ways. The basic form,
however, is the pattern or 'wazn' faCala ‫' فع ة‬did' or its
equivalents: for example, sajada 'bowed down', kataba 'wrote',
jalasa 'sat'.

There are certain grammatical inflections that are attached to the


last letter of the past tense verb. These vary according to their
following suffixed pronouns and are as follows:-

(i) a Fatha [ ََ ], which is a short vowel /a/. This is the case:


a) when the verb has no endings attached to it, e.g., ‫ ( ج س‬jalasa /
he sat down), or
b) when the verb is connected with what is called silent
"unvowelled" feminine ta' which indicates 3rd person singular
128

feminine attached pronoun as in ‫مت‬


ْ ‫ ( ج س‬jalasat / she sat down) ,
or
c) when the verb is connected with dual alif for second person
masculine and feminine as in jalasā ‫' ج سما‬they (masc.) sat down'
/ jalasatā ‫' ج ستا‬they (fem.) sat down').
(ii) A Damma [ ْ ], which is a short vowel /u/. This happens if
the verb is connected with plural marker waw ( ‫ ) و‬as in ‫( ج سموا‬
jalasū 'they sat down').
(iii) A Sukun (silence) [ ْْ ], which is absence of short vowels.
This happens if the verb is connected with either of these
pronominal particles:
a) nun al-niswah (feminine nun) such as ‫( كت ْمن‬they (feminine)
wrote).
b) Ta' al-FaCil al-Mutaharikah (doer vowelled ta') such as ‫كتبت‬
ْ
... ‫كتبت‬
ْ (You / I wrote ...).
c) Na al-dallah Cala jamaCat al-FaCiliyyn ( plural na) such as
‫( كتبنْا‬we wrote).

(For a fuller picture, see ‫ ابن اجاجب‬Ibn Al-Hājib2: 223 ff.; ‫ابن يعمِّش‬
Ibn YaCīsh, : 4-6)

3.3.2.2.1.2 Function and Context

The past tense verb form does not necessarily always refer to the
past time. Context plays an important role in determining the
time to which the past tense form refers. ‫ بم ري‬Badrī (1404: 114-
118) summarized the following functions of the past tense as far
as time is concerned:-
129

a) It indicates the past time as in:


9-3 (‫وتولى أ جةاه األزم } سورة زبس‬ ‫{ عب‬

(( The prophet frowned and turned away, because there came to


him the blind man ( interrupting) )), (Al-Quran, 80: 1-2, as
translated by Ali 1991).

b) It indicates the present time as in:


.1(‫{ الِّوم أكمل لك ةينك } سورة اسا ة‬

(( This day have I perfected your religion )), (Al-Quran, 5: 3, as


translated by Ali 1991).

c) It indicates the continuous or progressive tense as in:


.31( ‫{ ووصينة اإلنسا بوال يل ىلحساناو} سورة األحقا‬

(( We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents )), (Al-


Quran, 46:15, as translated by Ali 1991).

d) It indicates the future as in:


.332(‫{ رض اهلل زنه ورضوا زنل} سورة اسا ة‬

(( Allah well pleased with them, and they with Allah )), (Al-
Quran, 5:119, as translated by Ali 1991).

3.3.2.2.2 The Present Tense


3.3.2.2.2.1 Form
130

The present tense is formed on the pattern or 'wazn' of ‫يفعمل‬


yafCal 'do' or its derivative equivalents. For example, yaktubu
'he writes'; yanāmu 'he sleeps'.

There are certain grammatical endings that accompany the last


letter of the present tense verb form. These vary according to
mood (see 3.4 below) as well as declinable and indeclinable
status of the verb. As to the indeclinable verb, the usual marks
are as follows:

a) A fatha when connected with one of the two emphatic nuns (


the light one as in ‫( يفع ْمن‬they do) and the heavy one as in ‫من‬
َّ ‫يفع‬
(they (fem.) do).
b) A sukun (silence) when connected with feminine nun (nun al-
niswah) as in ‫( يفع ْن‬they do).

(For further detail, see ‫ المخمشماي‬Az-Zamakhsharī: 244; ‫ ابمن يعمِّش‬Ibn


YaCīsh:6-10; ‫ ابن هشام‬Ibn Hishām 1992a:40-41).

3.3.2.2.2.2 Function and Context

The present tense may not correspond to the present time. It may
indicate other functions, which depend on the context in which it
occurs. ‫ ب ري‬Badrī (1404: 199-202) summed them up as follows:

a) It indicates the past tense, such as:


.51(‫{ ولو يؤاخ اهلل النا مبا كسبوا} سورة فاطا‬

(( If Allah were to punish men according to what they deserve )),


(Al-Quran, 35:45 as translated by Ali 1991).
131

b) It indicates the future when it is connected with either S ‫ س م‬or


Sawfa ‫( سو‬shall), such as: ‫ سوف أحضر‬، ‫ سأحضر‬I shall come.
c) It indicates the present time, such as:
.331(‫{ فأينما تولوا وجوهك فث وجل اهلل } سورة البقاة‬

(( Whithersoever Ye turn, there is Allah's countenance )), (Al-


Quran, 2:115 as translated by Ali 1991).

3.3.2.2.3 The Imperative


3.3.2.2.3.1 Form

The imperative verb form is formed on the pattern of ْ ‫ افعة‬ifCal


'do!' or its derivative equivalents. The verb ending can be marked
in several ways:

a) By a sukun when followed by


i) nothing as in: ‫اكتب‬
ْ Write!
ii) or if it is connected with nun al-niswah (feminine
nun)
as in ‫كتن‬
ْ ‫( ا‬write / for women).
ِ
b) By omission of final vowel letter if it ends in one such as ‫ارم‬
'throw'.
c) By omission of nun, if it is connected with
i) ya al-mu’anatha al-mukhātaba (2nd pers. fem. ya) as in
‫' ووي‬stand up', or
ii) (waw al-jama'ah) plural waw as in ‫' وويموا‬stand you all',
or
iii) dual alif as in ‫' وويا‬stand you two', or
iv) a fatha when followed by heavy emphatic or light nun
(nun al-tawkiyyd) as in ‫' افع َّن افع ْن‬Do'.
132

(For further detail, see ‫ المخمشماي‬Az-Zamakhsharī: 256; ‫ابمن اجاجمب‬


Ibn Al-Hājib: 267-269; ‫ ابمن هشمام‬Ibn Hishām 1992a: 32,36; ‫حسمن‬
Hassan 1974: 170; ‫ النجار‬Al-Najjār 1981: 55).

3.3.2.2.3.2 Function and Context

The imperative verb form has a present tense form. Similarly, it


does not necessarily indicate the present time. It may indicate
other functions as follows ‫ ب ري‬Badrī, (1404: 223-227):-

a) It indicates the future, such as: "‫ اك‬Write.


b) It indicates the progressive future, such as:
.33( ‫{ وأيا بنعمة ربك ح ث } سورة الضح‬

(( But the bounty of thy Lord rehearse and proclaim! )), (Al-
Quran, 93:11 as translated by Ali 1991).

c) It indicates the orders which are not determined by time, such


as:
.1(‫{ ف ذا انس خ األ ها اجام اق"لوا اسشاكني } سورة التوبة‬

(( But when the forbidden mouths are past, then fight and slay
the pagans )), (Al-Quran, 9:5 as translated by Ali 1991).

d) It indicates the expected future, such as:


.1(‫{ فسبح حبم ربك } سورة النصا‬

(( Celebrate the praises of thy Lord )), (Al-Quran, 110:3 as


translated by Ali 1991).
133

e) It indicates the past time, such as:


.11(‫أنت وزوجك اجلنة } سورة البقاة‬ ‫{ و نا يا آةم اس‬

(( We said: O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the garden )),
(Al-Quran, 2:35 as translated by Ali 1991).

f) It indicates no accident and no time as in proverbs, such as:


‫ اعقلِة وتوكل‬Tie her (the camel) and rely.

3.3.2.2.4 The Future


3.3.2.2.4.1 Form

The future may have present or past tense verb forms as has been
seen above when function and context are taken into account.
However, there are two particles (Ibn YaCīsh, vol. 7)- ( ‫سم سو‬
) - which are always associated with the future tense. ‫( س م‬sa)
indicates the near future as in ‫' سمتكتب‬she will write', while ‫سمو‬
(sawfa) indicates the far future as in ‫تكتب‬ ‫' سو‬she will write'.

The grammatical endings of the last letter of the future verb form
are the same as those for the present tense verb (see 3.3.2.2.2
above). This is because the present and the future tense forms are
the same. The only difference is that the prefixes (sa / saufa)
indicate futurity exclusively.

3.3.2.2.4.2 Function and Context

The particles "sa" and "saufa" always indicate future time. For
example, sa-t’’Aktubu u , saufa t’’Aktubu u "you will write".
134

3.3.2.2.5 The Five-Form Verbs

The five-form verbs are a special set of verbs which have present
tense verb forms. They are so called because they have 5
different forms according to the pronouns attached to them ( ‫ابمن‬
‫ هشمام‬Ibn Hishām 1992a:62). These are summarized in the table
below:

TABLE 3.3: The five-form verbs for Katab "to write"


_________________________________________________
Singular Dual Plural
1st (M/F) - - -
2nd (M) - ‫ت "بةن‬ ‫ت "بون‬
2nd (F) ‫ت "بي‬ ‫تكتبا‬ -
3rd (M) - ‫ي "بةن‬ ‫ي "بون‬
3rd(F) - ‫تكتبا‬ -
_________________________________________________

The last letter "n" of these verbs can be dropped or fixed,


depending on verb mood or case and as follows ( ‫ ابمن هشمام‬Ibn
Hishām 1992a:62):

a) In the nominative case, "n" is retained which is called 'nun


fixation' (thubut al-nūn) as in ‫' تكتبو‬you write (plural)'.
b) In the accusative case, the nun is deleted as in ‫' لمن تكتبموا‬you
(plural) will not write'.
c) In the jussive case, the nun is also deleted as in ‫' مل تكتبموا‬you
(plural) did not write'.
3.4 Mood

There are three moods for Arabic verbs: i.e., the nominative,
accusative and jussive. (‫ ابن يعِّش‬Ibn YaCīsh, vol. 7: 15 ff.; ‫ابن هشمام‬
135

Ibn Hishām 1992a: 65; ‫ حسمن‬Hassan 1974: 277, 421). All affect
the present tense only which have certain characteristic
inflections.

3.4.1 The Nominative Mood

In the nominative mood, the verb form of the present tense is


marked by either

(i) A damma as in: ‫ يكتب‬, or


ii 'Fixing of nun (thubut al-nūn)' as in: ‫ يكتبو‬.

Both happen when no accusative or jussive particles precede the


verb (see 3.4.2/ 3.4.3 below).

3.4.2 The Accusative Mood

The verb form in the accusative mood is indicated by one of two


suffixes:

(i) by a Fatha if one of the following accusative particles precede


it:

.‫السببِّة حىت‬ ‫أ لن ك ىلذ الم التع ِّل الم اجلحوة أو العاطفة واو اسعِّة‬

For example: ‫لن يكتب‬

(ii) by omission of last 'nun' if the verb is one of the five verbs
(see 3.3.2.2.5 above); for example, ‫' لن يكتبوا‬they will not write'.

3.4.3 The Jussive Mood


136

The verb form in the jussive mood is marked in several ways:

(i) by a sukun if certain jussive particles such as: ‫مل سما الم األيما ال‬
‫ الناهِّة‬precede it. For example, ‫يكتب‬
ْ ‫'مل‬he did not write'.
(ii) by deleting the nun in case of the five verbs such as ‫' لمن تكتبموا‬
you will not write'.
(iii) by omission of the final vowel in the case of weak verbs (see
3.1.1 above). E.g. ‫' مل نبك‬we did not weep'.

3.5 Voice

There are two voices in Arabic: active and passive. The active
voice has the structure Verb-Subject-Object (or sometimes)
Subject-Verb-Object as in kataba Zaydun ad-darsa ( Zaydun
kataba addarsa ) 'Zayd wrote the lesson'.

The passive voice is made by deleting the subject 'Zaydun' and


changing the verb form in a certain way (see 3.5.1/ 3.5.2 below).
Thus kutiba ad-darsu 'the lesson was written' is the passive
equivalent of the above. The passive voice interacts with the
present and past tense in the sense that the verb form changes
accordingly as below.

3.5.1 The Passive Past

The past verb form for the passive voice can be obtained as
follows:

by placing a dammah [ ْ ] or short [u] above the first verb


literal and kasrah [ َ‫ ] ر‬or short [i] before the last literal,
e.g. ‫ كتِب‬kutiba 'was written'; ‫ ِا‬shuriba 'was drunk'.
137

(For further detail, see ‫ اجِّ رة‬Al-Haydarah 1984:308-9; ‫ ابمن جمي‬Ibn


Jinnī' 1954:93,210,293; ‫ ابمن زصمفور‬Ibn Cuşfūr 1987:451, ‫ابمن يعمِّش‬
Ibn YaCīsh: 69 ff.; ‫ ابن اجاجب‬Ibn Al-Hājib: 269; ‫ ريغ‬Rīgh 1982).

3.5.2 The Passive Present

The present tense verb becomes in the passive voice form:

by placing a damma on the first literal and a fatha or short


[a] before the final literal, e.g. ‫ يكتمب‬yuktabu 'it is written';
‫ ي ْشا‬yushrabu 'it is drunk'.

However, if the verb ends in " ‫ ي‬ya" as in ‫ يكموي‬yakwī 'to iron, to


burn', then that 'ya' becomes ' ‫ ى‬a' as in ‫ يكْموى‬yukwa 'it can be
ironed'.

3.6 Summary

This chapter has discussed the verb phrase in Standard Arabic in


some detail. The Arabic verb is a very complex structure in terms
of agreement, tense, mood and voice, all of which are expressed
inflectionally. Some of these aspects will be ‘anālyzed as used in
the writings of Malaysian secondary school learners of Arabic.
The next chapter will deal with the research methodology
employed for this study.
138

CHAPTER IV

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

4.0 Introduction

This chapter deals with the research design and methodology


employed for this study. It consists of three sections: section 1
describes the research design; section 2 describes the methods of
data collection and section 3 describes methods of data analysis.
At the end, there is a summary of the chapter.

4.1 Research Design

The cross-sectional design was employed for this study by


eleciting the data from the students at one time in each topic
(Dulay, Burt & Krashen 1982).

4.1.1 Type of Research

This is a case study (Goode & Hatt 1952; Grosof & Sardy 1985)
which is a useful technique for gathering data from the students
and focuses on a subject which may be either very representative
or extremely atypical. All studies on EA used this type of
research (Abdalla 1996; Alicio 1996; Abukhudairi 1992; Haja
Mohideen 1991; Oyedepo 1987; Abdul Latif 1986; Arani 1985;
Mattar 1978; El-Hibir 1976). Therefore, this type of research is
suitable for this study to answer the research questions.

The data for this study is limited to written production tasks (Nunan
1992). Therefore, there is no spoken data which is more suitable to
pronunciation errors (Altaha 1995). Emphasis on written tasks was
chosen in this research for a number of reasons as follows:
139

(i) Writing is described by scholars as a difficult and complex skill. As


Wall (1981:53) puts it,

“(It has a) range from mechanical control to creativity,


with good grammar, knowledge of subject matter,
awareness of stylistic conventions and various mysterious
factors in between”

(ii) The teaching and learning of Arabic language in Malaysia


emphasizes on grammar and reading. Thus, writing in Arabic is
ignored. As a result, Malay learners fail to express their ideas in simple
and correct Arabic (Abukhudairi 1992);
(iii) There is a dearth or lack of studies on written errors of Malay
students of Arabic (‫ أبو خضريي‬Abūkhudaīrī (1994);
(iv) The researcher’s main interest to analyze the students’ errors in
the writing skill has to do with the curriculum of Level Four (i.e.,
Higher Arabic Language) that has been employed for many years.
This enables the students to understand the basic reading and writing
skills. Speaking skill is not considered in this study because the current
program (i.e., Communicational Arabic) is new. Further, to see how
effective the program is in helping students to acquire the speaking
skill needs a longer time to achieve, measure and evaluate than the
present study can do;
(v) The aim of teaching and learning Arabic in Malaysia is to
understand the Holy Book (Qur’an) and Tradition (Hadith);
(vi) The Malaysian environment encourages writing and reading skills
more than listening and speaking skills; and
(vii) The general practice in almost all error analysis studies is to
use writing as the basis of their research ( Abdalla 1996; Hama
1996; Nyamasyo 1994; Haja Mohideen 1991; Hamdallah 1988;
Oyedepo 1987; Obeidat 1986; Mattar 1978; El-Hibir 1976). In
this respect, Howells (1984) points out: as cited in Haja
Mohideen (1991:222):
140

If the learner is ... studying other subjects at school or


university, it is more economical of time and more relevant
to the individual's needs to collect materials that has been
produced in the normal course of work / study
(lecture notes, cited in Haja Mohideen 1991:222)

Also Abdel-Latif (1986:308) prefers written data because " they save
time and there is less chance of performance errors" and Oyedepo
(1987:204) prefers also written materials “for it was felt that such
essays would reflect the learner's normal performance”.

However, in the final collection the researcher did not give


students assignments to write at home as used by Abukhudairi
(1992) did. This is to avoid the students from Abukhudairi’s in
the pilot study of this research copying from one another as it
happened in this case, or give the assignments to their friends or
families who may know Arabic very well to write for them. They
did this to obtain good grades or marks. Such actions will skew
the results of the data greatly.

Therefore, in the study students were given easy and familiar


topics to write in the class and ample time was given so as to
have enough data on the area of study. Moreover, the final study
was conducted by the researcher himself so that he can be
satisfied with the way in which the data was collected and to
ensure that he will obtain reliable results.

4.2 Methods of Data Collection

There are three studies conducted in this research: two are pilot
and one is final. All these studies will be presented below.
141

4.2.1 First Pilot study


4.2.1.1 Aims of the Pilot Study

The aims of the pilot study can be summarized as follows:

(i) To obtain a general idea about the students’ writing in Arabic,


(ii)To identify the difficulties of students in using the Arabic verb
phrase, and
(iii) To arrive at a better method of obtaining good data for the
final study.

4.2.1.2 Place and Date of Study

The data was collected on 8/4/1997, from the NRSSKL, Bandar


Menjalara, Kepong, 52200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

4.2.1.3 Reasons of Choosing the School

There are fourteen states in Malaysia which have two official


kinds of schools: government schools, which are sponsored by
the Federal government, and the state schools which are
sponsored by the states. The school chosen for this study is a
government-sponsored National Religious Secondary School
which is located in Kuala Lumpur. The writer got to know it
through the Ministry of Education. More precisely, he visited the
Islamic Education Department in Kuala Lumpur and asked for
relevant information about the situation of Arabic language
teaching in Malaysia. The school was suitable for this research
because of the following reasons:

1- All students in the school are of the same age group ;


2- The teachers' qualifications are similar
3- The curriculum is the same;
4- The entry requirements for all students are the same;
5- The social status of the students are the same ;
142

6- It is nominated to be the model religious secondary school in


the whole of the country: i.e., Malaysia.
7- As a national religious secondary school, it must teach the
Arabic language;
8- It represents the students in the fourth level in all national
religious secondary schools;
9- It represents the other national religious secondary schools
too; and
10- This school is near to the researcher which saves him time
and in expenses too.

4.2.1.4 Principal Fieldworker and Assistant fieldworkers

During the pilot study, the researcher received help from two
research assistants s who were teaching in the school for five
weeks April 1 - May 5, during their teaching practice (Sasaki
1997; Wolfson 1976; ‫ زبم اسع م‬Cabdul-MuCţī 1990; ‫ زمما‬Cumar
1983). They helped identify the students, observed the students
with the researcher in the class and collected works from their
students.

4.2.1.5 Research Instrument

The instrument used in the study is the production task as


suggested by Nunan (1992). The students' materials and data
came in the form of 12 examination papers. The present
researcher asked the research assistant to collect a number of
papers from the students: Three papers of each of the four school
levels 1- 4. She collected 12 papers in total. These were
originally administered to students of the level 1-4. These
examination questions contained certain grammatical points. The
examination questions of level four, for example, consisted of
three main questions, such as change the noun phrase sentence
into VP sentence, etc (see appendix A).
143

4.2.1.6 To Evaluate the method in the First Pilot Study

The author examined the students’ answers to the question


papers and the following weaknesses were found:

(i) The students did not have to write a long essay, which shows
how they use the language productively and creatively;
(ii) The questions were controlled and guided in the sense that
the students were required to make few changes in the structure
of the sentences; and
(iii) Unable to elicit the common errors.

As a result of the above, it was decided by the researcher to


change the questions for the study. This necessitated the second
pilot study.

4.2.2 Intermediate Study: Second Pilot Study


4.2.2.1 Time and Place

This study conducted during a two-week period from 9 - 23


April 1997, at the above mentioned school.

4.2.2.2 The Subjects

The total number of subjects consisted of 54 students who were


divided into two groups: 30 were male and 24 female.

4.2.2.3 Research Instrument

The instrument used here is production task Nunan (1992). The


students had to write two free compositions. The two topics
were:
ِّ‫ كِّ احتف ت بعِّ الف ا السع‬-3
How did you celebrate Hari Raya AidilFitri?
144

‫ولِّمة العا‬ ‫ ياذا يفعل اس يويو‬-9


What do the Malays do in the wedding party?

These two topics were selected carefully from two points of


view. One concerns the topic of familiarity. These topics are
familiar and known to the students and so they can write their
compositions easily. The second concerns verb tense: one topic
to write in the past tense and the other in the present tense.

The students were told that these topic are compulsory for all of
them in both groups. The duration during given to the students
was from 10 - 15 April 1997. The length of each essay is two
pages.

On the due date, some students did submit some of their works,
while others did submit after three days. The reason for them to
write the composition at home is to write freely and quiet. All in
all, 54 papers were collected: i.e., 27 from each class.

4.2.2.4 Preliminary Examination

After collecting and examing the answeres of the students’


compositions, it was found that 7 students copied from one
another (see appendix B).

In order to overcome this problem it was decided to score these


papers out and count only one of them. But there were too many
of them, and so this was not found practical. Thus, in the final
study such problems should be considered in the administration
of the writing task.
145

4.2.2.5 Problems Faced in Second Pilot Study

Overall, the study found the production task was appropriate.


But the problem was the fact that some students did not submit
their tasks on the due date.

4.2.3 The Final Study


4.2.3.1 Place and Date of Study

The data was collected for the final study from the above
mentioned school on 20 -21 October 1997.

4.2.3.2 The Subjects

The data was obtained from the fourth level (i.e., fourth year)
students who were studying in the Islamic stream. The total
number of students in level four were 54 in 1997.

4.2.3.3 Reasons for Choosing the Subjects

There are obviously certain reasons that led the author to choose
these subjects of fourth year students for this research. These can
be summarized as follows:

(i) These students had already finished their elementary level of


school education and were enrolled in the secondary level at the
time of the research;
(ii) They have acceptable background in the Arabic language;
(iii) They are able to understandand write a composition in the
Arabic language;
(iv) They study in the Islamic stream which requires the use of
Arabic;
146

(v) They all have 10 hours of instruction in Arabic a week at the


fourth level;
(vi) The students are in their final stage of secondary school;
(vii) Level four is the basic and central stage in between lower
and higher levels in comparison to other levels. For example, the
students in level 1-3 have limited exposure to Arabic. They have
6 hours of instruction a week for basic communication. Also they
are not required to write long essays; and
(viii) Students of level six are very limited in number as there are
7 students only. This number is insufficient for this study.
Students of level five are in the final stage in the school. If they
achieve good marks in their examinations, they can be admitted
into Matriculation centers of the local universities. Those
students who have poorer marks will be admitted to level six.

4.2.3.4 The Sample

The type of the sample used in the study is a judgment sample


(Chadwick et al. 1984) in which the researcher choses his
subjects.

4.2.3.5 Characteristics

The students were between the age 15-17 years old. 30 of them
were males and 24 females. All were Malays. They come from
the different states of Malaysia: 38 are from Kuala Lumpur, 3
from Perak, 3 from Negeri Sembilan, 2 from Johor, 2 from
Kelanatan, 1 from Pahang, 2 from Selangor. There was 1 student
who gave no information as to locality. Table 4.1 below sums up
all this information.
147

TABLE 4.1 Summary of Sample Characteristics


_________________________________________________
1. Age:
15 Years 16 Years 17 Years All
2 50 2 54
_________________________________________________
2. Sex:
Male Female All
30 24 54
_________________________________________________
3. Race:
Malay Others All
54 None 54
__________________________________________________
4. Hometown:
Kuala Lumpur 38
Perak 3
Negri Sembilan 3
Johor Bahru 2
Kelantan 2
Kedah 2
Pahang 1
Selangor 2
No Information 1

Total 54
__________________________________________________

4.2.3.6 Research Instruments

The research instrument employed in the final study is production


task which is appropriate as tested by the second pilot study and
questionnaire on background date of students (Haja Mohideen
1991; Abdalla 1996). The method of the task chosen was free
148

composition. The production task was obtained from two written


essays on two topics, which were conducted on two separate
occasions. The topics were chosen to satisfy two criteria: (i)
They should be easy and familiar to the students so that they can
write on them without much difficulty and (ii) They should elicit
the different tenses investigated in this research (El-Hibir 1976;
Mattar 1978; Hamdallah 1988; Haja Mohideen 1991;
Abukhudairi 1992; Abdalla 1996). The first topic was given to
54 students inside the classroom on 20 October 1997. The topic
was in the form of a personal letter with the following:

‫ اكتب رسالة ىل ص يقك وا اح لل كِّ تقض يويك ين ص ة الصبح‬-3


.‫ىل ص ة العشاا‬
Write a letter to your friend, explaining to him how you
spend your daytime from Fajr prayer upto 'Isha' prayer.

The students were asked to write two pages on this topic. The
time given to each group was 70 minutes.

The aim of this topic was to isolate the present tense as the
students were supposed to use the present tense here. Also the
topic is familiar to the students so that there would be no
problem in obtaining enough data.

On 21 October 1997, the students were given the second


composition topic, which was a story. It was entitled:

.‫ اكتب وصة أو حكاية وا ا لك ج ك أو ج تك أو أيك‬-9


Write a story which you have heard from your grandfather
or grandmother or your mother.
149

The students were given 70 minutes to write it in the classroom.


The length of the composition was also two pages. In this topic,
they were supposed to use the past tense.

The total number of papers collected were 54. The students were
never told about the aim of this study. They wrote these
compositions in the class as a language activity.
4.2.3.7 The Questionnaire

The questionnaire was used in this study (see appendix C) to


obtain some relevant information from the students as to their
sex, age, social background, attitude, motivation and others. The
questionnaire was distributed to the students in late April 1997.
It was in the Arabic language. The researcher explained to the
research assistants as to how to fill it in. It was explained to the
students in both Arabic and Bahasa Malaysia. The data of the
questionnaire will be analyzed later in the thesis.

4.2.3.8 Problems in the Final Study

Generally, the study was conducted smoothly as planned.


However, one slight problem occurred during the collection of
the data. One research assistant had a class while the other did
not. The writer asked her to have permission from the respective
teacher to enter her class at the same time. The purpose was to
create uniformity among the tasks and to prevent the students
from receiving help from one another.

4.3 Methods of Data Analysis

The procedures of the data analysis in this study will use both
qualitative and quantitative methods (Creswell 1994; Hussin
1995; Abdalla 1996; Sasaki 1997).
150

As to the qualitative approach, selected examples of the students’


writing will be included as the previous studies did (El-Hibir
1976; Mattar 1978; Hamdallah 1988; Haja Mohideen 1991;
Abukhudairi 1992; Abdalla 1996). These will be followed by
highlighting the errors and describing them. The data from the
quantitative approach will be presented in the form of figures,
tables and frequencies.
There were two analyses made here: one tentative and one final.
The aim of the former was to assess the difficulties that may be
encountered here and to arrive at a better procedure for the final
analysis. This final analysis is outlined below.

4.3.1 Preliminary Procedure of Handling the Data

After collecting the data, the following steps were made in


handling and analyzing the data:

1- Giving a serial number to all the papers or composition tasks


that have been collected from the students, starting from 1- 54.
2- On the students' own handwritten sheets, identification of the
errors has been done by placing a red line under each error.
However, if the right form of the verb was used, a red line with
dot has been placed under it.
3- Writing or isolating all the errors and non-errors on a separate
sheet of paper. Every sheet of paper recorded social and
linguistic information: The former includes the student's name,
sex and group while the latter includes the relevant aspects of
error that are investigated here. This procedure was deemed
necessary as it would be very difficult to determine the number
and type of error from the students' own writings.
4- Classification of errors. This followed smoothly from step 3
above. Here after identifying the errors, the writer classified them
into certain categories and sub-categories such as tense type,
subject verb agreement (S.V.A.), use of the past tense in place of
151

the present tense, and so on. These categories will form the basis
of the analysis, results and discussion later.

4.3.2 Calculating and Counting the Errors

Counting the errors has been done by listing the frequency of


occurrence (i.e., number of times) of each category such as
S.V.A. In some cases the error was counted two or three times.
For example: ‫( قةمة ُ صم ة العشماا‬qāmatu şalātu alcishā’) she stood
prayer ‘isha’) in which the verb contains two errors: one in the
use of the past for the present (i.e., ‫‘ أوموم‬aqūmo ‘I stand’) and the
second in S.V.A. The correct form is: ‫" أصةل صم ة العشماا‬I pray
'isha"

4.3.3 Suspicious Cases

After making the first tentative/preliminary analysis, the research


worker encountered certain cases which were dubious and
suspicious with regard to spelling, dotting and intelligibility. The
writer decided to handle them differently, either to ignore them
or not to count them and so not to include them in the analysis.
Moreover, the researcher gave the students’ scripts to an Arabic
language expert to evaluate the analysis. He agreed to what the
researcher did. This is elaborated on further below.

4.3.4 Ignored Cases

The researcher ignored the following cases, all of which were not
counted as errors. In other words, they were considered correct
152

for the purposes of this work. These include as in the table


below:

TABLE 4.2: Ignored Cases


__________________________________________________
Not placing dots for certain words such as ‫ انما اصم‬whose last letter
should have two dots under it: i.e., ‫أصل‬.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not placing the glottal stop (hamza), ‫ = ارجف ال رو‬instead of ‫أراجف‬
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Placing the hamza behind the 'alif such as: ‫ااب اا‬.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not placing the hamza of separation "hamzat Qaţi " ( ‫)مهممة و مف‬, i.e. the
c

sign of hamza is shown on 'alif like ‫أصم‬. Also not placing hamzat waşl
(‫ )مهممة وصمل () ا‬which is not shown on the 'alif like ‫ان من‬. As these cases
are not confusing, they were not counted as errors.

However, the glottal stop was considered an error if it was missing in


the case of the verbs ‫' أكمل‬to eat' and ‫' أخم‬to take'. The hamza is
important here because it can indicates the present tense as in ‫ ( آكمل‬I
eat) ‫( آخ‬I take) and the past as in [(he took) ‫( أكل أخ‬ate)].
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not placing the short vowel marks (tashkīl ‫ تشمكِّل‬, harakāt ‫ )حاكماا‬for
the verbs. For example, ‫ ; لعبة كماة القم م‬here the student did not place
the short vowel fatha [ ْa] on the verb ( َ ‫" ) لعبة‬played". Although in
such a case the form might be for the first person singular in the
present tense (i.e., I play) or the second person singular in the past
tense (i.e., I played), yet this was not considered an error because the
Arab people do not usually place these short vowels (harakāt ‫) حاكماا‬
153

for these words also. Thus, the present researcher deduced the intended
meaning from the context of the verb.

However, in the use of the passive voice only, such cases were
considered errors because they are essential to meaning on the one hand
and Arabic speakers usually place them here, on the other hand.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Discoursal errors. These relate to the larger organization of text. For
ِ ‫ أنا اال خبري عرف ص‬where the student used the verb in the
example: ‫محتك‬
past tense instead of the present tense. The sentence should be: ‫أنما ان‬
ِ ‫خبمري وأريم أ اطممأ ز م ص‬. These have been ignored because they fall
‫محتك‬
beyond the scope of this work and because the main concentration of
this work is on the use of the verb, especially tense.

4.3.5 Cases Counted as Error

The following cases were treated and counted as error by the


investigator. The following table will show that.

TABLE 4.3: Cases counted as error


_________________________________________________
The use of noun as a verb. For example, one student used the word
'breakfast' ‫ الِطةور‬which is a noun as a verb as in ‫حنمن الِطةور اس عم‬
'we the breakfast in the restaurant'.

