Error Anaylsis

Topics: Linguistics, Language acquisition, Verb Pages: 14 (3806 words) Published: April 22, 2013

Errors VS Mistakes


Error usually means that the person who committed it did something wrong because they thought wrongly and judged incorrectly. It is used for formal situations and is more serious since it is usually a more important problem that occurred due to the misjudgment. It is more technical and formal.


Mistake refers to something that is more common. An example is mistaking salt from sugar, it is a common mistake and everyone makes it sometimes, so it is not considered a grave error. It usually involves something done wrong because they thought something else and it was an accident. Also, it is more informal and is better when talking to friends or family.

In brief:
• Mistake is used in terms of an incorrect action, performance, opinion or judgment. It is also used to express misunderstanding; for example “I have mistaken you.” • Error is a mistake that causes problems or affects the result of something. • Error is a noticeable deviation from the adult grammar of a native speaker, reflects the competence of the learner • Error is formal while mistake is informal.

• Mistake is common and error is technical or mathematical.

Performance VS Competence

In LINGUISTICS, the distinction between a person's knowledge of language (competence) and use of it (performance). Competence: This word means ability to do something, or knowledge about something, to a certain required or acceptable standard.

Performance: This word means actually doing something, i.e. using one's ability or knowledge to do something. Therefore, language competence means the ability or knowledge to do something by using language. We use language to do the following things: to speak, to write, and to read what other have written or to listen to others when they are speaking. When we do so, we do it to a certain standard: we perform; we show concretely and practically that we are able to use the ability or knowledge of language. If the standard of doing something is below expectation according to certain requirements or conditions then our language performance is regarded as low or below standard.

Types of Errors
Brown (1994) and Connor (1996) group errors into two categories: 1-Inter-lingual transfer errors are errors caused by the interference of the learners’ L1. The error occurs as a result of familiarity with the L1. Therefore, there is a transfer effect whether directly or indirectly of the L1 to the new language. When parallel features of the two languages correspond exactly, there is a positive transfer from L1 to L2. When they do not correspond exactly, there is a negative transfer, that is, interference.

2-Intra-lingual and developmental errors are the second category of errors. These errors may be caused by inadequate learning, difficulties inherent in the TL itself, faulty teaching, confused thinking or lack of contrast of both languages. Brown suggests that the early stages of language learning are characterized by a predominance of inter-lingual transfer, but once learners have begun to acquire parts of a new system, more and more intra-lingual transfer is manifested.

Source of Errors
There are some sources of errors:

1. Language transfer (Mother language effect)
2. Transfer of training
3. Strategies of second language learning
4. Strategies of second language communication (ignorance)
a)Ignorance of rule restrictions: i.e. applying rules to contexts to which they do not apply. b)incomplete application of rules
c)Semantic errors such as building false concepts/systems: i.e. faulty comprehension of distinctions in the TL. 5. Overgeneralization of TL linguistic material.
It is associated with redundancy reduction. It covers instances where the learner creates a deviant structure on the basis of his experience of other structures in the target language. It may be the result of the learner reducing his linguistic burden.

Classification of Errors

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