THE LI INTERFERENCE APPROACHES IN SENIOR HIGH SCHOOLSTUDENTS’ WRITINGDewi Rosaria IndahAbstract. Learning new language canbe a striving effort because of the differences in rules between the L1 and L2.In Indonesia, English is a foreign language while the L1 of most Indonesians isBahasa Indonesia. Students learn both of these languages since elementaryschool. They make mistakes and errors. To understand and to fix the problem ofthe difficulties, a study on L1 interference has been conducted.
There are someapproaches to investigate L1 interference. Some of them are discussed in thispaper. They are the contrastive analysis that focuses on negative transfer.
Thesecond is the hierarchy of difficulty. It gives a way on how to analyze errorthrough six levels that the center of attention is using contrast and comparingbetween L1 and L2. The last is the error analysis.
It covers most of the twoapproaches above. It also considers the learners’ language culture. This paperis intended to give an overview on what and how to choose an appropriateapproach to conduct a L1 investigation, especially in writing. Writing is aproduct of learners that is easy to observe because they are in form ofwriting. Hopefully using an appropriate approach to study L1 interference willhelp both the teacher and the students to a better teaching and learning inEnglish.
Keywords: transfer, interlanguage,contrastive analysis, and error analysis. IntroductionLearningnew language is interesting for some people and may be challenging for theothers or can be a penance for the rest. Learning new language is penancebecause it is difficult. It is difficult because of the differences in rules.Each language has its own grammar that governs the usage.
MostIndonesians have Bahasa Indonesia as their first language. If, it cannot besaid like that, then Bahasa Indonesia has the first place for most of Indonesiansto be used as a means of communication. Bahasa Indonesia is the national andofficial language. Students learn Bahasa Indonesia and they use it at schoolswhere they spend some of their days in.Atschools, the students also learn other languages, like local language, theethnical language where they live and others. Some of the other languages areChinese or Mandarin, Japanese and English.
English is a foreign language. It istaught from the elementary level. Some students find it difficult to learnEnglish. Ruddel (2007:47) quotes Krashen who says that to understand thecontent of communication, we use what we already know about the language. Thisis done by focusing on both structures and understanding the meaning of acommunication containing new structures. Learning new structures means learninggrammatical competence that which part of communicative competence (Yule,2006:169).
Moreover, Brown(2000:68) states that the adult learner’s first language affects secondlanguage linguistic process. BahasaIndonesia affects the students’ English. BahasaIndonesia and English as any other languages have rules and grammar.Consequently, the rules and grammars are not the same. The same rules will helpstudents to learn while on the other hand, the differences will impede.
Thismakes learning English difficult for the students. Thus, from the differencesbetween Bahasa Indonesia and English, students make mistakes and errors.Studiesof L1 interference has been conducted all this time. Mostly, they are to findout what errors that learners make.
Assumed, this paper will help both teacherand students. Among the four skills, writing is easier to be observed becauseit is one of the forms of the learners’ product in learning a language. Seniorhigh school students are often required to make compositions in performing thewriting skill.
They are somewhat in intermediate level in learning English,considering English has been learned from elementary school.Howand what kind of approaches that appropriate to choose to conduct a study of L1 interference in students’ writing study isgoing to be discussed in this paper. The Approaches in L1 Interference StudyThe theory of the second language interfered had develop since 1950s and1960s (Connor, 1996:12). The major model of research that focus on thenegative, interfering effects on second language acquisition is assumed as thetheory of the second language learning. All of the approaches below will dealwith the words interference and transfer.Interference refers to language interactions like linguistic borrowingand language switching, that occur when two language are in contact while inthe Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis states that interference takes placebecause the differences between L1 and L2 that makes the learners havedifficulties in learning L2 (Dulay, Burt & Krashen, 1982).Furthermore Dulay, Burt & Krashen (1982:101) say that transfer isdefined by Behaviorist psychologist as an automatic process, uncontrolled, andsubconscious using past learned behaviors to produce new responses.
Transfer is divided into two: negative and positive.While the negative transfer is transfer that is the error result then, thepositive transfer refers to the correct results of both the old habitualbehavior in producing new behavior. A.
The Contrastive Analysis Connor(1996:13) said, “The contrastive analysis was originally developed by Fries in1945 and expanded by Lado in 1957.” The contrastive analysis claimed that alearner’s first language affects the learner’s second language and it makes thelearner has difficulties in learning the second language. Thedifficulties arise because there are different structures from L1 to the L2.This kind of error is said to be the L1 interference (Dulay, Burt &Krashen, 1982: 97). The Contrastive analysis describes the two languagesstructures so that it can determine valid contrast or comparison, ordifferences between them.
Thestructure of the L1 is not the only thing that influences the production of L2but also culture of L1. Robert Lado as quoted by Brown (2000:208) states thatthere is an assumption about things that make difficulty and not causingdifficulty by using the prediction and the description that this is done bycomparing the language and the culture of the student systematically. Inthe contrastive analysis is the approach to study the L1 interference bycontrasting or comparing the structures of the L1 and L2. To make it morecomplete, the culture of the student should be one of the consideration inmaking the investigation.B. The Hierarchy of DifficultyThere is a well-known model proposed by Stockwell,Bowen, and Martin in 1965 (Brown, 2000:209). This model of approach is asupport to what some researchers said to be empirical method of prediction.
This enables a teacher or linguist make a prediction of the relativelydifficulty of the L2. In making contrast in phonological, there are eight possibledegrees of difficulty. The degree is based on the notion of transfer that isdivided into three: positive, negative and zero.Stockwell also provided a hierarchy in investigatingL1 through grammatical structures of the L1 and L2 as illustrated below (Brown,2000:209-10):Level0—Transfer. That is no difference or contrast present between the twolanguages.