However, this error may be explained in another way in which the verb
has been omitted from the sentence: i.e., ‫حنمن ن"نةةول الف مور اس عم‬. The
examiner gave more weight to the use of the noun for the verb. This is
because what the student intended to say was: ‫( حنمن نِطةر اس عم‬we
'have breakfast' in the restaurant). Here is another example: ‫حنن صةتتنة‬
‫( العشماا‬we our prayer al-Cisha' ). The student is speaking about a past
action: i.e., ( we prayed Cisha' ).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
In certain cases, the researcher made some guesses about the meaning
of certain sentences which were not clear in students' writing. For
example:
a) ‫اجملمف‬ ‫ الفصل بحث أصة ال رو يف الص يق‬-
What the learner means to write is:
.‫ أتناوش يف ص يق زن ال رو ال ةرسناها‬/‫أحبث‬
b) ‫ حنن ريض اس عب‬-
154

The student wants to say: ‫اس عممب‬ ‫ حنمن ن"ة ر نلع ن"ةةري‬here the
learner used the noun as a verb.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Giving more weightage to using the right verb tense forms; for
example, ‫ ( أنا ذهبت ا اجمام لغس ي بس‬the correct form is: ‫أنا ذهبت ا‬
‫)اجممام غس ي بمس‬. Here the student uses the past tense form instead of
the present. Which is an error. This case may be right, however, when
it is considered as a phrase (shibh jumlah ‫) مبل ل مة‬. It was considered
an error, nevertheless, because the student wants to use the present
tense.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
The researcher treated the verb in the following case ‫' مث أرتبة سماياي‬then
I arranged my bed' in two ways: one is error and one is right. Here the
error is in the addition of ta, at the end of the verb. However, It is right
in S.V.A.

4.3.6 Dismissed Cases

Certain cases were either not written clearly and legibly or were
unintelligible; they did not make sense and could not be
understood by the researcher. Such cases were dismissed and so
not included in the analysis as no satisfactory explanation could
be given to them.

The total number of all such cases in both topics were 36


sentences. Here are some examples in the table below:

TABLE 4.4: Dismissed cases


__________________________________________________
‫بِّت ال بة ين‬ ‫وجهل اكتب ه جم الاسالة كةن يقض كِّ أوض يوي كال ا‬
.‫ص ة الصبح ا ص ة زشاا‬
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
.‫مث رت ل خ وا ا الفصل‬
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
.‫أواأ الصحافة ووىت اضمح يتعب‬
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
. ‫حبثت اصة ال رو يف الص يق‬
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
.‫بِّت ال بة كلج اس بس اس رسة‬
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
155

. ِ"‫ىلذ ك"ب و ان‬ ‫خلص‬


---------------------------------------------------------------------------
.‫اري أ اباز الِّك ال اسِر ال ر ىل حجاة ال بة‬

4.3.7 Scoring the Errors

The standard statistical formula in scoring or calculating the


errors employs the frequency and the percentage formula. The
frequency means the number of times of occurrence of error. The
percentage can be easily obtained by dividing the number of
errors by the total number of cases (i.e., errors and non-errors)
which are then multiplied by 100. This result is called the
percentage. Or as Norrish puts it;
‘Frequency’ - the number of times an error occurs - can be
regarded in basically two ways. Firstly, the so-called
‘absolute’ frequency of an error ( the number of times that
the errors occurs) and secondly, the number of times the
error could have occurred, relative to the length of the
piece of writing. (Norrish 1983:103)

There are three methods used for scoring the errors. One method
calculates the percentage of errors relative to the total number of
the words of the text. As Norrish puts it;

If a learner produces, for example, a piece of writing of two


hundred and fifty words and makes ten errors, we can simply
register the fact that the number of errors is ten, or we can
calculate a ‘relative frequency’ by multiplying the number by one
hundred and dividing the result by the total number of words
written to obtain a percentage, thus:
10 x 100 = 4
250
156

In this way, we can compare across pieces of work of


differing lengths the relative number of errors. This
measure is useful in comparing, say, pieces of writing of
differing lengths. ( Norrish 1983: 103-4)

This method gives a general picture of errors in a given text.


However, it fails to show the precise percentage of each category
studied such as tense, S.V.A., etc. For this reason, no scholars
used it and so it will not be used in this research.

Another method computes the percentage of errors relative to


the total number of all other errors studied in a certain research.
Let us illustrate this by giving an example from Hamdallah
(1988:66). His students made 96 errors in relative clauses, 83
errors in the prepositions, 69 errors in articles, 89 errors in tense
and aspect and 66 errors in concord which gave a total of 403
errors. Computing the percentage of errors in prepositions, for
example, would be to divide 83 over 403 which is 17.81 % (see
table below).

TABLE 4.5 Major NP and VP syntactic error categories.


___________________________________________________
No Category Frequency %

NP Major Error Categories 248 53.22 %

1. Relative clauses 96 20.60 %


2. Prepositions 83 17.81 %
3. Articles 69 14.81 %

VP Major error categories 155 33.26 %

5. Tense and aspect 89 19.10 %


6. Concord 66 14.16 %

Total 403 86.48 %


__________________________________________________
157

( Source: Hamdallah 1988:66).

This method was used by many scholars of EA ( El-Hibir 1976;


Mattar 1978; Touba 1981; Haja Mohideen 1991; Abdalla 1996).

This method has the advantage of ranking the errors. That is, it
shows in which of the areas studied the students committed the
most mistakes. In the above table, it can be seen that more errors
occurred in NP than in VP and so on. However, it does not show
the percentage of error and non-error in each case. For example,
there is no way as to know how much the percentage of error in
the use of preposition, tense, etc. is.

The third method calculates the percentage of error for each


category studied separately. To illustrate this, let us take the
following example. Suppose a student used the past tense 40
times in which he made 37 errors. The percentage of his error in
the use of the past tense is to divide 37 over 40 and then to
multiply by a 100: i.e., 92.5 %. Here is an example from
Hamdallah (1988:74), which shows the precise percentage of
error in each category.

TABLE 4.6 syntactic category errors


_________________________________________________
No Syntactic Total No. of %
Category Usage Errors

1. Realative clauses 175 96 54.86


2. Prepositions 750 83 11.07
3. Articles 730 69 9.45
4. Tense and aspect 692 89 12.86
5. Concord 675 66 9.78
__________________________________________________
Source (Hamdallah 1988:74).
158

Thus this method avoids the shortcomings of the second method;


it has the advantage of showing the precise amount of errors and
non-errors for each case in the percentage. That is why it has
been used by applied linguistics researchers of EA (e.g.
Hamdallah 1988; Hama 1996), and sociolinguists (for a survey,
see Jassem 1993 a: 82-85).

In this study, like Hamdallah’s, both the second and third


methods will be used where appropriate.

4.4 Summary

This chapter has dealt with the research methodology applied for
this study. It has shown how the language data has been
collected and analyzed. The next chapter deals with the
presentation and discussion of the errors.
159

CHAPTER V

PRESENTATION AND DISCRIPTION OF ERRORS

5.0 Introduction

This chapter deals with the presentation and discussion of errors. It


consists of three sections: Section 1 deals with tense errors, section 2
deals with S.V.A errors and section 3 deals with the non-errors. The
data will be presented in the form of qualitative and quantitative
approach. Summary will also provided at the end of each section.

5.1 Tense Errors

This section deals with tense errors in qualitative and quantitative


terms. That is, it first provides a description of errors through
selected examples from students’ works where the place of error
will be pointed out and its correct form will be mentioned. Then
it gives a statistical presentation of the errors in the form of
frequencies and percentages. The tense errors are presented as
follows: errors in the past tense, present tense (nominative,
accusative and jussive), the future, the five-form verbs, the
imperative verb, and the passive voice.

5.1.1 The Past Tense

The number of errors in the past tense as a whole amounted


to 1321 out of 2615 cases, giving an overall percentage of
errors of 50.51 %, as summarized in the table below.

TABLE 5.1 Overall percentage of past tense errors.


160

_________________________________________
No. of Errors Total Percentage

1321 2615 50.51


_________________________________________

These errors in the usage of the past tense were


of different types: They included errors in tense
choice, lexical category, categories of errors,
tense or verb particles and spelling. These are
described below one by one.
5.1.1.1 Errors in Tense Choice

Tense choice errors involved the usage of the past tense


instead of the nominative present tense.

i) Use of Past Tense Instead of Nominative Present Tense

Consider the following Examples:

1- ‫( بعم يغتسمل انما ذهبمت ىل اسسمج‬baCda yaghtasil ’ana dhahbtu ’ilā


al-māsjid ) “after he washes I went to the mosque”. S1M, T1.

The student used the past tense instead of the nominative


present tense. Therefore, he should write: ‫أذهممب ىل اسسممج‬
(’adhhabu ’ilā al-masjid ) “I go to the mosque”.

2- ‫اس عم‬ ‫ ( بعم صم ة زشمأ حنمن ما‬baCda şalāt Cisha’ nahnu shariba
fī al-māţCam) “after ‘isha’ prayer we drank at the restaurant”.
S1M, T1.
161

The student used the past tense instead of the nominative present
tense. Therefore, he should write: ‫اس عم‬ ‫ ( حنممن نشمما‬nahnu
nasharabu fī al-maţCam) “we drink at the restaurant”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of all


errors in the use of the past tense instead of the nominative
present tense.

TABLE 5.2 Use of Past Tense Instead of Nominative Present


Tense.
_______________________________________
No. of Errors Total Percentage

1069 2615 40.87


_______________________________________

The students made 1069 errors or 40.87 % in


the use of past tense instead of nominative
present tense. About half the data is used
erroneously which is a big amount.
5.1.1.2 Lexical Category Errors

A lexical category may be a noun, a verb, an adjective, an


adverb, etc. Students sometimes used the wrong lexical category.
That is, they replaced the past tense verb with a noun or vice
versa. Two types of errors occurred: using the past tense verb
instead of the noun and vice versa.

A- Use of the Past Tense Verb Instead of the Noun

Consider these examples:


162

1- ‫ي رسمتك‬ ‫ ( كِّم ةرسمت‬kayfa darasta fī madrasatika?) “How


you study at your school?” S5M, T1.
The student here used the past tense verb instead of the noun
wrongly. He should write: … ‫ ( كِّم م ةراس ممتك‬kayfa
dirāsatuka…?) “How is your study…”?

2- ‫ووفمت يمن ةرسممت‬ ( waqaft min darast) “I stopped from I


studied”. S11M, T1.

The student used the past tense verb instead of the noun
wrongly. He should write: ‫ ( تووفمت زمن ال راسمة‬tawaqaftu Can al-
dirāsh) “I gave up the study”.

3- ‫الثاينمة‬ ‫ ( بم أا يما ةرسمت‬bada’tu mā darasat fī al-thāminah) “I


started what I studied at eight”. S14M, T1.

The student here used the past tense verb instead of the noun
wrongly. He should write: ‫ ( بم أا ال راسمة الثاينمة‬bada’tu al-
dirāsah fī al-thāminah) “I started study at eight”.

B- Use of Noun instead of Past Tense Verb

Consider the following examples:

1- ‫ذهب ا غافمة النموم مث النموم‬ ( dhahaba ’ilā ghurfat alnawm thumma


alnawm ) “He went to the sleeping room then sleeping”. S12M,
T1.

The student used the noun as a verb in the past tense wrongly.
The correct form is: ‫…( … نام‬nama ) “ … he slept”.
163

2- ‫ذهبممت ىل الم يوا االكممل لتنممول الف ممور‬ (dhahbtu ’ilā aldīwān al’akl
litanawul al-fuţūr) “I went to the dining hall to have breakfast”.
S36F, T1.

The student used the noun as a verb in the past tense wrongly.
The correct form is: ‫( تناولت الف ور‬tanawaltu) “I had breakfast”.

The following table displays the results for both categories.

TABLE 5.3. Lexical Category Errors in the Use of the Past


Tense.
__________________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Total Percentage

Use of the Past Tense 68 2615 2.60


Instead of the Noun.

Use of Noun instead 30 2615 1.14


of Past Tense Verb
All 98 2615 3.74
__________________________________________________

The students made only 98 errors in the whole data, which


contains 2615 cases. Two thirds of these errors involved using
the verb instead of the noun and one third in the use of the noun
instead of the past tense verb. This is a very small percentage on
the whole.

5.1.1.3 Categories of Errors

Errors in the use of the past tense fall into three categories:
omission, addition and misplacement. Here are a few example on
each case.
164

i) Omission:
1- ‫بممة لِّتأهممب ا اس رسممة‬ ‫’ ( انمما ىلا بِّمت ال‬ana ’ilā bayt alţullābah
liyata’ahhab ’ilā almadrasah) “I to hostel to be ready to the
school”. S6M.T1.

The student here omitted the verb from the sentence which
should be: ‫ ( رجعت‬rajiCtu ) “ I went back”.

2- ‫ ( همو ىلةرجمة ثانِّممة‬huwa darajah thāniyah) “he second class”.


S35M, T2.

The student omitted the verb, which should be: ‫حصمل ز م ةرجمة‬
‫( ثانِّة‬hasala Calā darajaten thāniyah) “he obtained second class”.

ii) Addition:
1- ‫’( أنا وج أساة‬ana wajada ’usrah) “I have family”. S6F, T2.

The student added the verb to the sentence wrongly, which


should be: ‫ي أساة‬
ّ ‫( ل‬ladayya ’usrah) “I have a family”.

2- ‫ ( ه اهمت اهتممام‬hiya ihtamma ihtimām ) “she he took care taking


care”. S4F,T2.

The student added the verb to the sentence wrongly, which


should be: ‫ ( ه يهتمة‬hiya muhtamah ) “she is interested”.

iii) Misplacement:
There are two types of misplacement or substitution: one is
grammatical, which involves replacing the past tense by some
other tense, as it has been described above (i.e., tense choice).
165

The second is lexical, which involves using a verb in place of


another verb, as in the following examples.

1- ‫ ( س مت الاسالة‬sallamtu al-risālah ) “I gave the letter”. S37M,T1.

The student misplaced the verb wrongly in the sentence, which


should be: ‫ ( تس مت الاسالة‬tasallamtu al-risālah ) “I had the letter”.

2- ‫اسكتبمة‬ ‫ ( تع ممت‬taCalamt fī al-maktabah ) “she learned at the


library”. S17F,T1.

The student misplaced the verb wrongly in the sentence, which


should be: ‫ ( ةرسمت اسكتبمة‬darasat fī al-maktabah ) “she studied at
the library”.

The following table presents all the results for all these three
categories.

TABLE 5.4. Categories of Errors


_____________________________________________
Category No of Errors Total Percentage

Omission 3 2615 0.11


Addition 6 2615 0.22
Misplacement 1074 2615 41.07
a) lexical 5 2615 0.19
b) grammatical 1069 2615 40.87
(tense choice)

All 1083 2615 41.41


______________________________________________

The above table shows that the vast majority of errors (1074 or
41.07) are in misplacement especially grammtical misplacement.
166

As to omission and addition, only 9 errors occurred in both


categories, which is negligible.

5.1.1.4 Tense or Verb Particle Errors

Consider the following examples:

a) Omission:
1- ‫ ( ةخ نما ا الفصمل بعم ىلةق اجلما‬dakhalnā ’ilā alfasli baCda daqqa
al-jaras ) “we entered into the class after the bell rang”. S7M,T1.

The student here omitted the infinitivizer ‘an from the sentence,
which should read as: ‫ …( … بعم أ ةق اجلما‬baCda ‘an daqqa al-
jaras ) “…after the bell rang”.

2- ‫ ( وبل ىلةخ ت‬qabla dakhaltu ) “before I entered”. S8M,T1.

The student here deleted the infinitivizer ‘an which should be


added: ‫ ( وبل أ ةخ ت‬qabla ‘an dakhaltu ) “before I entered”.

b) Addition:
1- ‫( مث از مت الوضموا أل صم ت الصم ة الصمبح‬thumma ’cţat alwudu’ li’an
şallat alşalāt alşubh) “ then she gave ablution to prayed morning
prayer”. S19F, T1.

The student added the infinitivizer li‘an to the sentence, which


should be deleted; the correct form should be: ‫توضأا وص ِّت ص ة‬
‫( الصمبح‬tawada’tu waşalaytu şalāt alşubh) “I had ablution and
prayed morning prayer”.
167

2- ‫( ذهبممت ا اس ع م أل أك ممت و مابت‬dhahbtu ’ilā almaţCam li’an


’akaltu wa sharibtu) “I went to the restaurant to ate and drank”.
S19F, T1.

The student added the infinitivizer li‘an wrongly to the sentence,


which should be deleted; the correct form should be ‫ذهبمت ىل‬
‫( اس عم أك مت و مابت‬dhahbtu ’ilā almaţCam ’akaltu wa sharibtu)) “I
went to the restaurant I ate and drank”.

c) Misplacement:
Means substitute particle for particle, or placing particle with
wrong tense.

1- ‫ ( أل ص ت‬li’an şallat ) “for she prayed”. S19F,T1.

The student used the particle li‘an with the past tense form
wrongly, the right form should be: ‫ ( ألص‬li’uşallī )” to pray”.

2- ‫ ( أل أك ت‬li’an ‘akalat ) “for she ate”. S19F,T1.

The student used the li‘an with the wrong past tense form, which
should be in the present tense form: i.e., ‫ ( نكمل‬li’akula ) “to
eat”.

3- ‫ىل الم نِّا‬ ‫( بم و ام مل وجم النما‬bidūn ’um lam wajad alnās ’ilā
aldunyā) “without mother he did not found people to the life”.
S12F, T2.
168

The student here misplaced the jussive “lam” in the sentence by


using it with the past tense instead of the present tense, which
should be: ‫هم جم الم نِّا‬ ‫ “ بم و األم مل يوجم النما‬without the mother no
body can be found in this life”.

4- ‫( مل ةر زمن الم نِّا‬lam darasa Can aldunyā) “he did not studied
about the world”. S9M, T2.

The student misplaced the jussive “lam” here. He used it with the
past tense instead of the present tense verb, it should be: ‫مل يم ر‬
‫ “ زن ال ينا‬he did not study about the world”.

5- ‫( بعم لتناولمت الغم اا‬baCda litanāwalta alghada’) “after to you had


lunch”. S22F, T1.

The student misplaced the causative “lam” in the sentence. The


correct form is: ‫ “ بع أ تناولت الغ اا‬after I had the lunch”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of


errors in the use of particles in this tense.

TABLE 5.5 Tense particle errors in the use of the past tense.
___________________________________________________
1- ’An Al-Masdariyah (Infinitivizer
’an)
169

Type No. of Errors Total Percentage

Omission 10 227 4.40


Addition 8 227 3.52
Misplacement 5 227 2.20

All 21 227 9.25


___________________________________________________
2- Lam Al-Taclīl (Causative
Lam)

Misplacement 2 227 0.88


___________________________________________________
3- Jussive Lam

Misplacement 6 227 2.64


___________________________________________________
All 29 227 12.77
__________________________________________________

The above table shows that only three particles were used with
the past tense. The particle ‘an al-masdariyyah is the most
commonly used particle; it occurred 124 times out of 227 cases
or just over 50 %: it was omitted in 10 out of 124 cases; added
in 8 out of 124 and misplaced in 4 out of 124 cases.

The two other particles were equal in their frequency in the data.
Errors in their usage are few and are all in the category of
misplacement. Causative lam was misplaced with the wrong
tense form in 2 out of 227 cases whereas jussive lam was used
with the past instead of the present in 6 out of 227 cases.

To sum it up, errors in the use of particles are 29 in number or


12 % as a whole, which is small.

5.1.1.5 Spelling Errors in the Past Tense


170

The students have made different kinds of spelling errors. They


omitted, added, substituted and misplaced the letters of the past
tense verb. The following examples illustrate this.

i) Omission:
1- ‫’ ( أنمت لعمت وماة الايشمة‬anta laCta qurat alrīshah ) “you played
badminton”. S47M,T1.

The student here made an error in the omission of letter from


the past tense verb. He should write: ‫’ ( أنمت لعبمت وماة الايشمة‬anta
laCibta kurat alrīshah ) “you played badminton”.

2- ‫ ( بعم لعنما أنما وأنمت‬baCda laCna ’ana wa ’anta) “after we played I


and you”. S47M,T1.

The student here omitted the letter from the past tense verb.
The correct form should be :‫ ( بعم أ لعبنما أنما وأنمت‬baCda ’an
laCibnā ’ana wa ’anta) “after we played; I and you”.

ii) Addition:
1- ‫’ ( أنت لعبتا‬anta laCibtā )"you played”. S47M,T1.

The student here made an error in the addition of the final letter
“‫ ”ا‬to the past tense verb. It should be dropped: ‫’ ( أنمت لعبمت‬anta
laCibta ) “you played”.

2- ‫ ( واازت اكتا‬qarāCt kitāb) “she read book”. S22F,T1.


171

The student here added the letter ‫ ع‬to the past tense verb. It
should be: ‫ ( واأا الكتا‬qara’t al-kitāb) “she read the book”.

iii) Substitution:
1- ‫ ( زكماا الم رو‬zakart al-durūs ) “I remembered the lessons”.
S24F,T1.

The student here substituted the letter ‫ ز‬for ‫ ذ‬in the past tense
verb. The correct form is: ‫ ( ذكماا الم رو‬dhakart al-durūs ) “I
remembered the lessons”.

2- ‫ ( نظعت أسناي‬nazaCt ‘asnanī ) “I cleaned my teeth”. S24F,T1.


The student here made an error in the substitution of letter ‫ ع‬for
in the past tense verb. The correct form is: ‫ ( نظفمت أسمناي‬nazaftu
‘asnanī ) “I cleaned my teeth”.

The following table shows the results for all categories of


spelling errors.

TABLE 5.6 Spelling Errors in the Past Tense Verbs.


____________________________________________
Category No of Errors Total Percentage

Omission 67 2615 2.56


Addition 36 2615 1.37
Substitution 8 2615 0.30

All 111 2615 4.24


____________________________________________
172

The above table shows the students made 111 errors or 4.24 %
in spelling, which is small. Of these most occur in omission,
followed by addition and least in substitution.

5.1.1.6 Summary

There were four main categories of errors in the use of the


past tense, which are tense choice, lexical category, categories
of errors, tense or verbal particles and spelling. The following
table sums them all up and shows the hierarchy of such errors.

TABLE 5.7 Order of Errors in the Past Tense Verb.


____________________________________________
No. of Errors Percentage
Type

Tense Choice 1069 80.92


Lexical Category 98 7.42
Category of Errors 14 1.06
Tense Particle 29 2.20
Spelling Errors 111 8.40

Total 1321 100


____________________________________________

The table shows a clear picture of error ranking, ordering or


hierarchy. Most errors occur in tense choice, which amounts
to 80 %. Errors in lexical category and spelling are about the
same at 7 % and 8 % each. The category of errors and tense
particle are negligible.

5.1.2 The Present Tense Verb

The number of errors in the present tense amounted to 778


out of 5594 case, giving an overall percentage of errors of
13.90 %, as summarized in the table below.
173

TABLE 5.8 Overall percentage of present tense errors.


_____________________________________
Errors Total Percentage

778 5594 13.90


_____________________________________

The errors were of different types, which included errors in verb


case, tense choice, lexical category, categories of errors, tense or
verb particles and spelling.

5.1.2.0 Errors in Verb Case

There are three cases for the present tense verb: nominative,
accusative and jussive. These are described below.

5.1.2.1 The Nominative Present Tense

The number of errors in the nominative present tense is 677 out


of 5196 cases or 13.02 %.

TABLE 5.9 Errors in the nominative present tense.


_________________________________
Errors Total Percentage

677 5196 13.02


_________________________________

These errors are of four kinds: namely, tense choice, lexical


category, categories of errors and spelling.

5.1.2.1.1 Errors in Tense Choice

This involves using the nominative present tense instead of the


past tense.
174

Consider the following examples:

1- ‫فممأي افماح بوصمول رسمالتك‬ ‫ ( وبعم‬wa baCd, fa’inī afrahu biwişūl


risālatik) “and then, I am happy in receiving your letter”. S7M,
T1.

The student here used the nominative present tense instead of the
past tense. It should be: …‫( وبعم فم ي فاحمت‬wa baCd fa’inī farihtu)
“and then, I was happy…”.

2- ‫اسمبف ياضم‬ ‫’ ( افماح جم ا يمف انمت‬afrahu jidan maCa ’anta fī asbiC


mādī ) “I am very happy with you last week”. S47M,T1.

The student used the nominative present tense instead of the past
tense. The correct form is:… ‫( فاحت‬farihtu …) “I was happy…”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of all


the errors committed in this area.

TABLE 5.10 Errors in Tense Choice: In the Nominative Present


Tense Verb.
___________________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Total Percentage

Use of Nominative 101 5196 1.94


Present Tense Verb
Instead of Past Tense
__________________________________________________

The above table shows the students made 101 errors or 1.94 %
in the use of the nominative present tense instead of the past
tense.
5.1.2.1.2 Lexical Category Errors
175

The students sometimes used the wrong lexical category. Two


kinds of errors occurred in which they replaced the
nominative present tense with the noun and vice versa.

A- Use of the Nominative Present Tense Verb instead of


Noun

Consider the following examples:

1- ‫الفصمل‬ ‫’ ( ازموة اتوصمل اتع م بنفسم‬aCūd ’atawaşşal ataCallamu


binafsī fī al-fasl) “I go back, continue, learn by myself in class”.
S26M,T1.

The student used the verb instead of the noun. The correct form
is: ‫الفصمل‬ ِّ‫’ ( أزموة وأواصمل التع م‬aCūd wa ‘uwasilu al-taCleem fī al-
fasl) “ I go back and continue my studying in class”.

2- ‫يوم أةر‬ ( fī yawm adrusu ) “on the day I study”. S41M, T1.

The student here wrongly used the verb instead of the noun. The
correct form is ‫( يموم ال راسمة‬fī yawm al-dirāsah) “on the day of
study”.

B- Use of Noun instead of the Nominative Present Tense Verb

Consider the following examples:

1- ‫ ( ارجاا زفوا‬arjā’ Cafuan ) “please excuse”. S28M, T1.


176

The student here used the noun as a nominative present tense


verb. The correct form is ‫ ( أرجمو العفمو‬arju al-Cafwa) “I seek an
excuse”.

2- ‫’ ( انما الصم ة اهماي‬ana al-şalāt zuhrī ) “I prayer zuhur time”.


S38M,T1.

The student used the noun as a nominative present tense verb.


The correct form is ‫’ ( أنما أصم الظهما‬ana ’uşallī al-zuhur) “I pray
zuhur time”.

The following table displays the frequency and percentage of all


such errors.

TABLE 5.11 Errors in Lexical Category in the nominative


present tense verb.
__________________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Total Percentage

Use of Nominative 64 5196 1.23


Present Tense Verb
instead of Noun.

Use of the Noun 181 5196 3.48


instead of the
Nominative Present
Tense Verb

All 245 5196 4.71


_________________________________________________

The above table shows that the students made 245 errors or 4.71
% in the data which has 5196 cases. Of these 3 quarters or 181
or 3.48 % errors involved using the noun instead of the
177

nominative present verb and one quarter or (64 or 1.23 %) in


using the present tense verb instead of the noun.

5.1.2.1.3 Categories of Errors

Errors in the use of the nominative present tense fall into three
categories: omission, addition and misplacement. Here are a few
examples on each case.

i) Omission
1- ‫’ ( أنا ^ اطعام‬ana itCām ) “I food”. S38M,T1.

The student here omitted the verb from the sentence, which
should be added: i.e., ‫’( أنما آكمل ال عمام‬ana akulu al-taCām) “I am
eating the food”.

2- ‫’ ( ا ي عم ل ^ االطعمام‬ilā maţCam li al-iţCām ) “to restaurant to


the food”. S45F,T1.

The student omitted the verb from the sentence. The correct
form should be ‫’( ىل اس عم نكمل ال عمام‬ilā al-maţCam li akula al-
ţaCām) “to the restaurant to eat food”.

ii) Addition
1- ‫ ( ابل وايل ازتىن يعتمي انما دِّم ا‬abahu wa ummahu iCtanā yaCtanī ’ana
bijayyedan) “his father and mother took care take care of I with
good”. S47M,T1.

The student added the verb ‫ ازتمىن‬to the sentence which should be
dropped. The correct form should be ‫ابممل وايممل يعتنِّمما انمما دِّ م ا‬
(yaCtaniyān ) “… they took care ...”.
178

2- ‫( اخ الوضوع‬akhud al-wuduC ) “I take ablution”. S44F,T1.

The student added the verb to the sentence. The correct form
should be ‫ ( اتوضأ‬atawada’u ) “I have ablution”.

iii) Misplacement

There are two types of misplacement or substitution: one is


grammatical, which involves replacing the present tense by some
other tense, as it has been described above (i.e., tense choice,
5.2.1.1). The second is lexical, which involves using a verb in
place of another verb, as in the following examples.

1- ‫اتوصممل ال رسم‬ ( atawaşşal al-darsatī) “I arrive my study”.


S26M,T1.

The student used the wrong verb in the sentence. The correct
form should be ‫’ ( اواصل‬uwāşilu ) “I continue my study”.

2- ‫’ ( انا اووف‬anā ’uwaqiC) “I sign”. S39M,T1.

The student misplaced the verb, whose correct form should be ‫انما‬
‫’ ( اتووف‬ana atawaqqaCu) “I expect”.

The table below presents the frequency and percentage of errors


in this respect.
179

TABLE 5.12 Categories of errors: in the nominative present


tense verb.
_______________________________________________
Category No of Errors Total Percentage

Omission 9 5196 0.17


Addition 5 5196 0.09
Misplacement 170 5196 3.27
a) lexical 69 5196 1.32
b) grammatical 101 5196 1.94
( tence choice)

All 184 5196 3.54


________________________________________________

The above table shows 184 errors were recorded in the data or
3.54 %. The majority of these errors (170 errors or 3.27 % ) are
in misplacement, especially the grammatical one. While omission
(9 errors), and addition (5 errors) are negligible.

5.1.2.1.4 Spelling Errors

The students made different types of spelling errors. They


omitted, added, substituted and misplaced the letters of the
nominative present tense verb. The following examples illustrate
this.

i) Omission
1- ‫ ( حنمن نم الوضموا‬nahnu nakhudh al-wudu’ ) “we have ablution”.
S5M,T1.

The student here omitted the letter “hamza” from the verb. It
should be:… ‫ …( … نأخ‬na’khudhu …) “… we have…”.
180

2- ‫’ ( اوم يمن النموم‬aqum min alnawm ) “I wake up from sleeping”.


S37M,T1.

The student omitted the letter “waw ‫ ” و‬from the verb. It should
be:…‫( أووم‬aqūm …) “I wake up…”.

ii) Addition
1- ‫ ( نشمتجمف يِّم ا‬nashtajmiC fī mīdān) “we meet at the field”.
S6M,T1.

The student added the letter “sheen ‫ ”ش‬to the verb. It should
be:…‫( جنتمف‬najtamiCu…) “ we meet…”.

2- ‫’ ( أتناولممت الف ممور‬atanāwltu alfuţūr) “I have the breakfast”.


S11M,T1.

The student added the letter “ta” ‫ ا‬to the verb. It should be:
‫’ ( أتناول الف ور‬atanāwalu alfuţūr) “I have breakfast.

iii) Substitution
1- ‫’ ( اسمتِّق يمن النموم‬astaiqidhu min alnawm) “I wake up from
sleep”. S8M,T1.

The student substituted the letter “thal ‫ “ ذ‬for ” ‫ "ظ‬in the verb,
which should be:… ‫ ( استِّق‬astaiqiz… ) “I wake up…”.

2- ‫ي رسم‬ ‫ ( اذر‬adhrusu fī madrasatī) “I study at my school”.


S37M, T1.
181

The student substituted the letter “thal ‫ “ ذ‬for “dal ‫ ” ة‬in the verb,
which should be:… ‫’ ( أةر‬adrus …) “I study…”.

iv) Misplacement
1- ‫ ( واتوضمؤ لصم ة العشمأ‬wa ’atawadda’u lişalāt al-Cisha’) “and I
have ablution to prayer Cisha’ ”. S9M,T1.

The student misplaced the letter “hamza ‫ ” ؤ‬in the verb. It


should be:… ‫’ ( اتوضأ‬atwada’u… ) “ I have ablution…”.

2- ‫يِّم ا‬ ‫ ( نشمتجمف‬nashtajmiC fī mīdān) “we meet at the field”.


S6M,T1.

The student misplaced the letter “ta’ ” in the verb. It should be:
… ‫( جنتمف‬najtamiCu …) “we meet…”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of all


such spelling errors.

TABLE 5.13 Frequency and Percentage of Spelling Errors.


_____________________________________________
Category No of Errors Total Percentage

Omission 32 5196 0.61


Addition 78 5196 1.50
Substitution 24 5196 0.46
Misplacement 11 5196 0.21

All 145 5196 2.79


_____________________________________________
182

The above table shows that there are 145 or 2.79 %. errors in a
total of 5196 cases over half of the errors occur in addition (78
or 1.50 %), followed by omission (32 or 0.61 %), substitution
(24 or 0.46 %) and least misplacement (11 or 0.21 %).

5.1.2.1.5 Summary

There were four main types of errors in the nominative present


tense verb, which included tense choice, lexical category,
categories of errors and spelling. The following table summarizes
them all, by showing their hierarchy.

TABLE 5.14 Order of errors in the nominative present tense.


________________________________________
Type Percentage
No. of
Errors

Tense Choice 101 14.92


Lexical Category 245 36.19
Category of Errors 186 27.47
Spelling Errors 145 21.42

Total 677 100


________________________________________

The table shows that most errors occur in lexical category. Then
in category of errors, spelling and tense choice.

5.1.2.2 The Accusative Present Verb

The accusative present verb did not occur as frequently as its


nominative counterpart. These were only 373 cases, 92 of which
were errors or 24.66 % as the table below shows.
183

TABLE 5.15 Errors in the accusative present tense.


