Structuralism In Foreign Language

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In recent decades, many studies and researches have been conducted to have a better understanding of foreign language learning and teaching processes and improve them by studying errors, Dulay, Burt and Krashen ( 1982) claimed "a learner would not be able to learn a language without systematically errors" (p. 45). The current study sought to compare and to classify committed errors of the speakers of two different mother languages (Kurdish & Lurish) in a translation test. The participants of the study were 24 high intermediate EFL learners who were in two classes at the same level. At the outset, the researcher administered a teacher-made proficiency test to check the level of the students, then the subjects gave a translation test, they…show more content…
Structuralist linguists believed that human beings learn language by the conditioning and habit formation through stimuli and responses what B.F. Skinner named as "verbal behavior". It ignored the role of mind in the process of language learning (Brown, 2007, p. 26). In outset of second world war, U.S. government tried to develop foreign language teaching for military purposes so the army specialized training program was created which its goal was reaching to conversational proficiency (Richards & Rodgers, 2001). The major prominent approach in second and foreign language teaching in hay days of structuralism was audio-lingual method. Chastain (1988) claimed " The audio-lingual method had the major influence on language teaching and learning from the 1950s into the 1970s" which was based on "mimicry-memorization" (p.87). Audio-lingual method was established based on rote learning. Structuralists also believed that languages are made from different components what later called as "formalist models" of languages (Mitchell, Myles & Marsden, 2013). One of the fundamental issues in ALM was that any error should be prevented and repressed during learning because it would be fossilized and form a bad habit. Freeman and Anderson (2011) stated that "student's errors should be prevented , through the teacher's cognizance of the area that learner may have problem, and limitation about the material which they are…show more content…
Wardhaugh (as cited in James, 1980, p. 182) suggests that the "CA hypotheses has two versions, a strong and a weak version". According to Keshavarz (2012), "strong version" which rooted in behaviorist psychology stated that the interference from mother tongue is the only barrier in second and foreign language learning so it tries to compare two languages and finds similarities and differences to determine problematic areas and to predict errors which may happen in "interlanguage" which introduced by the American linguist Larrry Selinker. Ellis (2003) stated that "a second language learner constructs a linguistic system which is based on first language of the learner but at the same time that is different from it as well is different from the second language" (p. 34). By many practical problems with "strong approach", thereupon " weak version" came to exist which was less ambitious about predicting errors, Wardhaugh (as cited in keshavarz, 2012) stated "requires of the linguistic only that he uses the best knowledge available to him in order to account for observed difficulties in second language learning" (p. 4). The researcher in "weak version" will study errors after that they

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