Spelling, noun phrase and verb phrase errors in the writing of Libyan learners of English: a corpus-based analysis

Altoate, Ahmeda Mohammed ORCID: 0000-0001-5976-8602 (2022). Spelling, noun phrase and verb phrase errors in the writing of Libyan learners of English: a corpus-based analysis. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Within the broad field of learner error analysis, there is now a growing tradition of studies research focusing on errors produced by Arabic L1 learners of English as a second/foreign language. However, these previous studies have suffered from a number of important limitations. Many of them have focused on small numbers of features or even just single features (e.g., articles, tenses, auxiliaries, etc.). Many have also been based on very small datasets, and most have only been cross-sectional in perspective. Therefore, this thesis seeks to address these shortcomings by conducting a detailed and quasi-longitudinal analysis of spelling, noun and verb phrase errors produced by Arabic L1 undergraduate learners of English at Benghazi University, Libya. The study reported in this thesis adopts a corpus-based approach, applying computational tools and methods to the analysis of a large database of learner texts which I have called the Libyan English as a Foreign Language Learners (LEFLL) corpus. The aim of this thesis is to provide SLA researchers with a broader picture of the role of L1 in producing spelling, noun and verb phrase errors in the writing of Arab English learners and how the role of L1 influence develop across the three different university levels. The analysis revealed errors that can be attributed to the first language influence was found to be more prevalent and the most obvious in spelling errors followed by verb phrase errors. The analysis also showed that interlingual spelling errors followed a steady decline as from one level to another, but this was not the case in noun and verb phrase errors.

As well as providing a broader picture of the role of L1, the thesis also offers a critical appraisal of the two main approaches to classifying and quantifying errors that have been put forward in previous research. In an attempt to overcome the serious limitations of both of these approaches, this thesis introduces a new approach to error counting, which I have called the ‘potential for error counting approach’. It will be argued that this approach offers several advantages over other error counting approaches.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of English Language and Linguistics
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Libyan Cultural Attaché
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12797


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