In this Issue
Letters to the Editor
Write to Us
Spread the Word
Back Issues

Spreading the word:
Where does it all come from?

Your questions


Focus on Phrasal Verbs:
Learners and phrasal verbs

New word of the month
Go flirtberrying and become a LAT:
love and neologisms in
the noughties

A review of 2005 in twelve words

Corpora tips
Where to go if you would
like to find out more

Your questions answered

In this section of the magazine, from time to time, we'll be sharing with you questions which have been sent to us. You may find that you've had the same queries yourself, or that your students keep coming up with similar questions. But if you feel that you still have a few more lexical questions that you'd like to get off your chest, fill in this form and we'll get back to you!

This month the answer is provided by Hilary Nesi, member of the Macmillan Dictionaries advisory board.

Your questions answered
learner errors
I am an English teacher and I am investigating the fact that some students fossilize errors and it is really difficult to make them overcome their problems. I would like to read more about mistakes and errors fossilization. Could you gently send me some orientation, such as articles and bibliographies.
There was a lot written in the eighties about learner errors and language transfer, but not so much has been published recently. I agree that fossilization is a really big problem and I think it's a good thing that you want to investigate it further.

I'm attaching a list of sources you might like to look at. I don't expect you'll be able to get hold of all the items on the list, but you may be able to find some. Most of the items are about the causes of errors and how to deal with them. The only item that discusses fossilization in detail is the book by Han (2004).

Error analysis and error correction

Anson, C.M. 2000 Response and the social construction of error. Assessing Writing, 7 (1), 5-21

Brandl, K. K. 1995 Strong and weak students' preferences for error feedback options and responses. The Modern Language Journal, 79(2), 194- 211

Burt, M. & Kiparsky, C. 1972 The Gooficon: A Repair Manual for English. Rowley, Ma: Newbury House

Corder, S. P. 1981 Error Analysis and Interlanguage. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Davis, A., Criper, C. and Howatt, A. (eds) 1984 Interlanguage Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

Dechert, H. and Raupach, M. (eds) 1989 Interlingual Processing. Tübingen: Gunter Narr

Gass, S. M., & Selinker, L. 1983 Language Transfer in Language Learning. Rowley, Massachusetts: Newbury House Publishers, Inc

Han, Z. H. 2004 Fossilization in Adult Second Language Acquisition. Clevedon; Buffalo, NY: Multilingual Matters

Hendrickson 1980 The treatment of error in written work. Modern Language Journal, 64, 216-221

Hendrickson 1978 Error correction in foreign language teaching: recent theory, research and practice. Modern Language Journal, 62, 387-398

Hughes, A. & Lascaratou, C. 1982 Competing criteria for error gravity. ELT Journal, 36 (3), 175-182

James, C. 1980 Contrastive Analysis. Harlow, Essex: Longman Group Limited

James, C. 1998 Errors in language learning and use: Exploring error analysis. London: Longman

Kubota, M. 2001 Error correction strategies used by learners of Japanese when revising a writing task. System, 29 (4)

Lee, I. 1997 ESL learners' performance in error correction in writing: some implications for writing. System, 25 (4), 465-477

Lennon, P. 1991 Error and the very advanced learner International Review of Applied Lingusitics, 29 (1), 31-43

Li, D. C. S. & Chan, A. Y. W. 1999 Helping Teachers Correct Structural and Lexical English Errors. Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics, Vol. 4, No. 1, 79-102

Long, 1977 Teacher feedback on learner error: mapping cognitions. In Brown, H.D. et al (eds) On TESOL 77 Washington: TESOL 278-294

Odlin, T. 1989 Language Transfer: Cross Linguistic Influence in Language Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Olsen, S. 1999 Errors and compensatory strategies: a study of grammar and vocabulary in texts written by Norwegian learners of English. System, 27 (2), 191-2005

Pym, A. 1992 Translation error analysis and the interface with language teaching. in: Dollerup, C. and Loddegaard, A. (eds) Teaching Translation and Interpreting: Training, Talent and Experience. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 279-288

Raimes, A. 1992 Grammar troublespots: an editing guide for students. New York: St Martins Press [OUT OF PRINT]

Richards, J.C. (ed) 1974 Error Analysis: perspectives on second language acquisition. London: Longman

Robb, T., Ross, S. and Shatreed, I. 1986 Salience of feedback on error and its effect on EFL writing quality. TESOL Quarterly, 20 (1), 83-95

Selinker L. 1992 Rediscovering Interlanguage. London: Longman Group UK Limited

Swan, M. & Smith, B. 1994 Learner English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

To read more questions and answers, go to the Index page.