Non-native speakers and writers sometimes find the English language difficult and confusing when it comes to speak. The best approach is to practice whenever it is possible. The following person interviewed is the subject of a language analysis. The interviewee is 29 years old and she is currently working in an engineering company. She is from Spainand she speaks some French and English. She has been studying both languages at school and she shows a special interest on French. As for her English, she has been studying it at school for 7 years and even if she sometimes needs to use it at work, she hardly speaks English in her daily life. She has been travelling a lot to France for business and she has been a few times to the United Statesfor pleasure. Yet, she shows some interest in practising her English. For instance she intends to go to the cinema once every two weeks to watch a film in English and whenever she has the opportunity she reads some newspapers or magazines. I would consider her level as intermediate. She understands and speaks conversational English with decreasing hesitancy and sometimes with difficulty. She tookthe TOEFL test with medium level results. During the conversation, she seemed rather relaxed and motivated, even though she sometimes showed some difficulty to express what she was aiming to say. The research material used is an oral interview and a sample of a written composition. The student was to speak about the topic: “Friends and meeting people.” This topic was chosen because it appeals toa young adult who is keen on talking about her/his friends and their leisure time activities. Errors are obviously part of the developmental process of language learning and as we analyse the language of the interviewee, it is interesting to focus on the use of language from a syntactical point of view, which includes for instance the grammatical structure and verb use. Furthermore, many wordsin a language are morphologically related, at different levels and with different strengths. The difference in English and Spanish can be seen in subject matter relating to morphology such as the use of word classes or the use of inflections, derivations, and compound words. Finally, one of the most complicated aspects of the second language acquisition is the semantic one. In fact, consideringthe different meanings of the same words (with the use of modal verbs) or identifying the irregularities represent an interesting aspect to analyse. The interviewee also wrote a few lines about her project in the future which we will analyse at the end of the commentary.
The analysis of the oral interview gave the following results:
|TYPE OF ERRORS|OCCURENCES |
|Derivational/Inflectional morphemes | 1 |
|Addition | 3 |
|Omissions| 3 |
|Tense agreement | 2 |
|Transfer of structure | 4 |
The dictionary defines“syntax” as “the way in which words are put together to form phrases, clauses, or sentences”. Thus, the order of the words determines the meaning of the utterance. A very common syntactic error that has been documented in Spanish speakers acquiring English as a second language is the use of prepositions. For example, the English prepositions “in” and “on” are both represented in Spanish by the...