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									Data Acquisition and Analysis Project

Student details deleted here



Abstract

  This project is to investigate major errors in the process of English speaking by an L1Korean, learning

L2English. In order to do this, I first reviewed the previous studies in Error Analysis which I learned in class

and tried to analyze types and causes of errors and recognize the pattern of such errors according to linguistic

classifications. Then I tried to give a logical explanation about the patterns of the errors.



Method

   In order to identify errors in English speaking, an interview was conducted while being recorded and then,

the transcript of the recording was made and analyzed. The transcript consisted of more than one errors in

grammatical categories. However, I tried to identify consistently produced errors which made up patterns

that could be explained as learner’s own grammatical system, in other words known as interlanguage.



Basic information of the participant

  A 24years old Korean college student whose first language is Korean and the target language is English.

The time of exposure to target language in a communicative way is about six months. I have considered the

time of English Learning and Exposure to the time spent in ESL program not including English learning

from compulsory education of Korea since the interview was based on spontaneous utterance of the NNS.



Procedure of the Interview

  Ten cuts of a cartoon images were given to the NNS (American hot line p.72; Intermediate). The NNS was

to describe the picture and make up a story from the pictures and then come up with an ending of the story.

The first recording was made on August 3, 2008 at 8:00p.m. in the seminar room of Hacker’s English




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Academy. The recording took about 12minutes.

  A second interview was done at a coffee shop on August 19, 2008 at 2:oop.m. It took about 15minutes.

The reason for a second recording was to find a more clear error pattern in the speaker’s use of present

continuous tense. In the first interview, there seem to be a vague pattern in the use of present tense

continuous but it was not clear enough to be identified as a pattern. The speaker was using a mix of tense. In

the second interview, I asked the speaker to describe each picture as if each picture is separate and the action

is happening in a current situation. I expected that the speaker would need to produce more present

continuous forms in the second interview. I also told the speaker to avoid using past tense. I didn’t want to

ask the speaker straightforwardly to use present continuous. Then the speaker might consciously use the

certain tense form. Also, since the first recording was done almost three weeks before the second one, I used

the same material for the interview. Considering the speaker’s level of English speaking competence, I

thought this would not affect the general idea of the project.


Material of the Interview




Transcripts of Interview(1)




                                                        2
NB. Transcript deleted




Categorizing and Analyzing Learner Errors


(Patterns of Errors 1) : Possessive Case

Data Collection

            Non-target-like                          Ambiguous                          Target-like

○*the apartment’s host
1                                     ○*the woman’ s bird color is blue
                                      5                                      ○ paint her apartment
                                                                             7

○*this apartment’s living room
2
    color
                                      ○ *the original bird cage
                                      6                                      ○ their paint and their paint
                                                                             8
(A: Interlingual Error)                                                      brush
                                         / *the original bird’s cage

○*the man hair is blonde.
3

○*man body is a little fat
4

(B: Intralingual Error)




Analysis and Categorization

Non-target-like Utterances (A)


○*the apartment’s host (the host of the apartment)
1


○*this apartment’s living room color (the color of the living room of the apartment)
2




   Errors ○and○ show overgeneralization. This can be explained by the complexity of the TL. For
          1   2


example, in errors ○and○, ‘apartment’ is an inanimate noun. In English, the possessive form of inanimate
                   1   2




                                                       3
noun is ‘~of the noun’. So using the -’s possessive morpheme in nouns including inanimate noun, the speaker

is applying the rule beyond grammatical restrictions. These are described as Intralingual errors.



Non-target-like Utterances (B)

○*the man hair is blonde (the man’s hair)
3


○*man body is a little fat (the man’s body)
4




  Errors ○ and ○ show omission of the possessive morpheme-‘s. This can be explained by L1
         3     4


interference. For example, in error ○* ‘the man hair’ is translated in Korean as ‘남자 머리’(남자 meaning
                                    3


man and 머리 meaning hair). In error ○ *man body is a little fat is translated in Korean as ‘남자
                                   4


몸매’(남자 meaning man and 몸매meaning body). By making a direct transfer from L1 into the TL, the

speaker is consistently leaving out the possessive form –‘s. These errors fall in the category of Interlingual

errors.



Ambiguous Utterances

○*the woman’s bird color is blue (the color of the woman’s bird)
5


○*the original bird’s cage / the original bird cage (the original bird cage)
6




  In errors ○, the speaker has made a correct possessive form in woman’s but still the speaker has not
            5


figure out the possessive form of inanimate nouns which is ‘~of the noun’. However, I believe the speaker is

showing progress because he is getting closer to making a target –like possessive form. And the interesting

thing is, well it may be a coincidence, but in the second interview, the speaker is producing more possessive

forms in closer to target-like forms.



