When Language Transfer is Negative
Analysis of Morpho-Syntactic Interference Errors by Learners of French in Tanzanian Higher Learning Institutions
Keywords:error analysis, interlanguage, interference, negative transfer, target language
This paper analyses morpho-syntactic interference errors committed by learners of French as a foreign language in four Tanzanian universities: UDSM, UDOM, DUCE and Makumira. The paper has three specific objectives: (i) to identify morpho-syntactic interference errors, (ii) to account for their sources and (iii) to recommend a corrective treatment. The study included a total of 61 respondents. The data was collected through learners’ written texts in French from which a corpus was developed. The study was guided by the interlanguage theory and the error analysis approach. Data analysis was qualitative. The findings reveal that errors included the use of nouns with English origins (18.87%), omission of prepositions (36.79%) and absence of determiners (44.34%). The findings further show that these errors are due to previously acquired or learned languages: Swahili, ethnic community languages and English. Different recommendations are given following the findings. As regards the use of definite and indefinite articles in French, teachers should provide a guided reading of different French texts through which learners will be able to understand how articles are used. To master the use of prepositions, teachers should encourage learners to read a variety of texts in French as this can make them understand and internalize the different prepositions. Moreover, through regular exercises on word formation in French, learners may be able to familiarize themselves with French nouns, hence internalizing their forms. Finally, the learning of French nouns should be done in context.
AHUKANNA, Joshua/Nancy LUND/Ronald GENTILE (1981) Inter-and intra lingual interference effects in learning a third language. Modern Language Journal 65, 281–287.
ARCHIBALD, John/Gary LIBBEN (1995) Research Perspectives on Second Language Acquisition. Toronto (Mississauga): Copp Clark Ltd.
BARTELT, Guillermo (1989) The interaction of multilingual constraints. H. W. Dechert and M. Raupach (eds.), Interlingual processes. Tubingen: Günter Narr Verlag, 151–177.
BLANCHE-Benveniste. C (I990) Le français parlé: études grammaticales. Paris: Editions du CNRS.
CHIPA. N (1983) Language teacher competence & secondary school students’ achievement in French language skills in Tanzania. Unpublished M.A dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam.
CHIWANGA, Fredrick/Ezekiel IDDY/Salum (2017) Is the learner-centred approach indeed adopted in the teaching-learning of French in O-level state secondary schools in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania? Education Research Journal Vol. 7(6): 123 – 133.
CHOMSKY, Noam (1957) Syntactic Structures. The Hague/Paris: Mouton.
CHOMSKY, Noam (1995) The Minimalist Program. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.
CORDER, Stephen Pit (1967) The significance of learners’ errors. J. C. Richards (ed.), ErrorAnalysis: Perspectives on Second Language Acquisition. London: Longman.
CORDER, Stephen Pit (1981) Error analysis and interlanguage. Oxford: Oxford Uni-versity Press.
CRESWELL, John W. (2009) Research Design. Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publi-cations, Inc
DEMIRTAS, Lokman (2009) De la Faute à l’Erreur : Une Pédagogie Alternative pour améliorer la Production Écrite en FLE. Synergies Turquie 2, 125-138.
ELLIS, Rod (1995) Understanding second language acquisition. Oxford University Press.
FÜSUN, Şaraç (2009) Interférences lexicales entre deux langues étrangères. Anglais et franҫais. Synergies Turquie 2, 179–184.
GASS, S./L. SELINKER (2001) Second language acquisition: an introductory course. Mahwah, NJ: LEA.
HAMMARBERG, B (2001) Roles of L1 and L2 in L3 production and acquisition in Cenoz, J., Hufeisen, B. and Jessner, U. (Eds.). Cross-linguistic Influence in Third Language Acquisition: Psycholinguistic Perspectives. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
HAWANGA, Joel (1983) Etude de l’expression de l’aspect dans des productions écrites d’apprenants Tanzaniens. Thèse de doctorat, Bésanҫon.
HUOT, Hélène (2001) La morphologie. Forme et sens des mots du français. Sous la direction de Michèle Perret. Paris: Armand Colin.
LADO, Robert (1957) Linguistics across cultures: Applied linguistics for language teachers. University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor.
LINDSAY, Peter. H./Donald A. NORMAN (1972) Human Information Processing: An Introduction to Psychology. New York: Academic Press.
MAHO, Jouni F./Bonny SANDS (2003) The languages of Tanzania: a bibliography. Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis.
MEISEL, Jürgen (1983) Transfer as a Second Language Strategy. Language and Com-munication 3, 11–46.
MTAVANGU, Norbert (2013) La contribution des Franҫais à l’etude du Swahili: le cas de Charles Sacleux (1856-1943). Unpublished PhD Thesis. Paris: INALCO-PARIS – LANGUES.
NECKEMIAH, Nelius (2012) L’amélioration de la compétence phonologique des ensei-gnants de franҫais du secondaire en Tanzanie. Unpublished Master Thesis. Greno-ble: Université Stendhal, Grenoble 3.
NORRISH, John (1987) Language Learners and their Errors. London: Macmillan.
OMARI, Shan (2002) Pronunciation Problems that Tanzanians learners encounter in learning French. Unpublished Master Thesis. Dar es Salaam: University of Dar es Salaam.
ÖZTOKAT, Nedret (1993) Analyse des erreurs/analyse contrastive. Grammaire et Didac-tique des langues, Eskişehir, Anadolu Üniversitesi yayın 590, 66–76.
PERDUE, Clive (1980) L’analyse des erreurs : un bilan pratique. Langages 57, 87–94.
REY, A (2005) L’erreur dans l’acquisition de l’orthographe. Rééducation orthophonique 222, 101-119.
RICHARDS, J. C (1980) Error Analysis : Perspective on Second Language Acquisition. London : Longman, n° 25 (3), 204-219.
RIEGEL, Martin/Jean-Christophe PELLAT/René RIOUL (2006) Grammaire méthodique du Français. Paris: Quadriage/PUF.
RINGBOM, Haykan (1987) The role of first language in foreign language acquisition. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
RUBAGUMYA, C. M. (1990) Language in education in Africa: a Tanzanian perspective. Clevedon, Avon: Multilingual Matters.
SELINKER, Larry (1972) Interlanguage. International Review of Applied Linguistics 10, 209–241.
SINGH, Rita/Susanne CARROLL (1979) LI, L2 and L3. Indian Journal of applied Lin-guistics 5, 51–63.
WILMET, Marc (2003) Grammaire critique du français. Bruxelles: Duculot.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Jonace Manyasa
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in journal Journal for Foreign Languages by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the publisher right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.