Reasons For First Language Acquisition

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Reasons for Errors in ESL There are two main theories behind why students make their errors in second language acquisition. The first is Contrastive Analysis (CA) and the second is the Creative Construction hypothesis. Each occurs in second language learning to some degree but the supporters of each theory debate how much of a role their theories play in second language acquisition (Folder, 60, 68). Strong supporters of CA would say that all errors are a result of the differences between the native language and the new language being studied where as strong supports of the Creative construction hypothesis would claim its primarily the students making their own judgments of the rules of the language with little influence from their native language. There are also weaker versions of each theory that concedes that errors occur as a result of the student’s native language and as a result of creative constructions (Folder, 66, 71). If you look ant Contrastive Analysis you can see its roots in behaviorism and more specifically habit formation. The main principle of the theory is transfer, or the idea that one habit will influence another habit or action. There are two types of transfer in this theory; positive transfer and negative transfer, which is also referred to interference (Folder, 60). Positive transfer is the idea that habits formed in the native language assist the development and acquisition of another language. For instance, if a native Swedish speaker is learning
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