  In errors ○, the correct form of (*bird’s cage) is ‘bird cage’, which is a noun+noun form. In my opinion
            6


this error may be both Intralingual and interlingual error. For example, ‘bird cage’ in Korean is ‘새장’ (새



                                                       4
meaning bird and 장 meaning cage). So the speaker should have made a direct transfer from L1 into TL.

Also, considering the speaker’s errors ○and ○, where the speaker omits the –‘s because of direct transfer
                                       3    4


of L1, in this case is different. I assume two reasons for such a difference. First, the speaker might not know

about the certain noun + noun type forms. Secondly, the speaker is making overgeneralizations of the rule in

possessive morpheme –‘s as one general rule for making possessive form. However, in the second interview

the speaker said ‘the original bird cage’ which is target –like. This can be tricky though, since the speaker

might be making a direct L1 transfer or during the 3weeks between the first and second interview, he may

have learned the new rule. Anyways, the speaker is producing more target-like utterances.



Target-like Utterances

○ paint her apartment
7


○ their paint and their paint brush
8




  Utterances ○and ○, the speaker is producing possessive pronouns in target-like forms. So I assume
             7    8


that the speaker has understood the possessive rule in the case of pronouns. This may be due to the fact that

Koreans put a lot of emphasis on grammar and the different forms of pronoun when it is being used in

different roles in the sentence. The declensional forms of pronoun are highly emphasized and taught

intensively through out the English classes during the school days. I guess that may be the reason for highly

correct application of the use of pronouns.




                                                      5
(Patterns of Errors 2): Auxiliary Verb ‘be’ and Present Continuous Tense


Data Collection

                              *She leaving the house and the two men having to paint her apartment.
                              *The other man wearing hat and having a mustache.

                              *The two men trying to change this house’s color
               Interlingual
                              *Now the bell ringing so tall guy running to the door and opening the door.
                  Errors      *One man finding the woman’s pet bird was died in the cage.
                              *the two men just buying a green bird and painting the pet bird blue.
                              *When the woman coming home, she is surprised.

Non-target -

    like                      *The woman is order the two painter to be painted this apartment’s living room
                               color.
                              *The small guy is suggest the tall man to bringing their paint equipment from
                               outside as he preparing tea.
               Intralingual
                              *One man is open the window while another man turning off the gas range.
                  Errors      *The woman is come back to the house.
                              *The two men is run into the kitchen because the smell is come from the
                               kitchen.




               *She is going into kitchen and is find blue bird alive.

Ambiguous      *The tall man preparing the tea so he is turning on the gas stove and boiling the water kettle.

               *One man is going to the pet shop and he trying to buy new pet bird.




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               They are standing in living room.
               He is going to the pet shop and he is trying to buy new pet bird.
 Target-like   They are coming back to the house and putting the bird in original bird cage.




Analysis and Categorization


Non-target –like : Interlingual Errors



*She leaving the house and the two men having to paint her apartment.

*The other man wearing hat and having a mustache.


*The two men trying to change this house’s color

*Now the bell ringing so tall guy running to the door and opening the door.

*One man finding the woman’s pet bird was died in the cage.

*The two men just buying a green bird and painting the pet bird blue.


*When the woman coming home, she is surprised.




  When the speaker is producing a sentence with a present continuous tense, he tends to omit the auxiliary

‘be’ and just use the verb in an –ing form. I assume that he is consistently dropping the auxiliary ‘be’ for two

reasons. First, in Korean, the meaning of the verb can be directly translated just by using -ing form of the

verb. For example, *The other man wearing hat and having a mustache. Can be translated in Korean as

               (다른 남자는 모자를 쓰고 수염이 있다.)

As you can see, in Korean, the meaning of the verb can be transferred in English by using only the the –ing

of present continuous. Also, the concept of the auxiliary ‘be’ is rarely a new concept in Korean Language. Of

course, some people might say that in Korean Language, the verb has a suffix and this can relate to the



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auxiliary ‘be’ or ‘have’ and so on. However, I think there is no such direct rule or system in the Korean

Language to correspond to the auxiliary ‘be’. As a result I would say the speaker’s error above are caused by

L1 and the errors are Interlingual.



Non-target –like : Intralingual Errors


*The woman is order the two painter to be painted this apartment’s living room color.
*The small guy is suggest the tall man to bringing their paint equipment from outside as he
 preparing tea.
*One man is open the window while another man turning off the gas range.
*The woman is come back to the house.

