Questions On Contrastive Analysis And Error Analysis

2309 WordsOct 24, 201410 Pages
Question #1. Compare and contrast the following two early approaches to SLA: Contrastive Analysis and Error Analysis. What relevance do they have for current SLA theory and practice? When talking about the history and background of second language learning, researchers often refer to the two earliest approaches: Contrastive Analysis (CA) and Error Analysis (EA) (Lightbown 2013; Seville-Troike 2012). Although both CA and EA are focused on errors made by language learners, they apply different methods to do it and their approaches ensue from two contrasting theories of acquisition: Behaviorism and Mentalism. CA, the earliest approach in SLA, mainly deals with probable errors and their sources according to the differences between L1 and L2 i.e. positive and negative transfer. EA deals with the existing output in the target language in order to explain why the errors are being made, independently from L1 and L2 of the learner. Coming from the behaviorist approach, CA analyzes the L1 of the speaker and makes predictions about possible mistakes in the L2, and although it is sometimes applicable and transfer can often be observed in the learner’s language, these predictions often do not get materialized or the predicted errors may be skipped oftentimes. And one of the reasons this hypothesis was avidly challenged and soon replaced by EA was that these predicted transfers did not often appear in the learning process. However, the main reason why CA was replaced was that it could
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