________________________________
Errors Total Percentage

92 373 24.66
________________________________

Errors in the usage of the accusative present verb were of


different types, including tense choice, lexical category,
categories of errors, tense or verb particles and spelling.

5.1.2.2.1 Errors in Tense Choice

The students employed the accusative present tense verb instead


of the past tense.

Consider the following example:

1- ‫ انما فماح و ماور بعم أ‬. ‫انا اباة ا ا كا ا انت ال رس ت الاسالة ا انا واسماا‬
‫’ ( حتصمل الاسمالة‬ana abrad ’an ashkur ’ilā ’anta li’an rasalta alrisālah
’ilā ’ana wa’usratī. ’ana farah washurūr baCda ’an tahşala al-
risālah) “I want to thank to you because you sent letter to I and
my family. I happy and pleasure after you have the letter”.
S41M,T1.

The student here used the particle ’an with the accusative present
tense …‫…“… أ حتصمل‬you have…” instead of the past tense
…‫…“ …أ حص ت‬you had…”.
184

The table below sets out all the frequency and percentage of all
such errors.

TABLE 5.16 Errors in tense choice of the Accusative Present


Tense.
_________________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Total Percentage

Use of Accusative 1 373 0.26


Present Tense Verb
Instead of past Tense
_________________________________________________

The above table shows that only one error occurred in all the
data.

5.1.2.2.2 Lexical Category Errors

The students made two kinds of errors here by replacing the


accusative present verb with the noun and vice versa.

Consider the following examples on each case:

A- Use of Accusative Present Verb instead of Noun

1- ‫ (مث ارج ممف ا الغ مماف ألس ممتع ألذه ممب ىل اس رس ممة‬thuma ’arjiCu ’ilā
alghurfatī li’astaCidda li’adhhaba ’ilā almadrasah) “then I go back
to my room to be ready to go to the school”. S26M,T1.

The student used the accusative present verb: ‫ألذهمب‬ “to go”
instead of using the noun … ‫“ … ل م ها‬going to “; the correct
form is: ‫ىل اس رسمة‬‫“ مث ارجمف ىللغغماف وأسمتع ل م ها‬then I go back to my
room to be ready for going to the school”.
185

B- Use of Noun instead of the Accusative Present Verb

1- ‫ ( كتبمت هم جم رسمالة لشماحة لمك كِّم‬katabtu hadhihi risālah lisharhat


laka kayfa) “ I wrote this letter to explaining to you how”.
S31F,T1.

The student used the noun … ‫“ لشماحة‬to explaining” instead of


using the accusative present verb … ‫“ أل اح‬to explain…”.

2- ‫( مث انما اطهماجم سمنني واغسمل ل هماة البم‬thuma ’ana ’aţharahu sinīn wa


aghsil liţahrat al-badan) “ then I clean two teeth and wash to
cleaning the body”. S32F,T1.

The student used the noun …‫“ ل هماة‬to cleaning” instead of using
the accusative present verb… ‫“ ألطها‬to clean”.

The table below presents the frequency and percentage of errors


in both cases.

TABLE 5.17 Lexical Category Errors in the Use of Accusative


Present Verb.
___________________________________________________
Type No. of Total Percentage
Errors

Use of Accusative Present 1 373 0.26


Verb instead of Noun

Use of Noun instead of 7 373 1.87


Accusative Present Verb

All 8 373 2.14


186

___________________________________________________

The above table shows that eight (2.14 % errors) occurred in the
whole data: only one error in the use of accusative present tense
verb instead of noun and seven errors in the use of noun instead
of accusative present tense verb.

5.1.2.2.3 Categories of Errors

Errors in the use of the accusative present tense verb fall into
two categories: omission and misplacement. Here are a few
examples:

i) Omission
1- ‫’( أرجممو ىلانممت خبممري‬arju ’anta bikhayr) “ I hope you good”.
S8M,T1.

The student omitted the accusative present tense verb from the
sentence, which should be added: i.e., … ‫…“ … أ تكمو‬to
be…” .

2- ‫’( اريم ىلانمت بمالفاح والصمحة‬uridu ’anta bilfarah walşihat) “ I want


you with happiness and health”. S41M,T1.

The student omitted the accusative present tense verb from the
sentence, which should be added: i.e., … ‫…“ … أ تتمتمف‬to
enjoy…”.

ii) Misplacement
There are two types of misplacement or substitution: one is
grammatical, which involves replacing the accusative present
tense by some other tense, as it has been described above (i.e.,
tense choice of 5.1.4.1). The second is lexical, which involves
187

using a verb in place of another verb, as in the following


examples.
Consider the following example:

1- ‫الاسمالة آخما‬ ‫‘( ا نقابمل‬an nuqābil fī alrisālah akhar) “ we meet in


another letter”. S46F,T1.

The student misplaced the accusative present tense verb in the


sentence, which should be … ‫“ ن تق‬we meet…”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of such


errors.

TABLE 5.18 Categories of errors in the accusative present tense


verb.
__________________________________________________
Category No. of Errors Total Percentage
Omission 19 373 5.09
Misplacement 3 373 0.80
a) lexical 2 373 0.53
b) grammatical 1 373 0.26
(tense choice)

All 22 373 5.89


__________________________________________________

The above table shows the students’ errors are 22 in number or


5.89 %. Almost all category errors are in omission whereas
misplacement is negligible.

5.1.2.2.4 Tense or Verb Particle Errors


188

The most frequently used particle was the infinitivizer ’an (’an
al-madariyah) particle which goes with the verb. The students
made errors in its omission, addition and substitution.

Consider the following examples:

i) Omission
1- ‫ ( بع ^ يغي‬baCda yughanī ) “after he sings” S6M,T1.

The student omitted the particle ’an ‫ أ‬from the sentence, which
should be added: i.e., ‫ “ بع أ يغي‬after he sings”.

2- ‫’ ( اريم ^ اكتمب كِّم‬urīdu ’aktub kayfa ) “ I want write how”.


S8M,T1.

The student omitted the particle ’an ‫ أ‬from the sentence, which
should be added: i.e., … ‫ “ أري أ أكتب‬I want to write …”.

ii) Addition
1- ‫ ( هممو ماطا ا يممتك ال غمة العابِّممة‬huwa shāţir ‘an yatakallama al-
lughah al-Cararabiyyah) “he is clever to speak the Arabic
language”. S9M,T2.

The student here added the particle … ‫ … أ‬which should be


dropped.

2- ‫ ( بم اا جم ي ا حيبهما‬bada’a jaddī ‘an yuhibuhā) “ my grandfather


started to loving her” S9M,T2.
189

The student added the particle … ‫ …أ‬which should be


dropped.

iii) Substitution
1- ‫’( استع ا ا اذهب لصم ة الصمبح‬istaCadtu ’an ’adhaba ’ilā şalāt al-
şubhi ) “ I prepared to go to prayer Subuh”. S7M,T1.

The student substituted the particle ’an ‫ أ‬in the sentence for Kay
‫( كم‬or li’an ‫)أل‬, which should be: … ‫ “ اسمتع ُّ كم أذهمب‬I get
ready to go …”.

2- ‫’( اذهممب ا حجمما أل أزم ّ لصم ة الظهمما‬adhhabu ’ilā hujratī li’an


‘aCidda lişalāti al-zuhur ) “ I go to my room to prepare to zuhur
prayer”. S35F,T1.

The student added the particle li’an ‫ أ‬to the sentence, which
should be replaced by: i.e., “li” … ‫ “ ألستع‬to be ready …”.

TABLE 5.19 Errors in the Use of Particles in the Accusative


Present Tense.
______________________________________________
Category No. of Errors Total Percentage

Omission 29 171 16.95


Addition 14 171 8.18
Substitution 7 171 4.09
All 50 171 29.23
______________________________________________
190

The above table shows that the total number of particles in the
data is 171, of 50 errors occurred in the data, with a percentage
of 29.23 %. Over half these errors were in omission, followed by
addition and least in substitution.

5.1.2.2.5 Spelling Errors in the Accusative Present Tense

The students made different kinds of spelling errors. They


omitted, added and substituted the letters of the accusative
present tense verb. The following examples will show this.

i) Omission
1- ‫ ( المن‬li’anam ) “ to sleep”. S37M, T1.

The student omitted the letter a ‫ ا‬from the verb, which should be
added: i.e., ‫ “ ألنام‬to sleep”.

2- ‫ ( ال اىلي ا‬li’an aid ’an ) “ to want that”. S41M, T1.

Here the student omitted the letter r ‫ ر‬from the verb, which
should be added: i.e., … ‫ … “ …أري‬I want…”.

ii) Addition
1- ِّ‫ ( أللقول ك‬li’alqul kayfa ) “ to say how”. S54F, T1).

The student here added the letter l ‫ ل‬to the verb, which should be
deleted: i.e., …‫ “ ألوول‬to say…”.
191

2- ِّ‫األونِّربسم‬ ‫ ( حمىت نوصمل‬hatta nūsala fī al-’unibersitī ) “ to arrive


at University”. S47F, T2.

The student here added the letter w ‫ و‬to the verb, which should
be deleted: i.e., …‫ … “ …نصل‬to arrive…”.

iii) Substitution
1- ‫ ( ألزموةي صم ة العشماا‬li’aCudī şalāt al-Cisha’) “to pray Isha’
prayer”. S 26M, T1.

The student here substituted the letter ‘ ‫ ع‬in the verb for hamza
‫ا‬: i.e., …‫“ ألؤةي‬to perform …”.

2- ‫ ( الكمربك زمن حِّما‬li’ukbirakum Can hayatī ) “ to tell about my


life”. S25F, T1.

The student substituted the letter k ‫ ك‬in the verb for kha ‫ خ‬:
… ‫“ ألخربك‬to tell you …”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of


spelling errors in the accusative present tense.

TABLE 5.20 Errors in Spelling of the Accusative Present Tense


Verb.
__________________________________________
Category No. of Errors Total Percentage

Omission 2 373 0.53


Addition 5 373 1.34
Substitution 5 373 1.34
192

All 12 373 3.21


___________________________________________

The table shows that only 12 errors occurred in the all data with
a percentage of 3.21%. Most of these errors were in substitution
and addition ( 5 each) while there were only 2 in omission.

5.1.2.2.6 Summary

Different kinds of errors occurred in the use of the accusative


present verb. These included errors in tense choice, lexical
category, categories of errors, tense or verbal particles and
spelling. The table below show their hierarchy.

TABLE 5.21 Order of Errors in the accusative present tense.


__________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Tense Choice 1 1.08


Lexical Category 8 8.70
Category of Errors 21 22.83
Tense Particle 50 54.35
Spelling Errors 12 13.04

Total 92 100
__________________________________________

The table shows over half the errors are in tense particle.
Category of errors is the next major area, which is followed
by spelling errors and lexical category.

5.1.2.3 The Jussive Present Tense Verb

The jussive case of the present tense verb is the least


frequently used one. Only 25 cases were recorded in the
193

whole corpus of data, 9 of which were errors or 36%, as is


shown in the following table.

TABLE 5.22 Errors in the jussive present tense.


_________________________________
Errors Total Percentage

9 25 36
_________________________________

These errors were of different types which included tense or


verb particles and spelling.

5.1.2.3.1 Tense or Verb Particle Errors

The students made one kind of particle errors: misplacement.


The following examples illustrate this further.

i) Misplacement
1- ‫ هم ت ممبخ‬. ‫ ايم ةتهم‬.‫ البِّمت‬.‫ هم مل تعمممل‬. ‫زمما ايم ةِّسمة والعشمماو‬
.‫( الف ممور‬Cumur ’ummī khamisah wal Cishrūn. hiya lam
taCmal. fīlbayt. ’ummī mujtahid. hiya taţbukh alfuţur.) “ my
mother’s age is 25. she did not work. at home. My mother
clever. she makes breakfast”. S31F, T2.

The student used the jussive particle lam ‫“ مل‬did not” instead
of la ‫“ ال‬do not”, because the verb has a present, not past,
194

tense reference. Thus the correct form should be:… ‫ه ال تعمل‬


… “she does not work”.

2- ‫’ ( ايم تكمو ربمة البِّمت ومل تعممل‬ummī takūn rabbat albayt wa lam
taCmal ) “ my mother is house wife and did not work”. S31F,
T2.
The student here misplaced the jussive particle lam ‫“ مل‬did
not” instead of using la ‫“ ال‬do not”, which should be: ‫أيم ربمة‬
‫ “بِّت وال تعمل‬my mother is a house wife and does not work”.

3- ‫الفصل مل اسع‬ ( fīl fasli lam almuCallim ) “ in the class did not
the teacher”. S8M, T1.

The student used the particle “lam ‫ مل‬did not” with a noun instead
of a verb: i.e., ‫الفصمل مل يمأا اسع م‬ “ in to the class did not come
the teacher”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage for


tense particle in the jussive present tense verb.

TABLE 5.23 Errors in the Use of Particles in the jussive


present tense verb.
_________________________________________________
Category No. of Errors Total Percentage

Misplacement 5 6 83.33
_________________________________________________

The above table shows the students made 5 (or 83.33 %)errors in
a total of 6.
195

5.1.2.3.2 Spelling Errors in the Jussive Present Verb

Here the students made two kinds of errors in the use of the
jussive verb: i.e., omission and addition of letters.

Consider the following examples:

i) Omission:
1- ‫مل تسمِّحي بم لك‬ ‫ ( ولكمن الظماو‬wa lakinna al-zurūfa lam tasīhunī
bidhalik ) “ and but conditions did not allow me that”. S25F, T1.

The student here omitted the letter m ‫ م‬from the verb, which
should be added: i.e., … ‫ …“ … مل تسمح‬did not allow…” .

ii) Addition
1- ‫مل تسمِّحي بم لك‬ ‫ ( ولكمن الظماو‬wa lakinna al- zurūfa lam tasīhunī
bidhalik ) “ but conditions did not allow me that”. S25F, T1.

The student here added the letters n & y ‫ ي‬to the verb, which
should be deleted: i.e., … ‫…“ … مل تسمح‬did not allow…”.

2- ‫ ( مل أرسم ك الاسمالة‬lam ’ursilaka al-risālah ) “ I did not send you


the letter”. S24F, T1.

The student here added the letter k ‫ ك‬to the verb, which should
be deleted: i.e., … ‫“ مل أرسل‬I did not send …” .
196

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of all


errors in spelling the jussive present tense verb.

TABLE 5.24 Errors in Spelling in the jussive present tense verb.


_____________________________________________
Catego No. of Errors Total Percentage
ry

Omission 1 25 4
Addition 3 25 12

All 4 25 16
_____________________________________________

The above table shows the students committed a total of four


errors (16%) in spelling in the whole data of 25 cases: 1 in
omission and 3 in addition.

5.1.2.3.3 Summary

The students made two kinds of errors in the use of the jussive
present tense verb: one in tense particles and one in spelling. The
table below show their hierarchy.

TABLE 5.25 Order of Errors in the jussive present tense.


_________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Tense Particle 5 55.56


Spelling Errors 4 44.44

Total 9 100
197

_________________________________________

The table shows that errors in tense particle and spelling are
about equall in number.

To sum up, the present tense verb errors as a whole will be


shown in the table below.

TABLE 5.26 Summary and Hierarchy Errors in the present


tense.
____________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Tense Choice 102 13.11


Lexical Category 253 32.52
Category of Errors 207 26.61
Tense Particle 55 7.07
Spelling Errors 161 20.69

Total 778 100


____________________________________________

The table shows that errors are not evenly distributed across the
types. Most errors occur in lexical category, then in category of
errors, spelling, tense choice, and least in tense particle.

5.1.3 The Future Tense

The future tense is a rare tense; there were 112 cases in the
whole data, 28 of which were errors as the table below shows.

TABLE 5.27 Errors in the future present tense.


________________________________
Errors Total Percentage

28 112 25
198

________________________________

Errors in the usage of the present future tense were of


different types, which included errors in tense choice, lexical
category, tense or verb particles and spelling.

5.1.3.1 Errors in Tense Choice

This refers to the replacement of the present future tense by


another tense. Only one type of error occurred here where the
students used the past tense instead of present future tense.

A. Use of Past Tense instead of Present Future Tense

Consider the following example:

1- ‫اس رسمة‬ ‫( ساسمرحت‬sa’astarahtu fī al-madrasah ) “I will got


break in the school”. S11M, T1.

The student used the past tense … ‫“ ساسمرحت‬I will got a break”
instead of the present future tense … ‫ “ سأسمريح‬I will have a break
…”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of


errors in this connection.

TABLE 5.28 Errors in Tense Choice: The Future Tense.


__________________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Total Percentage

Use of Past Tense 1 112 0.89


instead of Nominative
199

Present Future Tense


__________________________________________________

The above table shows that there is only 1 error in 112 cases as
to the use of the past tense instead of the present future tense.

5.1.3.2 Lexical Category Errors

The students used the noun instead of the present future


tense.

Consider the following examples:

1- ‫ ( سمأرحية ىل الث ثمو ةوما ن‬sa’arihat ’ilā althalathūn daqā’iq ) “


will a break to 30 minutes”. S13M, T1.

The student used the noun … ‫ “ سمأرحية‬will a break …” instead


of the present future tense ‫“ سنسريح‬we will take a break…”.

2- ‫’ ( أنا سأحرام‬ana sa’ihtirām ) “ I will respecting”. S43F, T2.

The students used the noun ‫“ سمأحرام‬I will respecting” instead of


the present future tense ‫“ سأحريها‬I will respect her”.

The table below shows the frequency and percentage of the


errors in this respect.

TABLE 5.29 Errors in Lexical Category: The Future Tense.


__________________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Total Percentage
200

Use of Noun instead 2 112 1.78


of Nominative Present
Future Tense.

_________________________________________________

The table shows that there occurred only 2 errors in the data as
a whole.
5.1.3.3 Tense or Verb Particle Errors

The students made three types of errors in the use of future


tense particles: one in their use with past tense verb, one with
nouns and one in their substitution for other particles.

A- Use of the Future Particle ( ‫ سم‬sa ) with Past Tense

Consider the following examples:

1- ‫( ستحصم ت ز م سمج ا‬satahaşşalt cala sijilāt) “you will I got


documents”. S17M,T2.

The student used the future particle sa ‫ س م‬with the past tense …
‫ “ستحصم ت‬you will I got …” instead of the present future tense
… ‫“ ستحصل‬you will have … ” .

2- ‫اس رسمة‬ ‫( سمحك‬sahakam fī almadrasah) he will ruled at the


school. S11M,T1.
201

The student employed the future particle sa ‫ س م‬with the past


tense … ‫ “ سمحك‬he will ruled …” instead of the present future
tense: … ‫“ سِّحك‬he will rule … ” .

B- Use of Future Particle ( ‫ سم‬sa ) with the Noun

Consider the following examples:

1- ‫’( أنا سأحرام‬anā sa’ihtirām) “I will respecting”. S43F,T2.


The student here used the future particle ‫ س م‬sa with the noun
‫ سمأحرام‬instead of the present future tense ‫سمأحريها‬ “ I will
respect her”.

2- ‫( سمأرحية ىل الث ثمو ةوما ن‬sa’arihah ’ilā althalathūn daqā’iq) “ will a


break for thirty minutes”. S13M,T1.

The student used the future particle ‫ س م‬sa with the noun … ‫سمأرحية‬
“it will a break…” instead of the present future tense … ‫سنسمريح‬
“ we will take a break…”.

C- Substitution

Consider the following example:

1- ‫( يمما صممحاب ل ا ن ممك سممتفاح ا م جم ااممرب‬ya şahābatī ‘atamannalak


satafrahu bihadhihi alkhabar ) “O my friends! I wish you you will
be happy with this news”. S24F, T1.
202

The student here substituted the present future tense particle …


‫ …“ … سم‬will…” for the accusative present tense particle: i.e., ‫أ‬
: i.e., … ‫… “… أ تفاح‬to be happy …”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of these


errors in this area.

TABLE 5.30 Errors in the use of future tense particles.


_________________________________________________
No. of Errors Total Percentage
Type

Use with past tense 5 42 11.90


Use with noun 2 42 4.76
Substitution 1 42 2.38

All 8 42 19.04
_________________________________________________

The students used the future particle 8 times or 19.04 %


erroneousely. 5 errors concern its use with past tense verb, 2
errors in the use of the future particle with nouns and one
error occurred in its substitution for accusative present tense
particle ’an.

5.1.3.4 Spelling Errors

The students made different kinds of spelling errors in using


the present future tense, particularly omission and addition of
letters.
203

Consider the following example on each case.

i) Omission
1- ‫ ( سمأرجف الم رو‬sa’arjac aldurūs ) “ I will return the lessons”.
S32F, T1.

The student has omitted the letter a ‫ ا‬from the present future
tense, which should be added: i.e., … ‫ “ سممأراجف‬I will
review…”.

2- ‫ ( سأراا‬sa’urabbihā ) “ I will bring her up”. S12F, T2.


The student here omitted the letter y ‫ ي‬from the present
future tense, which should be added: i.e., ‫“ سمأربِّها‬I will bring
her up”.

ii) Addition
1- ‫ ( سمنأواأ اسمأثوراا اسسمج‬sana’aqra’ al-ma’thūrāt fīl masjid) “
we will read the traditions at the mosque”. S13M, T1.

The student here added the letter hamza ‘ ‫ أ‬to the present
future tense, which should be deleted: i.e., …‫“ سمنقاأ‬we will
read …”.

2- ‫ سنسمممف التم كاة يممن اسع منمما‬. ‫( بعم وماأ القمماآ الكمما‬baCda qar’a al-
Qur’ān Al-Karīm sanasmaCu altadhkirah min al-muCaliminā )
“ after he read the Holy Qur’an, we will hear the memo from
our teacher”. S13M, T1.
204

The student added the letter seen and noon to the


present future tense, which should be deleted: … ‫ “ اعنما‬we
heard …”.

The table below shows the frequency and percentage of all such
spelling errors.

TABLE 5.31 Errors in Spelling: The Future Tense.


_____________________________________________
Category No. of Errors Total Percentage
Omission 3 112 2.67
Addition 14 112 12.5

All 17 112 15.17


_____________________________________________

The above table shows that 17 (15.17 %) errors were recorded in


the data, most of which (i.e., 14) occurred in addition whereas
only three errors occurred in omission.

5.1.3.5 Summary

There are four kinds of errors in the usage of the present future
tense, which were tense choice, lexical category, tense particle
and spelling. The table below summarizes the whole picture of
such errors.
205

TABLE 5.32 Order of Errors in the future tense.


___________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Tense Choice 1 3.57


Lexical Category 2 7.14
Tense Particle 8 28.57
Spelling Errors 17 60.72

Total 28 100
___________________________________________

The table shows that the majority of errors are in spelling.


The second major area of errors is tense particle. Tense
choice and lexical category errors are negligible.

5.1.4 The Five-Form Verbs

The total number of five-form verbs in the data were 60, of


which 11 (or 18.33 %) were used wrongly, as shown in the table
below.

TABLE 5.33 Errors in the five-form verbs.


__________________________________
Errors Total Percentage

11 60 18.33
__________________________________

These errors in the usage of the five-form verbs were of different


kinds, which included errors in tense choice, case, category of
error and spelling.

5.1.4.1 Errors in Tense Choice


206

The students made three types of errors here. On the one hand,
they used the five-form verb instead of the past tense. On the
other hand, they used the past tense as a five-form verb instead
of the present tense. Here are a few examples on each case.

A- Use of the five-form verb Instead of Past Tense

Consider the following examples.

1- ‫’( أذهممب أ حجمماة القماأ لاجمموع أةرو ال م ت رسممو يممن يم ر‬adhhab ’ala
hujrat alqara’ lirijuC adrūs allatī tadrusūn min mudarris ) “ I go
back to study room to revision study which you study from
teacher”. S45F, T1.

The student here used the nominative present tense form of the
five-form verb … ‫…“… ت رسمو‬you study…” instead of the past
tense: ‫ةرسممناها‬ ‫…“ أذهممب ىل حجمماة ال راسممة وأراجممف وأةر ال م رو ال م‬we
studied”.

2-‫زِّم الف ما‬ ‫’( أريم أ مكالك أل تممرين ا ينممي‬urīdu ’ashkur laki li’an
tazrīn ’ilā manzilī fī Cīd alfiţir) “I want thank you because you to
visit to my house in eidi alfitri”. S45F, T1.

The student used the five- form verb ‫“ تممرين‬you visit” instead of
the past tense; i.e., . ‫العِّم‬ ‫أريم أ أ ممكاك ألنممك زرا ينمممي‬ “…you
visited …”.

C - Use of Past tense as a five-form verb instead of the


Nominative Present Verb.

Consider the following example:


207

1- .‫ كمواال سفمور‬. ‫ انما واخمة ذهبتمني اس رسمة الثانويمة جماا‬.‫( يمن السمازة السمبعة‬min
alsaCah alsabCah. ’ana wa ’ukht dhahabtīn fīl madrasah
althanawīah Cheras. Kuala Lumpur) “ from 7 o’clock. I and
sister two going in the secondary school Cheras. Kuala Lumpur”.
S51F, T1.

The student used the past tense ‫ … “ … ذهبتمني‬she two went” as a


five-form verb. The correct form should have a nominative
present verb instead: i.e., ‫ … “ … ن هب‬we go”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of


errors in the above-mentioned areas.

TABLE 5.34 Errors in Tense Choice in the Use of Five-Form


Verbs.
___________________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Total Percentage

Use of Five-Form Verb 3 60 5


Instead of Past Tense

Use of Past Tense as a 1 60 1.66


Five-Form Verb instead
of Five-Form Verb

All 4 60 6.66
___________________________________________________

The table shows that the students made four errors altogether: 3
in using the five-form verb as a past tense verb and 1 in using the
past tense as a five-form verb. The overall percentage of error is
very small here.

5.1.4.2 Category of Errors


208

The students made one sort of error here: i.e., addition. That is,
maintaining, fixing or non-deleting nun of the five-form verb in
the accusative case.

Consider the following examples:

1- ‫( أل تمرين‬li’an tazrīn ) “ because you visit”. S45F, T1.

The student fixed the letter n in the verb, which should be


deleted: i.e., ‫…“ … أل تموري‬visit”.

2- ‫ال راسمة‬ ‫ ( حمىت ينجحمو‬hatta yanjahūn fīl dirāsah ) “ until they


pass in their study”. S4F, T2.

Here the student has fixed the letter n to the verb… ‫… ينجحمو‬
“they pass”, which should be deleted: i.e., … ‫…“ حمىت ينجحموا‬they
pass…”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of such


errors in the data.

TABLE 5.35 Category of Errors in the use of the Five-Form


Verbs
__________________________________________________
Category No. of Errors Total Percentage

Addition: Fixing Nun 2 60 3.33


in the Accusative Case
__________________________________________________
209

The students made two errors in the whole data of fixing nun in
the accusative present form of the five-form verb. Very negligible
indeed.

5.1.4.3 Spelling Errors

The students have made different types of spelling errors in using


the five-form verbs. They omitted, added and substituted the
letters of such verbs. The following examples illustrate this.

A- Omission
1- ‫( أل تمىلرين‬li’an tazrīn ) “ because you visit”. S45F, T1.

The student omitted the letter w ‫ و‬from the verb, which should
be added: i.e., ‫…“ … تمورين‬visit”.

B- Addition
1- ‫القماي‬ ‫( يعاو ممو‬yaCrishūn fī al-qaryatī) “they live in the
village”. S20M, T2.

The student here added the letter w ‫ و‬to the verb ‫“ يعاو مو‬they
live”, which should be deleted: i.e., ‫“ يعا و‬they live”.

2- ‫ال راسمة‬ ‫ ( حمىت ينجحمو‬hatta yanjahūn fīl dirāsah ) “ until they


pass in their study”. S4F, T2.

Here the student has added the letter n to the verb… ‫…ينجحمو‬
“they pass”, which should be deleted: i.e., … ‫…“ …ينجحموا‬they
pass…”.

C- Substitution
210

1- ‫ ( الم ين ياوبمو الغمة العابِّمة‬alladheen yarqabūna alghah al-Carabiyyah


) “who observe the Arabic language”. S45F, T1

The student substituted the letter q ‫ ق‬for ‫ غ‬gh in the verb…


‫“ …ياوبمو‬they observe”, which should be: … ‫…“ …ياغبمو‬they
like…”.

The table below presents the frequency and percentage of all


such spelling errors.

TABLE 5.36 Errors in Spelling the Five-Form Verbs.


_______________________________________________
Category No. of Errors Total Percentage

Omission 1 60 1.66
Addition 3 60 5
Substitution 1 60 1.66

All 5 60 8.33
_______________________________________________

The above table shows only 5 (8.33 %) errors were recorded in


the data: 1 in omission, 3 in addition and 1 in substitution. This is
a very small amount.

5.1.4.4 Summary

The different types of errors in the five-form verbs are


summarized in the table below.

The five-form verbs errors are as shown in the table that follows:

TABLE 5.37 Order of Errors in the five-form verbs.


211

______________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Tense Choice 4 36.36


Category of Errors 2 18.18
Spelling Errors 5 45.46

Total 11 100
______________________________________________

The above table shows that only 11 errors were recorded:


tense choice and spelling errors are about equal whereas
Category of errors are only two.

5.1.5 The Imperative Verb

In the whole data, there were 42 imperative verbs of which 13


were errors as is shown in the table below.

TABLE 5.38 Errors in the imperative verb.


_________________________________
Errors Total Percentage

13 42 30.95
_________________________________

The errors in the usage of the imperative verb were in tense


choice, lexical category and spelling.

5.15.1 Errors in Tense Choice

Here the students used the imperative verb instead of the past
tense and the present tenses.

A. Use of Imperative Verb instead of Past Tense


212

Consider the following example:

1- ‫اسعهم االسم م‬ ‫ ( همو اةر‬huwa ’udrus fīl maChad al-Islām) “ he


(you) study at Islamic Institute”. S5M, T2.

The student used the imperative verb … ‫“ … اةر‬study” instead


of the past tense … ‫”…ةر‬studied”.

2- ‫ مث اطعم‬.‫( ذهبمت ا اسسمج لصم ة الظهما دمازمة‬dhahbtu ’ilā almasjid


lişalāt alzuhur bijamāCah thumma ’itCim) “I went to the mosque
to preay Zuhur prayer with group. then you eat”. S5M, T1
The student used the imperative verb ‫“ … اطعم‬eat” instead of the
nominative present tense ‫“…أك ت‬I ate”.

B. Use of Imperative Verb instead of (Accusative) Present Tense

Consider the following examples:

1- ‫’ ( ارجموك سماور وفماح ام جم الاسمالة واوتنمف ام جم ماح‬arjūka surūr wafarah


bihadhihi alrisālah wa’iqtaniC bihadhihi sharh) “ I hope you
happy and pleasure in this letter and be convinced in this
explaining”. S19F, T1.

The student used the imperative verb … ‫“ … اوتنمف‬convince”


instead of the accusative present tense … ‫“…تقتنممف‬you are
convinced”.

2- ‫( وبمل ىللتحمن ىل يعهم اسم ي‬qabla ’iltahiq ’ilā maChad Islamī) “


before you join to Islamic Institute”. S18F, T2.
213

The student used the imperative verb … ‫ …“ … ىللتحمن‬join …”


instead of the accusative present tense … ‫ …“ … أ ألتحمن‬to join
…”.

3- ‫( بع اسرح‬baCda istarih) “after have rest”. S27F, T1

The student used the imperative verb ‫ …“ …اسمرح‬have rest”


instead of the accusative present tense ‫ … “… أ أسمريح‬to have
rest”.

The following table displays the frequency and percentage of all


such errors.

TABLE 5.39 Errors in tense choice in the use of the imperative


verb.
___________________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Total Percentage

Use of Imperative Verb 2 42 4.76


instead of Past Tense.

Use of Imperative Verb 6 42 14.28


instead of Accusative
Present Tense.

All 8 42 19.04
___________________________________________________

The above table shows that the students made eight (19.04 %)
errors in tense choice of the imperative verb: two errors in the
use of the imperative verb instead of the past tense; and 6 in its
use instead of the accusative present tense. Thus, almost all of
these errors concern its substitution for the present tense: i.e., 6
errors.
214

5.1.5.2 Lexical Category Errors

The only error that occurred here was using the imperative verb
instead of the noun. The following example illustrates this.

1- ‫( يقصم اكتممي رسممالة‬maqşd ’iktubī risālah) “ aim write (you-


feminine) letter”. S43F, T1.

The student used the imperative verb … ‫ …اكتمي‬instead of the


noun … ‫“ …كتابة‬writing”.
The following table shows the frequency and percentage of such
errors.

TABLE 5.40 Errors in Lexical Category: The Imperative Verb.


__________________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Total Percentage

The use of imperative 1 42 2.38


verb instead of noun
__________________________________________________

The above table shows that only one error occurred in the data.

5.1.5.3 Spelling Errors in the Imperative Verb

The students have made one kind of errors in spelling the


imperative verb: i.e., adding letters. The following examples
illustrate this.

Addition:
1- ‫( سمأجب ذلمك السمو ل‬sa’ajib dhalika alsaw’al) “ I will answer that
question”. S30F, T1.
215

The student added the letter seen to the imperative verb


…‫“ سمأجب‬I will answer”, which should be deleted: i.e., … ‫أجمب‬
“answer”.

