You are on page 1of 9


Fernando Rubio
Universidad de Huelva

Do you usually have errors when you speak the FL? Is Spanish very different from English? Is is good to correct when someone learns a language? Does error correction lead to greater language achievement? Should feedback be a reward or a reinforcement? How did your teacher use to correct orally? And your written work? How would you like to be corrected? When should learner errors be corrected? Which errors should be corrected? Who should do the correcting?

L1 and L2 are learned by the same habit formation process The two components of language learning were:
Mimicry: simple habit formation through reinforcement Analogy: complex habit formation through extension of mimicked forms to new situation

CAH contd
Researchers working in CA saw two types of transfer:
Positive transfer: similar structures facilitate learning. L1 habits can successfully be used in the L2. Negative transfer: Interference from the L1. L1 habits will cause errors in the L2.

CAH contd
6 basic pedagogical assumptions of the CAH:
1) Learning a new language involves establishing a new set of language habits. 2) The major source of error in the production and/or reception of a second language is the native language. 3) One can account for errors by considering the differences between the L1 and L2.

CAH contd
4) A corollary to item 3 is that the greater the differences, the more errors will occur. 5) What one has to do in learning an L2 is learn the differences. Similarities can safely be ignored, as no new learning must occur. 6) Difficulty and ease in learning are determined respectively by differences and similarities between the two languages.

CAH: Problems
Predictions of the CAH were not borne out in practice
Learners made errors that couldnt be traced to either the L1 or the L2: *He comed yesterday.

CAH contd
Eventually two versions of CA emerged:
Strong/Predictive Weak/Explanatory

The weak version attempted to explain learners errors by ascribing them NL/TL differences. This field eventually became known as

Error Analysis
Provided a broader range of explanations for errors:
Interference from the NL: Interlingual
We just enjoyed to move and to play. (L1 French)

Developmental: Intralingual
He comed yesterday.

Some errors seemed to be systematic across all learners: classified as developmental. Error/Mistake dichotomy.