Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Background of the study
With the economic globalization all over the world, English as a communicationtool, which is widely used in many fields such as tourism, computer science, foreignbusiness, academic research, cultural exchanges and so on , has become more andmore important. A good command of English can hunt for a good job in theemployment market. For example, in Guiyang, a western city in China, where thereare a large number of foreign tourists, a qualified job hunter who masters English wellis able to find a higher salary job and gain more admiration in society. So, it isnecessary for talents in the twenty-first century to master the English language well.English teachers have an urgent task to improve the teaching quality and efficiency forthe learners.Since the policies opening up to the outside word, English has been used more thanoften. English teaching quality and proficiency has been greatly improved in the lastdecades. At the same time a great deal theoretical research in our country has beenincreasing, with a large number of academic papers published outside. However, it is agreat pity that the English teaching and learning in western area lags far behind thecoastal areas. Few experts pay attention to research to the rural area, especially inMiao nationality region. In many cities of Guizhou such as Kaili, Danzai, Huangping, there are plenty ofethnic customs and the local government has done their best to attract the tourists.Millions of foreign tourists come to these cities every year. To develop the marvelousresources to the foreigners well, English plays a very important role in tourism. Manytranslators are necessary to the development of tourism. To keep in pace with thecoastal areas, we have to improve the teaching quality in the rural area and we need tofigure out the unique characteristics which the students have in English learning.That’s an important issue which will be mentioned in chapter 1.4.
1.2 Significance of the study
According to the results of the decennial population census by the national bureauof statistics in 1990, Guizhou, a western province, has a large population of 32.391million and there are 17 ethnic groups, the population of which is 11.236 milliontaking 34.67% of the total number of Guizhou province. Among all the ethnic groups,Miao nationality has 3.6869 million population, which is the largest population taking32.81% in all the minorities. So, it really counts to improve the teaching quality andefficiency among Miao nationality students.Miao nationality students have their own language and cultural backgrounds. Theyspeak three languages, that is, mother tongue—Miao language, Chinese and English. They speak Chinese as their second language and English is their third language,which means their learning burden is much heavier than that of Han students. Almostall the Miao nationality students learn English through Chinese because all the textbooks are written with Chinese and most teachers are Han nationality. Most Miaonationality students come from the rural area in the countryside where the educationresources are poorer than the cities. What is worse, more than 70.26% of them areleft-behind children whose parents seldom care about their studies. H.D. Brown (2001)stated, language and culture affected each other. Therefore, compared Han students,Miao nationality students encounter more difficulties than Han students do in learningEnglish and have formed their own characteristics and learning styles.
Chapter Two Theoretical Basis
2.1 Definition of error and classifications of error
Many linguists have different opinions about the definition of error. In ordinaryteaching methodology, errors means that linguistic phenomena do not requiredthe standards. The errors include the learner’s defects in learning language andthe aspects of learning methods. Anyone can’t learn without making errors.Learning itself is a process of making many errors. “The making of errors is aninevitable and necessary part of the learning process and that error making is adevice the learner uses in order to learn.”(Corder, 1967)According to Corder (1973), error referred to the lack of competence in using alanguage. The learner’s features’ is different from those of any local speaker.Great minds think alike. Ellis (2008) stated “an error can be defined as adeviation from norms of the target language.Lennon (1991) defined “Error is a linguistic form or combination of formswhich, in the same context and under similar conditions of production would, inall likelihood, not be produced by native computers.”In China, Hu (1993) stated, error was the grammatically incomplete orincorrect forms.
2.2 Contrastive Analysis
The language linguists developed the theory of Contrastive Analysis (CA)under the influence of Behaviorism. According to Longman Dictionary ofLanguage Teaching & Applied Linguistics, CA involves the comparison of twolanguage system（sRichard, John Platt & Platt 2000）. The theory of CA is to buildup the differences of linguistics between native language and target language inorder to predict what difficulties the second language learner or foreign languagelearner will come across. There are two branches of CA, that is, strong form andweak form. The strong form claims all the difficulties that the Second languagelearner and foreign language learner come about can be predicted by analyzingthe difference among the native language and target language. The weak formproposes that errors can be explained by analyzing the similarities and differencesbetween native language and target language. Though, the two branches havetheir own characters. The author agree with the weak form more, because not allthe errors can be predicted just by analyzing the difference among the nativelanguage and target language. It ignored the environmental influence.
Chapter Three Design of the Research....14
Chapter Four Data presented and discussion......17
4.1 Micro-analysis of errors........17
4.2 Macro-analysis of errors........38
Chapter Five Conclusion.......47
5.1 Summary and Findings....47
5.2.1 On language comparison in English teaching.......49
5.2.2 On improving English Teaching and Learning in the rural area....50
5.2.3 Learning English vocabulary with lexical chunks.......50
5.2.4 On explaining the grammar rule of English in detail.........51
5.3 Limitation and suggestions for further study......51
Chapter Four Data presented and discussion
This chapter is the hard core of the thesis, which presents the collected data andexplains the errors. As is mentioned in the above chapter, according to the classificationof Burt and Kispachky’s classification and Cal James’s theory, this chapter will analyzethe errors from two aspects, that is, micro level (local errors, global errors and the othererrors) and macro level (interlingual and interlingual errors). According to Burt and Kiparsky’ classification, based on the second languagewriting, they categorized errors into local errors, global errors and the other errors.With the analysis of Miao nationality students’ English writings, these errors at microlevel will be presented in the figure 4.1 as follows: From figure 4.1, 2709 errors are collected in total, including 1130 local errors,which take 41.71% in all the errors in the first place. There are 1027 global errors,which take 37.91% from all the errors, in the second place. Besides, the other errorsare 552, which take 20.38% in all the errors in the third place.
In this chapter, the author will first sum up the research and findings in this research.Second, based on the research, the author will put forward some pedagogy implications forimproving English writing of Miao nationality area students in middle school. Finally, theauthor will figure out the limitation of this research and suggest for further research. Dating back to the history of second language acquisition and foreign languagelearning, it is clear for language experts that the analysis of errors has beenexperienced a process of gradual understandings. To start with, the students andteachers are terrified of making errors. The teachers correct every mistake thestudents made. With the development of Error analysis theory, not all the mistakesare ought to correct immediately. Making errors is an unavoidable process, whichshould be corrected at the right time. After learning the theory of error analysis, thestudents’ errors are not a boring problem but an interesting phenomenon. The causesof the errors are ought to be found out and explained, which will help the learners tolearn well. In this study, contrastive theory and interlanguage are often used toexplain the causes of errors in Miao nationality students’ English writings.This study takes Miao nationality students’ English writings from Miaolong9-year School as examples in order to figure out the unique characteristics that theMiao nationality area students have in English learning, which, in turn, helps theteachers and students to improve their writing ability. Based on the data analysis,three questions in the chapter 3.1 will be answered as follows.