Grammatical analysis of interlanguage

  • K Barker


The process of second language acquisition involves the active construction of "interim granmiars" or "interlanguages" (Selinker, 1972) by learners as they progress towards competence in the target language. An interlanguage evolves as a result of the various strategies which learners apply to the task of language learning. The primary aim of this study was to analyse and describe the Interlanguage of two second-language English speakers in samples of interactional spoken language with the goal of identifying the learning strategies being applied and developing appropriate, empirically based inteivention strategies designed to facilitate the acquisition process. A secondary aim of the study was to evaluate ihe appropriacy of the particular descriptive tool employed in this study, namely the Language Assessment, Remediation and Screening Procedure (LARSP) (Crystal, Fletcher and Carman, 1989), in the context of L2 acquisition research. While the LARSP provided a useful initial description it lacked precision in identifying and accounting for the numerous error patterns produced. A detailed error analysis was therefore devised which permitted ideniification of idiosyncratic strategies as well as the more general error patterns that characterised the interlanguage of both subjects in strikingly similar ways. Of particular note was the finding thai the acquisition of the verb phrase and its components was particulariy problematic for both subjects. Numerous errors in the realisation of the argument structure of lexical verbs was noted. As it is generally agreed that the verb phrase plays a central role in the syntactic organisation of the sentence and contributes significantly to conmiunicative efficiency (Fletcher, 1992), this finding has significant implications for second language pedagogy and warrents further investigation


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eISSN: 2224-3380