Running head: ERROR ANALYSIS: ARABIC SPEAKERS` ENGLISH

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Error Analysis
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Running head: ERROR ANALYSIS: ARABIC SPEAKERS’ ENGLISH WRITINGS
An Analysis of Errors in Arabic Speakers’ English Writings
Nada AbiSamra
American University of Beirut
Instructor: Dr. Kassim Shaaban
Second Language Acquisition
Education 345
January 2003
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Table of Contents
A. Introduction:
p.3
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Importance of communication
Communicative competence
Oral & Written communication
Emphasis on written communication, the more difficult component
Native Speakers of English vs. Non-Native Speakers (Arabic speakers)
Mistake vs. Error => self-correctability factor
Rationale of study: Problems relating to the teaching of English as a
First language to Arabic speakers are understudied.
8. Aim of paper: Attempt to identify, describe, categorize, and diagnose
Arabic speakers’ errors in English essay writing + suggest some
solutions.
9. Research Question: Is negative L1 transfer/interference the major
cause for errors in the English writings of Brevet students?
B. Theoretical Background:
p.6
1. Error Analysis
2. Models for Error Analysis
3. Sources of Errors
C. Procedures
p.12
1. Error/Data Collection
2. Error Identification and Categorization & Taxonomy Adopted
D.
E.
F.
G.
H.
I.
Results
Implications
Limitations & Suggestions for future research
Conclusion
References
Appendixes
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
p.14
p.20
p.22
p.22
p.24
p.32
General List of Abbreviations
School mission statement (soon)
Student Survey
Arabic: General Language Characteristics
ESL Tip Sheet 1: Arabic (Sofer & Raimes, 2002)
Table 1: Error Categories & Sources + Abbreviations
Table 2: Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
Table 3: Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors- Interlingual / Transfer Errors
Table 4: Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors- Intralingual / Dev. errors
Table 5: Error Sources & Numbers Compared
Oral & Written Presentations: Guidelines & Expectations
Error Analysis Exercises & Objective Tests for Remediation
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Introduction
“My purpose in being Part in the goverment is Change. I want to change the
world. Change in the means of War, Freedom, and equalness. Also as being
part of the government, One should have self-confidence, can stand-up for self,
and others, and at the same time have a degree in a great proffession.Then
How am I working now, I’am participation in every activity Possible, that has to
do with improving our community today. On top of that, I always keep in mind
that to work hard, and keep my self on the right track.”
Written by a Brevet student.
December 2002
Communication, "a process by which information is exchanged between individuals
through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior" (Merriam-Webster Online,
2003), is at the heart of all human interactions; it is the basis of life.
No one can live alone. By the word "live" I do not just mean "survive" or "subsist",
but "have a life rich in experience" (Merriam-Webster Online, 2003).
"Communicative competence involves communicating in accordance with that
fundamental system of rules that adult subjects master to the extent that they can
fulfill the conditions for a happy employment of sentences in utterances" (Habermas,
1979). As we all know, we communicate orally and/or in writing. Our focus in this
paper is on the written part. "In spoken conversations with others, we make sense of
the dialogue in a complex back-and-forth process of negotiation of meaning between
speakers. In written texts, this back-and-forth negotiation is not possible; there is only
'one passÃ.' The sentence is written and it is read. Because there is no possibility of
negotiating meaning of written documents, the inevitable problems of
misunderstandings are exacerbated" (Penman, 1998).
Hence, we can say that writing is an “intricate” and complex task; it is the “most
difficult of the language abilities to acquire” (Allen & Corder, 1974, p. 177). Its level
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of difficulty varies between native speakers (NS) who think in the language used (in
our case it will be English) and non-native speakers (NNS) who think in their own
native language (in this case it will be Arabic). While writing, non-native speakers
have, in general, to think about all those rules they need to apply, rules that native
speakers are supposed to have automatized. Therefore, non-native speakers are more
prone to making mistakes and/or committing errors.
It is essential here to make a distinction between mistake and error; both Corder
(1967, 1971) and James (1998) reveal a criterion that helps us to do so: it is the selfcorrectability criterion. A mistake can be self-corrected, but an error cannot. Errors
are “systematic,” i.e. likely to occur repeatedly and not recognized by the learner.
Hence, only the teacher or researcher would locate them, the learner wouldn’t (Gass
& Selinker, 1994). And it is in this light that I choose to focus on students’ errors not
mistakes.
As an English teacher, I am well aware of the fact that my Arabic speaking students in
grade 9, brevet section, commit a lot of errors in essay writing. You can tell from the
quotation with which I begin this paper. These students have been studying English
their whole lives and still, their errors are numerous. Hence, I have decided to conduct
an error analysis--the best tool for describing and explaining errors made by speakers
of other languages (Johanson, 1975)-- in order to know the sources of these errors and
the reasons behind their continued occurrence year after year with different groups of
learners. I need to familiarize myself with the types of errors that my students make in
order to determine the sequence and emphasis of instruction.
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“Very surprisingly there are few published descriptions of how or what children learn.
(There... is) little about what mistakes the children made and how these can be
explained, or what generalizations and learning strategies the children seem to be
developing” (Richards, 1974, p. 181).
After having reviewed the literature, I noticed that no study had been done (that I
knew of, at least!) which involves Arabic speaking students who have been studying
English since nursery; students who are studying English integratively, as a FIRST
language. However, it is essential here to mention the fact that the language these
students speak at home is mainly Arabic, not English (see appendix 3); hence, we can
venture to say that they are ESL students, however immersed in English they might be
at school.
“To use two languages familiarly and without contaminating one by the other, is very
difficult,” said Samuel Johnson in 1761.
Can this fact account for our problems? Is my students’ native language (L1)
“contaminating” their English (L2)? If this were to be true, then we could say that the
reason behind all those errors is Negative L1 transfer/Mother Tongue interference.
And the best way to discover such a transfer is through error analysis (Sridhar, 1980).
However, can transfer alone justify all the errors made?
Our research question is then:
“Is negative L1 transfer/interference the major cause for errors in
the English writings of Brevet students?”
This paper will attempt to do the following:
1. Provide a theoretical background for: a) Error Analysis, b) Models for Error
Analysis, & c) Sources of Errors. (It will also examine related terms such as
interlingual errors, negative L1 transfer/interference, interlanguage, and
intralingual errors);
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2. Identify, describe, categorize, and diagnose Arabic speakers’ errors in English
essay writing in order to find the sources of those errors and a way for
remediation;
3. Cover the implications of the findings for teaching ESL/English to Arabic
speaking students; and, finally,
4. Discuss the limitations of this study and propose future areas of research.
Theoretical Background
Error Analysis
Systematically analyzing errors made by language learners makes it possible to
determine areas that need reinforcement in teaching (Corder, 1974).
Error analysis is a type of linguistic analysis that focuses on the errors learners make.
It consists of a comparison between the errors made in the Target Language (TL) and
that TL itself. Pit Corder is the “Father” of Error Analysis (the EA with the “new
look”). It was with his article entitled “The significance of Learner Errors” (1967) that
EA took a new turn. Errors used to be “flaws” that needed to be eradicated. Corder
presented a completely different point of view. He contended that those errors are
“important in and of themselves.” For learners themselves, errors are 'indispensable,'
since the making of errors can be regarded as a device the learner uses in order to
learn. In 1994, Gass & Selinker defined errors as “red flags” that provide evidence of
the learner’s knowledge of the second language. Researchers are interested in errors
because they are believed to contain valuable information on the strategies that people
use to acquire a language (Richards, 1974; Taylor, 1975; Dulay and Burt, 1974).
Moreover, according to Richards and Sampson (1974, p. 15), “At the level of
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pragmatic classroom experience, error analysis will continue to provide one means by
which the teacher assesses learning and teaching and determines priorities for future
effort.” According to Corder (1974), error analysis has two objects: one theoretical
and another applied. The theoretical object serves to “elucidate what and how a
learner learns when he studies a second language.” And the applied object serves to
enable the learner “to learn more efficiently by exploiting our knowledge of his
dialect for pedagogical purposes.”
The investigation of errors can be at the same time diagnostic and prognostic. It is
diagnostic because it can tell us the learner's state of the language (Corder, 1967) at a
given point during the learning process, and prognostic because it can tell course
organizers to reorient language learning materials on the basis of the learners' current
problems.
Before we proceed, it is essential here to define a few terms that we shall use in this
paper:

Interlingual/Transfer errors: those attributed to the native language (NL). There
are interlingual errors when the learner’s L1 habits (patterns, systems or rules)
interfere or prevent him/her, to some extent, from acquiring the patterns and rules
of the second language (Corder, 1971). Interference (negative transfer) is the
negative influence of the mother language (L1) on the performance of the target
language learner (L2) (Lado, 1964). It is 'those instances of deviation from the
norms of either language which occur in the speech of bilinguals as a result of
their familiarity with more than one language' (Weinreich, 1953, p.1).
Error analysis emphasizes “the significance of errors in learners’ interlanguage
system” (Brown 1994, p. 204). The term interlanguage, introduced by Selinker
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(1972), refers to the systematic knowledge of an L2 which is independent of both
the learner’s L1 and the target language. Nemser (1974, p. 55) referred to it as the
Approximate System, and Corder (1967) as the Idiosyncratic Dialect or
Transitional Competence.

