Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,739
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Types of mistakes by L1 (first language)

    Hello other teachers and students,

    Perhaps some of you might be able to help me with a linguistics issue that I've been thinking about for a long time.
    It concerns the type of mistakes in English that beginners from various countries or first languages typically make in written English. Has anyone kept or made or found a list of these. Or anybody know anything about it?
    I've noticed recently that Arabic speakers with fairly good English make very basic punctuation mistakes, such as misplacing periods and commas.
    Italians, it seems, like to use "wanna" and "gonna" at a higher than average rate - though this is not really a mistake. I find it interesting.
    Maybe one day I'll do a study on this for my linguistics course. I'm sure it would have some relevance for teaching practices.

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    19,448
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Types of mistakes by L1 (first language)

    "wanna" and "gonna" = Charles Cockburn in the 1950s used both of these in essays written for Punch to indicate colloquial speech. They are obviously not new!

  3. #3
    thedaffodils's Avatar
    thedaffodils is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,942
    Post Thanks / Like

    Smile Re: Types of mistakes by L1 (first language)

    [As the forum rule requires: I'm not a teacher.]

    Hi Raymott,

    I don't really follow you.

    What does first language refer to? Do you refer people who use English as their first language or what? But you mentioned about Arabs and Italians in your illustrations. I am kind of be confused.

    And do you focus on the beginners of English or advanced students? Obviously, Abrabic speakers with fairly good English belong to advanced learners of English, don't they?


    It concerns the type of mistakes in English that beginners from various countries or first languages typically make in written English

    I've noticed recently that Arabic speakers with fairly good English make very basic punctuation mistakes, such as misplacing periods and commas.
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 15-Sep-2008 at 03:52. Reason: Add: I'm not a teacher.

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,739
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Types of mistakes by L1 (first language)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    "wanna" and "gonna" = Charles Cockburn in the 1950s used both of these in essays written for Punch to indicate colloquial speech. They are obviously not new!
    I wasn't implying that they are new.
    Maybe that was a bad example, because it's not really an error. It's still interesting to know the typical non-standard forms used by people of different nationalities and those with different first languages. But mostly my posts was abouts errors.
    Last edited by Raymott; 15-Sep-2008 at 10:17.

  5. #5
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,739
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Types of mistakes by L1 (first language)

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    [As the forum rule requires: I'm not a teacher.]

    Hi Raymott,

    I don't really follow you.

    What does first language refer to?
    Your first language is Mandarin. It's on your profile on each post. Mine is English. A person's first language is the language they first spoke as a child.

    Do you refer people who use English as their first language or what? But you mentioned about Arabs and Italians in your illustrations. I am kind of be confused.
    I'm referring to students who are learning English, and their first language isn't English. The types of mistakes they make are often related to their first language.
    For example a person whose first language has a present perfect and a past tense, generally get the form right, but use it in a typically wrong way (the way it's it's used in their first language).

    And do you focus on the beginners of English or advanced students? Obviously, Abrabic speakers with fairly good English belong to advanced learners of English, don't they?
    Both, or either.
    R

  6. #6
    stuartnz's Avatar
    stuartnz is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • New Zealand
      • Current Location:
      • New Zealand
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,370
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Types of mistakes by L1 (first language)

    I have wondered about this myself, from my pieriansipist's point of view. My experience has mostly been with people whose first language is Punjabi, and through my familiarity with the closely related Hindi, I can see some signs of errors that are distinctive of learners from that language family. there is an important caveat, though. As I see it, a problem with this kind of extrapolation/inference is the unknown variable of the speaker's proficiency in their first language.

    An example of what I mean: We had a young Chilena stay with us for around 6 months, and by the end of it, I could read and write Chileno SMS "txtspk", but my Castellano was only marginally better than before her arrival, because her own level of literacy and fluency in standard Spanish was quite low. I don't mean that she had a poor grasp of Castilian, although she was not particularly comfortable with it. I mean that she was a self-confessed poor student who had slept through most of her schooling, and so the errors she made while learning English were likely not representative of those made by other, more literate Chilenos.
    Last edited by stuartnz; 15-Sep-2008 at 11:35. Reason: a mess of typos.

