At first irregular verbs are not analyzed – just memorized – and so they get them right. Then they go through a stage where they realize that there are irregular verbs and finally they have them mastered. Came >> comed & came >> came
Learners seldom reach L2; they usually fossilize, stop at a point short of their goal. BUT they can come close.
Grammar CR worksheets here
Second language learners use make rules about language that they hear and use the rules to communicate. Generalization and categorization worksheets here.
Behaviorism stated that where two languages were similar, there would be fewer errors and where they were different there would be more. This is not always true. Sometimes learners make errors related to similarities and sometimes they do not make errors when there are differences.
There are cases where Arabic and English use similar words and structures to express slightly or completely different meanings. Transfer from Arabic, in this case, leads to formally correct but semantically incorrect use of idioms. The following are examples of idioms that were contextually incorrect. Most of them were related to the parts of the body.
See page 5 of Learner Language reading
4 learner language interlanguage
1Learner Language1. What is learner language?2. The purpose of studying learner language3. Learner language and errors4. Process that create interlanguage5. Developmental sequences of learner language6. L1 influence and learner language
2I. What is learner language? Second language learner language is alsocalled “interlanguage” – learners’ developingsecond language knowledge (Selinker,1972). Interlanguage is a developing system with itsinterim structure, rather than an imperfectimitation of the TL.• it is systematic, predictable but also dynamic,continually evolving as learners receive moreinput and revise their hypotheses about the TL.
Interlanguage Rules4 Learners create language rules from intake Rules determine learners’ Comprehension Production Interlanguage rules are changeable From the outside (input) From the inside (learner hypotheses)
Interlanguage Rules5 Learners’ interlanguage changes with time Rules are altered Rules are deleted Rules are added
Interlanguage8 Has rules Is changeable, but not random Moves towards L2, but may becomefossilized
9I. What is learner language? The study of L2 learner language includes• What types of errors learners make• How their errors show their TL knowledge andability to use the TL• How L2 learners develop their interlanguage• What factors influence their interlanguage
10II. Purpose of studying learner language The study of leaner language helps teachers toassess teaching procedures in the light of whatthey can reasonably expect to accomplish in theclassroom. It also helps learners to be aware of the steps thatthey go through in acquiring L2 features. It provides a deeper understanding of errors thatL2 learners make. An increase in error may notresult from a lack of practice or transfer from L1;rather, it can be an indication of progress (e.g.,due to overgeneralization).
What are the Processes thatcreate interlanguage?11
Generalizations12 Generalizations are used in many learningsituations Learners group similar things, events,information, etc. together into categories Learners make rules to predict how differentitems will behave
Generalization13 Learners categorize what they hear and makerules for those categories Learners use those categories and rules innew situations
Overgeneralization14 Learners sometimes make mistakes because• Categories have exceptions• Learners put language in the wrongcategories
Transfer15 Learners use their knowledge of their firstlanguage to understand and organize secondlanguage information• When there are differences in the first andsecond language, transfer can lead learners tomake errors• When first and second language are thesame, transfer help learners
Examples of errors due totransfer16 Pronunciation Vocabulary Speech acts
Pronunciation17 How do you pronounce the following?SaladShirtEarth1990Base – vaseRob – lob
VocabularyIdiom Meaning in English Meaning in Arabicday after day every day every other dayred-faced embarrassed furiouspull ones leg(jokingly) say somethinguntruelet him talkstretch ones legs take a walk lie downhead over heels completely (in love) upside down18
Speech acts19 Americans hosts tend to offer food and drinkthree times. American guests tend to refusethe first two offers and accept the third. Dutch hosts tend to offer food and drink onlyonce. Dutch guests are expected to accept ifthey are thirsty or hungry or refuse if they arenot.