Intralingual/Developmental errors: those due to the language being learned
(TL), independent of the native language. According to Richards (1970) they are
“items produced by the learner which reflect not the structure of the mother
tongue, but generalizations based on partial exposure to the target language. The
learner, in this case, tries to “derive the rules behind the data to which he/she has
been exposed, and may develop hypotheses that correspond neither to the mother
tongue nor to the target language” (Richards, 1970, p. 6).
Models for Error Analysis
Corder (1967 & 1974) identified a model for error analysis which included three
stages:
1. Data collection: Recognition of idiosyncracy
2. Description: Accounting for idiosyncratic dialect
3. Explanation (the ultimate object of error analysis).
Brown (1994, pp. 207-211) and Ellis (1995, pp. 51-52) elaborated on this model. Ellis
(1997, pp. 15-20) and Hubbard et al. (1996, pp. 135-141) gave practical advice and
provided clear examples of how to identify and analyze learners’ errors. The initial
step requires the selection of a corpus of language followed by the identification of
errors. The errors are then classified. The next step, after giving a grammatical
analysis of each error, demands an explanation of different types of errors.
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Moreover, Gass & Selinker (1994, p. 67) identified 6 steps followed in conducting an
error analysis: Collecting data, Identifying errors, Classifying errors, Quantifying
errors, Analyzing source of error, and Remediating for errors.
Sources of Errors
In 1972, Selinker (in Richards, 1974, p. 37) reported five sources of errors:
1. Language transfer
2. Transfer of training
3. Strategies of second language learning
4. Strategies of second language communication, and
5. Overgeneralization of TL linguistic material.
In 1974 Corder (in Allen & Corder, p. 130) identified three sources of errors:
Language Transfer, Overgeneralization or analogy, & Methods or Materials used in
the Teaching (teaching-induced error).
In the paper titled “The Study of Learner English” that Richards and Simpson wrote
in 1974, they exposed seven sources of errors:
1. Language transfer, to which one third of the deviant sentences from second
language learners could be attributed (George, 1971).
2. Intralingual interference: In 1970, Richards exposed four types and causes for
intralingual errors:
a. overgeneralization (p. 174): it is associated with redundancy reduction.
It covers instances where the learner creates a deviant structure on the
basis of his experience of other structures in the target language. It may
be the result of the learner reducing his linguistic burden.
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b. ignorance of rule restrictions: i.e. applying rules to contexts to which
they do not apply.
c. incomplete application of rules
d. semantic errors such as building false concepts/systems: i.e. faulty
comprehension of distinctions in the TL.
3. Sociolinguistic situation: motivation (instrumental or integrative) and settings
for language learning (compound or co-ordinate bilingualism) may affect
second language learning.
4. Modality: modality of exposure to the TL and modality of production.
5. Age: learning capacities vary with age.
6. Successions of approximative systems: since the circumstances of language
learning vary from a person to another, so does the acquisition of new lexical,
phonological, and syntactic items.
7. Universal hierarchy of difficulty: this factor has received little attention in the
literature of 2nd language acquisition. It is concerned with the inherent
difficulty for man of certain phonological, syntactic, or semantic items or
structures. Some forms may be inherently difficult to learn no matter what the
background of the learner.
James (1998, p. 178) exposed three main diagnosis-based categories of error:
1. Interlingual: interference happens when “an item or structure in the second
language manifests some degree of difference from, and some degree of
similarity with the equivalent item or structure in the learner’s first language”
(Jackson, 1987: 101).
2. Intralingual:
a. Learning strategy-based errors:
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i. false analogy
ii. misanalysis
iii. incomplete rule application
iv. exploiting redundancy
v. overlooking cooccurrence restrictions
vi. hypercorrection (monitor overuse)
vii. overgeneralization or system simplification
b. Communication strategy-based errors:
i. holistic strategies: e.g. approximation, language switch, calque
ii. analytic strategies: circumlocution (expressing the concept
indirectly, by allusion rather than by direct reference.
3. Induced errors: they “result more from the classroom situation than from
either the student’s incomplete competence in English grammar (intralingual
errors) or first language interference (interlingual errors) (Stenson, 1983, p.
256):
a. Material induced errors
b. Teacher-talk induced errors
c. Exercise-based induced errors
d. Errors induced by pedagogical priorities
e. Look-up errors
According to Dulay & Burt (1974), there are four types of “goofs”:
1. Interference-like goofs
2. L1 Developmental goofs
3. Ambiguous goofs (either interference-like or L1 developmental goofs)
4. Unique goofs (neither interference-like nor L1 developmental goofs)
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The studies relating to the process of language transfer and overgeneralization
received considerable attention in the literature. Swan and Smith (1995, p. ix) gave a
detailed account of errors made by speakers of nineteen different L1 backgrounds in
relation to their native languages. Diab (1996) also conducted a study in order to
show through error analysis the interference of the mother-tongue, Arabic, in the
English writings of EFL students at the American University of Beirut. Okuma (1999)
studied the L1 transfer in the EFL writings of Japanese students.
Work on over-generalization errors, on the other hand, is reported by Richards (1974,
pp. 174-188), Jain (in Richards, 1974, pp. 208-214) and Taylor (1975). Furthermore,
Farooq (1998) identified and analyzed two error patterns in written texts of upperbasic Japanese learners, in an EFL context. He focused on both transfer and
overgeneralization errors. Habash (1982) studied common errors in the use of English
prepositions in the written work of UNRWA students at the end of the preparatory
cycle in the Jerusalem area and found out that more errors were attributable to
interference from Arabic than to other learning problems.
All these studies focused on Transfer &/or Overgeneralization errors, however, none
of them dealt with “ESL” students who have been studying English as a First
Language. The reason why I called them ESL students is that, at home, they speak
mainly Arabic.
Procedures
1- Error/Data Collection:
For the selection of a corpus of language, following the guidelines offered by Ellis
(1995, pp. 51-52), a sample of written work was collected from 10 students. Those
students are in grade 9, Brevet section (cf. appendix 2). They have been studying
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English since nursery (cf. appendix 3), and have been taught English mainly by
American & Canadian teachers. However, there is a point that needs to be mentioned
here, and it is the fact that most of them speak Arabic at home with their parents and
at school with their friends. (cf. appendix 3).
These students were provided with the topic ‘What are your plans for the future?’
and were asked to write on it in 200 to 250 words. They were given sufficient time to
write (Ellis 1997, p. 114). They had to start with an outline, then a first draft and a
final draft. This was their mid-term examination at school, in December 2003.
2- Error Identification & Categorization:
As a first step, we developed, based on the literature (Corder, 1974; Richards, 1974;
James, 1998; Selinker, 1972 in Richards, 1974; Richards & Sampson, 1974), a
Taxonomy for Error Analysis including the following categories and sub-categories:
grammatical (prepositions, articles, reported speech, singular/plural, adjectives,
relative clauses, irregular verbs, tenses, and possessive case), syntactic (coordination,
sentence structure, nouns and pronouns, and word order), lexical (word choice),
semantic, & substance (mechanics: punctuation & capitalization, and spelling). As
for the organizational/discourse errors, we shall mention them but will not quantify
them since, first, it is difficult to do so, and, second, we had trained our students, prior
to the exam, to write a well-organized essay (thesis statement, restatement of the
thesis, and the use of transition words).
After setting the categories, we chose, also based on the literature, the error sources
that we wanted to study, and they are mainly Interlingual (negative L1 Transfer) &
Intralingual (Developmental).
Please refer to table # 1 in the appendix for further details.
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So, the errors were explained in grammatical terms, and thoroughly examined to find
their sources, paying particular attention to negative L1 transfer, since we needed to
address our research question: “Is negative L1 transfer/interference the major cause
for errors in the English writings of Brevet students?” Being myself a native Arabic
speaker holding a master’s degree in translation (from/to Arabic, French, & English)
and based on the literature (refer to appendix 5), I was able to perceive and pinpoint
the errors due to L1 (Arabic) Transfer. (However, we should not forget that some
errors are caused by interference from standard Arabic and others by interference
from colloquial Arabic.)
In addition, since I have been teaching English as a second language for over 12
years, and since I have finished the coursework for my second master’s in Teaching
English as a Foreign/Second Language, I was able to detect the developmental errors
in my students’ essays, and these are listed in detail in table # 2 in the appendix.
Results:
The total number of errors that we found in the 10 essays we studied was 214. Here
they are, in the graph below, divided according to the different categories:
Graph 1: Error Categories
140
120
120
100
80
60
40
29
35
26
20
3
0
Grammar
Syntax
Lexis
Semantics
Substance
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29 grammatical, 35 syntactic, 26 lexical, 3 semantic, and 120 substance (mechanics &
spelling) errors.
Graph 2: Percentage of Transfer & Developmental
Errors
100
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
79.2
73
51.8
48.2
54.3
45.7
Transfer
Developmental
27
20.8
0
Grammar
Syntax
Lexis
Semantics Substance
Graph number 2 shows the percentage of Transfer vs. Developmental errors for each
category. The total percentage of Transfer/Interlingual errors was 35.9%, whereas the
total percentage of Developmental/Intralingual errors was 64.1%. Based on this graph
we can tell that the highest percentage of Transfer errors was in Semantics & Lexis,
respectively 100% & 73% (refer to table 3 in the appendix). As for the highest
percentage of Developmental errors, it was, by far, in Substance (mainly spelling;
refer to table 4 in the appendix).
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Graph 3: Number of Transfer & Developmental Errors
95
100
90
80
70
60
Transfer Errors
50
Developmental Errors
40
25
30
20
14 15
16
19
19
7
10
3
0
0
Grammar
Syntax
Lexis
Semantics
Substance
Graph number 3 shows the number of Transfer vs. Developmental errors for each
category. The total number of Transfer/Interlingual errors was 77, whereas the total
number of Developmental/Intralingual errors was 137.
Based on these findings we can tell that Brevet students do commit errors
because of Negative L1 transfer, however, their biggest number of errors is due
to Developmental/Intralingual reasons.
