Luận văn Phân tích lỗi trong cách sử dụng phương tiện liên kết văn bản trong bài viết của sinh viên chuyên anh năm thứ nhất tại trường đại học Thăng Long




Table of contents

List of tables, charts and figures

Chapter One: Introduction

1.1. Reasons for choosing the topic

1.2. Objectives of the study

1.3. Scope of the study

1.4. Significance of the study

1.5. Methods of the study

1.6. Organization of the study

Chapter Two: Literature review

2.1. Factors affecting language learning

2.2. Errors analysis

2.3. The notion of errors in language learning

2.4. Errors vs. mistakes

2.5. Causes of errors in language learning

2.5.1. First language interference

2.5.2. Causes independent from first language

2.6. The concept of cohesion

2.7. Cohesive devices in writing

2.8. Types of cohesion

2.8.1. Grammatical cohesion

2.8.2. Lexical cohesion

2.9. Summary

Chapter Three: Research Methodology

3.1. Subjects

3.2. Instruments of data collection

3.3. Method of data analysis

3.4. Summary

Chapter Four: Presentation and Analysis of Data

4.1. Errors in the use of reference

4.1.1. Errors in the use of demonstrative reference

4.1.2. Errors in the use of personal reference

4.1.3. Errors in thes use of comparative reference

4.2. Errors in the use of conjunction

4.2.1. Errors in the use of adversative conjunction

4.2.2. Errors in the use of causal conjunction

4.2.3. Errors in the use of additive conjunction

4.3. Errors in the use of lexical cohesion

4.4. Summary

Chapter Five: Implications

Chapter Six: Conclusion
















































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s applied in this step. (Please Figure 3. 1 for the process of recognizing and identifying errors). Then, an interpretation was made to reconstruct what the subjects intended to express in their writing in order to decide if the form or structure was really erroneous. Having been labeled as wrong use of definite article, conjunction, etc. in accordance with the classification of cohesive devices by Haliday and Hasan (1976), the errors were transferred to separate indexes according to their class of cohesive devices. Finally, occurrence frequency counting was made for each type of errors. The outcomes were put forward for comparison. Is sentence superficially well-formed in terms of the grammar of the target language? Yes Does a normal interpretation according to the rules of the target language make sense in the context? Yes Sentence not apparently erroneous but may be right by chance Hold in store for possible further investigation Sentence is overly erroneous Is learner available for consultation? No Sentence is covertly erroneous No Can a plausible interpretation be put on sentence in context? Obtain from him authoritative interpretation and make authoritative reconstruction of sentence in target language No yes Make plausible reconstruction of sentence in target language No Is mother tongue of learner known No Hold sentence in store yes Translate sentence literally info first language. Is plausible interpretation in context plausible? yes No Compare reconstructed sentence with original erroneous sentence to locate error Translate first language back into target language to provide plausible reconstruction yes IN Figure 2 : The process of recognizing and identifying errors (Extracted from ‘Error Analysis’. Papers in Applied Linguistics Vol.2, edited by Allen, J.P.B and Corder, S.Pit. London: OUP. 1975: 129) CHAPTER FOUR PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA Applying the methods and instruments presented in the previous chapter, the necessary data has been collected. The tables in this chapter show the number of errors in the use of each type of cohesive devices, its percentage in the total number of errors and the source from which it stems. The sources are categorized in three groups: intra-lingual source (errors that are caused by interference between English items), inter-lingual (errors that are caused by the interference of Vietnamese into English), and mixed (errors that are not attributed precisely to any single source). Table 4.1: The number of errors in the use of cohesive devices Cohesive devices Number of errors Percentage (%) GRAMMATICAL Reference Demonstrative 101 34.00 Comparative 50 10.77 Personal 32 16.83 Conjunction Adversative 28 9.42 Causal 25 8.41 Additive 09 3.03 Ellipsis 0 0.00 Substitution 0 0.00 LEXICAL Collocation 52 17.50 Reiteration 0 0.00 The total number of errors 297 100 Table 4.2: Errors and their Causes Cohesive devices Inter-lingual Intra-lingual Mixed GRAMMATICAL Reference Demonstrative 76 25 0 Comparative 35 15 0 Personal 21 11 0 Conjunction Adversative 21 07 0 Causal 0 25 0 Additive 0 09 0 LEXICAL Collocation 0 0 52 TOTAL 153 92 52 297 4.1. ERRORS IN THE USE OF REFERENCE As shown in Table 4.1, reference errors contribute the biggest percentage of 61.6% in all errors, in which 34% belongs to the demonstrative, 16.83% to the personal and 10.77% to the comparative; they will be discussed in detail, one by one from the most to the least popular. 