“Investigating learner variability:
The impact of task type on language learners' errors and mistakes”

Sylvie Thouësny

School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies
Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland

  Language learners do not only write incorrect forms, but also correct instances of the target language, which both provide useful information on their strengths and weaknesses. Variation in learners' performance may be due to factors such as task type. However, information drawn from direct observations in learners’ written texts only enables inferences about learners' performance.
    Following an overview of the instruments used to discriminate errors from mistakes, this paper argues that identifying both occurrences will provide a better insight into learners' knowledge variability. It investigates whether one learner of French produces errors/mistakes in one task but not in another.

CALICO 2009 - Tempe - Arizona

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photos: Raphaël Savina - 2009

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