Examples of Negative L1 transfer Errors: (table # 3 in the appendix)
1. Grammatical errors:
A. I would like to follow in my father’s footsteps. (‫)على خطى أبي‬
Prepositions pose a great difficulty for an ESL learner since there are various
prepositions in English that have the same function. As a result, when students are
not sure which preposition to use in a certain sentence, they often compare that
sentence with its Arabic equivalence, giving a literal translation of that Arabic
preposition in English. However, "prepositions seldom have a one to one
correspondence between English and Arabic. An Arabic preposition may be
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translated by several English prepositions while an English usage may have several
Arabic translations" (Scott and Tucker, 1974, p. 85).
B. Evil is▼ force that can enter a person’s soul and conquer it. (‫)الشر ّقوة‬
=>
ّ
omission of the article in Arabic ( refer to appendix 5)
C. When the evil comes (‫الشر‬
‫ >= عندما يأتي‬use of article in Arabic)
ّ
In English, abstract words referring to ideas, attributes, or qualities are used
without the article 'the' to refer to that idea or attribute, etc. which belongs to
everybody or everything. In Arabic, however, such abstract words are preceded by a
definite article equivalent to 'the' in English. Hence, errors pertaining to the misuse
of the article 'the' occur (Diab, 1996).
D. I wonder what god has written for me, what’s my destiny?
(‫)أتساءل ما هو مصيري‬
E. Calling others kids to come (‫)مناداة األوالد اآلخرين‬
“In Arabic, adjectives agree in number with the nouns they modify. As a result,
agreement errors of this type occur in the English writings of Lebanese students”
(Diab, 1996).
2. Syntactic errors:
A. For, them not to hate me they need to respect me and realize how much I love
them and how hard I work for them. (repetition of “wa”)
“In English, items in a series are separated by commas, and the coordinate
conjunction 'and' is used just before the last word. On the other hand, in Arabic,
each item in a series is preceded by the conjunction 'wa' which is equivalent to
'and'” (Diab, 1996).
B. I have learned a lesson in my life, that you should never ever give up ( ‫تعلّمت‬
)... ‫ وهو‬، ‫درسا ً في حيا تي‬
C. What I want to be? (‫)ما أريد أن أكون ؟‬
D. I have a lot of people in my family that are computer engineers. (colloquial
Arabic)
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E. That, I have been doing since a long time ago. (‫ت طوي ٍل‬
ٍ ‫)منذ وق‬
F. ...most people when they grow up (... ‫( )معظم الناس حين يكبرون‬also colloquial)
In Arabic, personal pronouns are often added to verbs.
3. Lexical Errors:
A. If I hit an animal it would loose trust in me and stay on irritating me while
curing it. (colloquial)
B. Some animals are nice pets to have, when they have the right health and
medications. (‫) الصحّة الجيّدة‬
C. They should have veterinarians around them in case they get sick or any
strong disease stricked them. )‫(حولهم‬
D. They should have veterinarians around them in case they get sick or any
strong disease stricked them. ) ٌ‫(مرض شديد‬
ٌ
E. Animals are usually very afraid of high sounds. ) ‫(أصواتٌ عالية‬
F. For me acheiving these goals makes me happy. )... ‫(بالنسبة لي‬
G. How ever each person must succeed to his ability.)‫(حسب قدرته‬
H. You never know what god has installed for you.) ‫(وضع لك‬
I.
For me to be counted as a one of a kind mother I need to take )... ُّ‫عد‬
َ ُ ‫(أ‬
J. In my free time I will practice on improving my basketball
fundamentals.) ‫(أتمرن على‬
ّ
4. Semantic Errors: (Literal translation)
a. When I secure a job my goal is to become partner and have a quarter office.
‫عندما أؤ ّمن عمال‬
b. By accomplishing these plans I will insure myself an outstanding life.
‫أؤ ّمن لنفسي‬
c. Architecture works my brain.)‫)تشغّل عقلي‬
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5. Substance (Mechanics + Spelling):
A. Punctuation
ّ
i. However▼evil has its shapes and forms. )...‫الشر‬
‫(لكن‬
ّ
ii. As a result, I intend to get a good education, and job, which will
allow me to raise a family in a suitable enviroment. ‫و عمآل‬
iii. Obtaining a good job will be a crucial part of my life for various
reasons. One of which, is that it enables me to have a stable income.
iv. It is known to be, that a person would be more appreaciated, and
treated better▼ if he were an educated individual than a failure. ‫(من‬
ّ ‫المعروف‬
)...‫أن‬
ّ ‫(شخصيا‬
v. Personally▼ I beleive that you can never be sure.)...‫أظن‬
vi. When I get to university▼ I will try my best to get high honors in
architecture.)... ‫(حين أدخل الجامعة سأبذل جهدي ل‬
B. Capitalization (No capital letters in Arabic)
i. last but not least, if I was giving an animal a shot I have to make sure
that I am giving it in the right place.
ii. Afterwards I want to get a university level education in the united
states.
iii. Next I move to wall street.
iv. arabs
Lack of capitalization in the Arabic alphabet and very different punctuation
conventions. No distinction is made between upper and lower case (Sofer &
Raimes, 2002).
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Examples of Interlingual / Transfer Errors:
(Please refer to table # 4 in the appendix where all the errors are transcribed)
I would just like to mention here the problem of spelling. It has nothing to do with L1
transfer since Arabic is extremely different from English.
“The general question of how bad or good English children are at spelling was investigated by
the National Foundation for Educational Research (Brooks et al, 1993), who looked at essays
written by 1492 secondary school children in England at the two ages of 11 and 15. One measure
was how many mistakes children made in the first ten lines of an essay. At the age of 11, only two
children out of ten had no mistakes; two out of ten had five or more. By 15, four children out of
ten had no mistakes; one out of ten had five or more. To quote the report, 'A good deal of
improvement occurs between the ages of 11 and 15. However, even by age 15 there is still a
minority of pupils who have relatively severe problems with spelling, to the extent that their
ability to communicate in writing is seriously handicapped.'
The NFER research classified spelling mistakes into five major categories:- - insertion of extra letters, such as the <l> added to 'untill';
- omission of letters, such as the <r> missing from 'occuring';
- substitution of different letters, such as <a> instead of <i> in 'definate';
- transposition of two letters, such as <ei> for <ie> in 'freind';
- grapheme substitution involving more than two letters but only a single cause, for example
when an equivalent according to sound correspondence rules is substituted for the usual form, as
in 'thort' for 'thought'” (Cook, 2002).
Hence, we can say that our students are not the only ones to make so many spelling
mistakes. However, this does not mean that we should not train them to write
properly.
Implications:
“We cannot really teach language, we can only create conditions
in which it will develop spontaneously in the mind in its own way”
Von Humboldt (Corder, 1967).
Brevet students are, according to this study, facing two kinds of problems in essay
writing: Translation from Arabic, their mother tongue & Incomplete learning of essay
writing rules and conventions. What should we, teachers, do then?
Error Analysis
21
First, it would be very useful to increase the number of assignments for the sake of
which the students would have to do a lot of research during their free time, hence
they would be reading a lot of English material and thinking in English, especially if
they have to make oral presentations for their work. (cf. appendix 11 for “Oral &
Written Presentations: Guidelines & Expectations”). In addition, if we implement
Team Work in class (http://nadabs.tripod.com/team.html --there are some useful
guidelines on this site) and we get the students to work in groups on their projects,
they would have to practice together for their oral presentations, and speak English
with each other instead of Arabic. Besides, they would, hopefully, correct each other’s
mistakes.
As for the writing rules and conventions, these need to be “enforced” much earlier.
All teachers (from grade 1 and on) would need to get together in order to try to solve
this problem. In the meantime, I can suggest a few error analysis exercises and
objective tests (Appendix 12) that would help the students be more accurate, but still,
nothing can replace Essay Writing itself in order to improve writing. The
aforementioned project/presentation assignments are good, but they are not enough.
The students need to write in class, at home, in their journals... They need to be given
some well defined Essay Writing Rules (for the thesis statement, introduction,
conclusion, transition words, etc...), and some samples of their writings need to be
transcribed and distributed to them for correction and analysis: they would be learning
from their mistakes!
In brief, we definitely have to adapt ourselves and our curriculum to their needs.
Error Analysis
22
Limitations & Suggestions for Further studies
“We should be aware that different types of written material may produce a different
distribution of error or a different set of error types” (Corder, 1974, p. 126).
“The recognition of error ... depends crucially upon the analyst making a correct
interpretation of the learner’s intended meaning of the context” (Corder, 1974, p. 127).
“It has already been noted that learners often appear inconsistent in their production of
errors” (Corder, 1974, p. 131).
We need to keep all these facts in mind when conducting an error analysis and
reaching conclusions on which we would base all our teaching. Besides, this study
was conducted on a small number of students, and also on a very limited number of
essays. Therefore, the conclusions reached are far from being decisive.
We consider this study a preliminary one that just “gives an idea” of those brevet
students’ sources of errors. It should set the pace for other studies which would
be much more comprehensive, covering a bigger number of students and a wider
range of materials; we hope to be able to conduct one ourselves in the near
future.
Conclusion:
“Humans are prone not only to commit language errors themselves but also to err in their
judgements of those errors committed by others”
(James, 1998, p. 204).
We need to be careful when conducting an error analysis study.
This study attempted to identify, describe, categorize, and diagnose the errors in
English essay writing of the Arabic speaking Brevet students. Just as George (1972),
Lance (1969), Richards (1971), and Brudhiprabha (1972) found that only one-third of
the second language learner’s errors can be attributed to NL language transfer, this is
what this study came up with. Most of the errors are caused by an overapplication of
Error Analysis
23
L2. We do need to incite our students to speak English at home and with their friends
in order to reduce the number of mistakes due to Negative L1 transfer, but we also
need to try to teach more effectively the rules and conventions of writing.
However, when trying to solve these problems, we need to bear in mind that
“L2 users’ knowledge of a second language is not the same as that of native speakers
even at advanced levels. L2 users’ knowledge of their first language (L1) is not the same
as that of monolingual native speakers. L2 users think in different ways to monolinguals.
... Trying to get students to be like native speakers is ineffective; their minds and their
knowledge of language will inevitably be different. The benefits of learning a second
language are becoming a different kind of person, not just adding another language. The
main obstacle to setting the successful L2 user as the goal is the belief that the native
speaker speaks the true form of English. This implies the comparison of one group with
