Topics: Linguistics, Language acquisition, Second language acquisition Pages: 16 (4448 words) Published: December 15, 2013
ISSN 1799-2591
Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol. 2, No. 5, pp. 1027-1032, May 2012 © 2012 ACADEMY PUBLISHER Manufactured in Finland.

Error Analysis and Second Language Acquisition
Ali Akbar Khansir
Bushehr University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Iran Email:
Abstract—Error Analysis is one of the major topics in the field of second language acquisition research. Errors are an integral part of language learning. The learner of English as a second language is unaware of the existence of the particular system or rule in English language. The learner’s errors have long been interested for second and foreign language researchers. The basic task of error analysis is to describe how learning occurs by examining the learner’s output and this includes his/her correct and incorrect utterances. There are two major approaches to the study of learner’s errors, namely contrastive analysis and error analysis. Error analysis cannot be studied properly without touching upon the notion of contrastive analysis. Contrastive analysis and error analysis have been commonly recognized as branches of Applied Linguistic Science. This paper examines in detail the three most influential error theories: Contrastive analysis, Error analysis and Interlanguage theory. Corder (1978) maintains that interlanguage can be seen as a restructuring or a recreating continuum and, therefore; evaluates their role in second language acquisition. Index Terms—error, contrastive analysis, error analysis, and interlanguage

The term applied linguistics seems to have originated in the United States in the 1940‟s. The creation of applied linguistics as a discipline represents an effort to find practical applications for modern scientific linguistics (Mackey, 1965). Applied Linguistics is often said to be concerned with solving or at least ameliorating social problems involving language. “Applied Linguistics is using what we know about (a) language, (b) how it is learned, and (c) how it is used, in order to achieve some purpose or solve some problems in the real world” (Schmitt and Celce-Murcia 2002, p.l). Contrastive Analysis and Error Analysis have been commonly recognized as branches of Applied Linguistics Science. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, several researches pointed out that the language of second language learners is systematic and that learner errors are not random mistakes but evidence of rule-governed behavior (Adjemian 1976; Corder 1976;Nemser 1971; Selinker 1972). Applied Linguistics has viewed errors not merely by native speakers, but also by non-native speakers. According to Smith and Bisazza (1982) “A speaker‟s comprehensibility in a language is usually based solely up on the judgment of the native speakers of that language. We are convinced that this criterion is no longer appropriate for speakers of English as an international language. A more useful evaluation of one‟s English language comprehensibility should be based on the judgment of both native and non-native speakers. English native speakers should be judged for comprehensibility by non-native speakers too” (p.259). “In the 1950s and 1960s the favored paradigm for studying FL/SL leaving and organizing its teaching was Contrastive Analysis” (James, 2001, p.4). “Contrastive Linguistics has been defined as “a subdiscipline of Linguistics concerned with the comparison of two or more languages or subsystems of language in order to determine both differences and similarities between them”(Fisiak,1981,p.l). Carl (1971) maintained that Contrastive Analysis is a necessary component of a second language learning model which reliably forecasts that the speaker of an arbitrary first language is liable to produce grammatically deviant second language sentences, the structural descriptions of which will resemble those of analogous first language sentences.

Error Analysis, a branch of Applied Linguistics...

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