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COMMON MISTAKES AND ERRORS IN THE ACQUISITION OF ENGLISH FOR SPANISH SPEAKERS.


Enviado por   •  6 de Junio de 2013  •  3.809 Palabras (16 Páginas)  •  761 Visitas

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República Bolivariana de Venezuela

Universidad pedagógica Experimental Libertador

Instituto Pedagógico “Rafael Alberto Escobar Lara”

Subdirección de Investigación y Postgrado

Maestría en Enseñanza del Inglés como Lengua Extranjera

COMMON MISTAKES AND ERRORS IN THE ACQUISITION OF ENGLISH FOR SPANISH SPEAKERS.

Prof. Loyda Navas

Maracay, June 2010

INDEX

Introduction………………………………………………………..1

The Theory………………………………………………………....4

The Interference of the First Language…………………………….5

And what about making Mistakes and Error....................................5

How can teachers face both in class?...............................................6

Conclusion…………………………………………………………7

References…………………………………………………………8

Apendix…………………………………………………….………9

INTRODUCTION

This investigation points out the main problems that Spanish speakers have in writing when they learn English. These mistakes have been observed in a group of high school students. The paper examines examples of problems such as generalization, mother tongue influence, word order, and so on. Some methodological proposals will be proposed such as the sort of feedback that can benefit students or how to work with written texts. The study was done in a public high school in Venezuela, with students of 5th year just finishing their studies. The survey was a written test with open questions in order to obtain the major information about the way they write, and the mistakes they are facing at this level of learning. Those students were studying English for five years, and in spite of that, they continue making the same mistakes like at the beginning of high school.

Taking into account previous investigations in the field, it is going to be analyzed why it is important to consider those named issues in the learning process.

1. The Theory

The teaching of English in Spanish High schools has presented different troubles in its practice. It is not only because the interaction with native speakers and teachers is not so common, the majority of teachers are Spanish speakers as well, besides the few amount of hours that are not enough, to have a better practice of the new language have to be taken into account, and the fact that in a public high school it is almost impossible to have an English class completely in English. Grammar explanations are in Spanish and sometimes, teachers find some troubles trying to make their students speak and write simple statements in English, which turns English classes in a kind of adventure! Besides all that was explain above, students feel uncomfortable when (L1) in the order of words in English makes them be ashamed of having mistakes in front of the class. If teachers do not show enthusiasm even with their mistakes, probably they are not going to practice anymore in class. To make mistakes is an important opportunity to correct and demonstrate them that they are able to improve their English learning. This paper has as main objectives:

1. To study how the first language interferes with the acquisition of a second language specifically in the writing of the order of words in English.

2. To propose some pedagogical activities to improve writing of a second language.

2. The Interference of L1.

A student of a second language faces in any moment interference issues; this term is used to define those structures made in the form of a native construction or rule in some speech acts of the second language (Richards, Platt & Platt, 1997). The interference of L1 that some students present could be because a kind of strategy that they use as a resource in order of being close to something known for them (Brown, 2000). During the first steps of learning a second or a foreign language, students prefer to use those words or structures that are familiar to them, and in this way to be able to develop certain level of fluency. According to Ellis (1994, pag.77) people who learn a second language must pay attention to the form and meaning “good language learners are also very active (i.e. they use strategies for taking charge of their own learning), show awareness of their learning process and their personal learning styles and, above all, are flexible and appropriate in their use of learning strategies”. In this respect, Pavón Vazquez (2001, pag.171) says that during the learning of a second language there is a physiological condition, that is why students develop an influence of their habits in the production of their native language, and the influence that makes the second one and the acquisition/learning process itself. And also a Psychological condition makes that some habits in the L1 form part of the processes in the acquisition of the L2 that creates a psychological capacity that can change linguistic criteria that are different in the L2.

3...And what about making Mistakes and Errors?

Before focusing on the description of some difficulties of a small group of high school students identifying the correct word order in English, it is necessary to explain two definitions mentioned in studies about the teaching of a second language; the fundamental difference among “error” and “mistake”. Hubbard & Wheeler (1983.pag.134) give a clear definition of both:

Errors are caused by a lack of knowledge about a target language or by incorrect hypothesis about it; they are related to the idea of competence in a language (competence is knowing what is grammatically correct). They are made by native speakers.

Mistakes are caused by temporary lapses of memory, confusion

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