The nature of learner language (rod ellis


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The nature of learner language (rod ellis

  1. 1.  Errors and error analysis  Developmental  Variability  Summary patterns in learner language
  2. 2.  The description may focus on kinds of errors learners make and how these errors change over time or it may identify developmental patterns by describing the stages in the acquisition of particular grammatical features such as past tense or it may examine the variability found in learner language.
  3. 3. However, there are good reasons for focusing on errors. First, they are conspicuous feature of learner language, raising the important question of ‘why do learners make errors?’. Second, it is useful for teachers to know what errors learners make. Third, paradoxically it is possible that making errors may actually help learners to learn when they self-correct the errors they make. To 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. Sometime his is straightforward. For example, jean says:  A man and a little boy was watching them It is not difficult to see that the correct sentence should be:  A man and a little boy were watching them
  4. 4. It is the first step to take to analysis errors made by learners. Example:  Jean is an adult French learner, he writes a paragraph of story.  A man and a little boy was watching him. - was is supposed to were. *… went in the traffic. - in is supposed to be into 
  5. 5. We can distinguish errors and mistakes made by learners by checking the consistency of learners performance.  But whenever learner can do self-correct activity in producing the words then it means that he posses the knowledge the correct form but just slipping up the mistake. 
  6. 6.  One is to classify errors into grammatical categories. Another way might be to try to identify general ways in which the learners’ utterances differ from the reconstructed targetlanguage utterances.
  7. 7.  Errors are, to a large extent, systematic, and to a certain extent, predictable. Errors are not only systematic, many of them are also universal. Thus, the kind of past tense error found in jean’s speech has been attested in the speech of may learners.
  8. 8.  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 linguist property.
  9. 9. Global errors Local errors Affect only a single constituent in the sentence Violate the overall structure of a sentence and for this reason may make it difficult process, Jean , for example says: The policeman was in the corner whistle…. Which is difficult to understand because the basic structure of the sentence is wrong
  10. 10. The early stages of acquisition SILENT PERIOD : children make no attempt to say anything to begin with (the learners begin to speak in the L2 speech is likely to manifest two particular characteristics)  Acquisition order Acquisition order investigating a number of grammatical structures to study; i.e. progressive –ing ,and plural-s Do learners acquire the grammatical structure of an L2 in a definite order? 
  11. 11.  Sequence of acquisition Do learners learn such structure in a single step or do they proceed through a number of interim stages before they master the target structure?
  12. 12.  There must be seen a process involving transitional constructions.  The next sequence is U-shaped course of development.
  13. 13.  Learner language is systematic, that is, at a particular stage of development, learners consistently use the same grammatical form although this is often different from that employed by native speakers. Linguistic context Situational context
  14. 14. Linguistic context The crucial element in the linguistic context involves some other constituent of the utterance. Example: George playing football – George played football all the time. In sentences referring past tense which do not have an adverb of frequency, the learners are more likely to use progressive marker. Situational context Learners vary their use of language similarly. They are more likely to use the correct target-language forms in formal contexts and non-target forms in informal contexts. another important that accounts for the systematic nature of variability is the psycholinguistic context. Whether learners have the opportunity to plan their production.
  15. 15.  Research on variability has sought to show that, although allowance should perhaps be made for some free variation, variability in learner language is systematic.  The use of specific grammatical forms has been shown to vary according to the linguistic context ad the psycholinguistic context.
  16. 16. Ellis, Rod (1997) Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press  James, Carl (1998) Errors in Language Learning and Use. Published in USA by Longmann.  Gan, Zhengdong. (2012) ‘Understanding L2 Speaking Problems’ Australian Journal of Teacher Education pp. 50-53. 