Volume 17 Number 2

Computer Learner Corpora: Analysing Interlanguage Errors in Synchronous and Asynchronous Communication
Penny MacDonald, Universitat Politècnica de València
Amparo García-Carbonell, Universitat Politècnica de València
José Miguel Carot-Sierra, Universitat Politècnica de València

This study focuses on the computer-aided analysis of interlanguage errors made by the participants in the telematic simulation IDEELS (Intercultural Dynamics in European Education through on-Line Simulation). The synchronous and asynchronous communication analysed was part of the MiLC Corpus, a multilingual learner corpus of texts written by language learners from different language backgrounds. The main research questions centred on the differences in the amount and types of errors found in both the synchronous and asynchronous modes of communication, and whether different L1 groups committed certain errors more than their counterparts from other mother tongue backgrounds. As we hypothesised, more errors were found in the synchronous mode of communication than in the asynchronous; however, when examining the exact types of errors, some categories were more frequent in the synchronous mode (the formal and grammatical errors, among others), while in the asynchronous, errors of style and lexis occurred more frequently. A analysis of the data revealed that the frequency of error types varied with each different L1 group participating in the simulation, this same analysis also showed that highly relevant associations could be established the participants’ L1 and specific error types.

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