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Revisiting causes of grammatical errors for ESL teachers

Abstract

Chih Hsin Hsu

Despite the endeavors of error analysis studies, confusing terms and abundant articles fail to provide English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher’s concise and attainable knowledge. The present article is to revisit examinations on Second Language (L2) grammatical errors in previous studies and provide ESL teachers fundamental knowledge to assist ESL learners approaching their second language proficiency. In terms of ESL pedagogy, Contrastive Analysis (CA), Error Analysis (EA), and Interlanguage (IL) serve as investigation means of error analysis for effective ESL instruction. For instance, teachers can utilize CA to guide L2 learners to identify differences between First Language (L1) and L2 and form new habits in their L2 by reinforcement instruction. Complementarily, EA then aims at studying L2 learners’ error productions, that display their internalized rules of L2 and error features in every level of developing order, and establishing systematic rules on L2 development. At last, IL means a L2 learner’s transitional competence between L1 and L2 and this competence shows a unique linguistic system varied with learners’ learning backgrounds.

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