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Nor Asmah Abd Wahab

690401085852002

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Introduction Native speakers acquire their language through years of exposure and natural practice

(Folse, 2009). For non-native English users, English as a Second Language (ESL) can be very tricky and hard. Non-native English users have to go through a lifelong process and it is often a challenging experience for them to learn a Second Language (L2). This is because non-native English users must keep in mind several English rules in order to use English as a Second Language effectively. Non-native English users always struggle with all aspects of English. They are many that commit errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. This is because there are aspects of English as a Second Language that make it very confusing and utterly difficult for non-native English learners (Kerlynb, 2010). It also assumes that errors are not unwanted forms, but evidence of the learners active contribution to second language acquisition (Ellis as cited in Stapa. S.H . , & Izahar. M.M, 2010).

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Non-Native English Users Errors According to Mohamad Nor, Ibrahim & Shubbiah (2008) the type of error can be

categorized into two: refer to tables below. Descriptive Noun phrase Verb phrase i) Subject-verb agreement ii) Simple past tense Complex sentences Table 1: Type of descriptive Errors Surface Structure Omission1 Addition2 Misinformation3 Misordering4
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Description

Considered to be the absence of an item that should appear in a wellformed utterance Considered to be the presence of an item that should not appear in a wellformed utterance Considered to be the use of the wrong form of the morpheme or structure considered to be the incorrect placement of a morpheme or group of

error because something is missing / has been left out The type of errors can be categorized into two: regularization e.g eated and double marking e.g I didnt came 3 e.g. Peter said me should come

Nor Asmah Abd Wahab

690401085852002

morphemes in an utterance Blends5 Error that reflect the leaners uncertainty, as to which of two forms required. Table 2: Type of Surface Errors

Table 3 below shows some frequent errors made by non-native English users.
Typical Errors Example of Errors

Articles Verb tense Subject Verb Agreement

A mistake with the article - a, an, the, or 0 (the zero article) A mistake with the verb tense The subject and verb do not agree in number e.g. They is sleeping/He smoke A mistake with number (singular and plural) e.g. I bought 2 book/one weeks ago. Capital letters, full stops, or commas missing The word is in the wrong class e.g. She is unemployment The wrong word is used. e.g. She is married with an Australian. The sentence is not complete or perhaps is too long and needs to be reorganized

Singular / Plural Punctuation Word Class Vocabulary

Sentence structure Spelling

Table 3: Some frequent errors made by non-native English users.

This lends to the first objective of the assessment, which is to investigate grammatical errors made by adult students. The theoretical approach that is used in this assessment is what is known as Error Analysis (EA). EA was chosen because it views errors as highly systematic, serving as windows to learner progress in the second language.

4 5

e.g. She fights all the time her brother e.g. The only one thing I want

Nor Asmah Abd Wahab

690401085852002

1.2

Cause and Source of Errors The second objectives of this assessment is determine how the errors happened

based on two different sources: interlingual (the participants mother tongue) and intralingual (their learning strategies). According to James (as cited in Husada, 2007) the strategies involve (1) false analogy (a kind of over-generalization), (2) misanalysis, (3) incomplete rule application (a kind of under-generalization), (4) exploiting redundancy, (5) overlooking co-occurrence restrictions, (6) hypercorrection, and (7) system simplification. 1.3 Error Analysis (EA) Error Analysis consists a set of procedure for identifying, describing and explaining learners errors (Mohamad Nor, Ibrahim & Shubbiah, 2008). According to Corder (as cited in Subramaniam, 2009) EA has two objects: one theoretical and another applied. The theoretical object is to understand what and how a learner learns when he studies an L2. The applied object is to enable the learner to learn more efficiently by using the knowledge of his dialect for pedagogical purposes. At the same time, the investigation of errors can serve two purposes, diagnostic (to in-point the problem) and prognostic (to make plans to solve a problem).

In Malaysia, English is a strong second language, especially in the context of education. The four language skills incorporated in the teaching and learning of English are listening, speaking, reading and writing. Therefore Malaysians learners should be competent in reading, speaking, writing and understanding the language. This assessment required the writer to do Error Analysis on the speaking skill (conversation) of three Malaysian adult students. The writer will distinguish by checking whether the students fail to use the correct form of grammar or other language errors in their conversation.

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Method In order to investigate the non-native English language speakers grammatical mistakes

and how these mistakes came about, this assessment here used unscripted conversation on the topic: Favorite English Movies. A conversation liked in the MUET speaking test was conducted with all the participants. The conversation ranged in length from approximately 5 to 3

Nor Asmah Abd Wahab

690401085852002

10 minutes. Each participant was asked to describe their English speaking experience before the conversation started. The conversation were recorded and transcribed verbatim 6. The transcripts of the conversations were read, re-read and annotated with comments.