another: the language of non-natives has always to be compared with that of natives;
anything that deviates is wrong. For other areas of language study, William Labov
established that it is discrimination to treat one group in terms of another group that
they can never belong to, whether women as men, black Americans as white Americans,
or working-class as middle-class. People must be allowed to be what they are when this is
an unchangeable effect of birth or of early up-bringing.
An appropriate goal for many students is then using the L2 competently for their own
purposes and in their own ways, which may very well not be the same as those of a
monolingual native speaker and indeed may not involve native speakers at all. Students
can become successful L2 users rather than forever ‘failing’ the native speaker target”
(Cook, 1999).
Error Analysis
24
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Additional References: Web Pages
Athabasca University- Canada- Distance learning education
http://www.athabascau.ca/
Athabasca University- Canada
Distance learning education- English language support- If English is not Your First Language
http://www.athabascau.ca/courses/engl/155/support/if_english_is_not_your_first_language.ht
m
Cairo Demographic Center
http://www.cdc.eun.eg/en.htm
Egyptian Demographic Center, 2000
http://www.frcu.eun.eg/www/homepage/cdc/cdc.htm
English-Arabic Translation Guidelines for Nominal Compounds
by Zouhair Maalej- University of Tunis I- Tunisia
http://simsim.rug.ac.be/Zmaalej/syncom.html
Learning the English writing system 15-Oct-02
Vivian Cook
http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~vcook/EWSChap5.htm
Modern and Classical Languages- 1997
State of Maine Learning Results
http://www.state.me.us/education/lres/mcl.pdf
On Arabic-English Cross-Language Information Retrieval: A Machine Translation Approach
Mohammed Aljlayl, Ophir Frieder, & David Grossman
Information Retrieval Laboratory- Illinois Institute of Technology
http://www.ir.iit.edu/publications/downloads/073_aljlayl_m.pdf
Error Analysis
Problems in Learning English
http://www.culturalorientation.net/iraqi/ienglish.html
Research on secondary schools and literacy
http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/Research/secondaryindex.html
The Punctuation Project Home Page
Directors: Nigel Hall and Anne Robinson
http://www.partnership.mmu.ac.uk/punctuation/punctuation.html
Transfer/Cross-linguistic influence
Cathy Benson- ELT Journal Volume 56/1 January 2002 © Oxford University Press
http://www3.oup.co.uk/eltj/hdb/Volume_56/ Issue_01/freepdf/560068.pdf
What is the Role of Transfer in Interlanguage? Powell, G.
Centre for Research in Language Education (CRILE)
Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language
LAMEL- Lancaster university- UK
http://www.ling.lancs.ac.uk/groups/crile/crile33Powell.pdf
http://www.ling.lancs.ac.uk/groups/crile/workingpapers.htm
31
Error Analysis
APPENDIXES
32
Error Analysis
Appendix 1: LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
1. Amb : Ambiguous
2. Av : Avoidance
3. BL : Blend
4. CAss : Cross-association
5. Cl : Clarity
6. Cohr : Coherence
7. Cohs : Cohesion
8. Conf : Confusable
9. DC : Deceptive cognate
10. Dev: Developmental
11. Devt : Development
12. Dist : Distortion
13. Dys : Dyslexic error
14. EFL: English as a Foreign Language.
15. EL: English Language.
16. ELT: English Language Teaching.
17. ESL: English as a Second Language.
18. FA: False Analogy
19. FC: False concepts/systems
20. FF : False friend
21. IE: Induced errors
22. Ign: Ignorance
23. IncompR/: Incomplete application of rule
24. InterL: Interlingual
25. IntraL: Intralingual
26. Inv : Inversion
33
Error Analysis
27. L1: First Language (i.e. Arabic).
28. L1T : Native language transfer
29. L2: Second Language (i.e. English).
30. LS : Letter shape
31. Mat : Material induced error
32. Misord : Misordering
33. Missel : Misselection
34. Mor: Morphology
35. MT: Mother Tongue.
36. MTI: Mother Tongue Interference (i.e. native language which Includes both
colloquial and standard Arabic).
37. NL : Native language
38. OG: Over-generalization
39. OLP: Other Language Learning Problems.
40. Om : Omission
41. Orig : Originality
42. PhNM : Phonetic near-misses
43. Phono: Phonological
44. Rel : Relevance
45. SdSp : Sound spelling
46. SpConv : Spelling conventions
47. TE : Teacher explanation
48. TL : Target language
49. Typo : Typographic
50. UG: Under-generalization
51. UL : Unnecessary letter
52. Un : Unique
34
Error Analysis
Appendix 2: School Mission Statement
To come soon
35
Error Analysis
36
Appendix 3: Student Survey
When asked the question “How long have you been at this school?” 9 of the 10
students whose essays were studied answered “Since nursery.” The remaining
student answered “since grade 2.”
When asked the question “Which language do you speak the most at home?” most
of the students answered “Arabic.” They do speak some English, but very little.
When asked the question “Which language do you speak the most with your
friends?” 3 students answered “English.”
Student #
Language spoken at home
Language spoken with friends
1
English & Arabic
Arabic
2
English & Arabic
English & Arabic
3
Arabic
Arabic/English
4
English & Arabic
Bulgarian
5
Arabic
Arabic
6
Arabic
English
7
Arabic
Arabic
8
Arabic
Arabic
9
Arabic
English
10
Arabic
English
Error Analysis
37
Appendix 4:
Arabic: General Language Characteristics
The Arabic language is one of the world's most widely used languages. According to
Egyptian Demographic Center (2000), it is the mother tongue of about 300 million
people. Arabic is the official language of many Arab nations in the Middle East and
northern Africa, including Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon,
Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab
Emirates, Yemen (Sofer & Raimes, 2002 & World Book Encyclopedia, 1997). It is one of
the six official languages of the United Nations.
There are two types of Arabic, spoken and written. Spoken Arabic consists of dialects.
Arabic is the descendant of the language of the Koran, the sacred book of the Islamic
religion. The orientation of writing is from right-to left, and the Arabic alphabet consists
of 28 letters. The Arabic alphabet can be extended to ninety elements by writing
additional shapes, marks, and vowels (Tayli & Al-Salamah, 1990). Most Arabic words
are morphologically derived from a list of roots; it can be tri, quad, or pent-literal. Most
of these roots are three constants. Arabic words are classified into three main parts of
speech: nouns (adjectives, and adverbs), verbs, and particles. In formal writing, Arabic
sentences are delimited by commas and periods as in English, for instance. Many English
words come from Arabic: alcohol, algebra, check, magazine, and tariff.
Standard Arabic: is the formal language of literature and written expression.
Colloquial Arabic: is the ordinary familiar language used in everyday conversation
among Arabic speakers.
When discussing MTI from Arabic it should not be forgotten that some errors are caused
by interference from standard and others by interference from colloquial Arabic.
Error Analysis
38
Appendix 5: ESL Tip Sheet 1: Arabic (Sofer & Raimes, 2002)
(In green is what applies to this study)
Spoken in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco,
Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
The written language
Arabic is written from right to left.
Spelling is phonetic.
No distinction is made between upper and lower case.
Sentence structure and word order
Under the influence of the Qur’an (Koran), writers aim at rhythmical balance and
coordination, with the split between subject and predicate occurring midway in a
sentence.
Arabic favors coordination over subordination; sentences often begin with And or So.
Basic word order in Classical Arabic is V-S-O: the verb precedes the subject: *Hoped
the committee to solve the problem. Colloquial Arabic is S - V - O .
Arabic uses a that clause where English uses infinitive: *I want that you stay.
Nouns and pronouns
Personal pronouns are often added to verbs: *My father he lives in California.
Relative pronoun makes no human/nonhuman distinction, and pronoun object is
retained in a restrictive relative clause: *Here is the student which you met her last week.
Singular noun is used after a numeral above ten: *He has eleven cousin.
Verbs and verbals
No equivalent of auxiliary do: *You have a brother?
No verb be in present tense: *They going to the movies. *Where the post office?
No modal verbs.
No gerund or infinitive forms.
Perspective of tense and time is very different from English.
Past perfect is formed with be: *They were eat.
Reported speech retains tense of original: *She said she is leaving.
Simple present tense covers meaning of simple and progressive in English: *She
working now. *She working every day.
Adjectives and adverbs
Adjectives follow noun: *a book interesting long.
Articles
No indefinite article: *He is student.
Definite article is used for days of the week, some months, some place names, and in
many idiomatic expressions: *He went to the Peru. *He is still in the bed.
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Error Sources- Abbreviations
Appendix 6- Table 1:
Error Analysis: Scope of Study
Topic: What are your plans for the future?
Brevet Students || Ten 250-word essays studied
Error Categories & Sources + Abbreviations
Error Category
Error Sources /
Error Sources
A- INTERLINGUAL:
Abbreviations
InterL/L1T
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
Grammatical
Errors
B- INTRALINGUAL:
 Developmental/ analogical errors
[Corder, 1974; p. 130] or overgeneralization or of TL rules (Selinker,
1972 in Richards, 1974) = redundancy
reduction (Richards, 1974; p 175)
 Ignorance of rule restrictions
 Incomplete application of rules =
under-generalization
e.g. nobody knew where was Barbie
(Richards + James, 1998; p 185)
 Building of false concepts/systems
(Richards, p 174)
 Morphology => 3rd pers sing “s”, “ed”,
“ing” <=> Concord + Phonological
error (James p 154)
 False analogy => childs (James p 185)
 Induced errors (James p 178): from
classroom situations
1. cross-association
2. teacher explanation
3. material induced errors
 Omissions/avoidance because of
ignorance (James p 176)
C- AMBIGUOUS:
Both interlingual/interference and
intralingual/developmental
IntraL
Dev
OG
Ign
IncompR/
UG
FC
Mor
Concord
Phono
FA
IE
CAss
TE
Mat
Om/Av
Amb
D- UNIQUE:
Un
Neither interlingual nor intralingual <=>
not in L1 and not developmental (Richards
p 115- Dulay & Burt)
39
Error Sources- Abbreviations
A- INTERLINGUAL:
40
InterL/L1T
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
Syntactic errors
Lexical
Errors
(word choice)
B- INTRALINGUAL: (James p 157)
1. Phrase structure errors =
Misselection / Misordering
2. Clause errors = Omitted,
Misordered, Misselected, Blend
3. Sentence errors = Discourse <=>
Coherence
4. Intersentence errors = Cohesion
IntraL
A- INTERLINGUAL:
InterL/L1T
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference <=>
False friends / Deceptive Cognates
FF / DC
Missel / Misord
Om
BL
Cohr
Cohs
B- INTRALINGUAL/Developmental:
1. Confusables (James p. 145-147)
2. Distortions - form nonexistent in
TL (James p 150)
IntraL/Dev
Conf
Dist
INTERLINGUAL:
InterL/L1T
Semantic errors
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
Organization
(claim/thesis,
transition words
(TW), support,
process, logical
progression, flow
of ideas)
A- INTERLINGUAL:
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
B- INTRALINGUAL / Developmental:
1. Relevance, clarity, development,
originality (James p 161)
2. Coherence/content = value as a
+
message
3.
Cohesion = value as a text/product
Discourse/Process
(Das, 1878; in James p 161)
A- INTERLINGUAL:
Substance
(Mechanics +
Spelling)
InterL/L1T
IntraL/Dev
Rel/Cl/Devt
Orig
Cohr
Cohs
InterL/L1T
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
B- INTRALINGUAL / Developmental
IntraL/Dev

