Approaches to language

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Name and surname(s): Cèsar Rujano and Juan Pereira de Souza
Login: PAFPMTFL522725 and UYFPMTFL705666
Group: # 25
Date: 06/02/11


Introduction 3
Case 1 3
1- Work out an IL generalization that might account for the forms inboldface. Give your reasons for postulating this generalization. 3
2- What strategy/strategies do you think these learners have come up with regarding lexical use? 4
3- What additional information, if any, would you like to have from these learners to test your hypothesis? 5
Case 2 6
1. What feature of English grammar is being tested in each of the test items? 6
2. Who appears to be the mostadvanced learner and why? 6
3. Who appears to be the least advanced learner and why? 7
4. What generalization can be made about the order of acquisition for learning these constructions? Please note that you will not be able to reproduce the matrix you have for this question (in your study materials) in the VC. You could use point form here. 7
5. Tests of this type are designed primarily to elicitspontaneous utterances in a controlled setting. What limitations are there in doing order of acquisition analysis based on data of this sort? 8
Case 3 8
1. Describe this learner's knowledge of English negation. 8
2. At this same time, this non-native speaker produced many examples of "I don't know". Does this alter your hypothesis about the pattern described in question 1? If so, how? 9Conclusion 9
Bibliography 10
Appendix 1 – case 1 11
Appendix 2 - Case 2 11
Appendix 3 – case 3 12


The acquisition and learning of a second language does not occur overnight.
Both involve a process during which the learner develops, through trial and error and conscious or unconscious contrastive analysis, a number of hypotheses about the new language and strategies which helpthem internalise it. As a result, each learner starts to build their own version of the new language, which has been called since the seventies interlanguage.

Much like the word suggests, an interlanguage is an intermediate language that students develop between their native language (L1) and the target language (L2).
This interlanguage has its own grammar, its own lexicon, its own phoneticrules, etc. Most ESL and EFL students develop an interlanguage that reflects the differences between their mother tongue and the L2 and highlights the specific challenges they face in acquiring the latter. Consequently, this interlanguage presents a unique set of challenges for both teachers and language learners.

In the following pages we will analyse some data obtained from learners’ work (whichcan be found in the corresponding appendices) in order to see what features of their interlanguage is portrayed in them.

Case 1 (The corresponding data can be found in Appendix 1)

1- Work out an IL generalization that might account for the forms in boldface. Give your reasons for postulating this generalization.

From what we have read about on this subject, our opinion is that thesestudents are overgeneralizing the rules about the use of gerunds, past tense participles and adjectives as nouns in English, studied in class. These sentences are incorrect because they are using verbs (gerunds and past participle) and adjectives instead of using nouns. We must remember that students tend to use the forms that they already know rather than try out the ones that they are not sure of,maybe it was a previous lesson and they kept it in mind. These mistakes may also reflect cultural differences since the students come from different countries and cultures. According to Johnson (1995) these mistakes can be considered a fossilizable linguistic phenomenon because they aren’t able of using the correct grammar forms since they are only able to use the already mastered topics
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