2- ‫حجماة االسمتقبال‬ ‫’( اسمرح‬istarhi fī hujrat al’istiqbāl) “have rest in


waiting room”. S31F, T1.

The student added the letter y ‫ ي‬to the imperative verb …


‫“ اسرح‬you have rest”, which should be: …‫“ اسرح‬rest”.

The following table presents the frequency and percentage of


these spelling errors.

TABLE 5.41 Errors in Spelling the Imperative Verb.


_____________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Total Percentage

Addition 4 42 9.52
_____________________________________________

The above table shows the students committed four mistakes in


spelling the imperative verb, all of which are in the category of
addition.

5.1.5.4 Summary

The above description has shown three different types of


errors in the imperative verb, which included tense choice,
lexical category and spelling. The table below gives a
summary and orders such errors in the imperative verb.

TABLE 5.42 Order of Errors in the imperative verb.


216

__________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Tense Choice 8 61.54


Lexical Category 1 7.69
Spelling Errors 4 30.77

Total 13 100
__________________________________________

The above shows that most errors are in tense choice,


followed by spelling and least in lexical category.

5.1.6 The Passive Voice

There are two types of passive voice: the past passive voice
and the present passive voice. In the data, the passive voice
was very infrequent, with only 33 cases recorded. The number
of errors in the passive voice amounted to 22, giving an
overall percentage of error of 66.66 %, as summarized in the
table below.

TABLE 5.43 Overall percentage of passive voice errors.


________________________________
Errors Total Percentage

22 33 66.66
________________________________

There are three different sorts of errors in the passives;


namely, lexical category, tense choice and spelling.

5.1.6.1 The Past Passive Voice


217

The number of the past passive voice cases were 27, of which
16 (or 59.25 %) were errors, as the following table shows all
errors in the past passive voice.

TABLE 5.44 Errors of the past passive voice.


__________________________________
Errors Total Percentage

16 27 59.25
__________________________________

These errors were all in the use of the noun as a past passive
voice.

Consider the following examples:

1- ‫التماريخ‬ ‫ ( يولم ها‬mawliduhā fī al-tārīkh ) “her birth in date”.


S14M,T2.

The student used the noun as a past passive voice verb wrongly.
The correct form is ‫ا‬ ِ
ْ ‫ ( ول‬wulidat ) “she was born”.

2- ‫التاريخ‬ ‫ ( يول‬mawlid fī al tārīkh ) “birth in date”. S14M,T2.

The student used the noun as a past passive voice verb wrongly.
The correct form is ِ‫ ( ول‬wulida ) “he was born”.

The following table sets out the frequency and percentage of the
errors.

TABLE 5.45 Errors in the past passive voice: lexical category.


__________________________________________________
Category No. of Errors Total Percentage
218

Use of Noun as a Past 16 27 59.25


Passive Voice Verb
__________________________________________________

The above table shows that over half the data is used in error
where the noun is used as a past passive verb.

5.1.6.2 The Present Passive Voice

The present passive voice was far less infrequent than the past
passive voice. In the whole data only 6 cases occurred, all of
which were used in error. The table below shows all the
results.

TABLE 5.46 Errors of the present passive voice.


_________________________________
Errors Total Percentage

6 6 100
_________________________________

These errors in the usage of the present passive voice were of


two different types, which included errors in tense choice and
spelling.

5.1.6.2.1 Errors in Tense Choice

Here the students used the present passive voice instead of (i) the
nominative present tense verb and (ii) the past passive voice.

Consider the following examples:

A- Use of Present Passive Voice instead of Nominative Present


Verb
219

1- ‫األرز‬ ‫( تبماع جم‬tubāC jaddatī al’aruz ) “my grandmother has


been sold the rice”. S2F, T2.

The student used the present passive voice ‫ “ تباع‬has been sold…”
instead of the nominative present tense: ‫…“ تبِّف‬sells…”.

2- ‫تممار‬ ‫ ( جم‬jaddatī tuzār ) “ my grandmother has been visited”.


S30F, T2.

The student here used the present passive voice ‫… “ تممار‬she has
been visited” instead of the nominative present tense: ‫…“ تممور‬
visits”.

B- Use of Present Passive Voice Instead of Past Passive Voice.

1- ‫اسستشمف‬ ‫ ( تولم‬tūladu fī al-mustashfā ) “she is born at the


hospital”. S26M,T2.

The student used the Present Passive Voice tense instead of the
past passive voice. The correct form is …‫ ( ولمِ ا‬wulidat…) “she
was born...”.

2- ‫األول يماري‬ ‫ ( هم تولم‬hiya tūladu fī al’awal mārj ) “she delivers


on 1st March”. S8F, T2.

The student used the Present Passive Voice instead of the past
passive voice. The correct form is … ‫( …ولمِ ا‬wulidat) “she was
born...”.
220

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of error


in these categories.

TABLE 5.47 Errors in Tense Choice in the Use of Present


Passive Voice
__________________________________________________
Type No. of Total Percentage
Errors

Use of Present Passive Voice 2 6 33.33


instead of Nominative Present
Verb

Use of Present Passive Voice 2 6 33.33


instead of Past Passive Voice

All 4 6 66.66
_________________________________________________

The above table shows the students made 2 errors each in using
the present passive voice instead of the nominative present tense
verb and the past passive voice.

5.1.6.2.2 Spelling Errors

Only one spelling error occurred in which the student


substituted the letters of the present passive voice as in the
following examples:
221

1- ‫األرز‬ ‫( تبمماع ج م‬tubāC jaddatī al’aruz) “has been sold my


grandmother the rice”. S2F, T2.

The student substituted the letter a ‫ ا‬for y ‫ي‬ in the verb ‫تبماع‬
“she has been sold”, which should be: ‫“ تبِّف‬she sells…”.

2- ‫تممار‬ ‫ ( جم‬jaddatī tuzār ) “ my grandmother has been visited”.


S30F, T2.

The student substituted the letter a ‫ا‬ in the verb ‫ …“ … تممار‬she


has been visited” for w ‫و‬, which should be: ‫ …“ تمور‬she visits”.

The table below shows the frequency and percentage of such


spelling errors.

TABLE 5.48 Errors in Spelling: The Present Passive Voice.


____________________________________________
Category No. of Errors Total Percentage

Substitution 2 6 33.33
____________________________________________

The above table shows that only 2 errors in substitution


occurred.

5.1.6.2.3 Summary

Two types of errors were obtained in the use of the present


passive voice, which are summarized in the table below.

TABLE 5.49 Errors in the present passive voice.


222

________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Tense Choice 4 66.67


Spelling Errors 2 33.33

Total 6 100
__________________________________________

To sum up, the passive voice errors were as shown in the table
below:

TABLE 5.50 Errors in the passive voice.


______________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Tense Choice 4 18.18


Lexical Category 16 72.72
Spelling Errors 2 9.09

Total 22 100
_______________________________________________

Passive voice errors are most likely to occur in lexical category


(72.72%). Few errors occur in tense choice (4) and spelling (2).

5.1.7 Conclusion

This section has been concerned with the description and


quantification of errors in the usage of the verb phrase in Arabic.
More precisely, errors in tense and voice were described in
detail. The following table summarizes and gives the order or
ranking of all the errors investigated in this section.

TABLE 5.51 Summary and Order of Errors in tense in the


Arabic Verb.
______________________________________________
223

Type No. of Errors Percentage

Past Tense 1321 60.79


Present Tense 778 35.80
Future Tense 28 1.29
Passive Voice 22 1.01
Imperative Verb 13 0.60
Five-Form Verbs 11 0.51

Total 2173 100


______________________________________________

The table shows that 2173 errors were obtained in the data. The
majority of the errors are in the past tense (60%), which is
followed by the present tense (35%). All other categories are
both infrequent and negligible.

These errors are of different types, as can be shown in the


following table.

TABLE 5.52 Order of Errors by Type and Category.


________________________________________
Type Total Percentag
e

Tense Choice 1188 54.67


Lexical Category 370 17.03
Category of Errors 223 10.26
Tense Particle 92 4.23
Spelling Errors 300 13.81

All 2173 100


_________________________________________

The table shows that over half the errors are in tense choice. The
next three important errors are lexical category, spelling and
category of errors. Tense particle errors are minimal.
224

In the following section, S.V.A errors will be described.

5.2 Subject Verb Agreement Errors

5.2.1. Preview

Subject-verb agreement is a complex structure in Arabic as the


verb has to agree with its subject in person, number and gender.
This section deals with these S.V.A errors qualitatively and
quantitatively. It first gives a general picture of S.V.A errors and
then it moves to the description of these errors tense by tense.

That is, the past tense, present tense (including its nominative,
accusative and jussive cases), future tense, five-form verbs,
imperative verb, and the passive voice (including its past and
present forms). Finally there is a summary to this section.

5.2.2 S.V.A. Errors: A General Picture

The corpus of data on S.V.A is huge. The data consisted of 8456


cases, which contained 915 errors 0r 10.82 %, as is shown in the
table below.

TABLE 5.53 S.V.A Errors.


____________________________________
No. of Errors Total Percentage

915 8456 10.82


_____________________________________

These errors varied from tense to tense. A detailed description is


given next.

5.2.3 S.V.A in the Past Tense


225

The students committed 468 errors in the use of S.V.A with the
past tense as is shown in the following table.

TABLE 5.54 S.V.A. Errors in the past tense.


__________________________________
No. of Errors Total Percentage

468 2615 17.89


__________________________________

This table shows there is a good number of past tense errors in


S.V.A, whose percentage is just under 20 %.
These errors can be divided by gender, person and number.
Consider the following examples:

i) Person Errors:
1- .‫سبمل كاايمة كمواال سبمور‬ ‫’( أنما واسما سمكنوا‬anā wa ’usratī sakanū fī
Lembah Karāmat Kuala Lumpur) “ I and my family they lived in
Lembah Karamat Kuala Lumpur”. S1M, T2.

The verb does not agree with its subject in person. The student
used the verb with the 3rd person plural masculine suffixed
pronoun: … ‫ …“ … سمكنوا‬they lived…” instead of 1st person
plural suffixed pronoun: i.e., … ‫ … “… سكنّا‬we lived…”.

ii) Gender Errors:


1- ‫أةى حممىت ال رجممة الثانِّممة‬ ‫ ( األي م‬al’ummī addā hattā aldarajah
althāniyah) “my mother he performed until second class”. S7M,
T2.

The verb does not agree with its subject in gender. The student
has used the verb with the 3rd person singular masculine pronoun:
226

… ‫“ أةى‬he performed…” instead of 3rd person singular feminine


pronoun: i.e., ‫“ أةا‬she performed…”

2- ‫ ( ه ةخل‬hiya dakhala) “she he entered”. S38f, T2.

The verb does not agree with its subject in gender. The student
here used the verb with the 3rd person singular masculine
pronoun: … ‫ “ ةخمل‬he entered” instead of 3rd person singular
feminine pronoun: i.e., ‫“ ةخ ت‬she entered…”

3- ‫( األم ال مما وس م منا ىل اس رسممة‬al’um li’annahā wa sallamanā ’ilā


almadrasah) “the mother because she and he submitted us to the
school”. S47F, T2.

There is no agreement between subject and verb in gender. The


student used the verb with the 3rd person singular masculine
unaffixed pronoun: … ‫ … “ … سم منا‬he submitted us…” instead
of 3rd person singular feminine suffixed pronoun: i.e., … ‫…سم متنا‬
“ …she submitted us…”

iii) Number Errors:


1- ‫مث نق موا ا بِّممت ج يم‬ ‫حص م‬ ‫( ج م ي وجم‬jaddī wajaddatī haşalā,
thumma naqalū ’ilā bayt jadīd) “ my grandfather and
grandmother got, then they moved to a new house”. S9M, T2.

The verb does not agree with its subject in number. The student
used the verb with the 3rd person plural masculine suffixed
pronoun: … ‫“ نق موا‬they (plural) moved…” instead of the 3rd
227

person dual masculine suffixed pronoun: i.e., … ‫“ انتق‬they (dual)


moved…”

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of


S.V.A. errors in the past tense according to their type.

TABLE 5.55 S.V.A. Errors in the Past Tense by Person, Number


and Gender.
______________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Person 279 59.62


Number 63 13.46
Gender 126 26.92

All 468 100


______________________________________

The table shows that most errors occur in person (279 or


59.62%), followed by gender (126 or 26.92%) and number (63
or 13.46%).

5.2.4 S.V.A in the Present Tense

The total number of S.V.A errors in the present tense was 374
(or 6.68 %) errors out of 5594 cases in the data as a whole, as
can be seen in the following table.
228

TABLE 5.56 S.V.A Errors in the Present Tense


__________________________________
No. of Errors Total Percentage

374 5594 6.68


__________________________________

These errors varied by present verb case as follows.

5.2.4.1 S.V.A in the Nominative Case

These errors can be divided by person, gender and number.

Consider the following examples:


i) Person
1- ‫‘ ( أنما أحمب ال ماح لمك كِّم تقضم يموي‬anā ’uhibbu li’ashraha laka
kayfa taqdī yawmī) “I love to explain to you how you spend my
day”. S9M,T1.

The verb does not agree with its subject in person. The student
used the verb with the 2nd person singular masculine prefixed
pronoun: … ‫… “… تقضم‬you spend … “ instead of 1st person
singular masculine prefixed pronoun: i.e., … ‫…“ … أوضم‬I
spend …“.

2- ‫’( اسمتع مث ي مبس ي بمس اس رسمة‬astaCiddu thumma yalbas malābis


almadrasah) “I prepare then he wears school attire”. S25F, T1.

The verb does not agree with its subject in person. The student
used the verb with the 3rd person singular masculine prefixed
229

pronoun: … ‫ “ ي مبس‬he wears … “ instead of 1st person singular


masculine prefixed pronoun: i.e., … ‫“ … ألبس‬Iwear …“.

ii) Gender
1- ‫ ( بع رجعت وتستأذ األيم‬baCda rajaCtu wa tasta’dhin al’ummī) “
after I came back and she takes permission from my mother”.
S15F, T2.

Here the student used the verb with the 3rd person singular
feminine prefixed pronoun: … ‫“ تستأذ‬she takes permission … “
instead of 1st person singular masculine prefixed pronoun: i.e., “
… ‫ أستأذ‬I take permission …“.

iii) Number
1- ‫’ ( ايم يمف ايب يسمكن جاسمني‬ummī maCa abī yaskun fī Jāsin) “my
mother and father he lives in Jasin”. S46M, T2.

There is no agreement here between subject and verb in number.


The student used the verb with the 3rd person singular masculine
prefixed pronoun: … ‫“ يسمكن‬he lives … “ instead of 3rd person
dual masculine prefixed-cum-suffixed pronoun: i.e., ‫يسكنا‬ “…
they (dual) live … “.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of all


such S.V.A errors in the nominative present tense by person,
number and gender.

TABLE: 5.57 S.V.A Errors in the nominative present tense by


person, number and gender.
230

____________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Person 153 47.37


Number 61 18.89
Gender 109 33.74

All 323 100


____________________________________

The table shows that most errors (i.e., 323 or 86.36 %) occurred
in the nominative present tense. Moreover, errors in person
occur the most, followed by gender and number.

5.2.4.2 S.V.A in the Accusative Case

There were S.V.A errors in the accusative present tense verb,


which can be divided by person, gender and number.
Consider the following examples:

i) Person
1- ‫’( ا ازممل حِّاتمك البِّمت‬an aCmala hayatika fī al bayt) “ to I do
your life at home”. S7M, T1.

There is no agreement between subject and verb in person. The


student here used the verb with the 1st person singular masculine
prefixed pronoun: … ‫ “ ازممل‬I do … “ instead of 2nd person
singular masculine prefixed pronoun: i.e., … ‫تعممل‬ “you do
…“.

2- ‫( خاجمت ا اجممام لِّغسمل وجهم‬kharajtu ’ilā al-hammām liyaghsila


wajhī) “I got out to the bathroom to he washes my face”. S31F,
T1.
231

The student here used the verb with the 3rd person singular
masculine prefixed pronoun: … ‫” … لِّغسممل‬to he washes
…“instead of 1st person singular masculine prefixed pronoun:
i.e., … ‫“ ألغسل‬to I wash …“.

3- ‫( ذهبمت ا اسسمج لِّمؤةي صم ة الظهما‬dhahabtu ’ilā almasjid liyu’adī


şalāt al-zuhur) “I went to the mosque to perform zuhur prayer”.
S27F, T1.

The student used the verb with the 3rd person singular masculine
prefixed pronoun: … ‫” لِّمؤةي‬so that he performs…“ instead of
1st person singular masculine prefixed pronoun: i.e., “ ‫ …ألؤةي‬so
that I perform …“.
ii) Gender
1- ‫( ه م يتعمماو أ يممت اسسمما ل ابنا همما‬hiya yataCāwan ’an yutimma
almasā’il abna’ihā) “she he cooperates to he completes matters
their sons”. S34M,T2.

The student here used the verb with the 3rd person singular
masculine prefixed pronoun: … ‫ ” يمت‬he completes …“ instead
of 3rd person singular feminine prefixed pronoun: i.e., … ‫تمت‬
“she completes …“.

iii) Number
1- ‫’( اي م م يسم مماز نا لِّعمم ممل م ممغل ال م م ي اس رسم ممو از م م ي رس م م‬ummī
yusaCidanā liyaCmal shughul alladhi almudarrisūn ’Cţa fī
madrasatī) “my mother help us to he does work that the teachers
he gave at my school”. S23F, T2.
232

The student used the verb with the 3rd person singular masculine
prefixed pronoun: … ‫ ” لِّعممل‬he does…“ instead of 1st person
plural prefixed pronoun: i.e., … ‫لنعمل‬ “to (we) do…“.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of all


S.V.A errors in the accusative present tense verb by person,
number and gender.

TABLE 5.58 SVA Errors in the accusative present verb by person,


number and gender.
___________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Person 22 46.81
Number 15 31.91
Gender 10 21.28

All 47 100
___________________________________

The above table shows only 47 errors occurred in the data at


12.56 %. About half S.V.A errors are in person, then in number
and gender.

5.2.4.3 S.V.A in the Jussive Case

Few S.V.A errors occurred in the jussive present verb in the


whole data.
233

Consider the following example:

1- ‫’( اسمتاذ حسمي كتمب اسم ال البماا همو مل حتضما‬ustāz Husnī kataba ’ism
alţālibāt huwa lam tahdur) “ Teacher Husni wrot name of girl
students he did not she attend”. S13M, T1.

The student used the verb with the 2nd person singular
masculine/feminine prefixed pronoun ‫( … “ … حتضما‬3rd /2nd ) you
come” instead of 3rd person plural feminine prefixed-cum-
suffixed pronoun: i.e., ‫ “ همن مل حيضما‬they (plural, feminine) did
not come”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of such


errors in the jussive present tense verb.
TABLE 5.59 S.V.A Errors in the Jussive Present Verb
__________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Person 2 50
Number 1 25
Gender 1 25

All 4 100
_____________________________________

The table shows only 4 errors occurred in the data which consists
of 25 cases altogether. Again half of these errors are in person.

5.2.4.4 Summary

S.V.A errors in the usage of the present tense (including the


nominative, accusative and jussive cases) can be summarized in
the following table.
234

TABLE 5.60 Hierarchy of SVA Errors in the present tense by


case and by type.
_____________________________________
Category No. of Errors Percentage
1- Case
Nominative 323 86.36
Accusative 47 12.57
Jussive 4 1.07
All 374 100
_____________________________________
2- Type No. of Errors Percentage
Person 177 47.33
Number 77 20.59
Gender 120 32.08
All 374 100
_____________________________________

The above table shows that most S.V.A errors in the present
tense were in the nominative case. In the accusative and the
jussive cases’ errors are not many, especially in the latter case.
As to type, the majority of errors are in person, followed by
gender and the number.

5.2.5 S.V.A in the Future Tense Verb

The students made some errors in the use of S.V.A in the future
tense, which can be divided by person and gender.

Consider the following examples:

i) Person
1- ‫ ( الم ي سمت ر اسع م‬alladhī satadrus almuCalim) “which you will
study teacher” .S34F, T1.
235

The student used the verb with the 2nd person singular masculine
prefixed pronoun… ‫ … “ … ست ر‬you will study…” instead of
3rd person singular masculine prefixed pronoun: i.e., … ‫… يم ر‬
“ he teaches … “.

2- ‫’( ايم سِّنصمحنا‬ummī sayansahunā ) “my mother will advise us”.


S44F, T2.

The student used the verb with the 3rd person singular masculine
prefixed pronoun ‫…“ … سِّنصمحنا‬he will advise us” instead of 3rd
person singular feminine prefixed pronoun: i.e., ‫“… ستنصمحنا‬she
will advise us”.

ii) Gender
1- ‫‘( أيم سمِّك‬ummī sayukallim) “my mother will he talk”. S44F,
T2.

The student has used the verb with the 3rd person singular
masculine prefixed pronoun ‫ … “ … سِّك‬he will speak” instead
of 3rd person singular feminine prefixed pronoun: i.e., ‫“ … سمتك‬
… she will speak”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of such


errors.

TABLE 5.61 S.V.A Errors in the Future Tense.


___________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage
236

Person 2 50
Gender 2 50

All 4 100
___________________________________

The table shows only 4 (3.57 %) errors occurred in the data,


which contains 112 cases. These four errors were in person and
gender, two each.

5.2.6 S.V.A in the Five-Form Verbs

S.V.A errors occurred in the use of the nominative five-form


verbs, which fall into those of person, gender and number.

Consider the following examples:

i) Person
1- ‫( همو حتمافظني حنمن‬huwa tuhāfizīn nahnu) “he she protects we”.
S21M, T2.

The student has used the verb with the 2nd person singular
feminine prefixed-cum-suffixed pronoun … ‫ … “ … حتمافظني‬you
protect … ” instead of 3rd person singular feminine prefixed
pronoun: i.e., … ‫ … “ … ه حتاف‬she protects”.

2- ‫حنممن نم هب ا الاح ممة‬ ‫اخممري اسممبوع ايم وايب حتمم‬ (fī ’akhīr ’usbuC
’ummī wa abī tahmilān nahnu nadhhab ’ilā alrihlah) “in the final
week my mother and father you carry we go to journey”. S31F,
T2.
237

The student has used the verb with the 2nd person dual masculine
prefixed-cum-suffixed pronoun ‫ … “ … حتمم‬you carry”
instead of 3rd person dual masculine pronoun: i.e., ‫… “ … حيمم‬
they carry”.

3- ‫’( انما وانمت تغسم و‬anā wa ’anta taghsilūn) “ I and you wash”.
S47M, T1.

The student here used the verb with the 2nd person plural
masculine prefixed-cum-suffixed pronoun ‫ … “ … تغسم و‬you
wash” instead of 1st person plural masculine prefixed pronoun:
i.e., ‫ … " … نغسل‬we wash".

ii) Gender
1- ‫( هم ي عبممني كماة السم ة غممري ذلمك‬hiya yalCabīn kurat alsallah ghayr
dhalik) “she he she plays basketball other that”. S21M, T2.

The student used the verb with both the 3rd/2nd person singular
masculine prefixed-cum-suffixed pronoun … ‫ي عبممني‬ “he/you
plays … ” instead of 3rd person singular feminine prefixed
pronoun: i.e., … ‫ … “ … ت عب‬she plays … “.

iii) Number
1- ‫واحم ة مِّس‬ ‫ هم يعافمو‬.‫‘( ايم تعما االيب‬ummī taCrif al abī. Hum
yaCrifūn fī wahid majlīs) “my mother knows my father. they
know at one gathering”. S43F, T2.
238

The student used the verb with the 3rd person plural masculine
prefixed-cum-suffixed pronoun … ‫ … “ … يعافمو‬they know…”
instead of 3rd person dual masculine prefixed-cum-suffixed
pronoun: i.e., ‫ … “ … تعافا‬they got to know each other…”.

2- ‫القماي‬ ‫’( أيم وايب يعاو مو‬ummī wa abī yaCrishūn fī alqaryatī)


“my mother and father live in the village”. S20M, T2

The student used the verb with the 3rd person plural masculine
prefixed-cum-suffixed pronoun ‫ … “ … يعاو ممو‬they live”
instead of 3rd person dual masculine prefixed-cum-suffixed
pronoun: i.e., ‫ … “ … يعا ا‬they live”.

3- ‫ا هم ال يوجموة وحيصم و‬ ‫’ ( ام او ا‬um aw ab ’in hum lā mawjūd


wayahşalūn) “ mother and father if they are not in and they get”.
S20M, T2.

The student used the verb with the 3rd person plural masculine
prefixed-cum-suffixed pronoun … ‫ … “ حيصم و‬they get” instead
of 3rd person dual masculine prefixed-cum-suffixed pronoun: i.e.,
‫ … “ … حيص‬they get”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of such


S.V.A errors in the five-form verbs.

TABLE 5.62 S.V.A Errors in the Five-Form Verbs.


__________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Person 21 58.33
Number 11 30.56
Gender 04 11.11
239

All 36 100
__________________________________

The table shows 36 errors (or 60 %) occurred in the data, which


is very large as more than half the data is erroneously used.
Furthermore, most such errors are in person, followed by number
and least in gender.

5.2.7 S.V.A in the Imperative Verb

A number of S.V.A errors occurred in the use of S.V.A in the


imperative verb. These fall into those by person, gender and
number.

Consider the following examples:

i) Person
1- ‫ مث ىلسمتع لصم ة اسغما‬.‫’( أكمل وبمل ا اغتسمل‬akala qabla ’an ’aghtasil.
thuma ’istaCid lişalāt almaghrib) “he ate before I wash then be
ready for maghrib prayer”. S48M, T1.

The student here used the verb with the 2nd person singular
masculine pronoun … ‫… ” …ىلسمتع‬you get ready … ” instead
of 1st person singular masculine prefixed pronoun: i.e., ‫…” أسمتع‬
… I get ready … ”.

2- ‫السمازة ااايسمة‬ ‫( ومم يمن النموم‬qummī min alnawn fīl saCah al-
khāmisah) “wake up from sleeping at five o’clock”. S4F, T1.

The student has used the verb with the 9nd person singular
feminine pronoun … ‫“ ومم‬you wake up … ” instead of 1st
240

person singular feminine prefixed pronoun: i.e., …‫ “ أوموم‬I wake


up … ”.

ii) Gender
1- ‫( بعم ا اذهمب ا اجممام غسمل االسمنا اسمتحم باسماا‬baCda ’an adhhaba
’ilā alhammām ghasala alasnān istahimmī bilmā’) “after I go to
the bathroom he washed the teeth you have shower”. S9M, T1.

The student has used the verb with the 2nd person singular
feminine suffixed pronoun … ‫ “ استحم‬have shower… ” instead
of 1st person singular masculine prefixed pronoun: i.e., … ‫أسمتح‬
“I have shower … ”.
2- ‫’( ايم حافظنما دم وأز نما ز م الربِّمة‬ummī hāfaznā bijid wa ’aCtinā
Cilm altarbiyah) “my mother took good care of us care and you
give us the knowledge of education”. S44F, T2.

The student has used the verb with the 2nd person singular
masculine unaffixed pronoun … ‫ … “ … أز نما‬you give us … ”
instead of 3rd person singular feminine suffixed pronoun: i.e.,
… ‫ … “ … أز تنا‬she gave us… ”.

iii) Number
1) ‫السمازة وزشماو‬ ‫اسمرح‬ ‫( وبعم ذلمك ال م‬wa baCda dhalika alţţullab
’istarih fī al saCah waCishrūn) “and after that the students you
take rest at o’clock and twenty”. S27F, T1.

The student used the verb with the 2nd person singular masculine
unaffixed pronoun … ‫ … “ … اسمرح‬you take rest … ” instead
241

of 3rd person plural masculine prefixed-cum-suffixed pronoun:


i.e., … ‫ … “ … يسرحيو‬they take rest… ”.

The following table shows the frequency and percentage of all


such S.V.A errors in the imperative verb.

TABLE 5.63 S.V.A Errors in the Imperative Verb


___________________________________
Type No. of Errors Percentage

Person 25 75.76
Number 5 15.15
Gender 3 9.09

All 33 100
___________________________________
The above table shows that 33 (or 78.57 %) errors occurred in
42 cases in the data, which is a very large amount. The vast
majority of the errors are in person while number and gender
errors are few.

5.2.8 S.V.A of the Passive Voice

No S.V.A errors were obtained for the use of the passive voice,
whether past or present, as can be seen in the table below.

TABLE 5.64 S.V.A Errors in the Passive Voice.


__________________________________________
Type No. of Errors Total Percentage

Past 0 27 0
Present 0 6 0

All 0 33 0
__________________________________________

5.2.9 Conclusion
242

This section dealt with both the description and quantification of


S.V.A errors in the usage of the verb in Arabic: i.e., the past
tense, present tense, future tense, five-form verbs, imperative and
passive voice.

The following table gives a summary of the hierarchy of these


errors by tense and type.

TABLE 5.65 Order of S.V.A Errors by Tense and Type.


_________________________________________
1- Tense No. of Errors Percentage

Past 468 51.15


Present 374 40.87
Five-Form Verb 36 3.93
Imperative 33 3.61
Future 4 0.44
Passive Voice 0 0

All 915 100


_________________________________________
2- Type No. of errors Percentage

Person 504 55.09


Number 156 17.05
Gender 255 27.86
All 915 100
________________________________________
243

The table shows that the 915 S.V.A. errors rank as follows. Most
of these errors (51.14 %) occurred in the past tense, followed by
the present tense (40.87 %). As to the five-form verbs, the
imperative, the future, these are negligible whereas the passive
voice has no error.

As to type, the table shows that over half S.V.A errors occur in
person whereas gender errors amount to just over a quarter of
the data and number under 20 %.

The causes of errors and non-errors will be discussed and


explained in the next chapter.
244

CHAPTER VI

DISCUSSION OF CAUSES OF ERRORS

6.0 Overview

This chapter deals with the discussion of causes of errors


presented in the last chapter. The discussion will center around
the following themes. First, there will be a discussion about the
notion of Malay-Arabic interlanguage from the viewpoint of its
structure and form as well as fossilization. Secondly, the likely
sources of errors in tense choice, lexical category, categories of
errors, tense or verb particles, spelling, S.V.A and non-errors
will be explained. Thirdly, stages of errors will be described.
These areas will be discussed separately for the purpose of clarity
and comprehensiveness. Finally, there is a summary of the
chapter at the end.

6.1 Malay-Arabic interlanguage:


6.1.1 Structure and Form

There are different ways of describing and defining


interlanguage. One such description looks at the learner’s whole
output in the sense that all what s/he says or writes is
interlanguage. This is what Abdalla (1996:190-226) used where
he gave 36 pages of students writing samples without any
comments. Initially, this is a general, good working definition
which is in line with Selinker’s (1972, 1989, 1992) definition
where interlanguage consists of learner’s errors and non-errors.

Another definition would be to look at smaller elements of


learner’s output such as their use of tense, articles and so on. The
result would be the interlanguage of tense, prepositions, etc. The
analysis of such elements would be to describe their structure in
terms of the errors made and the causes of such erroneous
245

structures. This is what error analysts and/or interlanguage


researchers do.

The students of this study use two languages: (i) Malay which is
the students’ first language, as well as the official and native
language of the majority of Malaysians, and (ii) Arabic, which is
a foreign language, taught as a subject in the classroom. These
two languages are used for different functions. Malay is used in
almost all every day functions whereas Arabic is the language of
instruction in Islamic and Arabic subjects.

Thus both languages combine and overlap in various ways. The


outcome of this overlap is called interlanguage, or more
precisely, Malay-Arabic interlanguage. In other words, the usage
of Arabic by Malay learners is neither pure or correct Arabic
100% nor pure Malay 100%. Instead, it is a mixture of Arabic
rules and Malay rules and developmental rules which have no
link to Arabic and Malay. This mixed usage of Arabic varies from
learner to learner and decreases by time where a learner may
obtain a very high level of nearness to correct Arabic as his
competence gets higher and higher. Here are two extracts which
are taken from the compositions of two Malay learners of Arabic
in this study.

Extract 1

‫ مث ذه ممب ا ةرة اسِّ مماجم‬.‫الصممباح يب مماكااو‬ ‫السممازة الساةس ممة اي مما‬ ‫اس متِّق ي ممن الن مموم‬
‫ بعم صم ة‬.‫لغسل مث لبس اس بس ص ة ذهب ا اسسج الةا ص ة الصبح باجلمازمة‬
‫ رجمف ا البِّمت ال البمة ولمبس‬.‫واا القاا الكا حىت السازة الساةسة والنص صباحاو‬
.( S12M,T1) . ‫ مث ذهب ا اس ع الكل الف ور يف زي‬.‫اس بس اس رسة‬

Extract 2
246

‫كل يوم اي يفمزنا السازة الساةسة الوام ص ة صبح مث يعسل وي س اس بس لم هب‬


‫ ايم ي مبخ طعمام ولعم‬.‫ الزيا‬. ‫ وبل اذهب ا اس رسة اي يتناول الف ور ا‬.‫ا اس رسة‬
‫ األ زمماجم ايم هممو‬.‫ ولممو زماهما وم طممال ولكمن ايم اسسمِّخ ومواا لِّعممل‬. ‫يعمي رز يق م‬
‫ ايم‬.‫ ز مة األسمبوزِّة‬.‫ القصمة يسمل الِّنما‬،‫ اي حيب يق‬.‫ ووت اغا‬.‫ السنة‬54
.(S23F,T2) . ‫ي رس‬ ‫يساز نا لِّعمل غل ال ي اس رسو از‬

Without going into detail, the above two extracts are called,
according to Selinker (1969, 1972, 1989, 1992), interlanguage.
Or Arabic-Malay interlanguage. That is, the actual output of a
learner’s language is his/her interlanguage.

