ICT for Language Learning

Edition 10

Accepted Abstracts

The Analysis of English Interlanguage in Written Outputs of Sardinian Students at CEFR Levels A1, A2, B1, B2

Maria Antonietta Meloni, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sassari (Italy)

Antonio Pinna, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sassari (Italy)

Abstract

The study aimed to identify, classify and explain features of interlanguage (IL) of learners of English as Foreign Language (FL), in samples of written language, against the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels of language proficiency. Some relevant questions we have tried to address are the following:
how can we investigate the relationship between the Interlanguage development and the CEFR? Is it possible to integrate Interlanguage analysis into formative and summative assessment? Which benefits can teachers and learners in EFL classroom obtain?
 
The study, whose results are described in a PHD thesis discussed in March 2017, was carried out in two different phases, corresponding to two different school years, 2014 and 2015, and 156 students were involved, 52 in the first phase and 108 in the second one, subdivided into 10 different classes, five of the first-year class and five of the third- year class, of three different schools in Sassari.
The students were asked to fill in a personal information questionnaire and to complete a writing test according to the CEFR levels of proficiency and “can do statements”. The questionnaire was structured for the occasion taking into consideration some fundamental aspects, such as parents’ education level and job, the attendance of extracurricular English courses and the presence of certificates in English proficiency. A specific error analysis grid was developed not only for the study purposes but also with the aim to use it as a learning/teaching tool in class in a new approach to error evaluation. The manual correction of the written samples took into consideration the number of words used, the number and different types of error, using both qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis. The questionnaire analysis provided interesting information about the family social cultural background that may influence the learning outputs. The results show that: not always there is correspondence between CEFR levels and learners’ IL; the IL analysis can be integrated into formative assessment; family context has a fundamental role in the language learning process; teachers’ training in interlanguage analysis would be of great benefit for teaching and assessment practices.
 
Keywords: English learning, Interlanguage theory, CEFR, Error analysis

 

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