SdSp
UL
SpConv
Om/Inv/LS


Pronunciation: sound spelling,
unnecessary letters
Convention of spelling: omissions,
inversion, letter shape (Corder p 138)
Dyslexic errors, phonetic near-misses
(e.g. course/coarse), confusables,
typographic errors (James p 130)
Dys/ PhNM
Conf/ Typo
Sources: Corder, 1974; Richards, 1974; James, 1998; Selinker, 1972 in Richards, 1974;
Richards & Sampson, 1974.
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
41
Appendix 7- Table 2:
Error Analysis: Scope of Study
Topic: What are your plans for the future?
Brevet Students || Ten 250-word essays studied
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
“A single word may show more than one error and appear, therefore, in more than one list.”
(Corder, 1974, p. 132)
Error Category
+ Conclusion /
Inference
Error subcategory
Number
of
Error Sources /
Examples & Error Sources
Abbreviations
Errors
A- INTERLINGUAL:
InterL/L1T
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
Grammatical
Errors
29 E
14 T
B- INTRALINGUAL:
 Developmental/overgeneralization or analogical
errors [Allen & Corder, 1974; p.
130] of TL rules= redundancy
reduction (Richards, 1974; p 175)
 Ignorance of rule restrictions
 Incomplete application of rules =
under-generalization
e.g. nobody knew where was
Barbie (Richards + James, 1998;
p 185)
 Building of false
concepts/systems (Richards, p
174)
 Morphology => 3rd pers sing “s”,
“ed”, “ing” <=> Concord +
Phonological error (James p 154)
 False analogy => childs (James p
185)
 Induced errors (James p 178):
from classroom situations
1. cross-association
2. teacher explanation
3. material induced errors
 Omissions/avoidance because of
ignorance (James p 176)
C- AMBIGUOUS:
Both interlingual/interference and
intralingual/developmental
D- UNIQUE:
Neither interlingual nor intralingual
<=> not in L1 and not developmental
IntraL
Dev
OG
Ign
IncR/UG
FC
Mor
Concord
Phono
FA
IE
CAss
TE
Mat
Om/Av
Amb
Un
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
42
(Richards p 115- Dulay & Burt)


5 Errors
Prepositions/
particles
(2 T)




4E
Articles
(3 T)


I have trouble in school
because▼ the lack of skills in
sciences.
Getting an early start about the
future can help by expanding
our knowledge about our plans.
That is so because I would like
to follow in my father’s
footsteps.
You get a load of your chest
every time you make a basket.
IntraL/Dev
Evil is▼ force that can enter a
person’s soul and conquer it.
My plans for the future is to
become a professional
basketball player, a good father,
and▼ successful architect.
▼Most important thing here is
that I never become a couch
potato.
When the evil comes.
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Dev
InterL/L1T
Dev/UG/
Collocational
InterL/L1T
Dev/OG
InterL/L1T
Reported sp.
1E
(1 T)

I wonder what god has written
for me, what’s my destiny?
Sing/Plural
1E
(1 T)

I am obsessed with money; it is InterL/L1T
just the way they smell.
Adjectives
2E
(2 T)


Calling others kids to come.
Many others ways.
Relative
clauses
ØE

--

They should have veterinarians
Dev/FA/Concord
around them in case they get
sick or any strong disease
stricked them.

What ever path a person
choose.
I have planned my future a long
time ago.
last but not least, if I was giving
an animal a shot I have to make
sure that I am giving it in the
right place.
Irregular
verbs
1E
Tenses
(wrong tense) 12 + 2
+ omission of E
3rd pers. "s"
+ agreement (5 T)
of tenses


InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Dev/Concord
Dev/Concord
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors







Possessive
case

1E
They should have veterinarians
around them in case they get
sick or any strong disease
stricked them.
I am caring mainly because an
animal doesn’t have the same
mental abilities as humans do.
Without a complete and proper
education, you got nothing.
My plans for the future is to
become a professional
basketball player, a good father,
and successful architect.
Hopefully if I become a
professional basketball player, I
would have enough money to
maintain a good life.
That, I have been doing since a
long time ago.
In both of the plans for my
future I clearly stated, that I
began working on them from
the beginning of my life
43
Dev/Concord
InterL/L1T
Dev/Concord/OG
Dev/Concord
Dev/Concord/UG
Amb
InterL/L1T
That is so because I would like Dev/Concord
to follow in my fathers
footsteps.
A- INTERLINGUAL:
InterL/L1T
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
B- INTRALINGUAL: (James p 157)
5. Phrase structure errors =
Misselection / Misordering
6. Clause errors = Omitted,
Misordered, Misselected,
Blend
7. Sentence errors = Discourse
<=> Coherence
8. Intersentence errors =
Cohesion
Syntactic errors
35 E
16 T

Coordination
(+ Beginning 5 E
with “and” or (3 T)
“so”)


IntraL
Missel / Misord
Om
BL
Cohr
Cohs
InterL/L1T
For, them not to hate me they
need to respect me and realize
how much I love them and how
hard I work for them.
All my life I’ve really enjoyed
InterL/L1T
the game and played it all my
life and of course it is my
favorite sport.
I can’t say much here besides
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
that playing ball gives me a
good workout and I stay in
shape; and architecture works
my brain.






Sentence
structure
27 E
(11 T)








Animals have to be not acted
hard on.
Consequently one must plan his
life ▼ to be successful.
A good education will help
increase my self-esteem
because it makes me happier,
feel smarter, and feel more
successful than without an
education.
It is known to be, that a person
would be more appreaciated,
and treated better if he were an
educated individual than a
failure.
I have learned a lesson in my
life, that you should never ever
give up.
Living your life owning a
beatiful mansion, and amazing
cars is a relative way of my
lifestyle in the future.
My essay has covered up my
plans for the future: to be
educated, feeling content, and
having your family and your
close friends stand by your side
all the time. (parallelism!
coherence)
When I secure a job my goal is
to become partner and have a
quarter office.
I have to be determined heading
off to a foriegn country.
I also sacrifice a lot most of all
seeing my family.
All for money and respect
(fragment).
This result will give me a
positive attitude of authority
over life.
I have many goals that I hope I
will acheive.
I also have noticed something
that most people when they
44
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Dev/Om
Missel/BL/Cohr
Amb
InterL/L1T
Cohr
Cohr
Om/Cohr/Missel
Cohr
BL
Cohr
InterL/L1T
Cohr
BL/Cohr
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors












grow up they Forget their
Family and Friends because of
work and all that stress But, I
intend to still have a very close
relationship with my family and
friends.
I don’t just want to be a parent
but a mom who is proud and
deserves that position as well as
an interesting lawyer.
What I want to be?
My plans are for three things:
future work, future family, and
sport I want to play.
I will help my children with any
problems they are facing
whether these problems are
emotional, with friends, with a
teacher, in school, etc...
(parallelism!)
This image is very important,
because I will be able to
establish a good early start
concerning my future.
The plans for my future are
being a successful basketball
player & to get a job as a
computer engineer.
(parallelism)
All my life I’ve really enjoyed
the game and played it all my
life and of course it is my
favorite sport.
I have a lot of people in my
family that are computer
engineers.
That, I have been doing since a
long time ago.
In both of the plans for my
future I clearly stated, that I
began working on them from
the beginning of my life.
That is so because I would like
to follow in my fathers foot
steps, I love playing ball and
because I would like to be
healthy in the mind as well as
the body.
I can’t say much here besides
that playing ball gives me a
45
Cohs/Cohr/BL
InterL/L1T
Cohr
Cohr
Amb
Cohr/Missel
BL/Cohr
InterL/L1T
Amb
Cohr
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
good workout and I stay in
shape.

