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Agustina Sinta Erlina

Sriwijaya University

List of Contents

Cover 1
List of Contents 2
1. Introduction 3
1.1 background 3
1.2 research question 3
1.2 method 3
2. Content 4
a. Definition of Interlanguage by Experts 4
b. The characteristic of interlanguage 4
c. Interlanguage formation 5
d. The observation result of interlanguage 5
3. Conclusion 7
4. References 8
5. Attachment 9

1. 1 background
To support Second Language Acquisition subject, we were asked to write an essay about
interlanguage, which data was got when we were having our field trip to Malaysia, Singapore,
and Batam for about five days, starting from eleven to fifteen of November, two thousand and
eighteen. There, we need to collect the data as much as we need to make this essay.

Second Language Acquisition is one of subjects in this semester about how second language
could happen in self of person. This subject explains every factor which supports second
language learning. As a term to join the last examination of this subject, students have to write an
essay in one thousand two hundred minimal words, consist of background, introduction, content,
and conclusion. The essay will talk about interlanguage in the country where we visited on field

The first day of our field trip was on Sunday, eleven November, two thousand and eighteen.
Previously, I slept over in my best friend’s house to prevent being late to the airport. We woke
up at four and prepared ourselves. Then, my friend’s uncle delivered us to the airport. There, we
got some short briefings about the immigration and our trip later.

We visited Malaysia in this first day. The first place that we visited was Kuala Lumpur
International Airport 2 or we can call it as KLIA 2. Our tour guide is a Malaysian, and we called
him pak cik. He informed us that there are two airports in Malaysia; KLIA 1 for every airplane
except AIR ASIA, and KLIA 2 special for AIR ASIA airplane only as the largest private airline
in Malaysia. He spoke to us in English-Malay language. We can actually observe his accent
which is linked to the interlanguage. He said that there are four rates in Malaysia which then
made four difference of language in Malaysia. Those languages are Malay, English, Chinese, and
Arabic. So that is why, our tour guide spoke in Malay and English languages.

Because of the need of making an essay of interlanguage, we were asked to do an interview with
a tourist or foreign people who visit Malaysia or Singapore. Thus, in this case, the target was a
Korean student with the initial of LSU.

1.2 Research Question

1.2.1 How interlanguage issues affected the Korean student’s English skill?

1.3 Method
The method used in this essay is by doing a direct interview with one of the students from South
Korea who is currently studying in Singapore for about 5 months already. His initial is LSU, and
he is 23 years old. The interview was only talking about his life in Singapore and the script will
be attached at the end of this essay.

This part discusses the definition, the characteristic, the issues, the functions and the observation
result of interlanguage:

2.1. Definition of Interlanguage

Based on the oxford dictionary, interlanguage is a language or form of language having

features of two others typically a pidgin or a version produced by a foreign learner. The term
interlanguage was first proposed by Larry Selinker in 1972 under the journal of International
Review of Applied Linguistics in Language. Then, it was revised by Coder, Mitchell, and
Myles in 1981.

According to them, interlanguage can be defined as an intermediate stage between a learner’s

first language and second language, in which she or he uses from both linguistic systems in
order to produce the sentence in second language. So, we can also say that interlanguage is
an idiolect that has been developed by a learner of a second language (L2) which preserves
some feature of their first language, and can also overgeneralize some L2 writing and
speaking rules.

2.2. The Characteristic of Interlanguage

Interlanguage is dynamic and permeable. It serves as a bridge between L1 and L2 when

learners lack knowledge and fine mastery of rules, but over time, learners progress. They
refine certain rules and obtain new ones. Their competence changes and their interlanguage
starts to reflect those changes. First they may say: ''I no swimming,'' which later becomes: ''I
don't swimming,'' until it reaches perfection: ''I don't swim.'' The process of constant
extension and revision of rules reflects IL's tendency to change. IL's rules are not fixed:
they're altered, deleted, or added.

Interlanguage is systematic. Although different learners have different interlanguage, they all
have their own rules within their variations. They may not align with the actual rules but they
are systematic: ''I received money, I buyed a new car, and I selled it.'' Rules are set in
predictable ways.

