The Role of Error Analysis in Teaching and Learning of Second and Foreign Language

Agsa Jabeen, Bahram Kazemian, Muhammad Shahbaz Mustafai


The aim of this paper is to investigate errors made by second and foreign language (L2) learners so as to understand the strategies and techniques used in the process of second and foreign language learning. Error analysis is a very important area of applied linguistics as well as of second and foreign language learning. It is also a systematic method to analyze learners' errors. Errors are not always bad, rather they are crucial parts and aspects in the process of learning a language. They may provide insights into the complicated processes of language development as well as a systematic way for identifying, describing and explaining students' errors. Errors may also help to better understand the process of second and foreign language acquisition. This study tries to investigate why Pakistani ESL and Iranian EFL learners fail to produce grammatically correct sentences in English, in spite of having English as a compulsory subject at all levels in their learning institutions and schools. What are the reasons for their poor English written performance? In the present study, the writing assignments of university students as well as intermediate English learners were analyzed for the purpose of error analysis. Results of the analysis suggest that students lack grammatical accuracy in their writing and are not sure of the grammatical rules that may apply in their writing in English. The study concludes that they are highly influenced by the rules of their first language (L1).

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