As to their specifc use of the VP, the general principle still


applies. VP interlanguage means its special use by Malay learners
of Arabic. That is, Malay learners use the VP in such a way that
their output is neither similar to Malay VP structure nor to
Arabic VP structure. Rather, their VP use is somewhere in
between with influences both languages as well as the student’s
developmental use of Arabic. This is what is meant by VP
interlanguage. Here are a two examples to illustrate how this idea
works.

‫ ( ه ةخل‬S38F, T2) hiya dakhala ( she he entered).

‫حمما العصمماباا‬ ‫ ( هممو تورطممت‬S28M,T2) huwa tawaraţat fī harb


alCişabat (he she involved in the guerilla warfare).

The interlanguage status of both examples, and many, many


other similar cases, is as follows. In the first example, the output
does not conform to Arabic grammatical rules as the verb does
not agree with its subject in gender. Therefore, it is not Arabic. It
is also not Malay obviously as the words show. However, Malay
247

influences this erroneous example in the lacking of its gender


inflection where the correct form should be ‫ ةخ مت‬she entered.
Thus the output is halfway between Arabic and Malay. All the
words are Arabic and not Malay. Yet Malay interferes with the
rules to the extent that the arrangement of words is no longer
Arabic. That is why this example is called interlanguage.

The second example is a perfect example of interlanguage, which


can be explained in a similar way. The words of the VP are
Arabic and not Malay but their grammatical structure is not
Arabic as it lacks agreement between the subject and its verb.
Moreover, this example shows no influence of Malay as far as
subject-verb-agreement is concerned. There is a masculine
subject ‫ همو‬with a feminine verb form ‫تورطمت‬. Malay lacks such
phenomenon altogether. Thus, it is deviant from Arabic without
Malay interference. That is, it has an interlanguage structure.

The relationship between Arabic and Malay in the use of the VP


by Malay learners or Malay-Arabic interlanguage can be
represented as in the diagram below.

Malay Arabic
248

Malay-Arabic Interlanguage

Figure 3. A diagram of Malay-Arabic interlanguage.

6.1.2 Form and Meaning

Another aspect of interlanguage is the mismatch between form


and meaning. The VP has a form and context (meaning) which
go hand in hand. The form is its structure, which concerns, in this
study, tense rules, verb form rules, and SVA rules. For example,

‫‘ كتب‬kataba’ He wrote (Subject + Verb: past tense)


‫‘ يكتب‬yaktubu’ He writes (Subject + Verb: present tense)
‫‘ سِّكتب‬sayaktubu’ He will write (Subject + Verb: future tense)

Context means using the verb in a place that fits its meaning or
using the right verb form in the right context. This can be called
using the VP both formally correctly and contextually or
semantically correctly. In other words, using a past form in a past
tense context and a present tense form in a present context.

The students handled form and context, with varying degrees of


success and difficulty. There were cases in which the right form
and context were used as in:
249

‫أزمممل الواجممب اس رس م‬ ’aCmalu al wājib almadrasī ( I do the


homework). However, there were cases in which they used the
form incorrectly, such as when an inflection is unnecessarily
added to or missing from the verb. For instance,

‫حما العصماباا‬ ‫همو تورطمت‬ (S28M, T2) huwa tawaraţat fī harb


alCişabat ( he she involved in the guerilla warfare).

The suffix ‫ ا‬- must be deleted from the verb ‫ تورطت‬.

‫( ه ةخل‬S38F, T2) hiya dakhala (she he entered).

The suffix ‫ ا‬- must be added to the verb: i.e. ‫ ةخ ت‬.

Still there were other cases of wrong form and context. Among
such examples one can mention:

(i) using the past instead of present tense. For example,

‫( أغسمل اجلسم … لممبس ي بممس‬S10M, T1) ’aghsilu aljism … labisa


malabis (I wash the body … he worn the dress).

The learner applied the past tense to describe a present action,


where he needs to apply the present tense, since the two actions
occur in the present. The sentence should be:
‫( أغسل جسم … ألبس ي بس‬S10M, T1)

’aghsilu jismī … ’albasu malābisī


(I wash my body … I wear my clothes).
250

(ii) using the imperative instead of the present tense. For


instance,
‫ مث ىلستع لص ة اسغا‬.‫( اكل وبل ا اغتسل‬S48M, T1)

’akala qabla ’an ’ightasala. Thumma ’isatCid lişalāt almaghrib.


(he ate before he washed. Then get ready for Maghrib prayer).

The student used the imperative verb instead of the present tense.
The sentence should be: ‫ مث أستع لص ة اسغا‬...

Numerous other examples happened, some of which have been


described in their proper places (chs. 5 & 6 above). This shows
the students are still incapable of using form and context
correctly. This is very important as good usage means using the
right verb form in the right context or place that fits its meaning.
That is, applying the verb formally correctly and semantically
correctly. wrong context.

6.1.3 Fossilization

This is one of the most important and interesting contributions of


Selinker (1972) to interlanguage research. Fossilization means
the permanent ungrammatical or incorrect items and rules that
manifest in the speech and production of second language
learners Selinker (1972). Fossilized errors are ineradicabe and
permanent errors.

Fossilization can be considered a main factor behind the errors


committed by Malay students in applying the VP. However, as
fossilization is a process that is associated with adults and old
learners in the main, there can be no reliable way of detecting
that in this study. The reason is the young age of the students
whose range is 15-17 years old. As the learners’ competence in
Arabic increses and their studies become deeper and deeper or
251

higher and higher, certainly their errors will decrease further and
further. At some point in the future, most errors committed by
them will disappear. Two things help in this eradication of errors.
First, Arabic is their speciality subject which they must master
fully in order to make a living and progress in their careers or
studies. Secondaly, Arabic is part of their culture because of its
association with Islam and the Quran. So there is a need to
perfect this language in most learners of this type.

Hama (1996:24-5) reported similar findings in her research on


use of the present perfect tense by 19-21 years-old Thai learners
of English or what she called Thai-English interlanguage. In
other words, young learners cannot fossilize at this age. If these
errors persist with them till their middle age and beyond, then
fossilization can be confirmed. Further research is, therefore,
needed to determine this phenomenon.

6.2 Sources of Errors

In his discussion of why errors are committed, Arani (1985:143)


states that:

Since the L2 errors can be caused by a variety of factors,


the explanation of errors is by and large speculative. In
other words, the fact of the matter is that the errors
analyst, can never be one hundred percent sure about what
in fact causes the occurrence of errors.

This means that errors cannot be attributed to one single source;


therefore, several factors are involved in the errors of the
students.

The following discussion will attempt to find out the most likely
and plausible causes of error in tense-including tense choice,
252

lexical category, categories of errors, tense particles, and


spelling-and SVA.

6.2.1 Sources of Tense Errors

Tense errors divided into those of tense choice, lexical category,


categories of errors, tense particles and spelling. The causes of
such errors will be described for each case separately.

6.2.1.1 Sources of Tense Choice Errors.

The causes of errors in the use of tense choice could be


attributed to many factors. One such factor is L1 interference or
the influence of BM, which is one of the main causes of errors.
BM is a tenseless language, or as Haja Mohideen (1991:342)
puts it, ” BM is a language without tense”. Consequently, there
is no correspondence in Malay between the form of the verb and
one’s concept of time. The same form of the verb is used for
present, future and past tenses. For example,

The sentence: Saya makan nasi. Could mean either, I eat


rice. Simple present tense; or, I ate rice. Simple past tense;
or I am eating rice. Present continuous tense (Othman
Sulaiman, 1990:75).

However, this does not mean that Malay lacks tense altogether.
Rather Malay indicates tense through context and uses tense-
indicators as time reference (Raja Mukhtaruddin Dain 1971; Nik
Safiah Karim 1978; Dodds 1977:22; Tunku Mohani BteTunku
Mohtar 1983). In the words of Dodds (1977:22),

… the timing of Malay verbs is very often shown by their


context. But when the context alone is not sufficient to
indicate tense, Malays use words which can be classed as
253

“tense-indicators. Time indications such as besuk


(tomorrow), malam tadi (last night), and semalam (last
night, yesterday) come into this category …(quoted in Haja
Mohideen 1991:345).

As a matter of fact, there are three temporal distinctions in Malay


which are past, present, and future reference. Certain words are
used in BM to refer to the past. As Haja Mohideen (1991:345)
puts it:

In BM, the past reference referes to an action, event, or


situation which occurs in the past. It excludes any
reference to the present when used with adverbials of time
indicating past time, for example, semalam (“last night”,
“yesterday”) kelmarin (“yesterday”), dua hari yang lalu (
“two days ago”) mingo lepas (“last week”), pada tahun
1957 (“in 1957”).

The following sentence shows how the past reference is


expressed in BM:

Kami pergi kelmarin. We went yesterday.


(Asmah Haji Omar and Rama Subbiah 1968:4).

Moreover, Lewis (1965:168) reports that:

Tense may be indicated by one of a number of words which


act as auxiliaries: To show past time:
sudah = have
habis = has or both together ( sudah habis)
telah = . . . (written) had

As to present reference, Haja Mohideen (1991:346) reports:


254

The present reference refers to an action, event, or


situation which occurs at the present time. The adverbials
for time which go along with this type of reference are
sekarang (“at present”, “now”), bulan ini (“this month”),
tahun ini (“this year”), hari ini (“today”), etc.

The following sentence illustrates how the present reference is


expressed in BM:

adek mandi sekarang. My younger brother/sister is bathing now.


(Asmah Haji Omar and Rama Subbiah 1968:4).

Moreover, there are two auxiliaries in BM which refer to present


time Raja Mukhtaruddin Dain (1971) which are sedang and
tengah denoting the present or imperfect action. E.g. Saya
sedang menulis. “I am writing”.

Finally, future reference. Haja Mohideen (1991:346-7) states:

The future reference indicates exclusively to an


event,action, or sitution that happens in the future. The
adverbials of time normaly used to indicate future reference
are esok (“tomorrow”), lusa (“the day after tomorrow”),
minggu depan (“next week”), pada tahun 2020 (“in the
year 2020”), etc. A very common word to express futurity
is akan which corresponds to both shall and will. It appears
before the lexical verb, and even in the absence of future
time adverbials, it clearly indicates future time.

The sentence below shows how future reference is expressed in


BM:

dia datang esok. He will come tomorrow.


(Asmah Haji Omar and Rama Subbiah 1968:4).
255

Moreover, Lewis (1965:168-9) reports that

There are certain words used as auxiliary verbs which show


future time. These are:

“akan
hendak mahu . . with intension implied
nanti . . . mere futurity with no implication of intension
kelak (written) . at the end of the sentence”.

All of these refer to will or shall.

The above picture contrasts sharply with Arabic in which verbs


inflect for tense, amongst other things. That is, Arabic verbs have
present, past and future forms which have already been described
in detail (see 3.3.2.2 - 3.5.2 above)

Thus when Malay students employ the past tense incorrectly or,
more precisely, when they replace one tense by another as
described in chapter 5 (see 5.1.1.1 above), this could be due to
negative transfer or the influence of their mother tongue on
learning Arabic. There are countless researches like Grauberg
(1971) Goerge (1972), El-Hibir (1976), Matter (1978), Noss
(1979), Lott (1983), ‫ سمِّبويل‬Sībawaīh (1983), Tunku Mohani Bte
Tunku Mohtar (1983), ‫ اجلاح‬Al-Jāhiz (1985), Hamdallah (1988),
Haja Mohideen (1991), Abukhudairi (1992), Zarrouq (1994),
Abdalla (1996) and Sasaki (1997) which have all stressed the
role of L1 in learning the L2.

Another likely cause is the inherent difficulty of Arabic verb and


tense. The Arabic verb has many types and conjugations, which
vary according to tense and the type of pronoun connected with
them. For example,
256

‫ ةر‬daras (he studied),


‫ ةرسا‬darasā (they-(dual) studied),
‫‘ أةر‬adrusu ( I study),
‫ ن ر‬nadrus (we study),
‫ ت رسني‬tadrusīn (you (feminine singular) study)
‫ ت رسو‬tadrosūn (you-(plural, masculine) study),
‫ ت رسن‬tadrusna (they-(plural,-feminine) study),
‫ ي ر‬yadrusa (he studies),
‫ ي رسا‬yadrusān (they-(dual) study),
‫ ي رسو‬yadrusūn (they- (plural-masculine) study)

(for a fuller picture, see 3.2-3.5.2 above).

Such variations are not only very difficult for Malay learners to
master especially in the early and intermediate stages of learning
but also are very confusing. These different verb conjugations
and forms lead students to replace one tense by another or use a
past form when a present form is needed and vice-versa. Other
studies such as Haja Mohideen (1991), Palmer (1994), Scott and
Tucker (1974), French (1949) and ‫ زهماا‬Zahrān (no date)
emphasized that learning L2 tenses or grammar is difficult. This
study gives them further support in this respect.

Incomplete mastery of Arabic tense has a role to play also. The


large number of tense errors may be due to the fact that the
students have not yet fully mastered tense. This is reasonable
because the Arabic curriculum in the schools in Malaysia pays
more attention to the communicational goal than to grammar. To
master the language, the learner should make a lot of effort to
257

achieve this goal of using good grammatical sentences. This


study agrees with Haja Mohideen (1991) who found that the role
of communication in schools is stressed more than grammar. As
he puts it (1991:344):

And mastery in this area does not come quickly or with


ease. Since a communicational syllabus is used in
Malaysian schools, it is quite likely that learners have paid
more attention to the communicative effect of their
sentences rather than produce grammatical correct
sentences which requires a lot of effort on their part. The
sentences show that the learners have communicated fairly
well, although it is at the expense of correct grammar.

The dictionary is a very likely cause. Arabic dictionaries list verbs


by using the simple past tense form which is also the 3rd person
singular masculine form. For example, ‫ كتمب‬kataba ‘he wrote’ ;
‫ ا‬shariba ‘he drank’. So, when the students say: ‫ ‘ أنما ما‬I he-
drank’ ; ‫‘ ه م مما‬she hes-drank’, this may be due to the
dictionary which lists words in this way. Actually, the dictionary
may be responsible to some extent for the usage of the past tense
form instead of the present tense form in a great many cases. For
example,
‫اس عم‬ ‫ حنمن ما‬S1M, T1. (nahnu shariba fī al-maţCam) “we he
drank at the restaurant”

The correct form is ‫اس عم‬ ‫( حنممن نشمما‬nahnu nasharib fī al-


maţCam) “ we drink at the restaurant”.

Further, the dictionary may be the reason why students often use
the 3rd person singular masculine form of the verb with all
subjects or pronouns. For example,
258

‫اس رسممة‬ ‫( أيم ةر‬S20M, T2) ’ummī darasa fīl madrasah “my
mother he studied at the school”.

‫اسستشمف‬ ‫( أنما وجم‬S1M,T2) ‘anā wajada fīl mustashfā (I he found


at the hospital).

‫( وومف هم ا اسسمج‬S3F, T1) (waqaCa hadha almasjid) he situated this


mosque.
‫ (كمما ام ممتمماز‬S15F, T2) kāna ‘um mumtāz. He was mother
excellent.

‫االيقتمب‬ ‫ (هم جنمح ةخمل‬S6F,T2) hiya najaha dakhala fī almagtab.


She he passed he entered in the institute.

‫ (حنمن ذهمب ا الوضمؤ‬S13M,T1) nahnu dhahaba ‘ilā alwudu’. We he


went to the ablution.

Overgeneralization is another important cause. This is a


developmental error which many studies such as Richards
(1971), Jain (1974), Dulay and Burt (1975), Matter (1978) and
Alicio (1996) pointed to. It is developmental in the sence that
such errors cannot be traced to first language influence. Rather
overgeneralization errors happen as the learner progresses in his
learning and makes his own rules. In the present study,
overgeneralization is closely linked with the dictionary. It
happens when the students learn the root of the word/verb and
overgeneralize it to all the verb forms they use. For example, the
root ‫ كتمب‬Kataba ‘he wrote’, may be used in faulty expressions
such as ‫‘ أنما كتمب‬I he-wrote’, ‫‘ حنمن كتمب‬we he-wrote’ etc. Here is a
real example,
259

(S10 M, T1) .‫أغسل اجلس … لبس ي بس … خاي ىل البِّت‬

’aghsilu al-jism “I wash the body”… labisa malā bis “he wore
clothes”… kharaja ’ilā albayt “ he went home”.

The underlined verbs are root verbs which are listed in the
dictionary that way. They should be ‫’ ألمبس‬albis ‘I wear’, and ‫أخماي‬
’akhruj ‘I go’.

With both the dictionary and overgeneralization goes


simplification which is another reason. When the students use the
past tense for the present tense or vice versa, this may be due to
the fact that the past tense form is simpler in structure than the
present form. The past tense form as listed in the dictionary is
easier to learn, simpler to use and consequently to generalize.
For example,

‫’ أنمما وايممت يممن النمموم‬anā qāmat min alnawm’ for ‫’ أومموم‬aqūmo


(S31F,T1).

Hamdallah (1988) noted that simplification is one of the


students’ errors in using one tense for another.

The teacher may contribute to these errors which emerge


because of the dictionary, overgeneralization and simplification.
He may re-inforce these errors in his teaching as happens when
he teaches the students words or verbs using their roots or past
forms as in: (‫’ أكمل‬akala “he ate” ‫م ِا‬ shariba “he drank” ‫ج مس‬
jalasa “he sat” etc.). Furthermore, the teacher may commit
mistakes. For example, a teacher, who the researcher observed in
1995, once said:
260

‫‘ أنما ذهمب ىل اس عم‬I he went to the restaurant’ instead of ‫أنما أذهمب‬


‫‘ ىل اس ع‬I go to the restaurant’.

The students will then wrongly imitate the teacher in every thing
he says or speaks, thus replacing one tense by another. Similar
findings have been reported in El-Hibir (1976) and ‫ زهماا‬Zahrān
(no date) which stated that the teacher has contributed to the
errors of the students.

To this one can add the teaching method, which may explain why
the students use the past tense form with the 3rd person singular
too often. Not only Malaysian teachers but also Arab teachers
prefer to use the verb in its third person singular form as a
teaching practice. Examples such as

‫’ أْكمل الولم ا التم ّفاحمة‬akala al-waladu al-tuffāha “the boy ate the
apple” are widely used in Arabic schools.

The text-book can be another source of errors. For example, The


current text-book of the Fourth Year students, which is Higher
Arabic Language (1993) ‫ ال غممة العابِّممة العالِّممة( ل سممنة الاابعممة‬, has many
errors.

Consider the following examples:


P.247 .‫مث يتق م ر ِّس ال بة وألق ك مة وجِّمة‬
thumma yataqadamu ra’īs aţţalabah wa ‘alqā kalimah wajīzah /
then the president of the students comes forward and delivered a
brief speech.

The two underlined verbs are used wrongly. The first is in the
present form while the other is in the past form. The correct
261

forms should use the past form for both verbs because the action
took place in the past.

P.51 ."… ‫" … مث الح اجلمل … ك مها زافا بفعل يبي ل مجهول‬
”…thumma lāhiz aljumal fī … kilāhumā Curifā bifiCl mabnī
lilmajhūl… “ … then notice the sentences in … both of them
were defined in the passive voice…

The underlined verbs are in two tenses: the first is in the


imperative while the other is in the past (passive) in the dual
form. The second verb should have the same tense as its
predecessor.

Moreover, the above-mentioned text-book has its limitations. It


does not cover all the types of Arabic tenses such as future tense,
five-form verbs, etc. Thus, it is not strange that the students
make errors in the use of tense. This research gives support to
El-Hibir (1976), Kambal (1980), Norrish (1983), and ‫زه ماا‬
Zahrān (no date) who claim that the textbooks are a source of
errors.

To summarize, the likely causes of tense errors are: L1


interference or the influence of BM, inherent difficulty of Arabic
verb and tense, incomplete mastery of Arabic tense, the
dictionary, overgeneralization, simplification, the teacher,
teaching method, and the text-book.

6.2.1.2 Sources of Lexical Category Errors

There are two kinds of lexical category errors here: Use of verb
instead of noun and use of noun instead of verb. The sources of
errors in the lexical category could be attributed to: influence of
262

BM, inherent difficulty of the Arabic language, ignorance of rule


restrictions, and lack of vocabulary. These are described below.

As to BM, it has a strong influence without


doubt. There are many obvious cases in the
students’ writings in which they simply
translate from BM to Arabic. Here are a
few examples:

‫( ذهمب ا غافمة النموم مث النموم‬S12M, T1) dhahaba ’ilā ghurfat alnawm


thumma alnawm (he went to sleeping room then sleeping).

The equivalent translation in BM is: dia pergi ke kamar tidur


kemudian tidur.

The word (tidur) in BM can be used either


a noun or verb in the speech: i.e.,
sleep(ing)/sleep. The Arabic underlined
word is a translation from BM which has
only one word for both verb and noun
sleep/sleeping. What the student wants to
say is:
‫ ذهب ىل غافة النوم مث نام‬thahaba ’ilā ghurfat alnawm thumma nāma
Dia pergi ke kamar tidur kemudian tidur. he went to the
sleeping room; then he slept.

‫البِّممت‬ ‫ ( حنمن الف ممور‬S1M, T1) nahnu alfuţūr fīl bayt (we the
breakfast at home).
263

The above example is a direct translation from BM which is:


kami sarapan di rumah.

The word (sarapan) in BM is a noun i.e., breakfast. People may


use it in informal speech, however, as verb and noun. What the
student wants to say is:

‫البِّمت‬ ‫ نف ما‬nafţiru fīl bayt. kami bersarapan di rumah. We


have breakfast at home.
‫اسسمج باجلمازمة‬‫ ( أنما صم ة اسغما‬S9M,T1) ‘anā şalāt al-Maghrib fīl
C
Masjid bil-jama ah. (I prayer Maghrib in the mosque with
group).

Again this is a direct translation from BM in which one says:


“saya şalāt Maghrib jama’at di masjid”. The word (şalāt) in BM
is noun i.e., prayer. Malay people use it in informal speech as
verb and noun. What the student wants to say is:

‫اسسمج يمف اجلمازمة‬ ‫‘ أصم اسغما‬usallī al-Maghrib fīl Masjid maca al-
jamāCah. Saya berşalāt Maghrib jama’at di Masjid. I pray
Maghrib at the mosque with group.
‫ ( كمل ىللنسما مي مك والم ووالم جم‬S22Ft2) kullu ‘ilinsān yamluk wālid wa
wālidah. (every person owns father and mother).

The translation in BM is: setiap orang mempunyai ayah dan ibu.

The word (mempunyai) in BM is a verb: i.e., own. The student


obviously translates from BM into Arabic literally. In this
context, the phrase ‫ لل‬lahu should be used. That is: ‫كل ىلنسا لمل والم‬
‫ووالم ة‬ kullu insān lahu wālid wa wālidah. setiap-tiap orang
mempunyai ayah dan ibu.Every person has father and mother.
264

The above examples give support to Abukhudairi (1992) who


reported that Malay students translate from their L1 to Arabic in
writing and they think in BM before they write in Arabic.

With regard to the inherent difficulty of the Arabic language, this


is another cause of error as it is a very confusing language in the
use of verbs. There are verbs which sometimes look like nouns in
form and derivation, although their meanings are different
according to the context they occur in. For example, the word
(shaCara/ ‫ ) َش َةع َر‬has several meanings which depend on their
grammatical status and contexts. The table below shows that:

TABLE 6.1 The word ‫معا‬ ShaCar by grammatical status and


context
__________________________________________________
Word Grammatical Context/ Example
Status Meaning
1- ‫م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م ممعِا‬ Adjective Hairy ‫زب اهلل رجل عِا‬
(shaCir) Abdullah rajulun shaCir
(Abdullah is a hairy
man)
2- ‫عابم‬ Verb to feel ‫َش َع َر محم بةلبرد‬
shaCara bi
shaCara Mohammad
bilbard (Mohammad felt
cold).
3- ‫معا ( نظم‬ Verb to poetize ‫عا الشازا وصِّ ة لِّ ة‬
‫الش م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م م ممعا‬ shaCara al-shaCiru
shaCara: qasidatan jam’ilātan (the
nazama poet poetized a good
alshiCr verse).
4- (‫يممف‬ ‫ممعا‬ Verb To ‫عا زي يف أخِّل‬
‫ز ممممممم ز ممممممم‬ sympathize shaCara Zaid maCa
shaCara with akhih (Zaid sympathizes
maCa: Cataffa with his brother).
Cala
265

5-‫ ْعا‬shaCr Noun Hair ‫عا غازي أسوة ال و‬


shaCar Ghazi aswad al-
lawn (Ghazi's hair is
black in color).
6- ‫ ِ ْعا‬shiCr Noun Poetr ‫ِ ْعا حسا بن ثابت رفِّف‬
y C
shi r Hassan bin Thabit
rafīC (the poetry of
Hassan son of Thabit is
high).
___________________________________________________
Arabic is full of similar examples. So, when Malay students of
Arabic use nouns as verbs or vice versa, this is partly due to this
characteristic of Arabic or its inherent difficulty as described
above. A similar case has been reported in (7.2.1.1) above. Thus,
the present study supports in this respect Haja Mohideen (1991),
Palmer (1994), and Scott and Tucker (1974), who stress the role
of TL or its inherent difficulty in learning the language.

Regarding ignorance of rule restrictions, this is manifested when


the students do not know how to use the verb in context
properly. As a result, they use the verb instead of the noun
wrongly. For example,

‫اس رس ممة االبت ا ِّ ممة‬ ‫( ممت ةرس ممت‬S17M, T2) tammat darasat fī
almadrasah al’ibtidā’iyyah. she completed she studied at primary
school.
‫اس رسة … يماةام زشما سمنة‬ ‫(يع‬S5M, T2) yuCalim fī almadrasah …
madāma Cashr sanah. he teaches at school … still 10 years.

The students used the underlined words as verbs instead of


nouns. In the first example, ‫ ةراسمتها‬dirāsatahā (her study) should
be used whereas in the second one ‫ يم ة‬muddah (period) should
be employed.
266

The present work lends support to French (1949), Richards


(1971), Alicio (1996) who traced certain errors to ignorance of
rule restrictions.

Finally, lack of vocabulary, which is a plausible cause. This refers


to the students’ limited lexical competence in the sense that they
do not have enough vocabulary to express their ideas clearly.
Therefore, they use the noun for the verb to make sentences. For
example,
‫(ألنمل حنمني ىل حنمن‬S27F, T2) li’annahu hanīn ’ilā nahnu “ because it
is longing to we”.

‫(ألنظ أسناي واسمتحمام‬S17F, T1) li’unazifa ’asnanī wa’istihmām “to


clean my teeth and having bath”.

The underlined words in the last two examples are used as nouns
instead of verbs. The verb forms ‫ حيمن‬longs and ‫ أسمتح‬I have a
bath should be used.

In short, the likely causes of lexical category errors are: L1


interference, where students copy or translate ideas from BM
into Arabic, is the most obvious cause. Other causes are inherent
difficulty of the Arabic language, ignorance of rule restrictions
and lack of vocabulary. Some of these causes have also been
reported above (7.2.1.1). the causes often overlap with one
another.

6.2.1.3 Sources of Categories of Errors.

There are three kinds of categories here: namely, omission,


addition and misplacement of the verb. The causes of errors vary
from category to category. Below is a brief discussion.
267

a) omission.

The causes of omission of the verb from the sentence are varied.
They may be due to the influence of BM, incomplete application
of rules, and simplification.

As to the influence of BM, there are cases in which the students’


L1 has obviously influenced their learning Arabic. Therefore,
when they write in Arabic, they are actually translating from BM.
The following sentences illustrate this further:

‫( أرجمو أنمت خبمري‬S8M, T1) ’arjw ’anta bikhayr (I hope you with
good).

This is wrong in Arabic, as the verb is deleted. The correct form


should be:
‫’ أرجمو أ تكمو خبمري‬arjw ’an takūna bikhayr (I hope that you are
o.k./good).

The cause of the error comes from BM where one says: saya
harap kamu baik.

ِ ‫(أنما الاجماا ان‬S29F, T1) ‘anā alrajā’ ‘anti şihat ( I hope you
‫مت صمحة‬
health).

This is wrong in Arabic also, as the verb is deleted. The correct


form should be:

‫‘ أرجمو أ تكموي بصمحة‬arju ‘an takūnī bişihah ( I hope that you are in
health).

The cause of the error comes from BM where one says: saya
harap kamu şihat.
268

‫ (أرجمموك سمماور وفمماح ام جم الاسممالة‬S19F, T1) ‘arjūki surūr wa farah


bihadhihi alrisālah ( I hope you happy and pleasant in this letter).

This is wrong in Arabic, as the verb is deleted. The correct form


should be:

.‫‘ أرجمو أ تكموي يسماورة وفاحمة ام جم الاسمالة‬arju ’an takūnī masrūrah wa


farihah bihadhihi alrisālah ( I hope that you are happy and
pleasant with this letter).

The cause of the error comes from BM where one says: saya
harap kamu gembira dan sukacita dengan surat ini.

‫ (أريم انمت بمالفاح والصمحة‬S41M, T1) ‘urid ‘anta bilfarah wa alşiha ( I


want you with happy and health).

This is wrong in Arabic, as the verb is deleted. The correct form


should be:
‫‘ أري أ تكو فاحاو وبصمحة‬uridu ‘an takūna farihan we bişiha ( I want
you to be happy and in health).

The cause of the error comes from BM where one says: saya
mahu kamu gembira dan şihat.

As regards the incomplete application of rules, this refers to the


fact that the students do not fully apply the rules of making
sentences correctly in Arabic. Omitting verbs from their
sentences is a case in point. For example,

‫اس عم‬ ‫(حنمن ىل الف مور‬S1M, T1) nahnu alfuţūr fīl maţ Cam. ‘We the
breakfast at restaurant’
269

The student omitted the verb (have, take ‫ ) نتنمماول‬from the


sentence.

‫( أنا ىل ا بِّمت ال بمة‬S6M, T1) ’anā ’ilā bayt alţţulābah. ‘I to house


of students’

The student omitted the verb ‫( أذهب‬go) from the sentence.

Simplification is another plausible source for not writing the


verb. The students may think that the message is understood by
the hearer/reader. Richards (1975) and Ho-Peng (1976) reported
a similar finding when they noted that native speakers of BM use
simplified register in informal speech in English. E.g., the
sentence:

My friend ø coming from Kuantan. (Ho-Peng 1976:27).


lacks the verb is .

b) Addition.

There is one main source of errors in the addition of the verb into
the sentence, which may be due to ignorance of rule restrictions.
This ignorance of rule restrictions concerns the fact that the
students may know tense rules in Arabic in general but they may
not know their specific and precise limitations very well.
Therefore, they make errors. One such restriction is that Arabic
does not allow two verbs to follow each other for no obvious
reason. For example,

‫ت ك يكا‬ ‫(ه جت تعمل‬S43F, T2) hiya tajid taCmal fī tilka makān.


‘she finds she works in that place’.
270

‫(أيم مي مك لِّ مة الوجمل‬S23F, T2) ’ummī yamlik jamīlah alwajih.‘my


mother owns beautiful face’.

The underlined verbs are unnecessarily added into those two


sentences. In Arabic, the verb is a necessary element in most
sentences. An exception to this is noun phrases which do not
need verbs at all. The students do not know the restrictions to
verb rules which also state that sentence one cannot have two
consecutive verbs while two should be verbless as it is a noun
phrase.

C) Misplacement.

The sources of errors in misplacement of the verb in the sentence


can be attributed to the inherent difficulty of the Arabic verb,
overgeneralization, lack of vocabulary, and the book.

As to the inherent difficulty of the Arabic verb, this relates to the


fact that Arabic is rich in certain verbs which look similar but
have different meanings. As these may be confusing for students
as to their meanings and how/where to use them, they,
consequently, make errors. For example,

‫( س مت الاسالة‬sallamtu alrisālah) (S37M, T1).

The intended verb in this sentence should be ‫تس م مت الاسممالة‬


(tasallamtu alrisālah) . The first means I submitted the letter
while the second means I had the letter. Often the students use
the second verb in the meaning of the first.

‫(أتوصمل ال رسم‬S26M, T1) ’atawaşşal aldarsatī. I reached the my


study.
271

The verb ‫أتوصمل‬ means I reached which should be I continue


‫ أواصل‬which is different from the first one.

‫( أذكما ةروسم‬S30F, T1) ’adhkur durūsī. I mention/remember my


lesson.
The verb ‫ أذكا‬means I remember; it should be ‫ أذاكما‬I review which
should be used instead of the first one.

‫(مث خاجمت يممن اجلايعممة‬S21M, T2) thumma kharajat min aljamiCah.


then she got out from the university.

The verb ‫ خاجمت‬means she got out; it should be ‫ ختاجمت‬she


graduated.