Interlanguage is variable. Learner's performance is variable. They may apply the same rule
differently in separate contexts or domains. Accuracy and fluency vary across occasions as
learners have alternative rules for the same function. In a classroom setting, where the learner
is focused on producing grammatically correct sentences, they may say: ''I don't drink
coffee.'' In a spontaneous conversation, the same meaning can be expressed as: ''I no drink

2.3. Interlanguage formation

What affects the formation of interlanguage has been a topic of controversy and debate for
decades. Currently, there five agreed-upon factors that are believed to shape how learners'
create interlanguage: overgeneralization, learning strategies, language transfer, transfer of
training, and communication strategies.

2.4. The observation result of Interlanguage

As what have been mentioned before that there are some factors that affect the interlanguage,
so the author came up with the interview result that has been done before. According to it,
there are several things that the author found out when doing the interview, which are:

1. The tenses used by the foreign student are still poor.

2. The pronunciation was not so clear.
3. The accent was Korean-English accent.

What actually caused those three main problems was not far from the culture and the first
language of the foreign student himself.

For the first problem, there is a huge difference between the tenses and sentence structure in
Korean and also English. That is why the Korean student tends to produce errors in
producing the English sentences. In Korean language, the object must come first before the
subject while in English, a subject should come first. For the tenses, in Korean language,
there is no the term of singular and plural for the verbs and for the verbs in past or in present,
meanwhile English is more complicated about it. In the interview, the Korean student was
wrong in using the verb ‘have’ for plural subjects. Instead of using have, he used has.

The second problem was affected by the culture of Korean language. In Korean language,
there is no the pure alphabet “r” like in English. They also cannot pronounce “f” and “v” as
both is pronounced as “p”. So when the student wanted to say some words which include
those alphabets, they could not make it crystal clear.

The third problem was caused because of the Korean language was using some stress that we
cannot compare it to English words.

Interlanguage is the second language produce by a foreign learner which affected by their first
language. There are several factors that supports interlanguage which later brings more
drawbacks rather than advantages. According to this paper, we can assume that one of the
main influence for interlanguage is the structure of sentence between the first language and
the target language. Thus, the learner might produce more errors regarding to this. In order to
minimalize this issue, learner should practice by observing the way the native speaker speaks.
In the future, the study of interlanguage should focus on student’s problem in acquiring their
second language.

Gabriele, Kasper. 1996. Developmental Issues in Interlanguage Pragmantics. University of
Hawai’I at Manoa. United States of America: Cambridge University Press.

Luna, Munoz Rosa. 2010. Interlanguage in undergraduates’ academic English: preliminary

results from written script analysis. University of Malaga. Spain: Enchuentro

Paul, Lennon. 2008. Contrastive Analysis, Error Analysis, Interlannguage.


Interview with Seung Uk Lee (Luk)



S: Hello

L: Hello

S: what’s your name?

L: my name is Luk

S: Where are you from?

L: I.. I am from Korea

S: What are you doing in Singapore?

L: Now I’m studying marketing in here.

S: In what university are you in?

L: Do you know Capella University?.. ah but, it is not capella.. but it is not a university. Maybe
academic. Yeah, and it include many kinds of university for example SUTD, Royal Holloway,
and so on yeah.

S: so, how long have you been staying in Singapore?

L: Now, I’m staying in two months.

S: Oww, two months.

L: yeah, two months.

S: So, do you think your reg, uhm I mean like Korea and also Singapore has a huge differences?

L: Uhm aa, yeah. Especially season is very different. Because Korea have four kinds of season.
But in Singapore have only one season, summer, aa so very hot.

S: and it’s so hot

L: yeah so hot.

S: what about the culture?


L: culture? Ahh culture I’m not sure. I’m not sure culture. Not yet.

S: you don’t see it yet?

L: yea not yet yea.

S: So, do you like to be in Singapore?

L: yeah I like, yeah I like, yeah I like Singapore yeah.

S: okay, thank you so much.

L: okay, thank you.

S: see you again.

L: see you.