4.1.2. Errors in the use of demonstrative reference The number of errors in the use of demonstrative references accounts for 34% of all the errors in the use of cohesive devices (Table 4.1). These errors are in the use of the, there, this. The table below shows these errors in detail. Table 4.3: Errors in the use of demonstrative reference Reference Number of errors Inter-lingual Intra-lingual Total Demonstrative The 59 22 81 There 17 0 17 This 0 03 03 Total 76 25 101 Errors in the use of demonstrative reference “the” Table 4.4: Errors in the use of the definite article Type of errors with ‘the’ Number Omitting (inter-lingual source) 59 Wrong application (intra-lingual source) 22 Total 81 Refer to Table 4.3, the number of errors in the use of definite article unfolds the fact that this type of errors is the most problematic. Making errors with definite article, the students either omit it when it is required or apply it but in wrong ways, the numbers of these errors are 59 and 22 respectively as shown in Table 4.4 This type of errors is a typical one as it is found in the works of most students in the study. The main reason for these errors is the influence of the mother tongue (or first language interference). As mentioned in the previous chapters, errors in second language learning can arise when a linguistic feature in the target language is unknown in the source language. In this case, definite article in English (the target language) is a linguistic feature unknown in Vietnamese (the source language). Having a look at the structures of noun phrases in English and Vietnamese, the problem seems obvious. In the structure of English noun phrases, the elements preceding Head are: Deictic (including articles), Numerative, Epithet and Classifier; while in Vietnamese, the preceding Head elements do not include Deictic, Epithet and Classifier. This is the reason why Vietnamese students tend to forget articles, especially definite article, when producing noun phrases in English. Definite article does not contain any information in itself, its meaning is that the noun it modifies has a specific referent, and that the information required for identifying the referent is available in the environment including the structure, the text, the situation and the culture. For this reason, definite article can be considered as one of “small words” which one may forget to use it when it is necessary or fail to spot errors in its use when revising his\her work. Table 4.5: Errors in the omission of ‘the’ Type of errors in the omission of ‘the’ Number Anaphoric 55 Cataphoric and Homophoric 04 Total 59 As shown in Table 4.5 in this part, the omission of ‘the’ as the anaphoric reference is the most popular with 55 errors, only 4 errors of omitting ‘the’ as homophoric and cataphoric reference are found. Most of the students some time in their works did not add ‘the’ before the noun phrase which was a synonym or near-synonym of the items they had mentioned earlier in the text. They seem to forget to use definite article once they are caught in the flow of events or information they want to provide. The followings are examples of this type of errors in students’ papers: Example: - …. Mr. X stood outside her garden to follow her cat. …. Now he was sure that the reason for her sadness was mainly cat…. - ….. After a few minutes, Little Red Riding Hood came, knocked at the door and said “Granny, Granny! Open the door for me, please!” The wolf tried to answer by copying her grandmother’s voice. While asking grandmother some questions, little girl found something strange. …. - ….. Suddenly the vampire laughed and I knew that was Jane. She took vampire mask to trick me…. The errors with the use of omitting homophoric and cataphoric are: - …. First thing I will do is that…. (cataphoric is ommited) - He came from United States. (homophoric is omitted) - I tried last time to unlock the door. (cataphoric is omitted) - She was best in the class. (cataphoric is omitted) Students hardly omit ‘the’ as homophoric and cataphoric reference as in these uses ‘the’ is mostly attached to the noun phrase it refers to as a structure. For example, the headmaster of my school, the King, the longest lesson, etc. Table 4.4 also presents the fact that students made 22 errors of inappropriate use of the in their writing. With this type of errors, students tend to use definite article ‘the’ instead of indefinite one (‘a/an’ or zero article). Consider the following extracts from their writing. Example: - In a nice morning, I with three other girls decided to play truant as usual. Suddenly, while climbing over the fence of our school, we heard the whistle with a strong shouting: ‘Stop, girls!’ ‘Oh, the school guard!’ I said. - In a bar one night, Mr. X was talking to a workman who told him that Mrs. Ramsay had a very dear cat. The workman added that Mrs. Ramsay was very interested in it; she even regarded it as the kid. …. The nouns or noun phrases following the underlined ‘the’ in the above extracts are not previously referred to any items either in the situation or text, therefore it must be replaced by 'a' or no article depending on the noun following it. 