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Chun Zhang

A Comparative Study on Error Analysis: Belgian (L1) and Danish (L1) learners’ use of Chinese (L2) comparative sentences in written production

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  • Xiaoli Wu, K.U.Leuven, Interfacultair instituut voor levende talen (ILT), Belgien
  • Chun Zhang
Title: A Comparative Study on Error Analysis

Subtitle: - Belgian (L1) and Danish (L1) learners’ use of Chinese (L2) comparative sentences in written production

Xiaoli Wu, Chun Zhang

Abstract:

Making errors is an inevitable and necessary part of learning. The collection, classification and analysis of errors in the written and spoken production of L2 learners has a long tradition in L2 pedagogy. Yet, in teaching and learning Chinese as a foreign language (CFL), only handful studies have been made either to define the ‘error’ in a pedagogically insightful way or to empirically investigate the occurrence of errors either in linguistic or pedagogical terms. The purpose of the current study is to demonstrate the theoretical and practical relevance of error analysis approach in CFL by investigating two cases - (1) Belgian (L1) learners’ use of Chinese (L2) comparative sentences in written production; (2) Danish (L1) learners’ use of Chinese (L2) comparative sentences in written production. The two case studies were conducted at two universities of two countries: University of Leuven (LU), Belgium, and University of Aarhus (AU), Denmark during the academic year 2014/2015. There were altogether 87 students (N= 54 students from LU; and N= 33 students from AU) participating in the studies, among them 44 are 2nd-year students (n=28 from LU and n=16 from AU) and 43 3rd-year students (n=26 from LU and n=17 from AU). Students’ writing samples were first collected and the errors on the use of comparative sentences were then identified and described. The study results from the two case studies reveal that the use of ‘bǐ - 比’ has a very high error rate regardless of task types, proficiency level and learners’ first languages. After analyzing all the learner errors, a categorization framework of the grammatical errors with using comparative sentences is developed, which include comparative item-related errors, comparative result-related errors and blend errors. The results further indicate that these errors could attribute to negative L1 transfer and overgeneralization of grammatical rule and structures. Finally, pedagogical implication of CFL is discussed and future research is suggested.

Keywords: error analysis, comparative sentences, comparative structure ‘‘bǐ - 比’, Chinese as a foreign language (CFL), written production

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Udgivelsesår8 jul. 2015
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 8 jul. 2015

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