A Review Study of Interlanguage Theory

Mohammad Hamad Al-khresheh


The influence of first language (L1 hereinafter)  in the learning of second language  (L2 hereinafter) has witnessed an intense debate during the past years, resulting in the prevalence of Error Analysis (EA hereinafter) over Contrastive Analysis (CA hereinafter).  A great number of empirical studies indicated that neither L1 nor L2 was always responsible for learners' errors (Bailey et al. 1974; Krashen et al. 1978, 2003; Larsen-Freeman, 2002; 2003). CA and EA paved the way for Interlanguage theory (IL hereinafter) in describing L2 learners' errors in the acquisition process of L2. IL, which has been in vogue for the last years, has witnessed huge criticism by different researchers and linguists from various L1 backgrounds. They all came to state that there are many points in this theory which are not clear. In light of this, this study aims at reviewing and discussing the role of  IL in describing and explaining learners' errors in the process of acquisition of L2. Therefore, theoretical foundations, theoretical assumptions, limitations and significance of this theory are discussed in detail. This review reveals that IL theory is almost no longer valid in the field of second language acquisition (SLA hereinafter) for numerous reasons.



Interlanguage, First language, Second/foreign language, L2 errors

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.4n.3p.123


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