“I am speaking French but I am thinking in English”: An analysis of errors by students of the French language at the University of Ghana.

Sewoenam Chachu

Abstract


This paper is in the domain of language acquisition and more particularly foreign language learning using the theoretical framework of Error Analysis but also taking into account the concept of the development of Interlanguage during the learning of a foreign language. We consider how learners of French as a Foreign Language in the University of Ghana seem to fall, either consciously or unconsciously, on the English Language during their oral and written productions. For this study, first and second year students of French from the University of Ghana were given a series of images and asked either to describe what they saw and/or to use the images to tell a story or form a dialogue. It was observed that there was evidence of English structures, transpositions, transliterations, etc. in their productions. We consider that these interferences are part of the development of the Interlanguage of the learners and we examine some of the types of errors identified in the production of the students. We conclude that this is a natural process for the learner of a foreign language in a multilingual context and we consider how the teacher of a foreign language class can take advantage of these productions to improve his teaching and also improve learning by his/her students.

Key Words: Error analysis, transference, Foreign Language Learning, Interlanguage, English, French

L’article appartient au domaine de l’acquisition linguistique et plus particulièrement l’apprentissage de langue étrangère en se basant sur le cadre théorique de l’Analyse des Erreurs mais prenant aussi en compte le concept du développement de l’Interlangue pendant l’apprentissage d’une langue étrangère. Nous examinons de comment les apprenants du Français Langue Étrangère à l’Université du Ghana semblent avoir recours, soit consciemment soit inconsciemment, à la langue anglaise pendant leur production orale et écrite. Pour cette étude, on a donné aux apprenants en première et deuxième années de licence des images et on leur a demandé de raconteur une histoire ou de former des dialogues à partir des images. On a observé qu’il y’avait des éléments structuraux de l’anglais, des transpositions, des translitérations, etc. dans leurs productions. Nous estimons que ces interférences font partie du développement de l’Interlangue des apprenants et nous examinons quelques uns des types d’erreurs identifiées dans la production des apprenants. Nous concluons que l’Interlangue et les erreurs font partie du processus d’apprentissage d’une langue étrangère et nous considérons comment l’enseignant dans une classe de langue étrangère pourrait profiter de ces productions pour améliorer son enseignement et l’apprentissage de la langue par ces étudiants.

Mots clés: Analyse des Erreurs, transfert linguistique, Apprentissage d’une langue étrangère, Interlangue, Anglais, Français


Keywords


Error analysis, transference, Foreign Language Learning, Interlanguage, English, French,

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ameyaw-Akumfi, C. (2002). English only, no more vernacular. People’s Daily Graphic. Accra, Ghana.

Amuzu, D. S. Y. (2008). Problèmes de Transfert Linguistique Inhérents à l’Apprentissage du Français dans un Milieu Multilingue Non-francophone. Teaching and Learning of Language, Culture and Literature, 67–81.

Associates for Change (2010). The Status of French Language Teaching and Learning across Ghana’s Public Education System.

Corder, S. P. (1967). The significance of Learner’s errors. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language teaching. Volume 5, No.4. 161-170 (AF)

Corder, S. P. (1973). Introducing Applied Linguistics. Penguin Education.

Dewaele, J.-M. (2002). Variation, chaos et système en interlangue française. Acquisition et Interaction En Langue Étrangère, 17, 147–167. Retrieved from https://aile.revues.org/1030

Dörnyei, Z.; Scott, M. L. (1997). Communication Strategies in a second language: Definitions and Taxonomies. Language Learning, 47(1), 173–210.

Ellis, R. (1997). Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Government of Ghana. (2004). Ghana Education Review Report: White Paper.

Improving Educational Quality (IEQ) Project. (2000). Implementation of the School Language Policy in Ghana: Interim Report. Retrieved from http://www.ieq.org/pdf/interim_ghana.pdf on 15th April 2015.

Kecskes, I., & nde Papp, T. (2000). Foreign language and mother tongue. Psychology Press.

Richards, J. C. et al. (1992). Dictionary of language teaching and applied linguistics. Essex: Longman.

Saville-Troike, M. (2006). Introducing Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: CUP.

Selinker, L. (1972.) Interlanguage. International Review of Applied Linguistics 10: 209–241.

White, L. (2003). Second Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar, Cambridge: CUP.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/gjl.v5i1.73

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.