Abstract： Second Language learners progress in constantly error-making and error-correcting. Thus, how the errors occur and what causes these errors are worth studying. Based upon such understanding, this paper first makes differences between errors and mistakes, and then probes into the roots that causes theses error. Apart from the interlingual and intralingual interferences, other factors like teacher and teaching methods are also included. is a very important factor that influences the second language acquisition. This paper tries to present language transfer phenomenon via analysis of students’ positions and offer suggestions on improving the teaching of writing.
Key words： error analysis, position, teaching of writing
Error analysis is an important ponent of study of second language acquisition. The research involves two aspects： pedagogical and theoretical. The former is to classify errors and e up with strategies to correct errors, while the latter is to find the nature and profound reasons of error .
The traditional error analysis before 1970s is confined to collect mon errors and classify them linguistically , which helps to determine the sequence of teaching and content of teaching points, evaluate learners’ level. The appearance of Corder’s The significance of Learners’ Errors in 1967 marked the beginning of modern error analysis. The attitude towards error has greatly changed. Errors are unavoidable during second language acquisition and even necessary. Error making reflects supposition of target language. Error analysis is not only to improve teaching, but to explore psychological process of language learning. The flourishing of research on error analysis during 1970s holds the view.
Much study on error analysis is followed, thus produce many terms such as interlanguage, fossilization etc. Different ideas on methods of error analysis and classification of error are put forward.
Error-making is unavoidable in second language acquisition. First, the difference between error and mistake should be made clear. Errors refer to ones resulting from inadequacy of target language. Mistakes are ones caused by other factors, such as anxiety, inattention, carelessness. This paper focuses upon errors mitted by students in positions..
Writing petence has been considered as important in second language acquisition. The author analyzes students’ positions , identifies error types and offer error mission frequency, which can be references for teaching of writing. Previous study on error
Based upon the characteristics of interlanguage, Corder categorizes errors into pre-systematic errors, systematic errors and post-systematic errors. In broad sense, errors can be divided into petence errors and performance errors. Learners usually can correct by themselves performance errors instead of petence errors.
However error is dealt with, the purpose is to grasp the target language well. Error is part of feedback as well as results of test, which promotes us to discover problems and improve quality of teaching . The procedures of error analysis is as follows： select corpus； identify errors； classify errors； explain reasons of error making； evaluate for the sake of
These figures are far from full mark 15.This demonstrates writing petence needs badly improvement and shows students’ disability in writing. The teaching of writing is worth approaching. Writing level reflects to some degree the mand of English. Many people attempt to analyze writing and approach teaching via error analysis theory.
The qualitative method is employed in the research. 80 positions of non-major students are collected for research. The positions are finished under natural circumstances. Students are not told beforehand their positions will be for research use. In this way can some tendency be avoided. Their language output through position will be objectively observed and described . Interview of 10 students are arranged.
Overgeneralization appears due to inprehensive understanding of language rules. When students master some rules, they will apply rules to every similar situations. For instance, past particle is one of the typical overgeneralizations errors mitted by students. Therefore, these errors belong to intralingual errors.
Most students tend to mit errors of simplification for the sake of carelessness or unconsciousness. For instance, the omission of the plural markers following the noun can be termed redundancy reduction as no information is lost.
Wrong analogy is interlingual errors. Some terms or phenomena are not universal in all cultures. For the lack of target culture or linguistic knowledge, students tend to borrow similar culture phenomena to replace that of target culture. Cultural peculiarity is the typical reason for ing up with wrong analogy.
The percentage indicates that students tend to mit interlingual errors more than intralingual errors. Interviews with students indicates they often mit another two types of error： munication-based error and induced errors. The former emerge for students incorrectly labels an object but successfully municates a desired concepts. The latter happen as a result of teachers’ misleading some similar concepts or synonymy.
Reasons of error making
Error making involves several factors： linguistic level, pragmatic petence, psychological state. The teaching of writing should take these factors into consideration. Research on students’ psychology is needed.
Attitudes towards error
Larsen-freeman stated errors should be avoided, for errors lead to ill habits. Therefore, teachers should deal with them immediately when errors occur. However , this attitudes tend to make students anxious and nervous for fearing error-making, thus not beneficial to language acquisition . Then no error correcting is advocated. Students should speak or write fluently without being disturbed by error-correcting. It is believed that errors will disappear during the process of acquisition. On the contrary, the phenomenon “fossilization” emerge. Students will not progress further with faulty concepts on target language. Appropriate ways to correct errors are necessary to make students acquire language better. People advocate error correction, but error correction should not occur at any time or anywhere. It depends on situations or people or necessity.
Writing is a process of expressing thoughts and views and process of error correcting. Error presentation acts as the basis of judging and explaining errors. Therefore, error analysis is like a facilitator. For one thing, error analysis helps us to understand learners’ English level, error types, error features and difficult points with the effective teaching. Second, tolerance towards error is necessary. Cultivation of interest is more important than error correcting. Third, error analysis make us observe and understand teaching methods, way of thinking and how they apply language supposition rules and regulate and pare these rules, factors that influence writing. Finally, error analysis is a kind of test of language supposition rules . Error appearance indicates that learners are testing actively what they have learned, so it is not necessary for teachers to exaggerate and emphasize errors resulting in anxiety and nervousness of learners. In this way can students treat writing as not terrifying. They would like to try instead of avoiding making errors. Error is interlanguage. Continuous error making and correcting make them approach target language gradually. Error appearan