Error Analysis for English Language Teachingat Primary Level
The prime concern of every language teacher, and to some extent every linguist, is to device pedagogical methods and strategies which facilitate language acquisition. The concern of any teacher or applied linguist is, though not explicitly stated anywhere, to equip the learners with “correct” features of the language being learnt. Emphasis on “correctness” is due to the presumption that erroneous structures or deviations from linguistic code will lead to incomprehensibility and impediment in communication.As a result of such convictionsContrastive Analysis (CA) and Error Analysis (EA) focussed their attention on “correct” grammatical, lexical and syntactical features of Target Language (TL), in this case English.Both Contrastive Analysts and Error Analysts analysed the language and tried to predict areas of ease or difficulty. This was often achieved with ‘some’ degree of success. However, in the present socio-educational milieu of Indian schools, where English language teaching is a significant stake, insights from CA and EA, particularly the latter, are either not taken into cognizance, or found inadequate. CA is taken into consideration, though obliquely, indirectly and cursorily, where English language is taught resorting to bilingualism. EA is usually ignored completely. Even when teachers correct students’ assignments and copies, they point out mistakes/errors, suggest corrections, but neither take into account why these mistakes/errors have occurred, nor how to prevent such cases in future. With the ever growing importance of English as a global language and a second language in India, no stakeholder in education can afford to undermine the significance of ELT.The time is therefore ripe to take a fresh look at Error Analysis (EA) and assess how it can be deployed as a powerful tool in school teaching.
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