Nouns &
pronouns
2E
e.g. My father (2 T)
he lives ...


Word order
1E
Lexical
Errors
(word choice)
26 E
InterL/L1T
I also have noticed something
InterL/L1T
that most people when they
grow up they Forget their
Family and Friends because of
work and all that stress But, I
intend to still have a very close
relationship with my family and
friends.
when the evil comes, it is hard InterL/L1T
to defy it.
I also have noticed something Dev/Misord
that most people when they
grow up they Forget their
Family and Friends because of
work and all that stress But, I
intend to still have a very close
relationship with my family and
friends.
A- INTERLINGUAL:
InterL/L1T
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
<=> False friends / Deceptive
Cognates
FF / DC
B- INTRALINGUAL/Developmental:
3. Confusables (James p. 145147)
4. Distortions - form
nonexistent in TL (James p
150)
19 T
46



24 E
(17 T)


If I hit an animal it would loose
trust in me and stay on irritating
me while curing it.
Some animals are nice pets to
have, when they have the right
health and medications.
They should have veterinarians
around them in case they get
sick or any strong disease
stricked them.
They should have veterinarians
around them in case they get
sick or any strong disease
stricked them.
Animals are usually very afraid
of high sounds.
IntraL/Dev
Conf
Dist
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors















For me acheiving these goals
makes me happy.
How ever each person must
succeed to his ability.
When I secure a job my goal is
to become partner and have a
quarter office.
You never know what god has
installed for you.
For me to be counted as a one
of a kind mother I need to take
care of my kids thus they will
be successful in the future.
I don’t just want to be a parent
but▼ a mom who is proud and
deserves that position as well as
an interesting lawyer.
In my free time I will practice
on improving my basketball
fundamentals.
Planning for the future gives an
image for our future life.
Thus I will need to put a good
concentration of time,
practicing my basketball skills.
Hopefully if I become a
professional basketball player, I
would have enough money to
maintain a good life.
I need to get outside help. That
outside help is provided by my
family members.
Like I’ve said before.
Getting an early start about the
future can help by expanding
our knowledge about our plans.
Well you know what, I’ve
given this a lot of thought I
think I’m sure of what I want to
be.
it rises problems.
Semantic errors
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Dev
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Dev
Dev
Dev
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Amb
InterL/L1T
Dev/Conf
InterL/L1T
INTERLINGUAL:
3E
3T
47
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors

3E
(3 T)


When I secure a job my goal is InterL/L1T
to become partner and have a
quarter office.
InterL/L1T
By acomplishing these pans I
will insure myself an
outstanding life.
Architecture works my brain.
InterL/L1T
A- INTERLINGUAL:
Organization
(claim/thesis,
transition words
(TW), support,
process, logical
progression, flow
of ideas)
+
Discourse/Process
5 good theses
5 good support
2 good TW
Substance
(Mechanics +
Spelling)
120 E
25 T
48
InterL/L1T
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
B- INTRALINGUAL / Developmental:
4. Relevance, clarity,
development, originality
(James p 161)
5. Coherence/content = value as
a message
6. Cohesion = value as a
text/product (Das, 1878; in
James p 161)
IntraL/Dev
Rel/Cl/Devt/Orig
1. incorrect thesis- poor support- no
transition words- no logical
progression.
2. good thesis- good support- TW
used incorrectly (“therefore” at the
beginning of the body; “as a result”
in the thesis.)
3. poor thesis- off topic- few TW- but
good mechanics.
4. incorrect thesis- good TW- logical
flow.
5. good thesis + support- few TWthird paragraph off topic.
6. good thesis- poor support- shallowincorrect TW
7. good thesis- no respect for order of
thesis components- poor TW- good
flow.
8. good thesis but no parallelism- too
many repetitions- too long- very
few transition words.
9. thesis but no parallelism- good
support- good TW- good flow.
10. thesis but no narrowing down.
1. Cohr/Cohs/
A- INTERLINGUAL:
Cohr
Cohs
Cl/Devt
2. Cohs
3. Cohr/Cl/Devt
4. Cl
5. Devt/Cohs
6. Devt/Cohs
7. Devt/Cohs
8. Devt/Cl/Cohs
9. Devt
10. Devt
InterL/L1T
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
B- INTRALINGUAL / Developmental
IntraL/Dev
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Punctuation
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
1. However▼evil has its shapes and
forms.
2. There are two paths▼evil and
good.
3. Once I am a veterinarian▼the most
important thing is that I give the
right medication to my animals
which are sick.
4. First of all▼ in order to do that I
have to give the sick animal the
most benifitial medicine.
5. last but not least, if I was giving an
animal a shot▼ I have to make sure
that I am giving it in the right place.
6. Consequently▼ one must plan his
life to be successful.
7. As a result, I intend to get a good
education, and job, which will
allow me to raise a family in a
suitable enviroment.
8. Obtaining a good job will be a
crucial part of my life for various
reasons. One of which, is that it
64 + 11
enables me to have a stable income.
E
9. This factor will allow me to focus
(21 T)
on different aspects of my life,
(28%)
which make me happier and, help
me improve my life.
10. It is known to be, that a person
would be more appreaciated, and
treated better▼ if he were an
educated individual than a failure.
11. Living your life owning a beatiful
mansion, and amazing cars is a
relative way of my lifestyle in the
future.
12. How ever▼ each person must
succeed to his ability.
13. My plan is to succeed. To do that▼
I want to get a good education,
become a lawyer, and have positive
values.
14. To get a start on my good
education▼ the first stepping stone
is highschool graduation.
15. Afterwards▼ I want to get a
university level education in the
united states.
16. There▼ I want to get a PhD in law.
17. When I accomplish that▼ I earn a
49
InterL/L1T
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Dev
InterL/L1T
Dev
Dev
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Dev
InterL/L1T
Dev
Dev
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
certain level of respect.
18. Next▼ I move to wall street.
19. When I secure a job▼ my goal is to
become partner and have a quarter
office.
20. I have to be determined▼ heading
off to a foriegn country.
21. I also sacrifice a lot▼ most of all▼
seeing my family.
22. My plan is difficult, to acheive it I
have to work hard at school,
become a famous lawyer, and
finally carry positive values.
23. No matter who you are▼ try your
best to beat life.
24. If money is an issue▼ apply for
financial aid, or use resources at
home▼ just dont let life get the
best of you.
25. Personally▼ I beleive that you can
never be sure.
26. For, them not to hate me▼ they
need to respect me and realize how
much I love them and how hard I
work for them.
27. I also have noticed something▼
that most people▼ when they grow
up▼ they Forget their Family and
Friends because of work and all that
stress▼ But, I intend to still have a
very close relationship with my
family and friends.
28. I don’t just want to be a parent▼
but a mom who is proud and
deserves that position▼ as well as
an interesting lawyer.
29. To become all this is really hard▼
but if I set my mind to it▼ I know
that I will acheive it.
30. I hope that this is forfilled▼ I
wonder what god has written for
me, what’s my destiny?
31. I have many plans for the future
that, if accomplished▼ will insure
me a successful life full of hapiness
and joy.
32. When I get to university▼ I will try
my best to get high honors in
architecture.
33. After I finish university▼ I will not
50
Dev
Dev
InterL/L1T
Dev
Dev
InterL/L1T
Dev
Dev
InterL/L1T
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
InterL/L1T
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
34.
35.
36.
37.
38.
39.
40.
41.
42.
43.
44.
45.
46.
47.
48.
start working because I also want to
get a master’s degree in
architecture.
I will help my children with any
problems they are facing▼ whether
these problems are emotional, with
friends, with a teacher, in school,
etc...
I will support my children in any
activity they choose to join▼
whether it is Fine arts, or sports.
In my free time▼ I will practice on
improving my basketball
fundamentals.
My advice to everyone is to have
many plans for the future▼ instead
of only one plan▼ because if one
plan fails▼ you can try to achieve
another plan.
An image, is just a vision about my
future life.
The plans for my future are▼ being
a successful basketball player & to
get a job as a computer engineer.
Thus▼ I will need to put a good
concentration of time, practicing
my basketball skills.
Of course▼ I will need a lot of
people’s assistance.
All my life▼ I’ve really enjoyed
the game.
Hopefully▼ if I become a
professional basketball player, I
would have enough money to
maintain a good life.
Of course▼ I do not have a lot of
experience as a computer engineer.
On the other hand▼ I gain a little
bit of experience by messing around
with computers.
I really do agree, that planning for
the future is essential for a person to
have a good life.
In both of the plans for my future▼
I clearly stated, that I began
working on them from the
beginning of my life.
Well▼ you know what, I’ve given
this a lot of thought▼ I think I’m
sure of what I want to be.
51
InterL/L1T
Dev
Dev
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
InterL/L1T
Dev
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Dev
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Dev
Dev
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
52
49. That is so because I would like to
Dev
follow in my fathers foot steps, I
love playing ball▼ and because I
Dev
would like to be healthy in the mind
as well as the body.
1. last but not least, if I was giving an
animal a shot I have to make sure
that I am giving it in the right place.
2. Afterwards I want to get a
university level education in the
united states.
3. Next I move to wall street.
4. I also have noticed something that
9E
most people when they grow up
they Forget their Family and
Capitalization (4 T)
(44.4%)
Friends because of work and all that
stress But, I intend to still have a
very close relationship with my
family and friends.
5. I will support my children in any
activity they choose to join whether
it is Fine arts, or sports.
6. + arabs