*The two men is run into the kitchen because the smell is come from the kitchen.




  In these cases, the speaker is producing an incorrect form of present continuous tense. Unlike the

Interlingual errors he made in the box above, the speaker is using the auxiliary ‘be’ to make the present

continuous form. However, this time the speaker is not getting the ‘-ing’ form of the present continuous. Also

the speaker is only using ‘is’ when he is producing present continuous. I assume that the speaker is making

incomplete application of rules. I think that even though he does not understand the exact rule or the syntax

of the present continuous, he is trying to apply the rule in his own systematic way. Also, overusing the

auxiliary ‘is’ even for plural noun subject. This can be overgeneralization. As a result I assume that these

non-target-like errors which the speaker made are Intralingual Errors.

Ambiguous Utterances


○* The tall man preparing the tea so he is turning on the gas stove and boiling the water kettle.
1


○* She is going into kitchen and is find blue bird alive.
2


○* One man going to the pet shop and he is trying to buy new pet bird.
3




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 In the utterances above, the shaded blocks ○is turning, ○is going and ○is trying are all correctly used
                                            1            2             3


forms of present continuous. However, within the same utterances ○, ○ and ○ there are errors as well.
                                                                 1  2     3


The underline phrases show the errors. The speaker is still making the similar errors of Interlingual and

Intralingual reasons. The target like forms (the shaded blocks ○is turning, ○is going and ○is trying)
                                                               1            2             3


seem to have a grammatical pattern. The speaker is responding in different manner according to the subject. I

will explain this in the box below.



Target –like Utterances



They are standing in living room.
One man is going to the pet shop and he is trying to buy new pet bird.

They are coming back to the house and putting the bird in original bird cage.




  The speaker is getting the present continuous form exactly right just like a native speaker in English would

produce. Taking a closer look at the correct forms, I noticed that the subject of each sentence is pronoun. I

assume that it is easier for the speaker of L1 Korean learning English to understand the pronoun and

auxiliary ‘be’ together as a set. I think, there is a similar concept of pronoun in the grammar system of

Korean Language. The idea or the contextual meaning is similar. Of course the syntax is very different for

example, in English, pronouns have different forms such as in a subjective form is he as in a objective form

is him. In Korean, we do not have a certain form to describe the role of the pronoun but we use Korean

particles such as –은/는/이/가/을/를. Also, when Koreans usually start learning English, a lot of us

remember learning and memorizing the different forms of pronouns and the copula ‘be’. So this may be

influencing us to easily understand and apply the rules of pronouns much faster than other grammatical rules.

   Lastly, I would cautiously like to conclude that in the mind of the speaker, he is forming his own

systematic rules on present continuous forms. The speaker seems to differentiate the subject as pronoun or

not. And when the subject is a pronoun, he often makes the correct present continuous form. However, when



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the subject is not a pronoun, I think the speaker has difficulty producing the correct auxiliary ‘be’ quickly in

a spontaneous speech. Then the speaker tends to make the present continuous form by using only –ing or by

adding the is after the subject and the using the infinitive form. This seems to be the systematic grammar for

present continuous of the speaker for now. I am certain that this internal grammatical system will evolve and

improve as the speaker receives more input for English speaking.



Results and Conclusion of the Project

  Identifying errors to analyze and coming up with possible explanations for such error patterns, I found out

four aspects of the speaker’s English speaking competence. First of all, the errors made by the speaker were

in some ways systematic and repeated somewhat consistently. Secondly, the two patterns of errors I have

found of the speaker’s utterances had a correlation. For example, the speaker made much easier and faster

applications with pronouns than other grammatical rules. If we look at the two error patterns of the speaker,

he understands the possessive form of pronouns more quickly and also, make correct applications to present

continuous when the subject is a pronoun. Third, the speakers errors were influenced by both the L1 and the

difficulties in the Target Language itself. Lastly, in my case, since I have done a second interview in a three

weeks interval, I would like to say the speaker seemed to be showing improvements. Not only because he

made less errors during the second interview, in fact he might as well made even more mistakes, but also he

made new kinds of error that certainly showed that his inner grammar is developing and improving which in

result producing more target-like utterances.

 From learning SLA, I have been fascinated by the nature of the learner’s mind and how we can adopt that

knowledge of SLA into teaching our students. By doing this project, it has been a great opportunity for me to

apply what I have learned in class and really experience the field of applied linguistics in person. In addition,

it will help me gain much insight of how my students learn English and the way they internalize what they

have learned in terms of interlanguage. This will surely help me to make one step closer to understanding my

students and to become a better English teacher.




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