HOW SYSTEMATIC AND RANDOM ARE ERRORS AND MISTAKES IN TEXTS WRITTEN BY LANGUAGE LEARNERS OF FRENCH?

Thouësny, Sylvie (2014) HOW SYSTEMATIC AND RANDOM ARE ERRORS AND MISTAKES IN TEXTS WRITTEN BY LANGUAGE LEARNERS OF FRENCH? In: Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, May, Sarajevo.

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Official URL: http://fltal.ibu.edu.ba/

Abstract

In his epoch-making article entitled “The significance of learners’ errors”, Corder (1967) argues that the analysis of errors is central to investigating the learners’ acquisition process. One of his key points addresses the idea that competence-dependent errors should be differentiated from performance-related mistakes. Errors, he says, are evidence of the learner’s use of an underlying system during the learning process. As well as revealing the learner’s interlanguage competence, errors are systematic. By contrast, mistakes are mainly the result of accidental slips of the tongue, physical or psychological conditions, such as tiredness or specific emotional states. They are incorrect forms whose systematicity cannot be explicitly described. To give some nuances to Corder’s distinction, other researchers, such as Ellis (1997), have pointed out that the differentiation between both errors and mistakes could also be made by asking learners to self-edit their own performance. If learners are capable of correcting themselves, their incorrect forms are regarded as mistakes. Conversely, if they are unable to self-edit their own performance, their incorrect forms are considered as errors. Following a brief discussion on the different methods in use to distinguish between both errors and mistakes, this short paper explores the extent to which systematicity in L2 learners’ incorrect written performance may help identify learners’ lack of knowledge. More specifically, it analyses an interlanguage corpus of texts written by learners of French and compares the systematicity of their incorrect forms with their ability to correct themselves. Keywords: error, mistake, systematicity, randomness, zone of proximal development.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: J-FLTAL
Depositing User: Mrs. Emina Mekic
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2016 21:37
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2016 21:37
URI: http://eprints.ibu.edu.ba/id/eprint/3547

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