‫اسستشمف‬ ‫(أنما وجم‬S1M,T2) ’anā wajada fīl mustashfā. I he found


at the hospital

The verb ‫ وج‬means he found which should be ‫ ول ا‬I was born.

‫( أنا أووف‬S39M,T1) ’anā ’uaqiCu ( I sign)

The verb ‫ أوومف‬means I sign which should be ‫’ أتوومف‬atawaqaCu ( I


expect).

‫ ( أنا افاي الت ِّم يسمِّو‬S47M,T1) ’anā afraju altelīf yesyūn ( I release
the Television). The verb ‫ افماي‬means release which should be
‫’ أتفاي‬atafaraju ( I watch).
272

‫( جنممف ايمام الفصمل‬S20F, T1) najmaCu ’amāma alfasli. The verb ‫جنممف‬
means we collect which should be ‫ جنتمف‬we meet.

‫سمايبا‬‫ (هم تظماها‬S19M,T2) hiya tuzāhir fī Serembān ( she


demonstrates in Seremban). The verb ‫ تظماها‬should be ‫‘ تظهما‬she
appears’.

‫يص مما‬ ‫اجلايع ممة األزه ممار‬ ِّ‫(بعم م جم وص م م ت التع م م‬S34M, T2) baCdahu
waşalat altaClīm fīl jamiCah al-Azhār fī mişr. After it, she arrived
the studying in the University of Al-Azhar in Egypt.

The verb ‫ وصم ت‬waşalat means (she arrived) which should be


‫ واص ت‬wāşalat (she continued).

All the above cases involve verbs which differ in one letter only
but with different meanings. The students think there is no
difference between such similar verbs. There are many other
cases of a similar nature.

The above-mentioned examples might be also due to


overgeneralization, which is a recurrent cause of which similar
cases have already been reported in this work (7.2.1.1 above).
This applies when the students know one meaning of the verb
and then overgenerlize it to other situations or contexts. For
example,

‫( وصم ت ز م ةراسم‬S17F, T1) wşaltu Calā dirasatī. I reached at my


study.
273

The verb ‫ وص ت‬means I arrived; it should be ‫ واص ت‬I continued.

‫ ( رسمل جم ي أيب ا اجلايعمة االسم يِّة العاسِّمة كمواال سبمور‬S9M, T2). rasala
jaddī ’abī ’ilā aljāmiCah al’islāmiyyah alCalāmiyyah fī Kuala
Lumpur.My grandfather sent my father to the IIU in Kuala
Lumpur.

The verb ‫ رسل‬means he sent; it should be ‫ أرسل‬.

In both and all other similar cases, the students know one verb or
which they generalize to other contexts which require another
slightly different verb form.

Another cause of misplacing verbs may be due to the fact that the
students lack or do not have sufficient vocabulary. This results in
using the wrong verb in the sentence. For example,

‫(ينم م نق ممت ىل اس رس ممة ج يم م ة‬S24F, T1). mundhu naqaltu ’ilā


almadrasah jadīdah. Since I moved to the new school.

The verb ‫ نق مت‬means I transported which should be ‫ انتق مت‬I


shifted.

‫اسكتبمة‬ ‫(تع ممت‬S17F, T1). taCalamtu fīl maktabah. I learnt at the


library.

The verb ‫ تع مت‬I learned should be ‫ أةر‬I study.


274

Another source of students’ errors is the book. Consider the


following example which is taken from ‫ال غة العابِّة العالِّمة( السمنة الاابعمة‬
3221(95 ):
… ‫ث ي األم ال ي أةار ال ن‬ ‫وزافنا زقب يا ول نا بايتصا‬
ّ
wa Carafanā, Cuqba mā walidnā, bi’imtişāş thadī al’um al-ladhī
’adāra al-laban … ( and he showed us, after we were born, with
sucking the mother’s breast which operated the milk …).

The verb ‫’ أةار‬adāra (operated) is wrongly substituted for ‫أةر‬


َّ
‘adarra (flow/pour/ produce)

In students’ writings, similar errors occurred. Here is a selection.

‫أزمالمل مل حيمب ا يبظما الوومت‬ ‫(جم ي ةتهم‬S9M, T2). jaddī mujtahid fī


’Camālihi lam yuhib ’an yubazzira alwaqt. My grandfather clever
in his works, he does not like to cut the clitoris of time.

The underlined verb ‫ يبظما‬means to cut the clitoris which should


be ‫ يب ر‬to waste.

‫ه م جم اس رسممة‬ ‫(هممو جعِممل كاس م يا‬S9M, T2).huwa juCilā kalmudīr fī


hadhihi almadrasah. He has been made as headmaster of this
school.

The underlined verb ‫ جعِمل‬has been made is wrong and should be


Cuīna ‫ ز دني‬has been appointed.
275

‫ هممو وو م يممن زسممكاجم‬10 ‫( زم ماجم‬S25M, T2). fī Cumrihi 30 huwa


waqafa min Caskarihi. In his age 30 years he stopped from his
soldiers.

The underlined verb ‫ ووم‬stopped is wrong and should be ‫انتهم‬


finished.

In summary, the sources of errors in categories of errors are the


influence of BM, incomplete application of rules and
simplification in the case of omission; ignorance of rule
restrictions in the case of addition, and inherent difficulty of
Arabic verb, overgeneralization, lack of vocabulary, and the text-
book in the case of misplacement. The causes are not clear-cut;
they often overlap with one another where one error may be due
to more than one cause.

6.2.1.4 Sources of Tense or Verb Particle Errors

Four tense particles occurred in the data, which are the


infinitivizer ‫’ أ‬an (’an al-masdariyyah), causative ‫ ل م‬lam, jussive
lam ‫مل‬, and future sa ‫ س م‬. The sources of errors in their usage may
be due to L1 interference, ignorance of rule restrictions, the
text-book, and incomplete mastery of Arabic tense particles.

As to L1 interference, this concerns the influence of BM, which


is certainly a major cause of errors as Arabic and Malay differ
greatly in this respect. Arabic has tense particles while Malay has
not. These differences between both languages lead to difficulty
and consequently to error. The influence of BM is found in the
following particles: in the omission of the infinitivizer ’an ‫’( أ‬an
al-masdariyyah), misplacement of causative lam (lam al-taclīl) and
Jussive lam.
276

It is worthwhile to note here that the above particles are not


totally absent in Malay. Rather they do have Malay equivalents
which only express one of their two functions in Arabic. That is,
Malay uses certain words which indicate one function of the
tense particles in Arabic such as causality and negation. Such
words act as conjunctions, adverbs, and auxiliaries. None of
these words indicates tense, though. Here is a brief description.
(i) Conjunction Untuk:
Untuk (for) is the only word in BM which indicates the causative,
but not the future tense, function of the particle lam ‫ ل م‬. Untuk can
be followed by a verb or noun in the sentence. E.g.,

saya telah datang untuk bermain. ‫ جئمت أللعمب‬ji’tu li’alCaba. I


came to play.

The difference between causative lam ِ‫ لم‬and untuk leads students


to make errors. One such errors is misplacement. E.g. ‫بعم لتناولمت‬
‫( الغم اا‬S22F, T1). baCda litanāwaltu alghāda’. After to I had the
lunch.

The student misplaced the causative lam (lam al-taclīl) here where
‫’ أ‬an should be used instead.

(ii) Adverbs Tidak and Belum:


In BM Tidak and Belum act as adverbs to indicate the negative,
but not the past tense, function of jussive particle lam ‫ مل‬. These
words might be followed by verb/ adjective or a grammatical
function word. E. g.:
277

a) Tidak (not): when used as adverb, the following word can be


adjective or verb. E.g.

Followed by adjective: Followed by verb:

Tidak cantik ( not pretty). Tidak makan (did not eat).


Tidak baik (not good). Tidak pergi ( did not go).
(pers.com. with Khadijah Abdul-Hamid, Lecturer in BM at the
Faculty of Education, University of Malaya 1997).

b) Belum (not yet): when used as adverb, the following word


may be a verb or a modifier word (lagi ). E.g.,

Followed by verb: Followed by Modifier Lagi:

Belum datang Belum lagi


(not come yet). (not yet).

(pers.com. with Khadijah Abdul-Hamid, Lecturer in BM at the


Faculty of Education, University of Malaya 1997).

These differences between lam and tidak result in error. The


most obvious such error is misplacement. E.g.

‫(مل اسمت اع جم ي‬S9M, T2) lam istātaCa jaddī. Datuk saya tidak
dapat.

The student here misplaced the jussive lam; it should be followed


by the present tense instead of the past tense: i.e., … ‫ مل يست ف‬.

(iii) Auxiliary verb akan:


278

The auxiliary verb akan (will/ shall) in BM indicates the future


function of particle sa. E.g.,

saya akan makan (I will/shall eat).

In their writings, although the two languages Arabic and Malay


agree in this respect, the students still did commit a few errors in
the use of future particle sa. E.g.

‫اس رسة‬ ‫( سأسرحت‬S11M, T1) sa’istarahtu fīl madrasah

The student misplaced the future particle sa with the past tense
instead of the present tense. The correct form is ‫ سأسريح‬.

As to the particle ‫’ أ‬an, there is no equivalent in BM. E.g.,

‫’ أحمب أ ألعمب‬uhibbu ’an ’alCaba. (Saya suka bermain). I like to


play.

No wonder then that the usage of ’an is full of errors. The


students usually delete it in their writing tasks where they seem
to translate from BM to Arabic. E.g.

‫( وبل ىلةخ ت‬S8M,T1) qabla dakhaltu (before I entered).

In BM one says: sebelum saya masuk.

The student omitted the particle ’an from the sentence because
BM has no such particle. It should be ‫ وبل أ ةخ ت‬.
279

‫ (بعم ىلخ صمت الغم اا‬S16M,T1) (baCda khalştu alghadā’ ) after I


finished the lunch.

In BM one says: selepas saya habis makan tingahari.

The student has omitted the particle ’an from the sentence
because BM has no such particle. It should be ‫ بع أ خ صت الغ اا‬.

‫ (بعم ىلةق اجلما‬S1M,T1) (baCda daqqa aljarasu ) after the bell


rang.

In BM one says: selepas loceng berbunyi.


The student has omitted the particle ’an from the sentence
because BM has no such particle. It should be ‫ بع أ ةق اجلا‬.

The above errors can also be due to ignorance of rule


restrictions, in the use of particles ‫’ أ‬an, causative ‫ ل م‬lam, jussive
‫ مل‬lam, and future ‫ س م‬sa. The students omit, add, and misplace
them because they do not fully know the precise rules governing
the use of such particles. For example,

‫( ه حتب ىلت بخ‬S40M, T2) hiya tuhib taţbukh. She likes cook.

The student omitted the particle ’an which should be added to


separate between two consecutive verbs.

‫(اسممتع ا ا اذهممب لص م ة الصممبح‬S7M, T1) ’istaCadat ’an adhhaba


lişalāt alşubh. She prepared to I go to praying Subuh (morning
prayer).
280

The student misplaced the particle ‘an here for ‫ ك‬kay.

‫(مث از مت الوضموا أل صم ت‬S19F, T1). thumma ‘Cţat alwudū’ li’an


şallat. Then she gave ablution to pray.

The student added or used the particle li‘an with a past tense
verb. This particle must be followed by a present form: i.e., ‫ تص‬.

‫(بعم لتناولمت الغم اا‬S22F, T1). baCda litanāwalta alghadā’. After to


she had lunch.

The student misplaced the causative lam particle instead of ‘an in


the sentence.

‫(مل اسمت اع جم ي‬S9M, T2). lam ’istaţāCa jaddī. datuk saya tidak
dapat. My grandfather did not able.

The student misplaced the jussive lam particle with the past tense
form instead of the present tense, which should be:

‫ مل يست ف ج ي‬lam yastaţiC jaddī.

The present work lends support to French (1949), Richards


(1971) and Alicio (1996) who traced some errors to the
ignorance of rule restrictions of the TL. Also this work provided
examples of this (see 6.2.1.2-6.2.1.3 above)

The students’ textbook may be a major source of errors in


particle use as it has no lessons / drills on certain tense particles
(i.e., future particles). The students, therefore, will make errors
because they do not know how to use them properly in context.
They omit, add and misplace the particles ’an, causative lam,
281

jussive lam, and future sa. ‫ زهماا‬Zahrān (no date) claimed that
students’ errors are due to the book which has no drills. Also in
this study the text book has been found to be contain errors (see
6.2.1.1 above).

Finally, incomplete mastery of Arabic tense particles. This


follows from the above point. Arabic has many tense particles
(see ch. 3 above). These need explanation, understanding and a
lot of practice to master. Otherwise, the students will not be sure
as to know which particle should be used in which sentence.
Here are a few examples of errors from the particles: ’an,
causative lam, and jussive lam.
‫(بم اا ج م ي ا حيبهمما‬S9M, T2). badā’a jaddī ’an yuhibbuhā. My
grandfather started to love her.

The studuent added the particle ’an which is not required.

‫(أل صم ت الصم ة العصماي‬S19F, T1). li’an şallat alşalāt alcasrī. To she


prayed Asr prayer.

The student misplaced the particle ’an wrongly with the past
tense. Instead the present form should be used.

‫(ايم تكمو ربمة البِّمت ومل تعممل‬S31F, T2). ’ummī takūnu rabbat albayt
wa lam taCmal. My mother is housewife and did not work.

The student misplaced the jussive lam particle which should be


replaced with la ‫ ال‬.

To conclude, the sources of errors in the use of tense particles


are due to L1 transfer, which is a very strong cause as BM and
Arabic differ greatly in this respect. Other important causes
282

include ignorance of rule restrictions, the text-book, and


incomplete mastery of tense particles. Sometimes there is overlap
between these causes where one error might be explained by
more than one cause.

6.2.1.5 Sources of Spelling Errors

There are four kinds of spelling errors which are omission,


addition, substitution and misplacement of letters in the verb. The
sources of these errors vary. One such sourse is the influence of
BM and Jawi script which is an important cause as Abukhudairi
(1992) mentioned. The students of the present study are
influenced by their L1 Jawi script in various ways. They add to
verbs some letters wrongly. E.g.

‫’ ىلنشأ اهلل‬insha’a Allah (God willing) is the Jawi script for Arabic ‫ىل‬
‫ اا اهلل‬.

‫ (بعم اوماا ا اسمأثورة‬S35F, T1). bacda ‘aqra’ al-ma’thūrah ( after I read


the Hadith).

The student placed the hamza behind the alif as is the practice in
Jawi script. The correct form should be: ‫ أواأ‬.

‫ (اكمل االرز والفاكحمة‬S25F,T1). ’akala al-’aruz wal fākiha (he ate the
rice and fruit).

The student wrote the verb ’akala without hamza due to the
influence of Jawi script in which it is not written; it should be:
‫أكل‬.
283

The reason why Malay students of Arabic add letters to verb is


the problem of long and short vowel. BM does not differentiate
between short and long vowels as in Arabic. Arabic words have
two kinds of vowels: i.e., short and long. In writing, only long
vowels are represented with ordinary letters which are ‫ ا و ي‬.
The short vowels - ْ ْ َ‫ ر‬- are indicated by small marks over
the consonant letters. In pronunciation we have to pronounce
both short and long vowels. Malay students sometimes write the
short vowels as separate letters which is wrong. E.g.

‫’ أنت لعبتا‬anta laCibtā (you (dual) played) (S47M, T1).


The correct form is ‫’ أنمت لعبمت‬anta laCibta (you played), which
has a short vowel rather than long vowel.

‫( األيم تم رو اس رسمة‬S6F, T2). ’al’ummī tadrūs almadrasah. The


mother study the school.

The student added the letter‫ و‬waw to the verb wrongly, which
should be ‫ت ر‬.

‫(بعم أ احبمو ايم‬S37M, T2). baCda ’an ahabbū ’ummī. After I love
my mother.

The student added the letter ‫ و‬waw to the verb wrongly, which
should be ‫ أحب‬.

Another reason is that BM lacks certain Arabic letters such as


‫ض ث ذ‬ ‫ع غ ط ظ‬. These cause errors in students’ writings
284

in the sense that they may be confused with or replaced by their


nearest equivalents. E.g.

‫’ اسمتِّق يمن نمام‬astaiqidhu min nāma (S44F, T1) for ‫’ اسمتِّق‬astaiqizu


(I wake up).

‫ زكاا ال رو‬zakartu aldurūsi (S24F, T1) for ‫ذكاا ال رو‬.

A similar influence is that of Malay writing culture or practice,


which encourages the omission of certain letters in certain words.
E.g., the words “Mohammad” becomes “Mat / Mohd”; Ahmad
becomes “Amat”. This practice may influence the students to
omit the letters from the verbs.
A BM-related influence is loan-words, which may be a major
source of errors. Malay has borrowed many words from Arabic,
which are spelt differently in it. This different L1 spelling results
in errors in L2 spelling. For example,

‫ ألكمربك زمن حِّما‬li’ukbirakum can hayatī ( to tell you about my life)


(S25F, T1).

The student, under the influence of modern Malay script, wrote


the verb with the letter k ‫ ك‬instead of kh ‫ خ‬:i.e., ‫ ألخربك‬.

Inherent difficulty of the Arabic language is another source.


Arabic is a derivational language and so verbs may have many
forms. Students make errors a lot in those cases which differ in
one letter and which have different meanings. E.g. ‫ألمف القازمة‬
’ajmaCu fī al-qāCah ( I collect at the hall) should be: …‫( اجتممف‬I
meet …) where the student omitted the letter ta’ ‫ ا‬from the
verb.
285

Another example concerns the writing of the glottal stop (hamza)


which has many rules (Jassem et al. 1995; ِّ‫ السم‬As-Saiyyed
1988). The students place it randomly and haphazardly. For
example,

‫(ألوأةي الصم ة الظهماي‬S16M,T1) li’ua’dī alşalāt alzuhrī. It should be


‫ ألؤةي‬.

‫’ أتوضؤ لصم ة العشماا‬atawada’u lişalāti alCisha’ (S9M, T1). It should


be ‫’ أتوضأ‬atawada’u.
Influence of Arabic spelling style is another cause which is
closely linked to the above. There is a general/normal practice in
Arabic especially when used by the powerful and when writing to
close/dear friends or high class people. The Holy Qur ’an uses
this style, e.g. ‫لِّ مة القم ر‬ ‫’ ىلنما أنملنماجم‬inn ā ‘anzalnāho fī lailatil qadr
(We have indeed revealed This (Message) in the night of Power).
Surah, 97:1. Translated by Ali (1991).

Allah (S.W.T) is One but He used the plural pronoun “We” to


refer to His majesty, might and ability. Thus students try to
imitate this and so they add letters to some verbs as in: ‫أةايكم اهلل‬
adāmakum Allah (may Allah keep you {plural}) (S6M, T1).
Instead, they should use the verb in the singular form: i.e., ‫أةايمك‬
adāmaka.

To this one may add the influence of Arabic dialects. In Arabic,


there are many dialects, which differ in pronunciation as well as
in many other things. The letter q ‫ ق‬, for example, may be
pronounced in five ways at least ( Jassem (1993a). Thus the
286

word ‫ ومما‬kamar (moon) can be said ‫ … ومما غما كمما أيما‬So, the
students may be negatively influenced by this from their teachers
especially when they spell ‫ وما‬as ‫ كما‬or ‫ وال‬as ‫ خرب ; كال‬as ‫ كرب‬etc.

Another cause is ignorance of rule restrictions. The students may


add or omit some letters from the verb not because they do not
know the rules of spelling but because they may not know the
limitations of the rule. The hamza examples above are a case in
point. In this regard, Abukhudairi (1992:35) stressed that

The hamza which was introduced to the Malay script hundreds of


years ago still exists. It appears in such words like " ‫"كجِّمأ‬
"‫ "كألتني" "سمئِّكور" " كمأمن‬However, Malay students frequently use the
hamza wrongly when writng in Arabic.

The teacher is a likely cause also. Teachers contribute to errors


in the sense that they do not pronounce the letters clearly (cf. El-
Hibir 1976; Zahrān ). Teachers who do not have a good
knowledge of Arabic phonetics may pronounce Arabic words
according to their spelling, e.g. ‫( الصةلو‬al-şalāh, prayer) may be
pronounced as */al-şalawah/ instead of /al-şalāh/; ‫( الحيةو‬al-
hayāt, life) may be pronounced as */al-hayawat/ instead of /al-
hayāt/; ‫ جة ا‬may be pronounced as */ ‫ َجة ْ َا‬jay'a/ instead of /‫رجة ْ َا‬
jī'a /. These differences in pronunciation lead to both spoken and
written errors by L2 learners.

The teachers may also be influenced by their BM in


pronunciation and so they pronounce Arabic BM-style, especially
in those cases which do not have equivalent letters in BM. Thus,
the students will make errors.
287

Also in writing, L2 teachers can cause their students to make


errors especially when they sometimes misspell words. For
example, the word (gorilla, ّ ‫ غموري‬/‫) غِماّي‬, is spelt by certain L2
teachers as ( ‫) غوري‬.

Simplification may be another sourse. Richards (1975) and Ho-


Peng (1976) claim that students do not write some letters/words
because of simplification. The students may think that their
writing is understood by the reader. Therefore, they do not write
all the letters. For example,

‫( هجا ج ي‬S16M, T2) hajara jaddī, for ‫ هاجا ج ي‬hājara jaddī.


False analogy is a possible source. Errors occur when the
students make false analogy with other verbs. E.g.

‫’ األ اريم ا ماحك‬al’ān ’uridu ’ashrahaka (now I want explain you)


for ‫’ ان أريم أ أ ماح لمك‬al’ān ’uridu ’an ’ashraha laka (now I want
to explain to you). ‫ أ ماحك‬is made on analogy with other verbs
like: ‫ ( أز مك‬I teach you), ‫( أةربك‬I train you).

The textbook (3221(10 ‫ )ال غمة العابِّمة العالِّمة( ل سمنة الاابعمة‬High Arabic
Language: (Fourth Year) is one source of students’ errors. It has
many errors. Consider the following example:

"…‫ … “ "… وم م لمل رسمالة تعِِّّنمل فاحبّمل اسم يا وأكايمل‬qaddama lahu risālata
taCyīnihi farahabbahu al-mudīr wa’kramahu … “ (… he gave
him his appointment letter and the headmaster welcomed him and
honoured him … ).
288

The word ‫ فاحبمل‬is wrongly spelt, which should have the pronoun
ha split from it: i.e., ‫ فاحب بل‬.

In this study, similar examples occurred:

‫السممازة الاابعممة‬ ‫(ةخ مت ا الفصممل … وانتهِّتهما‬S14M, T1) dakhaltu ’ilā


alfasli … wa ’intahaituhā fīl sācati alrābicah. I entered the class …
and I finished it at 4 o’clock.

The student spelt the underlined word in the above sentence


wrongly; it should be ‫ وانتهِّت ينل‬.

‫ (ذهبممت ا اجمممام لِّغتس م ت‬S8M, T1). dhahabtu ’ilā alhammām


liyaghtasiltu. I went to the bathroom to he bathed.

The student spelt the word ‫ لِّغتسم ت‬wrongly; it should be ‫ألغتسمل‬.


El-Hibir (1976) has reported similar errors.

Hypercorrection is another cause of errors which happens when


the students try to spell the verb correctly but, unfortunately,
they get it wrong. For example,

‫’أهب ةرست‬uhibu darastu (S8M, T1) I love studied

Where the student wrote the letter ‫ ه م‬ha’ instead of ‫ ح‬ha’: i.e.,
‫ أحب‬.

Students hypercorrect when they are not sure of certain rules of


spelling as in the case of ( ‫ ممة‬ta’ marbuta {closed ta’} and ‫ممت‬
maftuha {open ta’} ). As the ta’ marbuta is sometimes
289

pronounced in speech as ta’ maftuha, the students substitute the


latter for the former. They aim to write them correctly but they
cannot do so. For example,

‫(أنمت واسماتك صمحت ايضما‬S9M, T1) ’anta wa ’usratuka şihat ’aydan.


You and your family healthed too.

The student wrote the ta’ marbuta as ta’ maftuha, which should
be ‫ صحة‬.
The present research supports Duskova (1969) and ‫ زهماا‬Zahrān
(no date) which reported that errors could be due to
hypercorrection.
To sum it all up, the likely causes of verb spelling errors are L1
interference or the influence of Jawi script, together with Jawi
writing practice and loan-words, inherent difficulty of Arabic
together with Arabic writing practice and variation among Arabic
dialects, ignorance of rule restrictions, the teacher, simplification,
false analogy, the text book and hypercorrection. These causes
have also been reported in several places above (see 6.2.1.1-4).

6.2.2 Sources of S.V.A. Errors

The sources of errors in S.V.A are similar to those of tense and


what has already been discussed. These include: interference of
L1, inherent difficulty of the Arabic language, influence of non-
standard Arabic dialect, incomplete mastery of Arabic verb
agreement, overgeneralization, the dictionary, simplification, the
teacher, and the book. Here is a brief description of each.

L1 interference or the influence of BM is probably one of the


most important causes of error. Arabic and Malay are opposites
as far as SVA is concerned. Arabic verbs agree with their subject
in person, number and gender (see ch.3 above for further detail).
290

In BM there is no such agreement between the verb and its


subject whether by person, number or gender. Thus verbs carry
no grammatical marks or endings to indicate S.V.A by person,
number, and gender (Lewis 1965:167; Haja Mohideen 1991:321-
2; Nik Safiah Karim 1995:8). In the words of Haja Mohideen
(1991:321-2):

BM does not use SV Concord. Although there are singular as


well as plural nouns and pronouns, verbs are not inflected so as
to indicate singularity or plurality.

Here are a few examples.

By Person

1- Saya makan nasi. I am eating rice (first person singular.)


2- Arifin makan nasi. Arifin is eating rice (third person singular.)
3- Budak makan nasi. The children are eating rice (third person
plural.)”. (Lewis 1965:167).

In all the examples, the verb makan remains unchanged


regardless of person.

By Gender

1- dia sedang membaca Qur’an (s/he is reading Qur’an).


2- kamu sedang membaca Qur’an (you (masc./fem.) are reading
Qur’an).

The examples show that the verb membaca is unmarked for


gender.
291

By Number

1- saya sedang balik ke rumah ( I am going home).


2- kita sedang balik ke rumah ( we are going home).

Again the verb balik is unmarked for number.

Thus the differences between Arabic and Malay in SVA make it


difficult for Malay learners to learn. As a result, they make
errors. For example,

‫اس عم‬ ‫(حنن ما‬S1M, T1) nahnu shariba fīl maţCam. We I-drank
at the canteen.
This example has a number error. Although the subject is a plural
pronoun ‘we’, the student used the verb with a 3rd person
masculine singular form; it should be ‫ نشا‬nashrabu.

‫(اي م … يممف أيب … سممكنوا‬S47M, T1) ’ummī … maCa ’abī …


sakanū. My mother … with my father … they (plural) lived.

This example has another number error. The student used the
verb with the 3rd person masculine plural instead of a dual
subject: i.e., ‫ سكنا‬sakanā they (two) lived.

‫اس رسممة‬ ‫(ايم ةر‬S20M, T2) ’ummī darasa fīl madrasah. My


mother he-studied at the school.

This example has a gender error. The student wrongly used the
verb with the 3rd person singular masculine form instead of 3rd
person singular feminine form which its subject ‘my mother’
requires. It should be ‫ ةرست‬.
292

‫(ايم سِّنصمحنا‬S44F, T2) ’ummī sayanşahunā. My mother he will


advice us.

This example contains another gender error. The student used


the masculine verb form instead of the feminine form because the
subject is feminine; it should be: ‫ ستنصمحنا‬satanşahunā she will
advice us.

‫(ومم يمن النموم‬S4F, T1) qumī min alnawm. You (fem. singular) rise
from bed.
This example has a person error. The student used the feminine
2nd person singular form instead of 1st person singular form: i.e.,
‫’ أووم‬aqūmo ‘I rise’.

‫(أنما وأنمت تغسم و‬S14M, T2) ’anā wa’anta taghsilūn. I and you are
washing.

This example has another person error. The student used the
verb in the 2nd person masculine plural form instead of 1st person
plural form: i.e., ‫ نغسل‬naghsil we wash.

Thus the complete lack of SVA in BM has contributed to


errors in Arabic writings by the students. The same thing
has already been found with tense choice (7.2.1.1 above)
and tense particles (7.2.1.4 above) etc.

Another major cause is the inherent difficulty of the Arabic


language. SVA is particularly complex in Arabic. First, the
Arabic verb inflects for person, number and gender (see ch. 3
above for detail). This causes a lot of difficulty to the students as
there are 14 such conjugations to learn for each verb. Secondly,
293

there is the problem of Arabic short vowels which are placed on


subject pronominal suffixes when attached to verbs. These short
vowels serve to differentiate among the 1st person, 2nd person and
3rd person, as in:

‫’ أك ت‬akaltu (I ate) for 1st person,


‫’ أك ت‬akalta (you (masc.) ate) for 2nd person,
ِ ‫’ أك‬akalti (you (fem.) ate) for 2nd person, and
‫ت‬
‫ت‬
ْ ‫’ أك‬akalat (she ate) for 3 person.
rd

Most often these short vowels are left unmarked which makes it
doubly difficult for the L2 learner to read at first. Many studies (
Haja Mohideen 1991; Duskova 1969) have stated that the verbal
system is difficult to learn in general.

Another related complicating factor is the influence of non-


standard Arabic dialects which are very, very numerous of
course. ‫ السمِّد‬As-Saiyyed’s study (1988) found that native Arabic
students have difficulties in S.V.A especially in using the form of
duality due to the interference of colloquial Arabic dialects.

The complex nature of Arabic verbs necessarily leads to an


incomplete mastery of Arabic SVA. It is very plausible that
committing SVA errors by the students may be due to the fact
that they have not yet fully mastered the agreement between the
verb and its subject and/or their many conjugations.

Overgeneralization is a possible cause which may arise as a direct


consequence of the above picture. Arabic verbs should agree
with their subject in person, number, and gender. The total
number of conjugations which results from them is 14 for each
verb. The students often know and use one general inflection of
the verb which usually happens to be the 3rd person singular
294

masculine verb form as in: ‫ كتمب‬kataba (he wrote), ‫ ما‬shariba


(he drank), ‫ نام‬nāma (he slept).

Overgeneralization obtains when the students use this 3rd person


singular masculine form for all other cases. For example,

‫ ( هم ةخمل‬hiya dakhala) she he-entered instead of ‫ هم ةخ مت‬she


entered ( hiya dakhalat), (S38f, T2).

‫ ( األي أةى حىت ال رجمة الثانِّمة‬al’ummī adda hattā aldarajah althāniyah)


the my mother he- performed until grade 2 instead of ‫األيم أةا‬
‫ (“حمىت ال رجمة الثانِّمة‬al’ummī addat hattā aldarajah althāniyah”. S7M,
T2.

‫ (حنمن ذهمب ىل الوضموا‬S13M,T1) (nahnu dhahaba ’ilā alwudū’) we


he-went to ablution.

The correct form is ‫ حنمن نم هب ىل الوضموا‬nahnu nadhhabu ’ilā


alwudū’ (we go to ablution).

‫(ال أنما نسم لصم ة العصما‬S28M,T1) (lā ’anā nasya lişalāt alCaşr) no I
he-forgot to prayer Asr.

The correct form is ‫ ال أنسم صم ة العصما‬lā ‘ansā şalāt al-Casr (I do


not forget Asr prayer).

‫ (بعم خ صمت الغم اا زماة ا الغماف‬S16M,T1) (baCda khalaştu alghadā’


Cāda ’ilā alghurfatī) after I finished the lunch he went back to
the my room.
295

The correct form is ‫( بعم خ صمت الغم اا أزموة ا الغماف‬baCda khalaştu


alghadā’ ‘Caudu ’ilā alghurfatī) after I finished the lunch I went
back to my room.

‫(أنما جماا ا البِّتمك‬S47M, T1). (’anā jā’a ’ilā albaytuka) I he-came


to the your house.

The correct form is ‫( جئمت ا البِّتمك‬ji’tu ’ilā albaytuka) I came


to the your house.

Overgeneralization is closely linked to the dictionary which acts


as a major source of errors in this connection. The dictionary
usually lists Arabic verbs in their 3rd person singular masculine
form as in: ‫ نمام ما أكمل‬. This is called the root of the verb. It is
this root or form that the students learn and use it with (i.e.
overgeneralize to) all personal pronouns and or subjects wrongly.
The following examples illustrate this point further:-

‫(اي وام يمن نويهما‬S19M, T2) ’ummī qāma min nawmihā. My mother
he-arose from her sleep.

The student used the verb qāma in the 3rd person masculine form
instead of the feminine form: i.e., ‫ وايمت‬qāmat. The dictionary lists
‫ وام‬but not ‫ وايت‬and that is maybe how the error first occurs.

‫اي سكن يف ج ي‬S20M, T2) ’ummī sakana maCa jaddī. my mother


he-lived with my grandfather.
296

The student used the verb sakana in the 3rd person masculine
form instead of feminine form: i.e., ‫ سمكنت‬sakanat. Again the
dictionary lists ‫ سكن‬but not ‫ سكنت‬.