Spelling

36 E
(0%)
Pronunciation: sound spelling,
unnecessary letters
Convention of spelling:
omissions, inversion, letter
shape (Allen & Corder p 138)
Dyslexic errors, phonetic nearmisses (e.g. course/coarse),
confusables, typographic errors
(James p 130)
1. If I hit an animal it would loose
trust in me and stay on irritating me
while curing it.
2. Veterenarians are very important to
have around, especially in the
ergent times.
3. … which will allow me to raise my
family in a suitable enviroment.
4. Belive/beleive - - - 5. What ever
6. To conqere
7. Gentel
8. Bieng happy
9. Necassary
10. Benifitial -11. Acheive/acheiving - - - - -
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
InterL/L1T
Dev
Dev
Dev
Dev
InterL/L1T
SdSp
UL
SpConv
Om/Inv/LS
Dys/ PhNM
Conf/ Typo
UL/OG/
SdSp
SdSp
SdSp
SpConv/SdSp
OG
SdSp/UL
SdSp
Dys
SdSp
SdSp
SpConv
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
Appreaciated
Beatiful
How ever
reuslt
foriegn
dont
forfilled
hapiness succesful acomplishing
foot steps
53
SdSp
Dys/Typo?
SpConv
Dys
Dys
Om
SdSp
SdSp/Om
SdSp/Om
SdSp/Om
SdSp
214 Errors
TOTAL
77 Transfer Errors 35.9%
Sources: Corder, 1974; Richards, 1974; James, 1998; Selinker, 1972 in Richards, 1974;
Richards & Sampson, 1974.
Notes:
E = Error
 T = L1 Transfer
The number that comes after the “+” accounts for the errors found but not
transcribed.


Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
54
Appendix 8 - Table 3:
Error Analysis: Scope of Study
Topic: What are your plans for the future?
Brevet Students || Ten 250-word essays studied
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
Interlingual / Transfer Errors
Error
Error sub-
Category
category
Number
of
Examples
Errors
Grammatical Errors- 29 E- 14 T
5 Errors
Prepositions/
particles
(2 T)



4E

Articles
(3 T)

Getting an early start about the future can help by
expanding our knowledge about our plans.
That is so because I would like to follow in my
father’s footsteps.
Evil is▼ force that can enter a person’s soul and
conquer it.
My plans for the future is to become a professional
basketball player, a good father, and▼ successful
architect.
When the evil comes.
Reported sp.
1E
(1 T)

I wonder what god has written for me, what’s my
destiny?
Sing/Plural
1E
(1 T)

I am obsessed with money; it is just the way they
smell.
Adjectives
2E
(2 T)


Calling others kids to come.
Many others ways.
Syntactic errors 35 E- 16 T

Coordination
(+ Beginning 5 E
with “and” or (3 T)
“so”)
Sentence
structure
27 E
(11 T)




For, them not to hate me they need to respect me and
realize how much I love them and how hard I work for
them.
All my life I’ve really enjoyed the game and played it
all my life and of course it is my favorite sport.
I can’t say much here besides that playing ball gives
me a good workout and I stay in shape; and
architecture works my brain.
Animals have to be not acted hard on.
It is known to be, that a person would be more
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors










Nouns &
pronouns
2E
e.g. My father (2 T)
he lives ...

appreaciated, and treated better if he were an educated
individual than a failure.
I have learned a lesson in my life, that you should
never ever give up.
This result will give me a positive attitude of authority
over life.
What I want to be?
This image is very important, because I will be able to
establish a good early start concerning my future.
I have a lot of people in my family that are computer
engineers.
That, I have been doing since a long time ago.
In both of the plans for my future I clearly stated, that
I began working on them from the beginning of my
life.
That is so because I would like to follow in my fathers
foot steps, I love playing ball and because I would like
to be healthy in the mind as well as the body.
I can’t say much here besides that playing ball gives
me a good workout and I stay in shape.
I also have noticed something that most people when
they grow up they Forget their Family and Friends
because of work and all that stress But, I intend to still
have a very close relationship with my family and
friends.
when the evil comes, it is hard to defy it.
Lexical Errors (word choice)




24 E
(17 T)








55
26 E - 19 T
If I hit an animal it would loose trust in me and stay
on irritating me while curing it.
Some animals are nice pets to have, when they have
the right health and medications.
They should have veterinarians around them in case
they get sick or any strong disease stricked them.
They should have veterinarians around them in case
they get sick or any strong disease stricked them.
Animals are usually very afraid of high sounds.
For me acheiving these goals makes me happy.
How ever each person must succeed to his ability.
You never know what god has installed for you.
For me to be counted as a one of a kind mother I need
to take
In my free time I will practice on improving my
basketball fundamentals.
Planning for the future gives an image for our future
life.
Thus I will need to put a good concentration of time,
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors





practicing my basketball skills.
Hopefully if I become a professional basketball
player, I would have enough money to maintain a
good life.
I need to get outside help. That outside help is
provided by my family members.
Like I’ve said before.
Getting an early start about the future can help by
expanding our knowledge about our plans.
Well you know what, I’ve given this a lot of thought I
think I’m sure of what I want to be.
Semantic errors

3E
(3 T)


56
3E-3T
When I secure a job my goal is to become partner and
have a quarter office.
By acomplishing these pans I will insure myself an
outstanding life.
Architecture works my brain.
Substance (Mechanics + Spelling) 120 E - 25 T
Punctuation
1. However▼evil has its shapes and forms.
2. As a result, I intend to get a good education, and job,
which will allow me to raise a family in a suitable
enviroment.
3. Obtaining a good job will be a crucial part of my life for
various reasons. One of which, is that it enables me to
have a stable income.
4. It is known to be, that a person would be more
appreaciated, and treated better▼ if he were an educated
individual than a failure.
5. How ever▼ each person must succeed to his ability.
64 + 11
6. My plan is to succeed. To do that▼ I want to get a good
E
education, become a lawyer, and have positive values.
(21 T)
7. Afterwards▼ I want to get a university level education in
(28%)
the united states.
8. I have to be determined▼ heading off to a foriegn
country.
9. No matter who you are▼ try your best to beat life.
10. Personally▼ I beleive that you can never be sure.
11. When I get to university▼ I will try my best to get high
honors in architecture.
12. After I finish university▼ I will not start working because
I also want to get a master’s degree in architecture.
13. In my free time▼ I will practice on improving my
basketball fundamentals.
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
57
14. My advice to everyone is to have many plans for the
future▼ instead of only one plan▼ because if one plan
fails▼ you can try to achieve another plan.
15. Of course▼ I will need a lot of people’s assistance.
16. Hopefully▼ if I become a professional basketball player, I
would have enough money to maintain a good life.
17. Of course▼ I do not have a lot of experience as a
computer engineer.
18. On the other hand▼ I gain a little bit of experience by
messing around with computers.
19. have a good life.
20. In both of the plans for my future▼ I clearly stated, that I
began working on them from the beginning of my life.
21. Well▼ you know what, I’ve given this a lot of thought▼ I
think I’m sure of what I want to be.
22. That is so because I would like to follow in my fathers
foot steps, I love playing ball▼ and because I would like
to be healthy in the mind as well as the body.
1. last but not least, if I was giving an animal a shot I have to
make sure that I am giving it in the right place.
9E
2. Afterwards I want to get a university level education in the
Capitalization (4 T)
united states.
(44.4%)
3. Next I move to wall street.
4. arabs
TOTAL
77 Transfer Errors 35.9%
Out of 214 Errors
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
58
Appendix 9 - Table 4:
Error Analysis: Scope of Study
Topic: What are your plans for the future?
Brevet Students || Ten 250-word essays studied
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
Intralingual/Developmental Errors
Error Category
Error subcategory
Number
of
Examples
Errors
Grammatical Errors 29 E - 14 T

Prepositions/
particles
5 Errors

(2 T)

4E

▼Most important thing here is that I never become a
couch potato.

They should have veterinarians around them in case
they get sick or any strong disease stricked them.



What ever path a person choose.
I have planned my future a long time ago.
They should have veterinarians around them in case
they get sick or any strong disease stricked them.
Without a complete and proper education, you got
nothing.
My plans for the future is to become a professional
basketball player, a good father, and successful
architect.
Hopefully if I become a professional basketball player,
I would have enough money to maintain a good life.
That, I have been doing since a long time ago.
Articles
(3 T)
Irregular
verbs
1E
Tenses (wrong
tense)
12 + 2 E
+ omission of
3rd pers. "s" (5 T)
+ agreement
of tenses




Possessive
case
I have trouble in school because▼ the lack of skills in
sciences.
Getting an early start about the future can help by
expanding our knowledge about our plans.
You get a load of your chest every time you make a
basket.
1E

That is so because I would like to follow in my fathers
footsteps.
Syntactic errors
35 E- 16 T
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors







Sentence
structure
27 E
(11 T)