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Participant The participants in this assessment are all English Second Language (ESL)

learners. Participants were two females and a male, studying at Universiti Teknologi Mara, Kuala Pilah. They had their primary and secondary education in National schools, in which Malay was the medium of instruction. English was taught as an additional subject within the school curriculum. In University some of their subjects and reference books are in English. Table 4 below shows participants detail.
Participants Details

Participant A is a 23 years old Malay. She was brought up in rural area (Kampung) since baby. She is a student from Faculty of Sport and Recreational Sciences at Universiti Teknologi Mara. English was never her favorite subject but she loves to watch Englishs movies. She never had As for any English subjects during school days and in the university too. Participant B is a 22 years old Malay. She was brought up in the city. She is also a student from Faculty of Sport and Recreational Sciences at Universiti Teknologi Mara. She always enjoys learning English and had scored As in her English paper. She even got Band 4 for her MUET. She has a friend from Australia, so she always had the

opportunity to speak English with her friend. She loves to watch Englishs drama on 8tv especially Secret Circle and Switch at Birth. Participant C is a 22 years old Malay. He is from Juasseh, N.Sembilan. He is a student from Faculty of Sport and Recreational Sciences at Universiti Teknologi Mara. He enjoyed English movies and songs. Table 4: Participants Details

Verbatim Latin - the term "Verbatim" means, in a UK legal context: "word by word, exactly"

Nor Asmah Abd Wahab

690401085852002

3.0

Results After analyzing the errors produced by the participants, it is found that they had errors in

both descriptive and surface structure. Table 5 shows the analysis of errors based on type of error, sentence, reconstruction of the correct sentence/phrase and surface structure description. Surface Sentence/phrase Reconstruction Type of error Structure Description I am a addict viewer... all the sequel I am an addict viewer.. all the sequels. Noun phrase Article Noun phrase Plural form suffixs I already watching it five times I already watched it five times Verb phrase Tense Past tense(base + suffix ed) Last week, I go to watch Madagascar 3.. Last week, I went to watch Madagascar 3 The movie is about Verb phrase Tense Past tense (base change form) The movie are about... Subject Verb Agreement Verb to be Plural I watch it when I was in high school. I watched it when I was in high school. Verb phrase Tense Past tense (base + suffix ed) When Captain America fighting all the aliens When Captain America Verb phrase was fighting all the aliens ..the actors on the movie ..the actors in the movie Tense Past tense (base + suffix ed) Noun phrase Preposition Table 5: Analysis Error Misinformation Regularisation Ommision Misinformation Regularisation Misinformation Regularisation Misinformation Regularisation Misinformation Regularisation Misinformation Regularisation Misinformation Regularsation Misinformation Regularisation

Nor Asmah Abd Wahab

690401085852002

3.1

Most Common Error (Descriptive). In subject verb agreement of number verb may change forms depending on

whether its subject is singular or plural. A large number refers to more than one person, i.e. singular subject and requires singular verb is.

Examples: I am from Malaysia. (First-person, singular) We are from Malaysia. (First-person, plural). However, one participant uses are instead of is. The example above show that participants have misused the verb are in the sentence. The movie are subjet verb agreement about .. Next we will discuss the errors committed by the participants on the suffixs. Some of the participants did not know that the plural form using the suffixs must be applied to the plural noun. When the subject was in the plural form they applied the singular form to the noun as shown below: ..allplural the sequel.

A possible reason for the failure to construct plural noun forms probably because in Malay, there is no plural marker for a noun as shown below: ..semua filem (plural noun) itu. (translation: ...all the movies.) There was no plural marker (suffixs) in the word filem

Article too, was misused by the participants. One participant uses a instead of an as shown below: I am a article addict viewer... The example above show that participants have misused the article a in sentence.

Simple Past Tense is one of the important tenses in grammar and commonly used in English. We normally use the Simple Past Tense to talk about events, actions or 6

Nor Asmah Abd Wahab

690401085852002

situations which occurred in the past and are now finished. The three following examples show incorrect simple past tense use. The verb that should have been put in the past tense is underlined, italic and in bold font. Last week, I go to watch Madagascar 3... I watching it when I was in high school. I already watching it five times. A possible reason for the participants failure is to memorize all the simple past tense rules. To form regular past tense verb endings one simply adds an ed suffix but has to memorize six main patterns to mark past tense irregular verbs (Lorimer, 2010). Table 6 shows Past Tense verb ending formation.

