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The Nature of Learner Language

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Presentation on theme: "The Nature of Learner Language"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Nature of Learner Language
Compilted by: Uli Fauziyah Miatin ( )

2 Errors and Errors analysis
There are four steps in analysing learner errors: Identifying errors Describing errors Explaining errors Error evaluation

3 Identyfing 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. Example: A man and a little boy was watching him. It should be: A man and a little boy were watching him. It is an error in subject-verb agreement. Sometimes, learners produce sentences in that are possible target-language sentences but not preferred ones.

4 Example: … went in the traffic. It should be: … went into the traffic. It is an error in the use of comparative adjective. Sometimes errors occurs because the learner does not know what is correct while mistakes occur because the learner is unable to perform what he/she knows.

5 Describing Errors Two ways of describing errors:
Classify errors into grammatical categories Try to identify general ways in which the learners’ utterances differ from the reconstructed target language utterances, including ‘omission’ (i.e. leaving out an item that is required for an utterance to be reconstructed, ‘misinformation’ (i.e. using grammatical form in place of another grammatical form, and ‘misordering’ (i.e. putting the words in an utterance in the wrong order.

6 Explaining Errors Errors are predictable
Errors are not only systematic; many of them also universal Not all errors are universal. Some errors are common only to learners who share the same mother tongue or whose mother tongues manifest the same linguistic property Errors can have different sources

7 Learners commit errors of omission and overgeneralization
Learners commit errors of omission and overgeneralization. They are common in the speech of all learners, irrespective of their L1 Other errors reflect learners’ attempts to make use of their L1 knowledge (known as transfer errors)

8 Error Evaluation Some errors known as global errors, violate the overall structure of a sentence and for this reason may make it difficult to process. Example: The policemen was in the corner of whistle… Other errors known as local errors, affect only a single constituent in the sentence and less likely to create any processing problems. Example: The verb that used by L2 learners in the wrong order.

9 Developmental Patterns
We can explore the universality of L2 acquisition by examining the developmental pattern learners follow: The early stages of L2 acquisition The order of acquisition Sequence of acquisition Some implication

10 The Early Stages of L2 Acquisition
Some learners, particularly if they are children, undergo a silent period. They make no attempt to say anything and learning language through listening or reading. When learners do begin to speak in the L2 their speech is likely manifest two particular characteristics: the kind of formulaic chinks like ‘How do you do?’ propositional implication like ‘Me no blue’, meaning ‘I don’t have a blue crayon’.

11 The Order of Acquisition
To investigate this, the researchers choose a number of grammatical structure to study. This choose enable them to arrive an accuracy order that must be the same as the order of acquisition on the grounds that the more likely they are to have acquired feature early. There is a definite accuracy order and that this remains more or less the same irrespective of the learners’ mother tongues, ages, and whether or not they have received formal language instruction.

12 Sequence of Acquisition
Stage Description Example 1 Learners fail to make the verb for past time. ‘eat’ 2 Learners begin to produce irregular past tense forms. ‘are’ 3 Learners overgeneralized the regular past tense form. ‘eated’ 4 Sometimes learners produce hybrid forms. ‘ated’ 5 Learners produce correct irregular past tense forms. ‘ate’ Table: Stages in the acquisition of the past tense of ‘eat’

13 The acquisition of grammatical structure must be seen as a process involving transitional construction. Acquisition follows a U-shaped course of development; learners may display a high level of accuracy only to apparently regress later before finally once again performing in accordance with target-language norms. The kind of reorganization which is believed to be prevalent in L2 acquisition is referred to as restructuring.

14 Some Implications L2 acquisition is systematic and universal reflecting ways in which internal cognitive mechanisms control acquisition, irrespective of the personal background of learners or the setting in which they are learn. Some linguistic features (particularly grammatical one) are inherently easier to learn than others. Learners naturally learn one feature before another they must necessarily do so.

15 Variability in Learner Language
There is systematic variability in learner language. Learners vary in their use of the L2 according to linguistic context. Learners vary the linguistic forms they used in accordance with the situational context. Learners have the opportunity to plan their production (psycholinguistic context). Learners manifest considerable variability in their production of SLA.

16 The particular form-function mappings which learners make do not always conform to those found in the target language. Variability in learner language is clearly not just random. At least, some variability is ‘free’ and the free variables constitutes an essential stage in the acquisition of grammatical structures. The general sequence of acquisition applies to specific grammatical features. Learners may succeed in reaching target-language norms in some types of language use but not in others.

17 Souce: Rod Ellis, 1997, Second Language Acquisition, Oxford: Oxford University Press, chapter 1, pp

18 Thank You

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