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ERIC Number: ED022160
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Contrastive Analysis and Language Teaching.
Catford, J.C.
The main function of contrastive analysis in language teaching should be that of explaining why errors occur rather than predicting error (which is best accomplished by careful statistical analysis of actual mistakes). For example, although both Russian and French students of English will omit the indefinite article in such sentences as "My father was doctor," the underlying cause of their errors is different in each case. By use of contrastive analysis we find that the Frenchman already possesses a conceptual system very similar to English but with a superficial difference in surface structure. In teaching English to Russians, however, "special attention must be given to the development of the entire conceptual system underlying the use of English articles." Instead of preparing charts comparing the phonemes of two languages, "separate comparative charts for as many different systems of phonematic units as the contrastive data necessitate" should be drawn up. Contrastive analysis of grammar should begin by identifying the grammatical systems or categories in the two languages which are relatable to more or less the same semantic field, and then observing the different ways in which the two languages partition this field. Translation/comparison in its most rigorous form can be useful for contrastive analysis. (JD)
Publications Department, School of Languages and Linguistics, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 20007 (Monograph Series No. 21, $2.95).
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Georgetown Univ., Washington, DC. School of Languages and Linguistics.
Note: Article in Report of the 19th Annual Round Table Meeting on Ling. and Lang. Studies, Contrastive Analysis and Its Pedagogical Implications.