3 Identifying errorsTo identify errors we have to compare the sentences learners produce with what seem to be the normal or ‘correct’ sentences in the target language which correspond with them.
4 For example, jean says: A man and a little boy was watching him For example, jean says: A man and a little boy was watching him. It is not difficult to see that the correct sentence should be: A man and a little boy were watching him.
5 Distinguishing errors and mistakes: Errors reflect gaps in a learner’s knowledge; they occur because the learner does not know what is correct.Mistakes reflect occasional lapses in performance; they occur because, in a particular instance, the learner is unable to perform what he or she knows.
6 There is an example of an apparent ‘mistake’ in Jean’s speech There is an example of an apparent ‘mistake’ in Jean’s speech. Early in the narrative he says: The big of them contained a snake. Using the past tense of the verb ‘contain’ correctly. However, in the final sentence he says: The basket contain a snake. Making what seems to be a past tense error.
7 Describing errors Classifying errors into grammatical categories We could gather all the errors relating to verbs and then identify the different kinds of verb errors in our samleFor example : errors in the past tense
8 Trying to identify general ways in which the learners’ utterances differ from the reconstructed target-language utterances, including :OmissionLeaving out an item that is required for an utterance to be consider grammaticalMisinformationUsing one grammatical form in place of another grammatical formMisorderingPutting the words in an utterance in the wrong order
9 Explaining errors Omission For example : learners leave out the articles ‘a’ and ‘the’ and leave the –s off plural nounsOvergeneralizationFor example : the use of ‘eated’ in place of ‘ate’Transfer errorsReflect learners’ attempts to make use of their L1 knowledge
10 Error evaluationGlobal errors : violate the the overall structure of a sentence and for this reason may make it difficult processLocal errors : affect only a single constituent in the sentence
11 DEVELOPMENTAL PATTERNS The early stages of L2 acquisitionThe order of acquisitionSequence of acquisitionSome implications
12 The early stages of L2 acquisition Silent periodThe learners make no attempt to say anything to begin with.Propositional simplificationLearners find it difficult to speak in full sentences so they frequently leave words out.For example : Me no blue (I don’t have a blue crayon)
13 The order of acquisition To investigate the order of acquisition, researchers choose a number of grammatical structures to study. Then , they collect samples of learner language and identify how accurately each feature is used by different language. They rank the features according to how accurately each feature is used by the learners.
14 Sequence of acquisition Stages in the acquisition of the past tense of ‘eat’StageDescriptionExample1Learners fail to mark the verb for past time.‘eat’2Learners begin to produce irregular past tense forms.‘ate’3Learners overgeneralize the regular past tense form.‘eated’4Sometimes learners produce hybrid forms.‘ated’5Learners produce correct irregular past tense forms.
15 Some implicationsL2 acquisition is systematic and, to a large extent, universal, reflecting ways in which internal cognitive mechanisms control acquisition, irrespective of the personal background of learners or the setting in which they learn.
16 VARIABILITY IN LEARNER LANGUAGE Variability in learner language is systematicLearners use the linguistic sources in predictable waysThe use of specific grammatical forms has been shown to vary according to the linguistic context, the situational context, and the psycholinguistic contextVariability plays an integrative part in the overall pattern of development, with learners moving through a series of stages that reflect different kinds of variability.