'Whistle' in the first extract is mentioned the first time in the text, and it is not a synonym, near-synonym of or related to any word in the preceding text, so instead of 'the', there should be the indefinite article 'a' as 'whistle' is a singular countable noun. In the second extract, ‘kid’ appears the first time in the story and it does not have any relation with any word from the beginning if the story, so the use of ‘the’ preceding it is not appropriate, and the should be replaced by ‘a’. Thus, ‘the’ is not required in these examples, the students who committed these errors may be too anxious about how to use English articles correctly in communication, which resulted in a confusion among the use of these items (i.e. English articles). Another factor contributing to the causes of these errors is the way of teaching articles that may confuse students. ‘The’, ‘a/an’ or zero article are members in a class with the relation of being definite or indefinite. While ‘the’ has no meaning in itself and can be followed by a singular or plural countable noun or an uncountable noun, ‘a’ has the meaning of the only one thing so it precedes a singular noun, zero article is followed by a plural countable noun or an uncountable noun. For these reason, some teachers when teaching their students the use of definite article contrast it with the indefinite ones. Being presented the use of definite article based on contrastive approach, the students might produce false conceptualization, and the confusion between ‘a’ and ‘the’ in their writing is obvious. These errors such as the use of ‘the’ in inappropriate places are classified as intra-lingual errors. Errors in the use of demonstrative reference “there” Referring to Table 4.3, there are 17 errors in the use of there as a demonstrative reference. All these errors rooted from the first language interference. Two typical types of these errors are illustrated in the two following examples taken from the students’ writing: Example: - ….You should go to old streets in Hanoi. There sells a lot of things that you can buy…. - ….My family had prepared a party when we got home. There had banana, moon cakes…. It is necessary to distinguish ‘there’ as a demonstrative adverb with its homographs (words written in the same way but have different function in the language). ‘Demonstrative there is to be distinguished from the pronoun there as in there is a man at the door’ (Haliday and Hasan, 1976:74). Clearly, there in the examples is not a pronoun as no adverbs of places supporting it are found; therefore, is a demonstrative adverb. As a reference items, there closely parallel that and the meaning of there in these cases is anaphoric and locative; it refers to “in the old streets in Hanoi” in the first example, “in the party” in the second. Considering its meaning and function, there in the above sentences is incorrectly used. These errors are made because the students are not aware of the fact that “there” in these situations should function as a place adverb and that it cannot be a subject in a sentence. These students might think that “there” is equivalent to “ở đú” in Vietnamese. And since in Vietnamese they have “Ở đú bỏn rất nhiều thứ bạn cú thể mua” or “Ở đú cú chuối, bỏnh trung thu”, the translated versions above are inevitable. To sum up, these errors are of inter-lingual ones. Errors in the use of demonstrative references “this” One of the significant numbers in Table 4.3 is 03 errors in the use of selective demonstrative references. Thought the number of errors is small, there is a reason for this type of errors that need teachers’ attention when teaching this demonstrative reference. It is likely that students learnt to use demonstratives soon at the beginning of elementary level and the meanings of selective demonstrative reference are clear and seem equivalent to Vietnamese, so they made few errors at the pre-intermediate level of English. However, with the oral drill like “- Who is this/that? - This/that is Lien.” Or “- Is that/this Lien? - Yes, that/this is.”, the students may come to a conclusion that ‘this’ can function as Head in noun phrases referring to a human referent in any situation. Thus, the following sentences were made: - ….He was sitting opposite to a French man. This was reading a newspaper… - …She thanked the wolf. This immediately went to her grandmother’s cottage. … -…The boy made a long trip while playing truant. This wanted to surprise his parents… (Extracted from students’ writing) According to Haliday and Hasan (1976), ‘a demonstrative as Modifier (‘demonstrative adjective’) may refer without any restriction to any class of noun. A demonstrative as a Head (‘demonstrative pronoun’), on the other hand, while it can refer freely to non-humans, is restricted in its reference to human nouns; it cannot refer to a human referent except in the special environment of an equative clause.’(1976: 62-63). It means that whether anaphorically or exophorically, demonstratives can only refer pronominally to human referents when it is in relational equative clauses where one element is supplying the identification of the others as in the example of oral drill above. The students who made the error were not aware of the context in which the conversations taken place. The clauses in their writing where they used ‘this’ as a human reference are not equative. Therefore, these errors rooted from intra-lingual source. 