The learner can simply transfer (positively) a sound, structure, orlexical item from the native language to the target language. Examples: Englishand Spanish cardinal vowels, word order, and certain words (mortal, inteligente, arte, americanos).Level1—Coalescence. Two items in the native language become coalescence intoessentially one item in the target language. This requires that learners overlooka distinction they have grown accustomed to. Examples: English third-personpossessiveness require gender distinction (his/her),and in Spanish they do not (su); anEnglish speaker learning French must overlook the distinction between teach and learn, and use just the one word apprendre in French.
Level2—Underdifferentiation. An item in the native language is absent in the targetlanguage. The learner must avoid that item. Examples: English learners ofSpanish must “forget” such items as English doas a tense carrier, possessive forms of wh-words (whose), or the use of some with mass nouns.
Level3—Reinterpretation. An item that exists in the native language is given a newshape or distribution. Example: an English speaker learning French must learnnew distribution for nasalized vowels.Level4—Overdifferentiation.
A new item entirely, bearing little if any similarity tothe native language item, must be learned. Example: an English speaker learningSpanish must learn to include determiners in generalized nominals (Man ismortal/ El hombre es mortal), or most commonly, to learn Spanish grammaticalgender inherent in nouns.Level 5—Split. One item inthe native language becomes two or more in the target language, requiring thelearner to make a new distinction. Example: an English speaker learning Spanish must learn the distinctionbetween ser and estar (to be), or the distinction between Spanish indicative andsubjunctive moods.
The Error AnalysisLearners in learning a newlanguage make mistakes and errors. The production of a learner is therepresentative of the learner’s performance and competence. According to Brown(2000:216) performance is the overtly and concrete manifestation of competencewhile competence refers to one’s underlying knowledge of a system, event, factsthat are non-observable. Mistake is the performanceerror that does not relate to the learner’s competence that is due to thingslike slips of tongue. According to James as quoted by Brown (2000:216) alearner cannot correct an error by himself. The learner is not aware that thisis an error and that he may not know or understand how it should be. How erroris made and why is illustrated into an investigation named, the error analysis.
The error analysis accordingto Brown (2000: 217) is generated because the learners of L2 are apt to makeerrors and that these errors can be observed, analyzed, and classified toreveal something. From this analysis, the terminterlanguage emerged. The term “interlanguage’ was defined by Selinker, Swain,and Dumas in 1975 (Connor, 1996: 13) and it refers to a different system fromboth the L1 and L2. Interlanguage research has excluded semantics, phonology,and pragmatics by including only syntax.Brown (2000:218) claims twoimportant things: first, that the error analysis is different from thecontrastive analysis and second, that the error analysis left the contrastiveanalysis behind.
The error analysis covers all possible sources, not onlynegative transfer. The error analysis takes place the contrastive analysisbecause learners make only some error that is transferred from the L1. Learnersdo not make all errors that the contrastive analysis predicts; thus, thecontrastive analysis cannot cover all the errors and explain the findings. Furthermore, Brown adds thaterrors are an overt manifestation of learner’s systems. Errors emerge fromgeneral things.
They are interlingual errors of interference from the L1 orwithin the L2, the sociolinguistic context of communication and also psycholinguisticor cognitive strategies. Error is not just a matter of lack of knowledge butalso the impact of the way the social communication and cognitive mold the waya learner communicate.The first step in theprocess of the error analysis is the identification and the description oferrors. The error is distinguished between overt and covert. An overt error isungrammatical at sentence level. A covert error describes error in discourselevel. It is more difficult to recognize and analyze a covert error because italso puts context in the discourse into account. In writing form, it is easierto recognize and cite ungrammatical sentences.
Brown (2000:222) givescategories to describe errors. 1. The most generalomission that can be identified are: errors in addition, omission,substitution, and ordering, using technical terms, mathematics terms forinstance.2. Look at thelevels of language: phonology or orthography, lexicon, grammar, and discourse. 3. Global or localerrors according to (Burt & Kiparsky 1972).
Global errors caused the hearerconfused because it is impossible to interpret. Local error is only minor errorand the hearer can still guess the meaning.4. Domain andextend errors. Domain refers to the linguistic level unit from the smallest:phoneme to discourse. All of these should be put in context to make the errorvivid.
The extend error is the rank in linguistic unit that would have to bedeleted, replaced, supplied, or reordered. The phrase “a scissors” will give adescription. The domain is the phrase itself and the extend error is thearticle, “a” in that phrase.Analysis on second languageacquisition has undergone metamorphosis. From the contrastive analysis to theerror analysis, each of them has its own weaknesses and strengths.
Thecontrastive analysis has the weakness. It focuses on the negative transferonly. The error analysis covers also theerror that learners make as what the contrastive analysis predicts. Erroranalysis also puts the learner’s cognitive, psycholinguistic, language and sociolinguisticcommunication background into account.As long as there is learningnew language, there will always be error and mistake that learners of the newlanguage make.
It is said the error analysis has been subsided recently;therefore it is not too easy to find related study or find related literature.One should be scrupulous in looking for them. Investigating error and mistakeis still needed since it can help both a teacher and students. It can help theteacher to know, find and fix what should be given emphasized during theteaching. For the students, it might help them to know what kind of error andmistake that they tend to make so that later they can learn more and avoidmaking the same mistake and error. BibliographyBrown, H.
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(1882).Language Two. New York: Oxford University Press.
Ruddel, M. R. (2007).
Teaching ContentReading and Writing. Manhattan: Wiley.Yule, G. (2006).
The Study of Language 3rdEdition. New York: Cambridge University Press, New York.