Verb Ending Regular base + suffix ed

Patterns The t suffix replaces a final d of the base or may be added to the base The t or d suffix is added and base vowel changes

Examples looked, moved buildbuilt, spoilspoilt

thinkthought, sellsold

Irregular

No suffix is used and the base vowel changes Only the base vowel changes Forms are identical to base form The form is completely different

givegave, knowknew beginbegan, comecame cutcut, hithit gowent, eatate

Table 6: Past Tense Verb Ending Formation

There are some of the participants are not aware of the different rules for tenses application. The use of suffixes ing showed that these participants are aware of the rules on different tenses application and they have already knew that these verbs needed to be used with different tense forms and should not be used in the basic form. For example, the sentence When Captain America fighting all the aliens could be written in the basic form When Captain America was fighting all the aliens. This shows that they

Nor Asmah Abd Wahab

690401085852002

acknowledged the ing form but they were not sure of the complete past continuous tense forms and application in the English sentence.

Finally, we will discuss error in preposition. One of the participants also demonstrated confusion for correct usage of preposition. For example ...the actors onprepositionthe movie. In this sentence the correct preposition is in rather than on.

3.2

Most Common Error (Surface Structure). Misinformation, Regularisation and Omission are the common error found in the

participants conversation. These errors are the result of the lack of English language knowledge. The errors are presented in table 7. Sentences I am a addict viewer... Error Analysis Participant use a instead of an. The participant probably confused with the articles rules. all the sequel The participants did not add suffixs because she did not know this grammatically rules. I already watching it five times Last week, I go to watch Madagascar 3.. I watch it when I was in high school. The participants did not put the verbs in the past tense. A possible reason for the participants failure is to memorize all the simple past tense rules. The movie are about... The participant use are instead of is because she did not know this grammatically rules When Captain America fighting all the aliens ..the actors on the movie. The participant was using Past Progressive but she omitted the verb to be. The participant use on instead of in. The participant probably confused with the uses of preposition in different sentence. Table 7: Surface Structure Errors

Nor Asmah Abd Wahab

690401085852002

3.3

Causes and Sources of Errors The finding of the assessment suggested that interlingual, misanalysis, and

incomplete rule application are among the sources of the errors. There is one error that could be classified as interlingual. Participants faced problems in subject-verb agreement because in their mother tongue which is Bahasa Malaysia, there is no such rule regarding subject-verb agreement. Although the subject-verb agreement structure was introduced early to the participants (when they were in the primary level), they still face problems in acquiring the correct form of it. In Bahasa Malaysia all subjects either singular or plural require the same form of verb. Most of the errors in the conversation were classified as intralingual.

Misanalysis was the most evident source of the errors. Here misanalysis may appear because of participants learning experience in developing English as language (from the participants details the writer knew she never liked English Language during her school days). It showed in participant As conversation. There are many errors especially in when she used wrong verb to be are when she spoke. As a result, the participants A made faulty comprehension, which at the end may lead to wrong assumption or misanalysis. Compare to participant B, she always enjoys learning English and had scored As in her English paper. She even got Band 4 for her MUET. Therefore she always capable to analyze the right words to use in her conversation. Other participants error is cause by incomplete rule application. For example the use of suffixes ing in the sentence When Captain America fighting all the aliens. Here the participant C knows the general rule of tenses application (as taught in English language in school), but he does not know how to use it in a sentence. This is because he seldom uses English as medium of communication. Nowadays he is only exposes to English by listening to English song and watching English movies. Therefore English rule applications that he learned during school days are long gone. This was also clearly showed when some of the participants show incorrect simple past tense use. Participants were failed to memorize all the simple past tense rules even though they knew the general

Nor Asmah Abd Wahab

690401085852002

rule of simple past tense i.e Simple Past Tense is use to talk about events, actions or situations which occurred in the past and are now finished (the theory).

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Conclusion To conclude non native speakers make several different kinds of mistake and errors when

speaking. Errors are usually considered to be a sign of inadequacy of the teaching and learning. However, it is now generally accepted that error making is a necessary part of learning Lacks of vocabulary become main obstacle to speak the English language. It becomes the reason why non native speaker sometimes could not express themselves clearly when they try to communicate in English appropriately. They are often unsure of what they want to express which would cause them to make mistakes even in any language. It also believed that this contributed directly to a lack of fluency in their speech. Grammar can serve as a stumbling block. It is a set of rules and rules always give a hard time to anyone. When you speak fast, you fail to observe this rule. This can cause the non native speaker failure in speaking component. Non native speakers maybe had bad model in learning English. They hear incorrect English all the time from the TV, Facebook, Twitter, in conversation or from some non-native English speakers or maybe their teachers. Other factors that also contribute to this mistake and errors are inadequate opportunities to speak English. If non native speakers have ample time using the language it can allows them to have maximum exposure to English. Thus they can accustom their ear to the new sounds, develop listening strategies and be discouraged from translating. Inadequate practices also contribute to these errors and mistake. They learned, but they dont get to apply their knowledge. Indeed, the process of language learning depends on the decisions and involvement of the non native speakers, based on their experience of life and of language as individuals. Learning a foreign language demands not only willingness, but also practice and commitment (2895 words)

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