4.1.2. Errors in the use of personal references It can be seen in Table 4.1 that errors in the use of personal reference accounts 16.83% of all errors with 32 errors. Regarding types of personal references, no errors are spotted in the use of the existential in the students’ works as they are not very complicated. The source of these errors comes from the interference of both first language and target language items. It is shown in Table 4.2 that the first language interference accounts for 21out of 32 cases. Having a look at some of the errors, the explanation of this interference can be brought to light. Example: - ….She lived alone. The cat was the dearest one of her. - …..It resulted in a runaway of them…. - … He knew all information of us… (Extracts from students’ writing) Vietnamese expresses possession with the word “của” and possessors are placed after things they possess. Whereas, in English, there are four ways to express the notion in accordance with the use of: possessive adjectives, possessive pronoun, “-‘s” and “of”. Nevertheless, students brought their previously-developed habit in their mother tongue into English (the second language) with the thought that the word “của” is equivalent to the word “of”. In the above sentences, the students simply translated word-by-word from Vietnamese into English without being aware of the English rules in expressing possession. According to Quirk (1987), the choice of the two genitives, as he called the two later ones, is related to the gender classes represented by the noun which is to be genitive. “-‘s” is favored by the classes of animated nouns: persons and animals with personal gender characteristics, “of” is favored by the classes of inanimate nouns. Hence, the correct versions of the above errors can be: her dearest one, their runaway and our information. Beside the first language interference, the previously-acquired knowledge in the second language also takes a part in the causes of these errors. The common errors of this type are: Example: - … She asked questions and realized that the person in bed is not her’s… - …. She knew it’s action so she was very worried…. -…he told that the little lamb is him… As English has three more ways to express possession, Vietnamese students have to develop a new habit when learning English, which leads to their confusion among the possession rules. In the first example, the students confused among “’s”, possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns as ways to express possession. ‘’s’, according to Quirk (1987), is used with the class of animated nouns, not with a possessive adjective as in the above sentences; instead of “her’s”, there must be “hers”. Furthermore, the student seems to intend to use ellipsis in “her’s” in his sentence with the omission of the noun “grandmother” (as understood in the context of his story). This error is a kind of cross-association from the drill he has practiced like: ‘An’s hat is black, Ba’s is red’ or ‘This is An’s hat, that is Ba’s’. Again in the second example, it is the confusion between possessive adjective and “’s” that results in the error, “it’s” must be replaced by “its”. And in the last one, the student is not aware of the difference between possessive adjective and objective so he made a unreasonable sentence. The errors of this type are classified as from intra-lingual source. 4.1.3. Errors in the use of comparative references It can be seen from Table 4.1 that inappropriate use of comparative references is quite popular among the subjects with 50 cases equal to 10.77% of all errors discovered in their writing. Table 4.2 shows that these errors take root from both inter-lingual and intra-lingual sources. Inter-lingual source, however, is blamed for the majority with 35 errors. The reason why the first language posed such a bad effect on the students’ use of comparison in English is that Vietnamese and English considerably differ in both lexical items and grammatical structure in expressing comparison. First of all, the inflection of comparative adjectives or adverbs as well as comparative words is not familiar to Vietnamese students whose mother tongue is not an inflection one. In English, “nice” becomes “nicer than”, “dirty” – “dirtier than”, but these rules do not work in Vietnamese. What is more, in terms of syntax, the surface structures of comparison in English and Vietnamese are not identical. Under the pressure of communication, some of the subjects applied Vietnamese structures into English; in other words, they ‘filled’ English lexical items into the surface structure of their mother tongue, resulting in inappropriate English sentences. Vietnamese comparative sentences are formulated with the functional words “hơn” which is thought to be equal to the English “than” or “more”. Thus, Vietnamese students have to develop a quite new habit when expressing comparison in English; needless to say, they cope with difficulties in this area. Due to this reason, the students made the English sentences below: Example: - Going to markets in Hanoi is very interesting. Night market is exciting more. → Đi chợ ở Hà Nội thỡ rất thỳ vị .Chợ đờm thỡ thỳ vị hơn - She came near me and scared me. She looked frightening more when she dressed in white. → Cụ ấy đến gần tụi và doạ tụi. Cụ ấy trụng sợ hơn khi cụ ấy mặc màu trắng - Little Red Riding Hood saw her ears were big than