An analysis of the errors in grammar made by Xhosa learners of English second language
Nkani, Madoda Douglas Sabelo
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The primary aim of this study is to identify and explain the errors of Xhosa students learning English as a second language. The study sets out to determine the kinds of errors made in selected grammatical categories, i.e. concord, personal pronouns, articles, prepositions, plurals and spelling. In an effort to determine which of the errors can be ascribed to transfer from the first language, a contrastive analysis is carried out between Xhosa and English. Many of the errors that pupils make can be attributed to the different ways in which the two languages encode each of the categories that are investigated. The data consist of essays written by twenty-five Grade 9 Xhosa pupils who are learning English as a second language in a rural school in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Each pupil wrote an argumentative and a narrative essay, and these essays were analysed for errors in the six categories mentioned above. Finally, methods and techniques of addressing transfer errors in a poorly resourced teaching situation are suggested so that teachers can provide remedial assistance even under difficult teaching conditions.
- Humanities