Errors in Second Language Acquisition and their Types


  • Amita Rawlley Thaman


Errors, lapses, mistakes, types of errors, sources of errors, some errors in use


The present paper draws attention of ESL/EFL teachers towards errors in second language acquisition and the differences between lapses, mistakes and errors. The focus is on some errors in use and what they convey. A hierarchical classification of types of errors is attempted, stating the common sources of errors. When learners speak or write, they invariably form patterns of errors regarding particular concepts. The teacher should look for such patterns and then correct the assignment. Red-marking the same mistake several times will not only demoralize the learner but will also prove tedious for the teacher/examiner. Errors are essentially viewed as an evidence for the ongoing learning process and in no case they should be brushed off as something undesirable. Errors are crucial aspects of language learning and seriously indicate the positive flux of the learning process. Errors play an imperative role in the learning process. They have to be taken seriously not only by the language learner but also the ESL/EFL teacher. They signify that the learning process is still going on and the learner is making progress on the Interlanguage continuum. He is achieving closer and closer approximation to the L2 system. The teacher has to intervene at various points and facilitate the learner in achieving his goal.


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Author Biography

Amita Rawlley Thaman

Assistant Professor, Department of English
SCD Govt College, Ludhiana, Punjab(India)



23-12-2017 — Updated on 11-07-2021


How to Cite

Thaman, A. R. (2021). Errors in Second Language Acquisition and their Types. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 5(12), 14. Retrieved from (Original work published December 23, 2017)