The overgenerlized use of the 3rd person singular masculine form,


which is also the dictionary form, is a case of simplification,
which is another source of errors. Haja Mohideen (1991) and
Hamdallah (1988) noted that the omission of the third person
singular -s is due to simplification. This may apply here as well
especially when students use the singular for the plural and the
plural for the dual form of the verb. This involves reducing the
number of forms used. For example,

‫فمريق‬ ‫هم سمكن‬hum sakana fī Feraq (S20M, T2). They he-lived in


Perak.

The student used the verb in the 3rd singular person masculine
instead of the plural form ‫ سكنوا‬. The verb ‫ سمكن‬is simpler to learn
and use than ‫ سمكنوا‬because it is the form the dictionary lists and
defines.

‫جاسمني‬ ‫’ ( ايم يمف ايب يسمكن‬ummī maCa abī yaskun fī Jāsīn) “my
mother and father he-lives in Jasin” ( S46M, T2).

The student used the verb in the 3rd singular masculine form
instead of dual form ‫ يسمكنا‬. The former is simpler than the
latter.

The teacher may also indirectly help to cause and spread errors.
Some teachers cannot sometimes differentiate between the
masculine and feminine forms in both speaking and writing. s/he
297

simply mixes up the agreement between the subject and its verb
wrongly. Here are some examples which were said by a teacher
during her teaching in 1995.

‫اس عمب‬ ‫ البنمت ي عمب‬albintu yalCabu fī al-malCab ( the girl he-plays


in the playground).

‫’ أنة أستاذة تاي أ ي هب ىل اس ع‬anā Ustadhah turīdu 'an yadhaba ’ilā


al-maţCam ( I am a ‘female’ teacher who wants to he goes to the
restaurant).
Both examples have verbs which do not agree with their subject
in gender.

So it is not strange to hear students say:

‫’ أنةة طالمب تايم أ يم هب ىل اس عم‬anā ţālib turīdu 'an yadhaba ’ilā al-
maţCam ( I am a ‘male’ student who she-wants to he-goes to the
restaurant).

Amongst the written errors Arabic teachers make, here is one


which one teacher once wrote on the board:

‫ ذهمب الصمِّاة ىل اجقمل وأخم ا بن وِّتمل يعمل‬dhahaba aş-şaīadu ’ilā al-


haqli, wa akhadat bunduqiyatahu maCahu ( the ‘male’ hunter
went to the field, and she took his gun with him).

The verb has a gender errors, which should have a masculine


rather than a feminine form: i.e., ‫ أخم‬. So it should seem natural
for students to write things like:
298

‫ذهمب الصمِّاة ىل اجقمل وأخم ا طعايمل يعمل‬


dhahaba aş-şaīadu ’ilā al-
C C
haqli, wa akhadat ţa amahu ma ahu ( the ‘male’ hunter went to
the field, and she took his food with him).

The students’ own textbook - ‫ ال غمة العابِّممة العالِّمة ل سممنة الاابعمة‬- also
contributes to students’ errors. It has many errors of agreement
between the verb and its subject. For example,

‫سماذا يقمموم بعمما الم ول بتح ِّممة اسِّمماجم‬ limātha yaqūmu baCdu
alduwal bitahliyati almiyah? (why do some countries he-makes
sweetening water? Source 1993:126 ‫ال غة العابِّة العالِّة( ل سنة الاابعة‬.
The error concerns the use of a verb with a masculine form
instead of a feminine form (i.e. ‫ تقوم‬taqūmu).

In conclusion, the main causes of errors in SVA are first


language transfer where Arabic and Malay differ greatly. Arabic
inflects verbs for person, number and gender whereas Malay
does not. This makes Arabic SVA inherently difficult to learn by
Malay learners. Overgeneralization, the dictionary and
simplification are other causes which are closely linked. Finally
there is the teacher and textbook which contribute to error.

6.3 Stages of the Learners Error

As the learner progresses in acquiring / learning of L2, so his/her


errors develop. This means that they go through different stages
in which they may increase or decrease in number and become
more or less close to the TL. Corder (1973:270-272; 1974:131)
identifies three stages of development of learner errors: namely,
pre-systematic, systematic, and post-systematic.
299

The question to ask now is: how can the errors of the Malay
learners of Arabic be classified in terms of Corder’s stages? This
is an important question whose answer shows the level of
progress and development the learners have achieved in
mastering Arabic in general or Vp in particular. The errors of the
students of this study, may be in the pre-systematic and
systematic stages. In the use of the future tense, five-form verbs
and future tense particles, their errors are pre-systematic.

According to Corder, in the In the pre-systematic stage, the


learner is unaware of the existence of a particular system or rule
in the TL. His errors are quite random. He may even occasionally
produce a correct form. When asked to correct his sentence, he
cannot do so nor give any account of why he chose the
particular form he did.

In the present case, the students do not know the rules of Arabic
well in this respect. They are not aware of tense particles or how
to use the tenses correctly. As a result, the errors are random
errors. The following examples illustrate this.

‫اس رسة‬ ‫( سأسرحت‬S11M, T1) I shall rested at home


‫( اي وايب يعاو و‬S20M, T2) my mother and father live

In the first example, although the student knows the future


particle “ ‫ ”س م‬he may not be aware of its rules: i.e., using it with a
present tense form and not a past one. The second example
shows a similar error in using the five-form verbs. The student
knows the form but is not aware of its rules. In the above
example, the suffix ‫ا‬- should be used.

As to systematic errors, these relate to using the VP wrongly by


context: i.e., using the past for present and vice versa, use of the
300

imperative instead of the present as well as tense particles in the


jussive and accusative cases. According to Corder, systematic
stage errors are regular. The student has discovered and is
operating a rule of some sort, which is the wrong one. When
asked to correct his error, he cannot do so, but he can give some
coherent account of the rule he is following.

Consider the following examples:

A. Using past for present

‫السمازة الابعمة ونصم‬ ‫( حنمن ذهبمت ا اسسمج‬S1M,T1) nahnu dhahabtu


’ilā almasjid fī alsaCah alrabCah wa nişf “we I went to the
mosque at four thirty”.

‫ ( السازة واح ة والنص ةق اجلا لاجف ين اس رسة‬S12M, T1)

fī alsaCah wāhida wa alnişf daqqa aljaras lirajaCa min almadrasah


at 1.30 o’clock the bell rang to he back from the school.

‫السممازة الثانِّممة والابممف ذهممب ا اسسممج لص م ة الظهمما‬ (S12M, T1) fī


alsaCah althāniyah wa alrubC dhahaba ’ilā almasjid lişalāt
alzuhur.

at 2.15 o’clock he went to the mosque to prayer Az-Zuhur.


301

In the above examples the students used the underlined verbs in


the past tense instead of the present tense because the context
requires it and the action is not completed yet. This means the
students have known discovered the past tense but operate it
wrongly.

B. Using the present for the past tense

‫اسمبف يماض‬ ‫ ( افماح جم او يمف أنمت‬S47M, T1) ’afrah jidan maCa ’ant fī
’usbuC mād. I am very pleased with you in the last week.

‫( وبعم فممأي افماح بوصممول رسمالتك‬S7M, T1) wa baCd fa’innī ’afrah


biwusūli risālatik. and then so I am pleased with arriving your
letter.

The students here used the present tense instead of the past. The
context needs a past tense as the actions happened in the past.

C. Tense particles

In tense particles errors are systematic.

‫ وبل أ أةخل‬qabla ’an ’adkhula (before I enter).

The particle ’an ‫ أ‬is followed by a present tense. The particle


itself indicates presentness or futurity. Its equivalent in BM is:
seblum saya masuk in which there is no tense particle.

‫ مل أكتب‬lam ’aktub ( I did not write).


302

The particle lam ‫ مل‬must be followed by a present tense. The


particle itself expresses pastness. In BM one says: ( saya tidak
menulis).

‫ لن أكتب‬lan ’aktuba ( I will not write).

The particle lan ‫ لمن‬must be followed by a present tense. The


particle itself expresses futurity. In its translation in BM, one says
( saya tidak akan menulis).

Malaysian learners use these tense particles haphazardly. That is,


each particle is followed by a past tense sometimes, a present
tense sometimes. (for real students examples see 6.2.1.4 above).
The result is a typical systematic stage of errors.

The students’ errors in the above examples are systematic,


especially in the use of the past for the present and vice-versa.
The tense particle in the accusative and jussive tenses also are
systematic. They operate some sorts of rules which are not
correct, because they have not mastered the Arabic language yet.

As to post-systematic errors, this stage has not been reached by


students in this study. According to Corder, in the post-
systematic stage, the learner produces correct forms but
inconsistently. He has learned the rule but fails through lack of
attention or lapse of memory to apply it consistently. This is the
practice stage of learning a particular bit of the language. When
asked to correct his error, he can do so and give a more or less
coherent account of the rule.

6.4 Summary
303

This chapter has been a discussion of causes of errors on tense


and SVA. It gave a general view of Malay-Arabic interlanguage
and fossilization, sources of errors and stages of the learners’
errors. The main points can be summed up as follows.

As to interlanguage, two points are worth-mentioning. The major


finding is that one can say that there is a Malay-Arabic
interlanguage, which consists of students’ errors and non errors.
This means the use of Arabic in a way which is neither truly
Arabic nor truly Malay but rather half-way in between. The
second point concerns the fact that no conclusive evidence for
fossilization has been found due to the young age of the learners.

As to causes of errors, the major causes are:

a) First language transfer or mother tongue influence is one of


the most obvious causes. It has been found most noticeably in
tense choice, lexical category, categories of errors, tense
particles, spelling and SVA. As these are areas where Arabic and
Malay differ most, they cause difficulty in learning and,
consequently, they lead students to error. Arabic loan words in
Malay are another manifestation of L1 transfer.

b) Inherent difficulty of the Arabic language: It occurred in tense


choice, lexical category, categories of errors, spelling and SVA.
All these areas are difficult in themselves in Arabic. To this one
can add the influence of Arabic dialect, non-standard Arabic
dialect and style which occurred in spelling and SVA.

c) Overgeneralization: This occurred in tense choice, categories


of errors, and SVA. The dictionary and simplification contributed
to overgeneralization.
304

d) Ignorance of rule restrictions: This occurred in tense choice,


lexical category, tense particles, and spelling.

e) Incomplete application of rules: This occurred in tense choice,


categories of errors.

f) Incomplete mastery of Arabic with regard to tense choice and


SVA. To this incomplete practice of tense particles can be added.

g) False analogy: This occurred in spelling.

h) The text book: This contributed to errors in tense choice,


categories of errors, tense particles, spelling and SVA.

i) The teacher: This occurred in tense choice, spelling and SVA.


To this, one can add the teaching method which occurred in
tense choice.

j) Lack of vocabulary may lead to error; this occurred in lexical


category and categories of errors.

k) Hypercorrection leads to error; this occurred in spelling.

It is worthwhile to note that these causes are not always clear-


cut. There may be overlap between causes. That is, one error
may be due to more than one cause at the same time: e.g.,
overgeneralization, incomplete application of rules, simplification
and the dictionary.

Also there may be other secondary causes of a psychological


nature. These include forgetfulness, lack of attention,
carelessness and misunderstanding, deficient hearing, lack of
practice and speed of writing. These definitely lead to errors but
there is no way of making sure that a particular error is due to
one of these as no hard evidence can be given.
305

With regard to stages of errors, students’ errors are in the pre-


systematic and systematic stages. The former relates to the future
tense, five-form verbs and future tense particles whereas the
latter applies to tense choice such as replacing the present by the
past tense and vice-versa and jussive and accusative particles.

In the next chapter, the conclusions, suggestions for teaching and


learning the Arabic language and recommendations for further
studies will be presented.
306

CHAPTER VII

CONCLUSIONS, SUGGESTIONS AND


RECOMMENDATIONS

7.0. Overview

This chapter summarizes the main conclusions of this thesis. It


also tries to give, in light of the findings of the research, certain
suggestions for language teaching, especially Arabic tense and
SVA. Finally, some recommendations are made for conducting
future research in the field of tense, S.V.A. and other related
issues.

7.1. Conclusions

The main findings of this research can be summed up as follows.

1) The students made a grand total of 3088 errors, which fall into
two categories: (i) tense and (ii) S.V.A.

As far as tense is concerned, the following points are worth


noting:-

(a) The students made a total of 2173 errors. The majority of


these errors (96.59 %) were in the past and the present tenses,
with the former (60.79 %) nearly two times their number in the
latter (35.80 %). All other tense errors whether in the future
tense, passive voice, imperative verb and five-form verbs where
negligible: i.e. (3.41 %).

(b) These errors were of different types: tense choice, lexical


category, spelling, category of errors and tense particle. Over
half (54.67 %) the errors were in tense choice which meant
replacing one tense by another. The next three important errors
307

were lexical category (17.03 %), spelling (13.81 %) and category


of errors (10.26 %) in that order. Tense particle errors were
minimal (4.23 %).

As to S.V.A errors, there were (915) errors. Two points can be


mentioned here. First, most SVA errors were in the use of the
two main tenses: the past and the present tenses. Again, most of
these errors (51.15 %) occurred in the past tense while those of
the present tense amounted to (40.87 %). As to the five-form
verbs, the imperative, and the future, these are negligible whereas
the passive voice has no errors. The low frequency of these
errors does not mean that the students have mastered these areas
very well. What they mean is that they did not occur frequently
enough to make any good conclusions or generalizations in this
respect. Secondly, S.V.A errors divide into three types by
person, number and gender. Most such errors occurred in person
(55.09 %) whereas gender errors amounted to just over a quarter
of the data (27.86 %) and number under 20 %.

Thus as can be seen from the above, the vast majority of errors
(70.36 %) occurred in tense whilst just under one third of the
errors occurred in SVA (i.e. 29.64 %).

2) The causes of errors in both tense and SVA were varied and
many. The major and most obvious causes were the following:

a) Mother tongue interference: This is a very important cause


which has been found most noticeably in tense choice, lexical
category, categories of errors, tense particles, spelling and SVA.
These are areas where Arabic and Malay differ most, which
consequently lead to error. Another related matter concerns the
influence of Arabic loan-words in Malay which led studies to
commit spelling errors.
308

b) Inherent difficulty of the Arabic language: Arabic is an


inherently difficult language to learn, which cause errors. This
occurred in tense choice, lexical category, categories of errors,
spelling and SVA. To this one can add the influence of non-
standard Arabic dialects and style which occurred in spelling and
SVA.

c) Overgeneralization: This occurred in tense choice, categories


of errors, and SVA.

d) Simplification: This occurred in tense choice, categories of


errors, spelling and SVA.

e) The dictionary: This occurred in tense choice, categories of


errors, spelling and SVA.

f) Ignorance of rule restrictions: This occurred in tense choice,


lexical category, tense particles, and spelling.

g) Incomplete application of rules: This occurred in tense choice,


and categories of errors.

h) Incomplete mastery of Arabic: This occurred in tense choice


and SVA. To this one can add incomplete practice especially on
tense particles.

i) The text book: This occurred in tense choice, categories of


errors, tense particles, spelling and SVA.

j) The teacher: This occurred in tense choice, spelling and SVA.

k) Teaching method: This occurred in tense choice.

l) False analogy: This occurred in spelling.


309

m) Lack of vocabulary: This occurred in lexical category and


categories of errors.

n) Hypercorrection: This occurred in spelling.

These causes are not always clear-cut where a particular error


can be said to be due to one and only one cause. Often these
causes overlap with one another. This means that one case or
error may be explained in more than one way. For example, one
error might be due to overgeneralization, simplification,
incomplete application of rules and the dictionary at the same
time.

There may be other secondary causes of a psychological and


sociological nature. These include forgetfulness, lack of
attention, carelessness and misunderstanding, the environment,
hearing, lack of practice, and speed of writing: These definitely
lead to errors but there is no way of making sure that a particular
error is due to one of these; no hard evidence can be given.

3) The status of the learner’s interlanguage: One can say that


there is a Malay-Arabic interlanguage which consists of the
learners errors and non-errors. The most important aspect of
interlanguage which is fossilization cannot be confirmed as the
students are still young.

4) The stages of errors: Most errors were in the systematic stage.


However, some errors were pre-systematic especially in the case
of the future tense particles, future and five-verb forms tenses.

5) The study supports the EA theoritcal framework that the


causes of errors are not only interlingual (i.e., mother tongue
interference) but also intralingual (i.e., developmental).
310

7.2. Suggestions for Language Teaching

The findings of this research which have been summarized above


are certainly useful for language teaching. A number of
suggestions will be given here. These include: techniques of error
correction, teaching of Arabic tense and SVA to Malays who
learn Arabic, teaching of Arabic in Malaysia generally and
NRSSs in particular. It is hoped that such suggestions will serve
to improve teaching and learning or to help the Arabic teacher
and learner.

7.2.1. Suggestions for Error Correction

The pedagogical applications are the final aim of EA. That is,
how to use and correct the learners’ errors. In this research, a
large number of errors have occurred in the use of tense and
SVA. Teachers, students and scholars all feel there is a need to
correct such errors (Haja Mohideen Mohamed Ali 1993). Many
language researchers and teachers have suggested ways of error
correction (EC). Hendrickson (1978), for example, has
addressed five fundamental questions in EC, which are:

i) Should errors be corrected?


ii) When should they be corrected?
iii) Which errors should be corrected?
iv) Who corrects the errors?
v) How are errors corrected?

i) Should Errors Be Corrected?

Correcting the learner’s errors is good for the learner and the
teacher. Regarding the student, it enables him to know whether
he is successful in producing a correct TL or not. Also it supplies
him with evaluation of his progress in learning the TL. As
Krashen & Seliger (1975) put it
311

… error correction is especially useful to adult second


language learners because it helps them learn the exact
environment in which to apply rules and discover the
precise semantic range of lexical items (In Hendrickson
1978: 389 )

As for the language teacher himself, it tells him whether his


teaching is effective or not. It shows him also the weakness of his
subjects. In fact, Cathcart & Olsen (1976) have shown that
students need and want to be corrected more than the teacher
feels.

Moreover, the students’ proficiency will be improved in learning


the TL if the teacher corrects their errors in full. This way EC
helps the students to discover the functions and limitations of the
syntactical and lexical forms of the second language (Kennedy
1973). On the other hand, if the students’ assignments are
returned not corrected well, they will get frustrated with their
teachers. In the end, they may not be motivated to write. Further,
if the students’ writing have not been corrected or badly
corrected they may believe that their writing is right and correct,
and so the erroneous forms will become fossilized (Haja
Mohideen 1991).

ii) When Errors Should be Corrected?

Teachers should know when to correct their students’ errors in


the classroom. They should be flexible in the sense that they need
to tolerate some oral and written errors in the class in order to
help the students to communicate successfully. Foreign language
learners prefer not to be corrected in every error. In the words of
Walker (1973:103):
312

Students prefer not to be marked down for each minor


speaking and writing error because this practice destroys
their confidence and forces them to expend so much effort
on details that they lose the overall ability to use language.

Language teachers should distinguish between beginners and


advanced learners in EC. The former do not like to be corrected
in every single error as they lose confidence in their learning the
TL. For advanced students, there is a difference between those
who want to be specialists in the TL and those who study the TL
as a requirement subject or to pass in the exam. As Hendrickson
(1980:217), quoted in Abdalla (1996:261), puts it,

As students’ level of proficiency increases, they become


better equipped to correct their own errors. Because
beginning and intermediate students have presumably
internalized the foreign language system to a lesser degree
than have the advanced learners, their limited linguistic
repertoire is often insufficient to allow them to locate and
find solutions to their errors. Consequently, less advanced
students, however, are better able to correct their own
errors, if their teachers indicate where the errors are.

Abdalla (1996:261) suggests that the correction of learners’


errors would be useful if the teacher considers

Sensitivity of students to the errors and students’


proficiency in Arabic. A teacher has to judge whether his
students accept the criticism or not in the light of these two
factors. He can also evaluate his students’ proficiency at
the time of correction. That awareness of students’
proficiency in TL helps the teacher know when and how to
deal with the learners’ errors.
313

Thus, if the criticisms are accepted by the students, the corrector


has to correct the students’ errors immediately. If not, he should
find out other solutions to correct them such as correcting the
most important errors. He may inform the learners that the errors
are natural and not a sign of bad language and that they are
useful for both the teacher and the student in order to overcome
the difficulties faced by them.

iii) Which Errors Should Be Corrected?

It is important for language teachers here to know that not all


errors need to be corrected. If a teacher does that he will waste
his time. Moreover, the students may lose confidence in their
abilities in learning the TL if all errors in their assignments are
corrected.

Thus teachers should correct the most important errors and bear
the less frequent ones. According to Hendrickson (1978:390),

There appears to be affective as well as cognitive


justification for tolerating some errors produced by
language learners.

Language researchers and teachers suggested different


categorizations of those errors which should be corrected. Burt
& Kiparsky (1972) classified errors into two distinct categories:
global and local errors. The global errors, which “affect overall
sentence organization significantly” (Burt, Dulay & Krashen
1982:191) should be given top priority in correction (Horner
1988:218). As the local ones such as misuse and omission of
preposition, lack of subject-verb agreement, misspelled word and
faulty lexical choice which do not significantly hinder
communication of sentence message, they should be corrected
only when the learners begin to approach near-native fluency.
314

In this research, all the errors are of the local type. So how and
when can they be corrected? In this connection, Horner
(1988:218) noted that errors in the VP “tend to be badly
accepted by native speakers”. So, for this reason they should be
corrected.

Walz (1982) suggested four criteria of which errors should be


corrected; these were a) comprehensibility, b) frequency, c)
pedagogical focus and d) individual student’s concern.

Comprehensibility errors should be given priority to correct


especially those that lead to misunderstanding or communication
breakdown. The errors in the following examples, which are
taken from students’ writing in this research, must be corrected
before others because they impair communication significantly:

a) ‫بل‬ ‫بِّت ال‬ ‫وجهل اكتب ه جم الاس ة كا يقض كِّ اوض يوي كال ا‬

wajhahu ’aktub hadhihi alraslah kāna yaqdī kayfa ‘aqdī yawmī


kaţţalī fi bayt aţţullabah (S6M, T1). His face I write this letter he
spent how I spent my day as follows in house of students.

b) ‫ حمىت اامف يمن انمت غم او‬.‫’ ان هنما فقمت‬al’ ān hunā fiqt. Hattā ’asmaC
min ’anta ghadan (S16M, T1). Now here wake up. Until I hear
from you tomorrow.

c) ‫باكمة اهلل‬ ‫كتبمت وم انتهِّمت ا مىن لمك‬ ‫خ صمت ىلذ‬ khalaşt, ’idhan,
katabtu qad ’intahaytu ’atamannā laka fī barakati Allah (S18F,
T1). I finished, then, I wrote had finished I wish you in blessing
of Allah.
d) ‫اس رسة‬ ‫ ين الحتضا سحك‬.‫سنأخ الوضؤ وىلستع لقِّام الص ة العشاا يعا‬
315

sana’khuth alwudū’ wa ’istaCid liqiām alşalāt alCishā’ maCā.


Man lā tahdur sahakama fī almadrasah (S13M, T1). We will
have ablution and be ready to making prayer of al-‘isha’
together. Who do not attend will sentenced at the school.

The above errors are all global in the sense that they hinder
communication. So they should be given top priority and primary
concern.

As to frequency, the teachers should first correct the high-


frequency errors made by their students in both spoken and
written communication before the less frequent errors. In this
study, the high-frequency errors occurred in the use of the past
and present tenses, in tense choice and SVA whereas the use of
the imperative, the passive voice, etc. were of low frequency.
(Many examples were cited in their proper places in Chs. 5 and 6
above). Such high frequency errors must be then given top
priority in correction.

Pedagogical focus relates to the fact whether materials have or


have not been taught. Obviously, already taught materials have to
be corrected before materials which have not been taught yet
(Cohen 1975). In the present study, the teachers may correct
those errors that occur in the materials they taught and ignore the
ones that they did not. Moreover, they may find it very important
to focus more on the past and present tenses as well as SVA than
on the passive voice, for example.

Finally, individual student’s concerns. In order to benefit from


EC, teachers should distinguish between their learners. For
example, a learner who wants to study the TL in the future will
get more benefit from correction than the learner who just wants
to pass the examinations.
316

Another concern is the student’s age. Walz (1982:11) states that

Adults probably profit from correction of grammatical


features more than children. Some students want to be
corrected all the time, while others are more easily
inhibited.

For students of NRSSs, for example, who are majoring in the


Islamic stream, their errors must be corrected fully, precisely and
accurately. They should be given much more concern as they will
use Arabic in their future life. This does not, of course, mean that
the errors of learners who are studying in the science stream
should not be corrected or corrected carelessly.

To sum up, top priority in correcting errors should be given to


those global errors which impair communication, occur in high
frequency, belong to already taught material and are committed
by adults who are taking a sequence of language courses and
who are in need of a firm grasp of linguistic features (Abdalla
1996).

iv. Who Should Correct Errors?

According to Walz (1982), the following people can correct


students’ errors:

i) students who commit errors themselves,


ii) classmates, and
iii) teacher as a last resort.

The more proficient advanced level students, have the priority to


correct their own errors in spoken and written communication
more than beginners. The advantage of permitting students to
correct their own errors
317

…could reduce teacher talk of this type by one-half and


also reduce the intimidation factor introduced by excessive
criticism. One can assume that students would acquire
more feelings of self-sufficiency if allowed to pursue this
course of action … (Walz 1982:17).

Classmates can correct one another’s errors. The advantages of


this technique for students are: a) it gives them motivations to
master and learn the TL, b) enables them to participate more
effectively and c) creates a good atmosphere in the class to teach
the correctional task. The validity and usefulness of correction
will be when the students are aware of their errors and can learn
from their own errors more than from when their teachers
correct them (Ravem 1973; Witbeck 1976).

The corrector’s role in the above two methods of EC, is to give


guidance to the learners and control/direct the class, answer their
questions etc.

Finally, the teacher himself is the most competent and responsible


corrector. This is because a) he can give valid information about
the TL, b) he knows how far his subjects are progressing in
learning the language and c) he knows how effective and valid
his teaching is.

v. How Errors Are Corrected?

Teachers need to choose the right method and to avoid the


method which might embarrass or discourage their students.
Correctors suggest three ways to correct the errors. Which are:
(i) self-correction, (ii) classmates’ correction and (iii) teacher
correction.
318

Self-correction is done by the students who made the errors.


Makino (1993:340) states that

… self correction gives students opportunity to consider


and activate their linguistic competence, so that they can be
active participants in written composition rather than
passive recipient of feedback.

The procedure is easy. First the teacher underlines the errors in


students’ hand writings. The teacher can use some codes or
symbols to indicate those grammatical terms in order to help
students correct errors. For example,

for verb,
‫ م‬for agreement,
‫ أ‬for particle,
‫ هم‬for spelling etc.

After the learners get their note books back, they may be asked
to rewrite their composition with the correction. If they make
further grammatical errors, the corrector may inform them to go
back to the grammar book for correcting their errors.

As to classmates’ or peer correction, Abdalla (1996:270ff)


mentioned four ways, which are:

i. projection,
ii. group compositions,
iii. exchanging compositions, and
iv. in-class editing.
319

In projection, the teacher may choose few learners to write free


compositions on transparencies. Then the free compositions will
be displayed on screen for the class to correct.

In group compositions, learners are divided into groups of


between 5-7 students each. When the compositions are discussed
by the class orally, one group rewrites it again for the entire
class. Usually, this method is of benefit to big numbers of
students.

Exchanging compositions means a pair of good students should


be chosen to rewrite at home a composition which had been
written by another student. The teacher may help to eliminate the
less important or minor errors.

Finally, in-class editing involves both self- and peer-correction.


Walz (1983:31) recommends

… students rewrite their early compositions at home and


then correct and rewrite them in class under the guidance
of their classmates and teacher. The class reads and
discusses students’ essays, not only correcting any
grammatical error but noting elements of style and
organizational strategy.

Self-correction and classmates’ correction are suitable to the


students in the advanced levels. This is because

at this stage students have already acquired the mechanism


of the target language. Students also have the capability to
exchange their views with their colleagues. Their
competence in Arabic enables them to consult the
references. (Abdalla 1996:271)
320

Moreover, these have the advantage of building confidence in


students and teaching them to be honest when they correct their
own topics.

However, self- and classmates’ correction warrant a word of


caution. The students may cheat and tend not to correct their
errors in order to get high marks or to show that they are good in
writing without making errors. So, teachers must make sure and
check them to be satisfied with their corrections ( ِّ‫ السم‬As-
Saiyyed 1988). This should be done in the class.

With reference to teacher correction, many ways have been


suggested (Haja Mohideen Mohamed Ali 1993; Teh Geok
Choon 1993; ِّ‫ السم‬As-Saiyyed 1988; ‫ ااموي‬Al-Khūlī 1986; ‫العمايب‬
Al-Carabī 1981; Hendrickson 1978). Al-Khūlī (1986:151)
suggested three ways for teachers to correct the errors. These
are:

(i) In detail correction, where the teacher underlies each error


and provides the correct form. This way is good because it gives
the student the correct form directly.

(ii) The coding correction, where the teacher underlies each error
and puts above or beneath it a code, e.g. T for tense, P for
particle, SVA for concord, etc. The advantage of this method is
that the student has to find out the correct form by himself. It
also saves the teacher time and motivates the student to think
and find out the errors by himself. However, it has the
disadvantage where the learners might not know the correct form
or they do not take care of it.

(iii) The mixed correction, where the teacher sometimes writes


the correct form and sometimes writes the code of the errors.
321

The present researcher suggests the following hints of how to


correct the students’ errors. It is advisable for the teacher to
consult his students about which topic they wish to write on. If
all agreed, he can then write down on the board some ideas that
can help them finish that topic. As to correction, two ways can
be used. First, the teacher can take some samples from the
students’ and mark the incorrect forms, analyze their errors and
explain them in the class. Or, he can ask the students to take one
topic of any student and discuss its errors among them. The
students can then display the errors on the board in front of the
class. The teacher can play the role of observer and director: if
they do well, he has to encourage them; and if not, he has to
mention the errors so that they do not get fossilized in their
learning.

7.2.2. Suggestions Regarding Teaching Arabic Tense and SVA


to Foreigners

Arabic has a very rich tradition in the study of grammar. Classical


Arabic grammarians made a lot of effort to enrich and refine such
literature. As Howell (1986:7) puts it,

… they made wonderful scientific study of their language.


All the aspects of the classical Arabic language along with
rhetoric and prosody have been described and discussed in
detail.

Teaching grammar is difficult in all languages. In the case of


Arabic in particular, the teaching of grammar is considered by
several language researchers the major problem which faces
language learners ( ‫ سمِّ سممعوةة اجمماي حسممن‬Sītī Sacūdah Al-Hāj
Hassan 1984; ِّ‫ الس‬As-Saiyyed 1988; ‫ حاتة‬Shahātta 1993).
322

There are two different schools for the teaching of grammar. One
is against the teaching of grammar to foreign students. Its
proponents such as Newmark & Reibel (1967) claim that
drawing classroom attention to the grammar is neither a
sufficient nor necessary condition for learning a foreign language
to take place (for further detail, see Abdalla, 1996:271).

The second school gives support to the teaching of grammar.


(‫ األيما‬Al-’Ahmar 1961; ‫ اجلمماح‬Al-Jāhiz 1991; ‫ محاتة‬Shahātta
1993). However, they advised teachers not to make the teaching
of grammar their ultimate goal. They believed that this would
waste students’ time and would not help a lot in learning. The
students will learn about the language and not how to
communicate in the language which is the main aim of learning
the TL.

Stevick (1980) is perhaps its strongest advocate. He reports that

… the explaining of grammar fills more than one of the


student’s needs. Most obviously, it helps him to see how
the words, the endings, the phrases, the sentences on the
mechanical side of the language all fit together. It casts
light on the unfamiliar pathways and the arbitrary obstacles
through which he must eventually be able to run back and
forth with his eyes shut. (Stevick 1980:25)

That is, foreign adults are advised to learn the grammar in order
to be on a firm ground when they use the TL. They need to
discover its formulas or rules and to use them correctly. Of
course, this does not mean that learning grammar by foreigners
will prevent the errors made by them but it can give them the
competence and can also build up their self confidence when they
use the TL.
323

Abdalla (1996:274ff) has listed 6 steps or principles which can be


used in a program for the teaching of Arabic grammar to
foreigners. These were:

i. Communicative Approach;
ii. Gradation;
iii. The Most Frequent Item;
iv. The Grammar of Discourse;
v. Combination of Induction and Deduction
Approach; and
vi. Linear and Spiral Syllabus.

i. Communicative Approach

Currently, the majority of Arabic grammar books are either


classical Arabic grammar books (‫ سمِّبويل‬Sībawaīh 1983; ‫ابمن هشمام‬
Ibn Hishām 1987, 1992 a&b; ‫ اجِّم رة‬Al-Haydarah 1984 etc.) or
grammar books based on and follow them ( ‫ األن ماك‬Al-Anţakī (no
date), ‫ النجمار‬An-Najjār 1981; ‫ حسمن‬Hassan 1974 etc.). All such
books treat the form and structure of the language rather than its
function. In this method, the learners know the rules of the TL
grammar but they cannot communicate well in it.

