Error Analysis : Activity 2

Explain the errors

Look at the tables that you completed in Activity 1. Now reflect on what you see in your data analysis by considering the following questions.

  1. Compare the learners’ errors. Did one of these learners seem to make more errors than the other (in terms of either types or tokens, where a count of types omits repetitions of the same error, and a count of tokens includes all repetitions of the same error)? Or did one of these learners make different types of errors than the other? Explain.
  2. What are possible causes of these errors? Psycholinguistic processes such as native language transfer? Learner background/learning experiences? The way the target form was presented in a book or lesson? What might be other reasons for their errors?

Please type your answers to the questions in the box below.

When you have finished typing your answer, click to compare your response with the Learner Language staff response.

  1. The tables in Activity 1, which list different types of errors made, suggest that Anna B makes more errors than Sophia in the Interview task. Where Sophia makes most errors on pronunciation or vocabulary, Anna B makes errors mostly on tense or case markers.

  2. The differences in the errors that Anna B and Sophia make might be due to different learning experiences. Interestingly, Sophia omits case markers frequently, so the accusative case marker, ‘-을/를’ is not found in her interview. The ellipsis of case markers is commonly found in spoken Korean language, so Sophia’s two-year living experience in Korean might have affected her speech style.   
    In contrast, Anna B who has learned Korean only in U.S. classroom settings, attempts to use case markers when required, but some case marker errors are found in her speech. Anna B’s interview reveals substitution of nominative case markers for accusative case markers and vice versa. These errors are commonly found in Korean learner language across native languages and proficiency levels (e.g. Kim, 2003; Kim & Nam, 2002; Kim & Lee, 2004). Anna B also uses present tense forms when past tense forms are more appropriate. Such errors on tense forms might be due to the fact that her learner language is under development.


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