Word order
1E
59
Consequently one must plan his life ▼ to be
successful.
A good education will help increase my self-esteem
because it makes me happier, feel smarter, and feel
more successful than without an education.
It is known to be, that a person would be more
appreaciated, and treated better if he were an educated
individual than a failure.
Living your life owning a beatiful mansion, and
amazing cars is a relative way of my lifestyle in the
future.
My essay has covered up my plans for the future: to be
educated, feeling content, and having your family and
your close friends stand by your side all the time.
(parallelism! coherence)
When I secure a job my goal is to become partner and
have a quarter office.
I have to be determined heading off to a foriegn
country.
I also sacrifice a lot most of all seeing my family.
All for money and respect (fragment).
I have many goals that I hope I will acheive.
I also have noticed something that most people when
they grow up they Forget their Family and Friends
because of work and all that stress But, I intend to still
have a very close relationship with my family and
friends.
I don’t just want to be a parent but a mom who is
proud and deserves that position as well as an
interesting lawyer.
My plans are for three things: future work, future
family, and sport I want to play.
I will help my children with any problems they are
facing whether these problems are emotional, with
friends, with a teacher, in school, etc... (parallelism!)
This image is very important, because I will be able to
establish a good early start concerning my future.
The plans for my future are being a successful
basketball player & to get a job as a computer
engineer. (parallelism)
All my life I’ve really enjoyed the game and played it
all my life and of course it is my favorite sport.
That, I have been doing since a long time ago.
In both of the plans for my future I clearly stated, that I
began working on them from the beginning of my life.
I also have noticed something that most people when
they grow up they Forget their Family and Friends
because of work and all that stress But, I intend to still
have a very close relationship with my family and
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
60
friends.
Lexical Errors (word choice)


24 E
(17 T)


26 E - 19 T
For me to be counted as a one of a kind mother I need
to take care of my kids thus they will be successful in
the future.
I don’t just want to be a parent but▼ a mom who is
proud and deserves that position as well as an
interesting lawyer.
Getting an early start about the future can help by
expanding our knowledge about our plans.
it rises problems.
Organization (claim/thesis, transition words (TW), support, process, logical progression, flow
of ideas) + Discourse/Process
1. incorrect thesis- poor support- no transition words- no
logical progression.
2. good thesis- good support- TW used incorrectly
(“therefore” at the beginning of the body; “as a result” in
the thesis.)
3. poor thesis- off topic- few TW- but good mechanics.
4. incorrect thesis- good TW- logical flow.
5. good thesis + support- few TW- third paragraph off topic.
6. good thesis- poor support- shallow- incorrect TW
7. good thesis- no respect for order of thesis componentspoor TW- good flow.
8. good thesis but no parallelism- too many repetitions- too
long- very few transition words.
9. thesis but no parallelism- good support- good TW- good
flow.
10. thesis but no narrowing down.
5 good theses
5 good
support
2 good TW
Substance (Mechanics + Spelling) 120 E- 25 T
Punctuation
1. There are two paths▼evil and good.
2. Once I am a veterinarian▼the most important thing is that
I give the right medication to my animals which are sick.
64 + 11 3. First of all▼ in order to do that I have to give the sick
E
animal the most benifitial medicine.
(21 T) 4. last but not least, if I was giving an animal a shot▼ I have
(28%)
to make sure that I am giving it in the right place.
5. Consequently▼ one must plan his life to be successful.
6. suitable enviroment.
7. This factor will allow me to focus on different aspects of
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
61
my life, which make me happier and, help me improve
my life.
It is known to be, that a person would be more
appreaciated, and treated better▼ if he were an educated
individual than a failure.
Living your life owning a beatiful mansion, and amazing
cars is a relative way of my lifestyle in the future.
To get a start on my good education▼ the first stepping
stone is highschool graduation.
There▼ I want to get a PhD in law.
When I accomplish that▼ I earn a certain level of respect.
Next▼ I move to wall street.
When I secure a job▼ my goal is to become partner and
have a quarter office.
I also sacrifice a lot▼ most of all▼ seeing my family.
My plan is difficult, to acheive it I have to work hard at
school, become a famous lawyer, and finally carry positive
values.
If money is an issue▼ apply for financial aid, or use
resources at home▼ just dont let life get the best of you.
For, them not to hate me▼ they need to respect me and
realize how much I love them and how hard I work for
them.
I also have noticed something▼ that most people▼ when
they grow up▼ they Forget their Family and Friends
because of work and all that stress▼ But, I intend to still
have a very close relationship with my family and friends.
I don’t just want to be a parent▼ but a mom who is proud
and deserves that position▼ as well as an interesting
lawyer.
To become all this is really hard▼ but if I set my mind to
it▼ I know that I will acheive it.
I hope that this is forfilled▼ I wonder what god has
written for me, what’s my destiny?
I have many plans for the future that, if accomplished▼
will insure me a successful life full of hapiness and joy.
I will help my children with any problems they are
facing▼ whether these problems are emotional, with
friends, with a teacher, in school, etc...
I will support my children in any activity they choose to
join▼ whether it is Fine arts, or sports.
An image, is just a vision about my future life.
The plans for my future are▼ being a successful
basketball player & to get a job as a computer engineer.
Thus▼ I will need to put a good concentration of time,
practicing my basketball skills.
All my life▼ I’ve really enjoyed the game.
I really do agree, that planning for the future is essential
for a person to have a good life.
Well▼ you know what, I’ve given this a lot of thought▼ I
Error Analysis/Brevet- Nada AbiSamra
Categorizing & Diagnosing Errors
62
think I’m sure of what I want to be.
32. That is so because I would like to follow in my fathers foot
steps, I love playing ball▼ and because I would like to be
healthy in the mind as well as the body.
1. I also have noticed something that most people when they
grow up they Forget their Family and Friends because of
9E
work and all that stress But, I intend to still have a very
close relationship with my family and friends.
Capitalization (4 T)
(44.4%) 2. I will support my children in any activity they choose to
join whether it is Fine arts, or sports.
Spelling
TOTAL
36 E
(0%)
1. If I hit an animal it would loose trust in me and stay on
irritating me while curing it.
2. Veterenarians are very important to have around,
especially in the ergent times.
3. … which will allow me to raise my family in a suitable
enviroment.
4. Belive/beleive - - - 5. What ever
6. To conqere
7. Gentel
8. Bieng happy
9. Necassary
10. Benifitial -11. Acheive/acheiving - - - - 12. Appreaciated
13. Beatiful
14. How ever
15. reuslt
16. foriegn
17. dont
18. forfilled
19. hapiness 20. succesful 21. acomplishing
22. foot steps
214 Errors
137 Developmental Errors 64.1%
Error Sources- Nada AbiSamra
63
Appendix 10 - Table 5:
Error Analysis: Scope of Study
Topic: What are your plans for the future?
Brevet Students || Ten 250-word essays studied
Error Sources & Numbers compared
Error Category
Interlingual
Intralingual
Errors
InterL/L1T
Errors
IntraL/Dev
Error Sources
A- INTERLINGUAL:
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
Grammatical
Errors
14 Transfer
(48.2%)
15 Dev.
B- INTRALINGUAL:
 Developmental/ analogical errors [Corder, 1974; p. 130]
or over-generalization or of TL rules (Selinker, 1972 in
Richards, 1974) = redundancy reduction (Richards,
1974; p 175)
 Ignorance of rule restrictions
 Incomplete application of rules = under-generalization
e.g. nobody knew where was Barbie (Richards +
James, 1998; p 185)
 Building of false concepts/systems (Richards, p 174)
 Morphology => 3rd pers sing “s”, “ed”, “ing” <=>
Concord + Phonological error (James p 154)
 False analogy => childs (James p 185)
 Induced errors (James p 178): from classroom
situations
1. cross-association
2. teacher explanation
3. material induced errors
 Omissions/avoidance because of ignorance (James p
176)
C- AMBIGUOUS:
Both interlingual/interference and
intralingual/developmental
D- UNIQUE:
Neither interlingual nor intralingual <=> not in L1 and not
developmental (Richards p 115- Dulay & Burt)
A- INTERLINGUAL:
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
Syntactic errors
16 T
(45.7%)
19 D
B- INTRALINGUAL: (James p 157)
1. Phrase structure errors = Misselection / Misordering
2. Clause errors = Omitted, Misordered, Misselected,
Blend
3. Sentence errors = Discourse <=> Coherence
Error Sources- Nada AbiSamra
64
4. Intersentence errors = Cohesion
A- INTERLINGUAL:
Lexical
Errors
(word choice)
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference <=> False friends /
Deceptive Cognates
19 T
7D
B- INTRALINGUAL/Developmental:
1. Confusables (James p. 145-147)
2. Distortions - form nonexistent in TL (James p 150)
(73%)
INTERLINGUAL:
Semantic errors
3T
(100%)
0D
A- INTERLINGUAL:
Organization
(claim/thesis,
transition words
(TW), support,
process, logical
progression, flow
of ideas)
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
B- INTRALINGUAL / Developmental:
1. Relevance, clarity, development, originality (James p
161)
2. Coherence/content = value as a message
3. Cohesion = value as a text/product (Das, 1878; in
James p 161)
A- INTERLINGUAL:
+
Discourse/Process
Substance
(Mechanics +
Spelling)
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
25 T
(20.8%)
95 D
L1 (negative) Transfer / interference
B- INTRALINGUAL / Developmental

Punctuation (28% T)
Capitalization (44.4% T)
Spelling (0% T)
TOTAL


Spelling
77 Transfer
Errors 35.9%
137 Dev.
Errors
64.1%
Pronunciation: sound spelling, unnecessary letters
Convention of spelling: omissions, inversion, letter
shape (Corder p 138)
Dyslexic errors, phonetic near-misses (e.g.
course/coarse), confusables, typographic errors
(James p 130)
214 Errors
Sources: Corder, 1974 ; Richards, 1974 ; James, 1998; Selinker, 1972 in Richards, 1974; Richards &
Sampson, 1974
Summary
Of Negative L1 Transfer Error Percentage
 Semantic
100%
 Lexical
73.0%
 Grammatical
48.2%
 Syntactic
45.7 %
 Substance/Mechanics
20.8%
Error Sources- Nada AbiSamra
Appendix 11
Oral/Written Presentations
Guidelines and Expectations
http://nadabs.tripod.com/presguide1.html
65
Error Sources- Nada AbiSamra
Appendix 12
ERROR ANALYSIS EXERCISES & OBJECTIVE TESTS
http://nadabs.tripod.com/onlinematerials.htm#3
66
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