Transfer and generalization20 Transfer and overgeneralization are not distinctprocesses Generalization: Learners make use of theirknowledge of the second language Transfer: Learners make use of their knowledgeof their first language to produce or understand asecond language
Successful learning21 Overgeneralization and transfer are not bad Overgeneralization and transfer lead learnersto successfully produce language more oftenthan they lead them to make errors Errors are part of the learning process
Internal Sequences Learners Hear different language, for example, inclassrooms Have different first languages Therefore, we expect that learners learn asecond language in different ways
Morpheme studies Researchers studied how accurately learnersused different morphemes Studied learners with different first languages Analyzed how accurately the morphemeswere used
Morpheme Study Results 1 Group 1: present progressive -ing as in boyrunning plural -s as in two books copula `to be as in he is big Group 2: auxiliary `to be as in he is running articles the and a Group 3: irregular past forms as in she went Group 4: regular past -ed as in she climbed third-person singular -s as in she runs possessive -s as in mans hat
Morpheme study results 2 Learners used morphemes in Group 1most accurately Researchers assumed that degree ofaccuracy indicated the order in whichmorphemes are learned English morphemes are learned in apredictable sequence
26III. Learner language and errors During the 1960s:• Most people regarded L2 learners’ speech as anincorrect version of the TL.• Their errors were believed to be the result mainlyof transfer from their L1.• Contrastive analysis was the basis foridentifying differences between the L1 and theL2 and for predicting areas of potential errors(i.e., based on CAH).
27III. Learner language and errors Why is CAH problematic?A number of SLA research studies show that• Many errors can be explained better in terms oflearners’ attempts to discover the structure ofthe language being learned rather than anattempt to transfer patterns of their L1.• Some errors are remarkably similar to the kindsof errors made by young L1 learners (e.g., theuse of a regular -ed past tense for an irregular verb).
28III. Learner language and errors Why is CAH problematic? (continued)A number of SLA research studies show that• Errors are not always “bi-directional” whendifferences between L1 and L2 exist.• Learners have intuitions that certain features oftheir L1 are less likely to be transferable thanothers. For example, they believe that idiomaticor metaphorical expressions cannot simply betranslated word for word.
29III. Learner language and errors During the 1970s:• The research goal was to discover what learners reallyknow about the TL. Their errors reflect their currentunderstanding of the rules and patterns of the TL.• Error analysis replaced contrastive analysis. It did notset out to predict L2 learners’ errors; rather, it aims todiscover and describe different kinds of errors in aneffort to understand how learners process the L2.• Error analysis is based on the assumption that L2learner language is a system in its own right – onewhich is rule-governed and predictable.
30* Activity – Error Analysis Looking at the activity on p. 74“The Great Toy Robbery”• Read the two texts and examine the errors madeby the two learners of English (a French-speakingsecondary school student and a Chinese-speaking adult learner).• Do they make the same kinds of errors? In whatways do the two interlanguages differ?
31III. Learner language and errors- Types of errors Developmental errors: the errors that might very well be madeby children acquiring their L1 (e.g., “a cowboy go”). Overgeneralization errors: the errors that are caused by tryingto use a rule in a context where it does not belong (e.g., “Theyplays toys in the bar”, “She buyed a dress.”). Simplification errors: the errors that are caused by simplifyingor leaving out some elements (e.g., all verbs have the sameform regardless of person, number or tense). Misuse of formulaic expressions: (e.g., “Santa Claus ride aone horse open sleigh to sent present for children”).*See the lyric of Jingle Bell Interference errors (transfer from L1): (e.g., “On the back ofhis body has big packet” He has a shirt blow
32III. Learner language and errors- Discussion of Error Analysis Advantage:It permits a description of some systematic aspects oflearner language. Constraints:It does not always give us clear insights into whatcauses learners to do what they do, because• It is very often difficult to determine the source of errors.• Learners sometimes avoid using certain features oflanguage which they perceive difficult. The avoidance ofparticular features will be difficult to observe, but it may alsobe a part of the learner’s systematic L2 performance.
33IV. Developmental sequences SLA research has revealed that• L2 learners, like L1 learners, pass through sequencesof development.• In a given language, many of these developmentalsequences are similar for L1 and L2 learners.• It is not always the case that L2 features which areheard or read most frequently are easier to learn (e.g.,articles - ‘a’ & ‘the’).• Even among L2 learners from different L1 backgroundsand different learning environments, many of thesedevelopmental sequences are similar.
34IV. Developmental sequences Grammatical morphemes Negation Questions Relative clauses Reference to past
35IV. Developmental sequences- Grammatical morphemes Learners are often more accurate in using plural -s thanin using possessive -s’. Learners are often more accurate in using -ing than inusing -ed past. The learner’s L1 has some effect on the accuracy orderof grammatical morphemes; however, it is not entirelydetermined by the learner’s L1. There are some strongpatterns of similarity among learners of different L1backgrounds.(* Please see p. 5 for the L1 development of grammatical morphemes)
36IV. Developmental sequences- Negation The acquisition of negative sentences by L2 learners follows apath that looks nearly identical to the stages of L1 languageacquisition (* Please see p. 6). The difference is that L2 learners from different languagebackgrounds behave somewhat differently within thosestages. Stages of forming negative sentences (see examples on pp. 77-78):• stage 1 – using ‘no’ before the verb or noun• stage 2 – using ‘don’t’• stage 3 – using ‘are’, ‘is’, and ‘can’ with ‘not’• stage 4 – using auxiliary verbs with ‘not’ that agree with tense,person, and number.
