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ANALYSING WRITTEN FORM LEARNER

LANGUAGE

By:
1. Qithatul Qomariyah 2201412115
2. Novela Amrina Rosyada 2201412147
Intoduction to Second Language Acquisition 107-108

SEMARANG STATE UNIVERSITY


2015

Introduction
Learner language is the language that the learners produce when they are called on to
use an L2 in speech or writing. In terms of writing, the ability to write well is not a naturally
acquired skill; it is usually learned or culturally transmitted as a set of practices in formal
instructional settings or other environments. Writing skills must be practiced and learned
through experience. Writing also involves composing, which implies the ability either to tell
or retell pieces of information in the form of narratives or description, or to transform
information into new texts, as in expository or argumentative writing. Perhaps it is best
viewed as a continuum of activities that range from the more mechanical or formal aspects of
"writing down" on the one end, to the more complex act of composing on the other end
(Omaggio Hadley, 1993).
Compared to learners writing in their native language (L1), however, learners writing
in their L2 have to also acquire proficiency in the use of the language as well as writing
strategies, techniques and skills. They might also have to deal with instructors and later,
faculty members, who may or may not get beyond their language problems when evaluating
their work. Further, certain social and cognitive factors related to second language acquisition
show that strategies involved in the language learning process also affect L2 writing.
Problem Statement
Complaints about poor written English results of learners have been commonly heard
from the public. Their incompetence in writing English as a Second Language (ESL) can be
clearly observed in examination answer scripts. One of the reasons for learners incompetence
could be that they are taught in a second language. Nunan (2001:89) states that proponents of
Contrastive Analysis claim that where the first and second language rules are not the same,
errors are likely to occur as a result of interference between the two languages. Richards and
Schmidt (2002:186) state that in language learning, learners errors are caused by several
different processes that include: borrowing patterns from the mother tongue; extending
patterns from the target language; and expressing meanings using the words and grammar
which are already known.
Theoretical Review

Language acquisition is a subconscious process not unlike the way a child learns
language. Language acquirers are not consciously aware of the grammatical rules of the
language, but rather develop a feel for correctness. In non-technical language, acquisition is
picking-up a language (Krashen, 1981:2).
There are some aspects that are used to check learners writing such as:
grammatical (prepositions, articles, reported speech, singular/plural, adjectives,
irregular verbs, tenses, concord and possessive case);
syntactic (nouns and pronouns, and word order);
lexical (word choice);
semantic and substance (capitalisation, and spelling).
According to Corder (1974:122-154), EA has two objectives: one theoretical and
another applied. The theoretical objective serves to elucidate what and how a learner learns
when he studies a second language. (Corder, 1974:123). The applied objective serves to
enable the learner to learn more efficiently by exploiting our knowledge of his dialect for
pedagogical purposes (Corder, 1974:123).
Richards and Schmidt (2002:184) define error analysis as the study and analysis of
the errors made by second language learners. Another view of error analysis is given by
Brown (1980, cited by Hasyim, 2002:43), when he defines error analysis as the process of
observing, analysing, and classifying the deviations of the rules of the second language and
then to reveal the systems operated by a learner. Ultimately, Xie and Jiang (2007:13) point out
that error analysis can keep us too closely focused on specific languages rather than viewing
universal aspects of language.
Method of Analyzing
There are differences between error and mistake. Mistake is when the learner
obviously doesnt know the rule. While error is that the learner knows the rule, but they forget
to apply it. To diferentiate whether its a mistake or an error, we can look at how often it
occurs. If it appears in many parts with the same error pattern, it belongs to mistake. In
another words, if the learner has written the correct one, but in another he writes the same
type with an error, it goes to error.

Error is not better than mistake. Teacher or instructor need to make the students aware
of something that they tend to do any errors. Its important for them to know in which part
they mostly do error.
Result and Discussion
NO
1.

2.

3.

Example of Error identified


I had an unforgettable

Error Type
Inappropriate

Remark
The writer

memory about

Diction

moment instead of memory.

should

write

miscommunication with my

Memory usually refers to more

friends mother.
One day when I was in the Unnecessary

than one moment.


The writer has mentioned in

second grade of Junior High insertion

the previous sentence that the

School, I was absent .....

story happened when she was

I was absent from a class Unnecessary

in Junior High School.


a. Its confusing when the

because I got cold and had to insertion

writer

inserted

in

the

stay at home in the evening(a)

evening. If I had to stay at

after taking a medicine(b).

home in the evening, then


why I didnt go to school?
My class is in the morning,
right?
b. Medicine is uncountable
noun, so it doesnt need any
articles. Even when its
sometimes

written

as

countable noun, the writer


writes it in a plural form,
4.

Soon, I asked the class that Preposition

medicines.
Ask is a verb which needs

day.

indirect object. The sentence

omission

should be I asked her about


5.

Once again she said no in Ambiguous

the class that day.


The writer should write no in

different voice.

quotation mark. Otherwise, the

sentence

sentence will have different


meaning. In this case, it means

she keeps silent. But actually


the writer wanted to say that
6.

....., she would talk much than Wrong Diction

she says No.


It should be she would talk a

7.

me, ....
....., but not that time.

lot.
It should be written as but not

8.

omission
I continued talking about a Wrong Diction

Preposition

boy that I fanned.

at that time.
Fan as a noun means someone
admiring/supporting someone
else. But fan as a verb means
wave a fan. Those have
totally

different

meanings.

The writer can simply write a


9.

Feeling that she didnt pay

Wrong

boy that I admired.


It should be pay attention to.

10.

attention in my story.
Shinta was just in silent ....

Preposition
Wrong Diction

Silent is an adjective, so it can


not follow a preposition. The

11.

I was

shocked.

was(a)

quietly(b) sure that I talked to


my friend, ...

a. Wrong
Tense
b. Misspelled

correct one is in silence.


a. It should be I had been
quitely sure.
b. It should be quitely, not
quietly. Quietly means in
silent.

12.

... what she had said made

Wrong form of

Made in this sentence has a

me felt something ....

a verb

function as causative word,


the following verb should be
infinite. So, it should be
written what he said made me

13.
14.
15.

What you said?


I asked, but she just kept
laughing.
Talking about a boy with my
friends mother.

ungrammatical
Preposotion
omission
Wrong
Preposition

feel something ....


What did you say?
It should be I asked her,...
Talk always needs preposition
to. It should be Talking about
a boy to my friends mother.

16.

17.

This experience taught me to

Misspelled

me(a) more carefull(b) in the

words

phone.
I had to make sure firstly

Preposition

with whom I talked before

Omission

a. ...taught me to be ...
b. ... more careful ....
... whom I talked to before ...

talking much.

References
Mungungu, Saara Sirkka. Error Analysis: Investigating The Writing Of Esl Namibian
Learners. University of South Africa. Accesed on: 2015/04/10. Retrieved from:
http://uir.unisa.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10500/4893/dissertation_mungungu_ss.pdf?
sequence=1.