Language researchers, on the other hand focus on whether the


teaching of grammar to non-native speakers should be centered
around form or function. ‫ النحمما‬An-Nahhās (1966) supports
using functional grammar or the functions of language in
teaching. The teaching of grammar to foreigners, therefore,
should be based on the communicative function of the language.
As Dik (1979:1) puts it,
324

… a language is conceived of in the first place as an


instrument of social interaction between human beings,
used with the primary aim of establishing communicative
relations between speakers and addressees. With this
approach one attempts to reveal the instrumentality of
language with respect to what people do with it in social
situation.

According to this view, the rules of the language are displayed in


terms of their function rather than just form as the classical one
does.

In brief, the alternative approach which has to be used in current


books for teaching Arabic to foreigners is the functional grammar
or the communicative approach.

To teach the past tense, for example, in this approach, there are
several ways. Telling stories is a very interesting function and
exercise. The teacher can use a story or historical event which
happened in the past in which the tenses of the verb are in the
past as well. The students may be asked to give similar stories in
which the past tense is used. Another activity would be to use or
perform certain activities such as eating and drinking. The
teacher can bring food/drinks to the class and ask some
student(s) to eat/drink it. After finishing the food/drink, the
teacher may say certain sentences to describe the action, using
the past tense. For example, Mohammad ate the food/ drank the
drink. Here the students will know that the food has already been
eaten. Or the teacher can ask the following questions after the
students finished eating and drinking:

Who ate the food/ drank the drink?


When did he eat the food?
Why did he eat the food? etc.
325

These questions and their answers should all be in the past tense.
There are many other techniques the teacher can use, which are
described in those books on the communicative approach (
Werner et al. 1997; Kirn & Jack 1996; Werner 1996; McGrath &
Prowse 1993).

ii. Gradation

According to (‫ ااموي‬Al-Khūlī 1986) gradation has two aims: (i)


pedagogic which is moving from the easy to the difficult, and (ii)
logical or teaching, for instance, the VP before the noun phrase.

Gradation involves three principles:

a. proceeding from known to unknown;


b. proceeding from the easiest; and
c. proceeding from the simple to the complicated.

a. Proceeding from Known to Unknown

This relates to material grading or sequencing of items where the


teacher proceeds

From the known to the unknown so that each item leads


naturally on to the next which builds up to it. (Stoddart &
Stoddart 1968:11)

The duty of the teacher/ syllabus designer is to know the basic


experience of the learners in the language in order to enable them
how to deal with the new items.

Abdalla (1996:276) raised two questions in this respect:


326

a) How is it possible for the teacher to know his students’


present experience?

b) Since students differ in their experiences, how can a language


teacher design a program which satisfies all his learners’ needs?

As to the first question, students’ present experience can be


easily known by the teacher who designs the course of his own
class. He may give his students an introductory lesson to evaluate
their grammatical competence. Or he can ask his students
directly about what they studied in their previous schooling and
what parts of grammar they need. Or, he may have a look at
earlier syllabuses if available. Giving questions to students also
helps determine students’ grammatical background.

With regard to the second question, in a situation where the


course is designed for different classes and will be taught by
different teachers, the designer can rely on students’ stages, their
previous syllabuses and his own judgement. Using studies
pertaining to the teaching and the learning of Arabic can be of
help in deciding which grammatical items are urgently needed for
such groups.

In the case of tense, for example, the teacher can start with the
jussive and accusative tenses first because the students knew
these verbs already. Then he can move on to teach the present
nominative and imperative. Similarly, in the case of tense
particles, the teacher can start with the jussive and accusative
particles before proceeding to the future particle.

b. Proceeding from the Easiest

The teachers/syllabus designers of grammar have to start from


the similarities between both languages: i.e. Arabic and Malay.
This enables students to remember and learn items more easily.
327

For instance, although there are many differences in the use of


the VP in Arabic and Malay, there are many similarities. It
would be easier to start with teaching the past tense rather the
present tense first because this is the form they find in the
dictionary. More precisely, start with the 3rd person masculine
singular form which has no affixes at all. This can be followed by
3rd person feminine singular form and so on.

c. Proceeding from Simple to Complex


The simple grammatical item does not have many aspects
whereas the complex grammatical item has many different
aspects. In the case of tense particles, for example, it would be
more useful to start with ‫ ال يما‬lā and mā before ‫ مل‬lam because the
first two can negate past and present verbs and are tenseless by
themselves whereas the latter negates only present verbs and is a
past tense marker. Moreover, native speakers use lā and mā
almost all the time. So it would be more appropriate to teach
these two negative particles to all pupils first. All other particles
such as lam, lan, etc. are used in formal context only. Presenting
matters this way take learners step by step.

iii. The Most Frequent items

Successful teaching of grammar should be based on the most


frequent items in current use of standard Arabic. Although there
is very little research concerning the frequency of the
grammatical items in standard Arabic, authors of grammar
textbooks should rely on available studies such as ‫ ااموي‬Al-Khūlī
(1982). This study, which was based on personal experiences,
tries to find out the frequency of certain grammatical items such
as the broken plural “ ‫ ” لمف تكسمري‬which is more frequent than the
sound plural “ ‫ ” لمف سمامل‬in the Arabic language. Another example
328

is the active verbs which are more frequent than passive ones,
with a ratio of 94 to 6 % respectively.

In Abdalla (1996), the most frequent items are the definite


article, prepositions, declension, tense and gender.

In this study, the most frequent items are the past and present
tenses and SVA in the singular form in that order. As to tense
particles, the most frequent items are the infinitivizer ’an,
causative lan, jussive lam and future sa in that order. Other items
like the passive form is not often used. So the syllabus designers
should take into consideration these items when producing the
materials for language teaching.

iv. The Grammar of Discourse

Discourse means full and coherent texts and passages. For


foreign language learners, it seems useful to learn grammar
through coherent texts or passages and not through isolated and
unrelated examples or sentences. Some scholars such as ِّ‫ السم‬As-
Saiyyed (1988:485) have suggested the revised method in
teaching grammar through coherent passages. As the aim of
teaching grammar is to help the learner to rid his expressions
from mistakes, the best way to achieve this is by teaching
grammar through texts from which the examples and drills can be
selected to explain the rules. Further, the material which is given
to students should be connected to their interests and hobbies at
this stage.

Besides, discourse grammar has another advantage. The learners


will learn how to correctly use the punctuation marks such as the
full stop, question mark, etc.
329

One way of using discourse grammar in teaching tense and SVA


would be to select different types of text such as history,
literature, geography, science, and the news, etc. the teacher and
the students can study the tense(s) used in each type and write
similar texts themselves, using the same tenses. For example, the
students should use past tenses in talking about past historical
events. Other tenses can be used depending on the nature and
type of text and situation.

v. Combination of Induction and Deduction

Induction means providing examples and explaining them, which


are then followed by showing the rule and doing extra drills. On
the other hand, deduction means giving the rule first and then the
examples followed by extra drills. Corder (1988:133) suggests
this approach because it may produce the best results in learning
the grammar. This method

… is seen as fundamentally an inductive process but one


which can be controlled and facilitated by descriptions and
explanations given at the appropriate moment and
formulated in a way which is appropriate to the maturity,
knowledge and sophistication of the learner (Corder
1988:133)

The role of the teacher here is to provide learners with the data
and rules and to offer explanations when necessary.

In the case of tense and SVA, the teacher can use either method
or both or vary them. Preference for either method should rest
with the students. He has to use the method that helps them to
learn better and faster.

vi. Linear and Spiral Syllabus


330

Giving a lot of data at one time to students may not be useful. It


would be better to give them enough time to understand and
master the new items before moving ahead to the next ones. As
Howat (1975:20) put it,
…we cannot reasonably expect full control of a new bit of
language at a first encounter. In the case of our own
language, we learn new bits of language gradually by
experiencing them intermittently in different context …

Likewise, in grammar the material which has been given to the


learners earlier might be repeated in different contexts for
reinforcement. Then students can move ahead toward a new item
which has to be based on the past lesson and so on.

Moreover, the students’ stage in the language proficiency, age,


aim of learning the language, the language culture, learners’
culture and teaching time should be considered in the new
program (Abdalla 1996; Crozet 1996).

There are other ways of teaching grammar ( ‫ محاتة‬Shahātta 1993;


‫ أبمو خضمريي‬Abukhūdaīrī 1990; ‫’ أيم‬Ahmad 1986) in which the
teacher plays a very important role. He can select and combine
elements from this method and that method to help his students
learn better and faster. For example, ‫ جاسم‬Jāssem (1996b:52-60)
has suggested a few procedures in teaching grammar to
foreigners, which has been described by the students as useful
and practical. These four steps are as follows:

(i) Introduction: The teacher introduces his lesson in a way he


sees suitable.
331

(ii) Role-play: The teacher explains the situation, topic or lesson


by using students as well as teaching aids. Using the teaching
aids and acting in the class by the students themselves gives life
to the class and makes them active and motivated. Also it makes
them part of the teaching process as it takes care of individual
differences among them.

(iii) Writing the examples on the board, and

(iv) Showing the rule and explaining it by giving extra drills on it.
The teacher also needs to explain what the terminology means
because knowing the meaning of terminology is important for the
learners to understand the TL grammar.

The teacher can also use language games which are very useful in
teaching grammar as it makes the learning of the TL lively and
enjoyable ( ‫ حاتة‬Shahātta 1993).

7.2.3. Suggestions Regarding the Teaching of Arabic in


the National Religious Secondary Schools (NRSSs)

In order to enhance the teaching and learning of Arabic in the


NRSSs, this researcher suggests the following ideas:

i. Emphasis should be given to all four skills, especially listening


and writing skills to enhance the students’ language performance;

ii. High frequency structures and words in Arabic must be taken


into consideration in any course for the teaching of Arabic;

iii. Employing Arabic loan-words in BM in a new course


syllabus;
332

iv. Expanding the role of Arabic at the International Islamic


University Malaysia (IIUM) in particular and Malaysia in general.
Abdalla (1996:282-3) called for the establishment of a Faculty of
Arabic language, which may have departments like Arabic
literature, Arabic linguistics, translation, Teaching Arabic as a
Foreign Language. The faculty also may carry out research,
which help to enhance the learning of Arabic. It can hold
activities such as seminars, symposia, and training courses.

v. Setting up an Arabic-speaking university due to the cultural


links between Malaysia and the Arab and Muslim world.
Fortunately, this university has already come into being, which is
called University College Islam Malaysia (UCIM). Hopefully, it
can be a model for other institutions in Malaysia and worldwide;

vi. Making tie relationships between (NRSSs) and other Arabic


institutions locally such as IIUM and UCIM in order to enhance
the learning and teaching of Arabic. Students who wish to study
Arabic or Islamic studies may pay visits to or join these
institutions to help them in communicating in Arabic and to
develop their proficiency;

vii. Doing co-curriculum activities in Arabic, such as debates,


Arabic nights, cultural festivals, plays, Arabic language weeks,
clubs. Schools should encourage this as it can help students to
communicate in Arabic;

viii. Supplying schools by the Ministry of Education with the new


technologies such as language laboratories, modern visual aids,
computers to facilitate the learning and teaching of Arabic and to
train teachers how to use them;

ix. Using a student-centered rather than a teacher-centered


approach, which is used in the teaching of Arabic in Malaysia.
333

The students here are passive and not participating in the class.
As Halnisah Binti Salleh (1988:30) puts it,

… [the students] are passively involved in the learning


process. They normally sit and listen as if they are
attending a public lecture. Their participation is very
limited. The blame is not on the students because this
negative situation is the result of practicing the traditional
approach in teaching the language.

To overcome this difficulty, textbooks should have a lot of


activities to encourage learners to communicate, such as debates,
dialogues, games, role plays etc.

7.2.4. Suggestions Regarding the Teaching and Learning of


Arabic in Malaysia

These are general suggestions which are given for the learner,
teacher and, syllabus designer.

a) Suggestions for the learner

i. To spend more time listening to and reading in Arabic in order


to achieve and master the Arabic language; Arabic radio stations
are very helpful for learners here;
ii. To speak Arabic in and out of the classroom with one another.
iii. To know precisely when they should use the past, present,
future, and imperative;

b) Suggestions for the teacher

i. The Ministry of Education should employ suitably qualified


teachers to teach Arabic in the NRSSs to enhance the learning of
Arabic. These teachers must be trained on the use of teaching
334

methods in teaching Arabic as a second/foreign language.


Furthermore, these teachers should undergo every two or three
years a one-to-three month course which introduces them to the
latest issues of the teaching of Arabic to foreigners in the
faculties of education especially in the Arabic countries.
ii. To encourage the use of electronic grammar (telegram) in
teaching Arabic (Kamyin Wu & Amy B. M. Tsui 1997).
iii. To concentrate on teaching the past and present tenses due to
the fact that the majority of students errors lie here;
iv. To correct his students’ errors immediately as they happen
and on the spot;
v. To give extra drills on verbs and tense particles;
vi. To make group/peer discussions among the students in
Arabic;
vii. To use Arabic in and out of the classroom with the students;
and
viii. To do drills on verbs which are not included in the syllabus.

c) Suggestions for the syllabus designer

The textbook designers should put in mind the following points


when designing textbooks in order to achieve a good standard of
usage of Arabic, including tense and SVA.

i. Implementing a comprehensive notion of grammar in the sense


of teaching the phonology, morphology, vocabulary, structure,
and style as language consists of all the above criteria (cf. ِّ‫السم‬
As-Saiyyed 1988);
ii. Using the communicative approach in teaching of grammar as
well as other suitable methods;
iii. Relating passages or texts to the Islamic and Malay culture in
the program;
335

iv. Including the most common Arabic structures and words and
Arabic loan-words in BM in the syllabus in order to facilitate the
learning and teaching of Arabic;
v. Using plenty of drills and exercises to illustrate the studied
items. In particular, giving more drills on verbs and their
inflections with the personal pronouns in order to master SVA.
Also special attention should be paid to punctuation as to how
and where to place the dots, geminations, vowelizations, the rule
of closed and open letter ta’, the long and short vowels (see
Jassem et al. 1995). Finally, drills should be given to improve
students’ hand-writing;

vi. Seeking help from language experts who have good


knowledge of Arabic as L1;
vii. To review and edit the current textbook because there are
many errors in it; and

viii. Offering the book before publishing it to an expert in Arabic


language in order to correct and edit the grammatical and
stylistic errors.

To these suggestions, one might add a few more words about


especially the role of the Ministry of Education in maximizing the
exposure of Malay learners to Arabic for the purpose of
improving their command and competence of the language.
These include:

i. To produce Arabic Islamic films and makes Malaysia a


center for producing such films and exporting such activities
to other Muslim countries and the whole world. The
Ministries of Education, Islamic Religious Affairs and
Information can work together to produce such programs;
336

ii. The writer urges the Ministry of Information to broadcast


news in Arabic on both TV and radio as well as publishing an
Arabic daily newspaper; and

iii. To establish and organize Arabic language societies and


weekly activities in Arabic in all religious schools.

7.3. Recommendations for Further Studies

Further studies are needed at all levels of Arabic learning and


teaching in Malaysia. Here are a few such recommendations:

i. Conducting follow-up studies of the VP by using other ways of


obtaining data such as the test or translation methods. These may
help to investigate as many kinds of errors as possible.
ii. Investigating other areas such as phonology, morphology,
lexis, semantics, stylistics and discourse as the present study is
limited to certain grammatical difficulties only.
iii. Examining spoken errors as this study is limited to written
ones.
iv. Examining the influence of the age of the students in learning
the Arabic language.
v. Investigating the students’ attitudes and aptitudes towards
learning the Arabic language.
vi. Examining the teaching methods used in teaching and
learning the Arabic language as to their effectiveness and
success.
vii. Evaluating the current textbooks as to whether they are
suitable or not.
viii. Incorporating culture in teaching the verb system, especially
through the Qur’an, literature and songs.

‫وآخر دعوانا أن الحمد هلل رب العالمين‬

‫وهللا الموفق‬
337

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Appendix A

Questions of level four:


(‫السؤال األول( ح دول اجلم ة انتِّة ىل لل ااِّة‬
Question 1: Change the following sentences into noun
phrase sentences:
.‫الفصل كل يوم‬ ‫ كنس ال‬-3
.‫ت األم بنتها‬ْ ‫ ضاب‬-9

(‫السؤال الثاي(ح دول اجلم ة انتِّة ىل لل فع ِّة‬


Question 2: Change the following sentences into verb
phrase sentences:
.‫اإلةارة‬ ‫ الكاتبا يكتبا‬-3
.‫اإلةارة‬ ‫ الكاتب يكتب‬-9

(‫السؤال الثالث‬
Question 3:
3
‫اإلضافة‬ ‫الضما ا‬ ‫ االس‬-
Possessive / Genitive 1 2 Pronoun Noun
-9 -3 ‫هو‬ ‫اجقِّبة‬
‫ه‬
‫أنا‬
‫حنن‬
.... ‫أنت‬

Source: examination paper of level four, March 1997.


‫‪371‬‬

‫‪Appendix B‬‬

‫‪Sample 1‬‬
‫‪ 35‬ابايل ‪3221‬‬
‫نور زوياي بن زاكوا ‪ 5‬ابو بكا‬
‫زِّ الف اي ‪ -‬كِّ حتتفل‬

‫األول محا الشماول كمل سمنة‪ -‬حيتف مو زِّم‬ ‫احتفمل اسسم مو بعِّم الف ماي‬
‫ممها الايضمما ‪ .‬اسس م مو يصممويو الشممها الايضمما يممن‬ ‫الف مماي بع م ا يصممويو‬
‫األول ريض م مما ح م ممىت اخ م ممري ريض م مما مث حيتف م ممو اسس م م مو زِّم م م الف م مماي االول م ممها‬
‫الشاول‪ .‬زِّ الف اي احتفل لت كا النجاح صوم ها ريضا ه ا يموم اسسم مو ال‬
‫زِّ الف اي كل ي رسة واألةارة اوفل الحاام الِّوم‪.‬‬ ‫يصويو ‪.‬‬

‫وبل العِّ اسس مو اسمتع اة لِّحتفمل هم ا الِّموم‪ .‬اسسم مو ينظفمو بِّمته ‪ .‬هم‬
‫يش ممريتو األل ممت ت ممين لبِّ ممته ‪ .‬ينظق ممو بِّ ممته ح ممىت ي مماي ل ِّ ممة‪ .‬ةاا اسس م مو يعم ممو‬
‫ايق م لس ممتع اة لعِّ م الف مماي‪ .‬وب ممل زِّ م الف مماي اس مما ايض مماا سممتع اة لتحتف ممل زِّ م‬
‫الف مماي‪ .‬حن ممن ننظ م بِّتن مما‪ .‬ايب ايض مماا يغس ممل س مرياتك‪ .‬حن ممن ايض مماا ي م هب ا الم م كا‬
‫لشريت اس بس لتحتفل زِّم الف ماي‪ .‬الم كا كثماجم اسسم مو يم هبو الِّهما لِّشمريتو‬
‫اس بممس‪ .‬وبممل العِّم ايضمماا اسسم مو تممؤةي المكمماة يسممج ‪ .‬وبممل العِّم حنممن ناجممف ا‬
‫القايتنمما ب م و مماق‪ .‬ىف ال مماريخ حن ممن نس مماه ين ممااا لِّ ممة يث ممل حق ممول االرز والنح ممار‬
‫والبحمما واجلبممل والقايممة وغممري ذلممك‪ .‬السممازة ااايسممة يسمماا وص م نا القايتنمما وحيممتف‬
‫اج واج ة‪.‬‬
‫‪372‬‬

‫يموم العِّم انمما واسما اسمتِّق يمن النمموم صمبح يبكماا‪ .‬حنمن نغتسممل سمنة زِّم‬
‫الف مماي‪ .‬مث تممؤةي ص م ة العِّ م الف مماي يسممج ‪ .‬تممؤةي ص م ة العِّ م الف مماي يممف اب م‬
‫وج ي‪ .‬ذهبت ا يسج بالسِّارة‪ .‬ايضاا اسس مو احماام الوالم ين‪ .‬انما واخم واخمىت‬
‫ايضاا احاام الوال ين بِّأس ين ه ‪.‬‬

‫مث حنممن يم هب ا بِّممت اخم لميمااة ايب وايم يم هبا ا بِّممت الصم يقته ‪ .‬انمما‬
‫والمماز‬ ‫البِّممت اخ م حنممن نأكممل ال عممام يثممل اسق م‬ ‫ايضمماا اذهممب ا بِّممت الص م يق ‪.‬‬
‫والفواكمل وغمري ذلمك زِّم الف ماي‪ .‬حنممن يشما اسشماوباا يثمل كاكماو والسماي والقحموا‬
‫وغري ذلك‪ .‬ىف بِّته ايضاا حنن نشماه الت ِّميمو ‪ .‬انما واخم ت عمب كماة القم م‪ .‬ىف اسسماا‬
‫حنن ياجف اي ج بِّت‪ .‬ذاا الِّوم حنن ناجف ا بِّت ‪.‬‬
‫‪373‬‬

‫‪Sample 2‬‬
‫‪ 31‬ابايل ‪3221‬‬
‫هرييا بن مهمة ‪ 5‬ابو بكا‬
‫زِّ الف اي ‪ -‬كِّ حتتفل‬

‫األول محا الشماول كمل سمنة‪ -‬حيتف مو زِّم‬ ‫احتفمل اسسم مو بعِّم الف ماي‬
‫ممها الايضمما ‪ .‬اسس م مو يصممويو الشممها الايضمما يممن‬ ‫الف مماي بع م ا يصممويو‬
‫األول ريض م مما ح م ممىت اخ م ممري ريض م مما مث حيتف م ممو اسس م م مو زِّم م م الف م مماي االول م ممها‬
‫الشاول‪ .‬زِّ الف اي احتفل لت كا النجاح صوم ها ريضا ه ا يموم اسسم مو ال‬
‫يصويو ‪ .‬زِّ الف اي كل ي رسة واألةارة اوفل الحوام الِّوم‪.‬‬

‫وبل العِّ اسس مو اسمتع اة لِّحتفمل هم ا الِّموم‪ .‬اسسم مو ينظفمو بِّمته ‪ .‬هم‬
‫يش ممريتو األل ممت ت ممين لبِّ ممته ‪ .‬ينظق ممو بِّ ممته ح ممىت ي مماي لِّ ممة‪ .‬ةاا اسس م مو يعم ممو‬
‫ايق م لسممتع اة لعِّ م الف مماي‪ .‬وبممل زِّ م الف مماي اسمما ايضمماا بسممتع اة لتحتفممل زِّ م‬
‫الف مماي‪ .‬حن ممن نن م بِّتن مما‪ .‬ابمما ايض مماا يغس ممل س مرياتك‪ .‬حنممن ايض مماا ت م هب ا ال م كا‬
‫لشريت اس بس لتحتفل زِّم الف ماي‪ .‬الم كا كثماجم اسسم مو يم هبو الِّهما لِّشمربتو‬
‫اس بممس‪ .‬وبممل العِّم ايضمماا اسسم مو تممؤةي المكمماة يسممج ‪ .‬وبممل العِّم حنممن ناجممف ا‬
‫القايتنمما ب م و مماق‪ .‬ىف ال مماريخ حن ممن نس مماه ين ممااا لِّ ممة يث ممل حق ممول االرز والنح ممار‬
‫والبحمما واجلبممل والقايممة وغممري ذلممك‪ .‬السممازة ااايسممة يسمماا وص م نا القايتنمما وحيممتف‬
‫اج واج ة‪.‬‬

‫يوم العِّ انما واسما اسمتِّق يمن النموم اصمبح يبكماا‪ .‬حنمن نغتسمل سمنة زِّم‬
‫يسممج ‪ .‬تممؤةي ص م ة العِّ م الف مماي يممف اب م‬ ‫الف مماي‪ .‬مث تممؤةي ص م ة العِّ م الف مماي‬
‫‪374‬‬

‫ايضاا اسس مو احماام الوالم ين‪ .‬انما واخم واخمىت‬ ‫وج ي‪ .‬ذهبت ا يسج بالسِّارة‪.‬‬
‫ايضاا اجاام الوال ين بِّأس ين ه ‪.‬‬

‫مث حنممن تم هب ا بِّممت اخم لميمااة ايب وايم يم هبا ا بِّممت الصم يقته ‪ .‬انمما‬
‫ايضمماا اذهممب ا بِّممت الص م يق ‪ .‬البِّممت اخ م حنممن نأكممل ال عممام يثممل اسق م والمماز‬
‫والفواكمل وغمري ذلمك زِّم الف ماي‪ .‬حنممن يشما اسشماوباا يثمل كاكماو والسماي والقحموا‬
‫وغري ذلك‪ .‬ىف بِّته ايضاا حنن نشماه الت ِّميمو ‪ .‬انما واخم ت عمب كماة القم م‪ .‬ىف اسسماا‬
‫حنن ياجف اي ج بِّت‪.‬‬
‫‪375‬‬

‫‪Sample 3‬‬
‫زِّ الف اي ‪ -‬كِّ حتتفل‬

‫األول محا الشماول كمل سمنة‪ -‬حيتف مو زِّم‬ ‫احتفمل اسسم مو بعِّم الف ماي‬
‫ممها الايضمما ‪ .‬اسس م مو يصممويو الشممها الايضمما يممن‬ ‫الف مماي بع م ا يصممويو‬
‫األول ريض م مما ح م ممىت اخ م ممري ريض م مما مث حيتف م ممو اسس م م مو زِّم م م الف م مماي االول م ممها‬
‫ه ا يموم اسسم مو ال‬ ‫الشاول‪ .‬زِّ الف اي احتفل لت كا النجاح صوم ها ريضا‬
‫يصويو ‪ .‬زِّ الف اي كل ي رسة واألةارة اوفل الحاام الِّوم‪.‬‬

‫وبل العِّ اسس مو اسمتع اة لِّحتفمل هم ا الِّموم‪ .‬اسسم مو ينظفمو بِّمته ‪ .‬هم‬
‫يش ممريو األل ممت تم ممين لبِّ ممته ‪ .‬ينظق ممو بِّ ممته ح ممىت ي مماي ل ِّ ممل‪ .‬ةاا اسسم م مو يعم ممو‬
‫ايق م لس ممتع اة لعِّ م الف مماي‪ .‬وب ممل زِّ م الف مماي اس مما ايض مماا سممتع اة لتحتف ممل زِّ م‬
‫الف مماي‪ .‬حن ممن ننظ م م بِّتن مما‪ .‬ايب ايض مماا يغس ممل س م مرياتل‪ .‬حن ممن ايض مماا يم م هب ا ال م م كا‬
‫ال م كا كث ماجم اسس م مو ي م هبو الِّهمما لنشممرى‬ ‫لنشممري اس بممس لتحتفممل زِّ م الف مماي‪.‬‬
‫اس بمس‪ .‬وبممل العِّم ايضمماا اسسم مو تممؤةي المكماة اسسممج ‪ .‬وبمل العِّم حنمن ناجممف ا‬
‫القايتن مما ب م و مماق‪ .‬ىف ال مماريغ حن ممن نس مماه ين ممااا لِّ ممل يث ممل حق ممول االرز والنح ممار‬
‫والبحمما واجلبممل والقايممة وغممري ذلممك‪ .‬السممازة اجايسممة يسمماا وص م نا القايتنمما وحيممتف‬
‫اح واح ة‪.‬‬

‫يوم العِّ انا واسما اسمتق يمن النموم صمباحا يبكماا‪ .‬حنمن نغتسمل سمنة زِّم‬
‫الف مماي‪ .‬مث ت ممؤةي ص م ة العِّ م الف مماي يس ممج ‪ .‬ت ممؤةي ص م ة العِّ م الف مماي ي ممف ا‬
‫وج م م ي‪ .‬ن م م هب ا يس ممج بالس م مِّارة‪ .‬ايض مماا اسس م م مو اح م ماام الوال م م ين‪ .‬ان مما واخ م م‬
‫واخوات ايضاا احاام الوال ين بِّأس ينه ‪.‬‬
‫‪376‬‬

‫مث حنممن ن م هب ا بِّممت اخ م لميمااة ايب واالم ي م هبا ا بِّممت الص م يقته ‪ .‬انمما‬
‫ايضمماا اذهممب ا بِّممت ص م يق ‪ .‬البِّممت اخ م حنممن نأكممل ال عممام يثممل اسق م والمماز‬
‫والفواكممل وغممري ذلممك زِّم الف مماي‪ .‬حنممن نشمما اسشمماوباا يثممل كاكمماو والسمماي والقع موا‬
‫وغري ذلك‪ .‬ىف بِّته ايضاا حنن نشاه الت فِّميو ‪ .‬انا واخ العمب كماة القم م‪ .‬ىف اسسماا‬
‫حنن ناجف اي ج بِّت‪ .‬ذاا الِّوم حنن ناجف ا بِّت ‪.‬‬
377

Appendix C

Questionnaire

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia


Faculty of Education
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
15/4/1997

Instructions

Please tick ( ) where appropriate.


1- Age [ ].
2- Gender: Male [ ] Female [ ].
3- Nationality: Malay [ ] other please specify [ ].
4- From which state do you come?
5- What is your first language? BM [ ] Other [ ]; please
specify.
6- What other languages do you know besides BM?
A: Arabic [ ] B: English [ ] C: Other [ ]; please specify.
7- How many marks have you got in the Arabic Exam? [ ].
8- Did you study Arabic before secondary school? yes [ ]
no [ ].
9- How many hours did you study Arabic in the primary
school? [ ].
10- How many hours do you study Arabic in the
secondary school?
In the first year [ ].
In the second year [ ].
In the third year [ ].
11- When did you learn Arabic? Since [ ] years.
12- Do you like to study Arabic? yes [ ] no [ ].
13- Do you like to improve your Arabic in the future?
Yes [ ] No [ ].
14- Is Arabic important in Malaysia? yes [ ] no [ ].
378

15- Do you think that Arabic will help you in your future
study? yes [ ] no [ ].
16- What is the language you use out of the classroom with
your friends?

A: BM [ ] B: Arabic [ ] C: English [ ] D: Other [ ]; please


specify.
17- What are the Arabic books you read at home besides the
curriculum?
1- ……….
2- ……….
3- ……….
18- How many hours do you study higher Arabic language in
the fourth year? [ ].
19- How many hours do you study communicational
Arabic language in the fourth year? [ ].
20- Why are you learning Arabic?

A: To be one of the Arabs and do as they do [ ].


B: To pass in your study and to get a good job in the
future [ ].

Mr. Jassem Ali Jassem,


Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia
‫‪379‬‬

‫ك" أخرى مطبوع للمؤلف‬

‫‪ -‬تع مِّ اثاةث ممة العابِّممة ل ن مماطقني باالجن ِّميممة‪ .3222 .‬ال بع ممة األو ‪.‬‬
‫كواال سبور( ىلي‪ .‬ىل ‪ .‬نورةين‪.‬‬
‫‪ -‬تع مِّ اثاةث ممة العابِّ ممة اسعاص مماة لغ ممري الن مماطقني ا مما‪ .3221 .‬ال بع ممة‬
‫األو ‪ .‬جمآ ‪ .‬كواال سبور( ىلي‪ .‬ىل ‪ .‬نورةين‪.‬‬
‫‪ -‬طاق تع ِّ ال غة العابِّة لألجانمب‪ .3224 .‬ال بعمة األو ‪ .‬كمواال‬
‫سبور( ىلي‪.‬ىل ‪.‬نورةين‪.‬‬
‫‪ -‬ةراس ممة ز م م ال غ ممة االجتم مماز ‪ .3221 .‬ال بع ممة األو ‪ .‬ت م م وِّن‬
‫وحتايمما زي م ز م جاس م و جاس م ز م جاس م ‪ .‬ك مواال سبممور( بوسممتاك‬
‫أنتارا‪.‬‬

‫‪- Jassem, J.A. 1992. An Error Analysis of the Arabic Verb‬‬


‫‪Phrase: A Case Study of the Writing of Fourth Year Literary‬‬
‫‪Stream Students at Kuala Lumpur National Religious‬‬
‫‪Secondary School. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis. Universiti‬‬
‫‪Kebangsaan Malaysia.‬‬

‫‪- Jassem, J. A., Jassem, Z. A., & Jassem, Z. A. 1995. Drills in Arabic‬‬
‫‪writing and pronunciation as a foreign/second language. Kuala‬‬
‫‪Lumpur: Golden Books Centre Sdn. Bhd.‬‬
380

The Author

- PH.D. in Applied Linguistics, 1999. Universiti


Kebangsaan Malaysia.
- M.A. in Arabic as a Second Language, 1994.
International Islamic University Malaysia.
- B.A. in Arabic Language and Literature. 1988. Damascus
University, Syria.
- Lecturer and course coordinator for the Diploma
Program of Methodology of teaching Arabic, Universiti
Malaya.
- Participated in many conferences in Britain, Malaysia and
others.
- Has a number of publication in the area of teaching
Arabic as a Second Language.

This Book investigates the use of certain aspects of the Arabic


verb phrase by Malaysian Islamic secondary school learners of
Arabic by using the Error Analysis Approach. The sample
consisted of 54 fourth-year students who were studying in the
Islamic stream at the National Religious Secondary School in
Kuala Lumpur. The data came from two written tasks on two
topics familiar to the students which they completed in the class.
The procedures of data analysis in this study used both
qualitative and quantitative methods. The standard statistical
formula in scoring or calculating the errors employed the
frequency and the percentage formula.