37IV. Developmental sequences- Questions The developmental sequence for questions by L2 learners is similar inmost respects to L1 language acquisition (* Please see pp. 7-8). The developmental sequence for questions, while very similar acrosslearners, also appears to be affected to some degrees by L1 influence(e.g., German learners of English, p. 79). Stages of forming questions (see examples on p. 79):• stage 1 – single words or sentence fragments• stage 2 – declarative word order (no fronting and no inversion)• stage 3 – fronting (wh- fronting but no inversion; do-fronting)• stage 4 – inversion in wh- + copula and ‘yes/no’ questions• stage 5 – inversion in wh- questions• stage 6 – complex questions (tag questions; negative questions;embedded questions)
38IV. Developmental sequences- Relative clauses The pattern of acquisition for relative clauses (the“accessibility hierarchy” for relative clause in English):• Subject (‘The girl who was sick went home’)• Direct object (‘The story that/which I read was long’)• Indirect object (‘The man who[m] I gave the present to wasabsent’)• Object of preposition (‘I found the book that John was talkingabout’)• Possessive (‘I know the woman whose father is visiting’)• Object of comparison (‘The person that Susan is taller than isMary’)
39IV. Developmental sequences- Reference to past (I) Learners with very limited language may simply refer toevents in the order in which they occurred or mention atime or place to show that event occurred in the past.e.g. My son come. He work in restaurant. He don’t likehis boss. Later, learners start to attach a grammatical morphemewhich shows that the verb is marked for the past. Afterthey begin marking past tense on verbs, learners may stillmake errors such as overgeneralization of the regular -edending.e.g. John worked in the bank. He rided a bicycle.
40IV. Developmental sequences- Reference to past (II) Learners are more likely to mark past tense on some verbs(action verbs) than on others (state verbs).For example, learners seem to mark past tense more easilyin the sentences “I broke the vase” and “He fixed the car.”than in the sentences “She seemed happy last week” or“My father belonged to a club”. Learners seem to find it easier to mark past tense whenreferring to completed events than when referring to statesand activities which may last for extended periods without aclear end-point.e.g. He stays there for a week. I want to know how helearns English.
41IV. Developmental sequences- Conclusion Research shows that there are systematic and predictabledevelopmental stages, or sequences, of second languageacquisition. It is important to emphasize that developmental stages arenot liked “closed rooms”. Learners do not leave one behindwhen they enter another. It is common that learners producesentences typical of several different stages. It is better to think of a stage as being characterized by the“emergence” and “increasing frequency” of a particular formrather than by the disappearance of an earliest one. Even for a more advanced learner, conditions of stress orcomplexity in a communicative interaction can cause thelearner to ‘slip back’ to an earlier stage.
42V. L1 influence and learner language• Learners’ knowledge of their L1 helps them to learn the partsof the L2 that are similar to the L1.• The L1 may interact with learners’ developmental sequencesof the L2.• “Avoidance” may be associated with learners’ perceptionthat a feature in the L2 is distant and different from their L1.• Learners are usually aware that idiomatic or metaphoricaluses of words are often unique to a particular language;therefore, L1 transfer of these uses seldom occurs.• When learners’ interlanguage form does not cause anydifficulty in communicating meaning, they may find it difficultto get rid of it (i.e., fossilization).
43Summary Researchers have found that learners who receive grammar-basedinstruction still pass through the same developmental sequences andmake the same types of errors as those who acquire language innatural settings. Research also shows that L2 learners from different L1 backgroundsoften make the same kinds of errors when learning the L2. The transfer of patterns from the L1 is only one of the major sourcesof errors in learner language; however, there are other causes forerrors too, such as developmental errors, overgeneralization errors,and simplification errors, which constantly affect interlanguage. Therefore, interlanguage errors are evidence of the learners’ effortsto discover the structure of the TL itself rather than just attempts totransfer patterns from their L1.