Contrastive Analysis In English

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1. Introduction The origin of Contrastive Analysis was pedagogic. This was found ‘in comparison of several pairs of languages by scholars in the United States, all directed at establishing the areas of learning difficulty that were likely to be experienced by English Speakers learning other languages’( Ellis, 1986, p. 23). This very scientific approach of learning a target language has taken a wrong shape in the foreign language teaching pedagogy in Bangladesh. We have long observed that our language teachers consider that English (foreign Language in Bangladesh) and Bengali (first language) grammars are very much similar from their structural point of view. We may refer to teachers’ (mis) understanding of the structural similarity of Passivisation,…show more content…
According to COBUILD frequency count (Sinclair 1990, p. 143), the is the most frequent used word in English language and a is the fifth most frequent. Brown’s (1973) morpheme study shows that articles a and the come at number nine and ten respectively in the acquisition of fourteen morphemes. Though almost all languages have article system, they differ from one another regarding position, function, usage etc. It varies from language to language. For example: In English, to make a reference specific only, the is used before all types of references whereas in Bengali to make a reference specific based on the nature of the references, a number of articles are used after the references such as tɪ, tə, kɑ:nə, kɑ:nɪ, gu:lʊ, gu:lə etc. This is just one of the examples of the differences in both the languages. Because of the differences in the article systems in Bengali and English, teaching the English article to the Bengali learners is always challenging as Bengali article system may interfere in the way. The study, therefore, explores the areas of difficulty in teaching and learning English articles. Figure 1: Articles in English and Bengali Languages 3. Contrastive Analysis…show more content…
The main difficulties in learning a new language are caused by interference from the first language. ii. These difficulties can be predicted by Contrastive Analysis iii. Teaching materials can make use of CA to reduce the effects of interference. Johnson and Johnson (eds) (1998, p. 85) state ‘CA has been used as a tool in historical linguistics to establish language genealogies, in comparative linguistics to create language taxonomies and in translation theory to investigate problems of equivalence’. Widdowson (2003) rightly holds that CA ‘was designed for diagnosis and prevention: it was to provide the prophylactic means whereby the learning of the L2 might, as far as possible, be protected against L1 cognition’. 4. The scope of study The study is limited to simple theoretical description of two subsystems in English and Bengali articles. The study explores the problematic areas in the use of articles in English because of the interferences of the learners’ knowledge of Bengali articles and offers some pedagogical implications which may hopefully help the language teachers and learners in teaching and learning English articles to reduce the errors resulting from the L1

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