usual. → Cụ bộ Quàng Khăn Đỏ nhỡn thấy là tai của bà thỡ to hơn bỡnh thường. - There were a lot of flowers in the forest than in the straight road. → Cú nhiều hoa ở trong rừng hơn ở con đường thẳng. It is clear that the students who made these types of errors managed word-by-word translation from Vietnamese into English. Intra-lingual source contributes 15 errors (Table 4.2). When acquiring a second language, learners do not only learn by imitation or by heart, they make hypothesis and association as well. Being taught that long adjectives (i.e. adjectives which have more than one syllabus) are usually accompanied with “more” in the structure of comparison in English, students may come to a cross-association that every adjectives of this kind follows the rule. Their cross-association is testified in the followings: Example: - …. We felt more happy when we came home. … - ….. The ground was even more dirty…. - ….He became more good…. The exceptions of general rules were not noticed by the students. In a grammar lesson, these students may not make the error of this type as there is a focus on exceptional cases; in applying the acquired knowledge in real communicative situations, however, they failed to recognize these cases. It can be implied that the students have not developed habit in the use of comparative reference. In short, the use of comparative reference in English is a difficulty for Vietnamese students as they have to encounter both the great differences between the two languages and the complicated rules in English in this area. 4.2. Errors in the use of conjunction Referring to Table 4.1, the errors in conjunction takes up of 20.86% all errors in the use of cohesive devices, in which the adversative contributes 9.42%, the causal 8.41% and the additive 3.03%. It can be understood that inappropriate use of adversative conjunctions is the most popular of these types among the subjects; the second popular is of causal conjunctions followed by errors in the use of additive conjunctions. Although there are a great number of conjunctions in each type, at this level of English, the subjects just use several simple ones. For this reason, the errors focus on some typical conjunctions which are discussed in the following parts. 4.2.1. Errors in the use of adversative conjunctions As shown in Table 4.2, both sources of errors are found in the errors of the adversative type. The inter-lingual source is traced with 21 errors, another 07 errors of this type stem from intra-lingual source. The misuse of however and on the other hand in the students’ papers is one example of the errors resulted from the confusion between adversative and additive conjunctions due to the interference of the students’ mother tongue into English. The following erroneous sentences are taken from students’ papers. Example: - Little Red Riding Hood liked flowers and butterflies. On the other hand, the wolf wanted to lead her to pick flowers in the forest. She forgot her mother advice immediately. - Dimitri was a kind neighbor. However, he is a kind husband too. The students who made this type of errors are confused in the use of adversative and additive conjunction in English. The meaning of the sentences following the adversative conjunctions is not contrary to expectation deprived from the content of the text, from communication process, or from the writer-reader situation. Instead of however and on the other hand in the above sentences, there should be an additive conjunction like in addition or furthermore. What’s more, however cannot be accompanied with too in one sentence as in the second example because too is a word that expresses an addition in meaning. The main reason for these errors lies in the differences in meaning of these conjunctions in English and Vietnamese. In some popular Vietnamese-English dictionaries, adversative conjunctions like however and on the other hand are equivalent to mặt khỏc or vả lại which, according to Diep Quang Ban (1999:190), can be used as cohesive devices to inform an addition in meaning in Vietnamese. Consequently, however and on the other hand are applied with Vietnamese meaning in the above English sentences. The interference of the first language is not only found in the application of Vietnamese meaning but also Vietnamese structure into English. These are two examples of this error: Example: - ….Despite it rained, we went to the party in time. … - ….Although her husband loved her very much, but she didn’t love him. … In the first example, ‘despite’ is thought to be equivalent with ‘mặc dầu/mặc dự’ which can be followed by a noun phrase, clause or even an adjective and adverb; therefore, a clause ‘it rained’ follows ‘despite’, which is unacceptable in English. And in the second example, the expression with ‘although’ is thought to be equivalent with ‘mặc dầu….. nhưng…’, so the of but in he expression is assumed to be appropriate in English by large number of students. However, this structure is not a correct one. Other errors in the structure of adversative conjunctions stem from intra-lingual source. These erroneous sentences reveal how the English items interfered in the students’ application of these expressions. Example:

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