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Error Analysis of Second Language Learners

I. Error Analysis and Error Correction Defined

G. Inter/intra/developmental errors.

II. Is error-making a sin or a learning device?

A. From behaviorist to communicative methodologies.

A. Linguistic differences and similarities in analysis.

B. Contrastive analysis vs error analysis.

IV. Error analysis and error correction

A. The student as locus of learning.

B. Thematic vs paradigmatic teaching.


Error analysis and error correction defined

In applied linguistics, error analysis is "the study of patterns of errors. Analysts have proposed six kinds of error, arising from inaccurate learning, inaccurate teaching, wrong guessing, poor memory, the influence of the mother tongue, and the process of learning." S. Pit Corder in the U.K. dichotomized between error (a failure in competence, a systemic fault) and mistake (a flaw in performance in a casual breakdown in speech or writing). In this perspective, errors are part of the learner's transitional competence. Larry Selinker in the U.S.A coined the term interlanguage for an intermediate linguistic or communicative competence. "A person's interlanguage develops through successive approximations to the target, starting with the dominance of the mother tongue and ideally ending in native-like fluency. Because many learners cease to develop beyond a certain point, their interlanguages are said to fossilize at various stages."

Uriel Weinreich defined interference in linguistics and language teaching, as the effect of one language on another producing "instances of deviation from the norms of either language." Note that he, as most other linguists, did not consider the interference of L2 on L1, however frequent this phenomenon had been observed to be. Mutual interference is a natural occurrence among bi- and multilingual speakers. It affects all aspects of language production: pronunciation, accent, synta...

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