ERIC Number: ED192573
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Problems in Contrastive Analysis and Error Analysis.
Recent years have seen the decline in popularity of contrastive analysis (CA) and the rise of error analysis (EA) as a method for explaining and predicting errors in second language learning. In CA, it is felt that by comparing the structure of a first language (L1) to that of one being learned (L2), errors can be predicted. These errors are caused by "interference," the negative transfer of habits from L1 to L2. CA has been disappointing in its prediction of errors because it has underestimated the contribution of the learner, has not recognized fully the nature of what is to be learned, and has not taken into account the method of presentation of L2. EA looks at the errors made in L2, and claims the identification, description, and explanation of these errors will lead to a better understanding of the language learning process. Problems with CA include the lack of appropriate description, difficulties in making comparisons, and the absence of an effective measure of difference between L1 and L2. Inadequacies of EA in description and explanation of errors are due to misconceptions about the learning process. But EA, unlike CA, does take into account the learner and the manner of presentation. (PJM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A