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,739
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Types of mistakes by L1 (first language)

    Quote Originally Posted by stuartnz View Post
    I have wondered about this myself, from my pieriansipist's point of view. My experience has mostly bbeen with people whose first language is Punjabi, and through my familiarity with the closely related Hindi, I can see some signs of errors that distinctive to that learners from that language family. there is an important caveat, though. As I see it, a problem with this kind of exreapolation/inference is the unknown variable of the speaker's proficiency in their first language.

    An example of what I mean: We had a young Chilena stay with us for around 6 months, and by the end of it, I could read and write Chileno SMS "txtspk", but my Castellano was only marginally better than before her arrival, because her own level of literacy and fluency in standard Spanish was quite low. I don't mean that she had a poor grasp of Castilian, although she was not particularly comfortable with it. I mean that she was a self-confessed poor student who had slept through most of her schooling, and so the errors she made while learning English were likely not representative of those made by other, more literate Chilenos.
    Firstly, I'm glad you understand what I mean. It's true that a list of errors by first language would necessarily be a stereotype, but if certain patterns continued to come up in students of similar background, one could be more aware of those, and make sure they're covered. And it could explain why some students cannot grasp concepts that the teacher thinks are self-evident.
    I'm sure that more futile surveys have been done in linguistics.

  8. #8
    stuartnz's Avatar
    stuartnz is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • New Zealand
      • Current Location:
      • New Zealand
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,370
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Types of mistakes by L1 (first language)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Firstly, I'm glad you understand what I mean.
    Actually, when I look back at my typo-ridden, barely coherent post, I'm amazed that you understood what I meant. That will teach me for hanging around web fora way past a civilised bedtime.

  9. #9
    thedaffodils's Avatar
    thedaffodils is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,942
    Post Thanks / Like

    Smile Re: Types of mistakes by L1 (first language)

    [I'm not a teacher.]

    Re: Post 5

    Hi Raymott,

    Thank you for your elucidation. Here's my two cents. I hope they would be useful.

    (1) A number of non-native speakers don't capitalise 'I' and 'English'. These are the most typical errors I encounter now and then. I can not figure out why people make such mistakes.

    (2) There should be a space after a period, but many Chinese fail in their writing. In Chinese punctuation, a period is a hollow dot but not a solid dot, and it's not necessary to leave space after a period.

    eg. He is a boy.He loves helping people.

    (3) The problem of subject-verb concord. There're no the concepts of singular and plural verbs in Chinese language. It's easy for me to understand, but I still stumble now and them if I am not careful enough.

    eg. He do homework. They do homework.

    (4) Different stucture of languages between Chinese and English. We don't have to invert the verb if it is an interrogative Chinese sentence.

    Chinese: Why you don't go there?

    (5) There're no countable and uncountable nouns, and singuar and plural form of nouns in the Chinese language.

    Chinese: a apple, two apple, three apple

    Typical error: Is it a slang?

    (6) There're some mistakes which are called typical Chinglish. Generally it usually refers to rigid word-to-word translation.

    eg1 New English name of a Chinese dish: Steamed Pullet, Orginal English name: Chicken Without Sexual Life. Such a case became a laughing stock by foreigners who visit China.

    eg2 Europeans are white; Africans are black; Asians are yellow. (Actually, it refers to Asians have glown-brown skin.)

    eg3. I have black eyes. (Actually, it refers to "I have dark eyes")

    eg4. Good study day day up up.

    (7) Fixed collocation. For examples, "holy matrimony" but not "holy marriage"; "naughty children" but not "naughty students". This would be one of most difficult problems for me.

  10. #10
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,739
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Types of mistakes by L1 (first language)

    Hi daffodils,
    Thank you for your thoughtful answer.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. [Essay] please check it and give a grade.. thanks..
    By jomo27 in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-Aug-2009, 21:01
  2. The English language and its varieties
    By italianbrother in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 22-Feb-2007, 12:34
  3. Please check for grammar mistakes, thanks.
    By M.Ali in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 13-Feb-2005, 05:44
  4. ‘Superlativisation’ or exaggeration in English Language
    By PaulNorton in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-Dec-2004, 03:05

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •