Thursday, September 24, 2009

Do you make an Error or a Mistake in language learning?

By Azys Syaiful Anwar
Language is an oral or written communication media which is including the process of encoding and decoding a meaning. Besides each language is also has a structure which is required to avoid misleading of the meaning. In English, time gives main influences to the structure of a sentence. People need to speak differently when they want to tell their past, present or future activities.
The complexity of a language may lead us to do error or mistake. Then, what is the difference between error and mistake? In my opinion, error can be related to the wrong concept of language understanding. For example:
Andy writes these following sentences:
  1. Tari plays the piano every day.
  2. They play the piano every day.
  3. Tari can plays the piano.
  4. They can play the piano.
From the example we can see that Andy doing something wrong with his sentences. He is completely error in writing those sentences. He takes the simple present tense concept to be applied to the sentences followed by modal verb ‘can’. Error can be dangerous for the language learner. Since the language learners think that they do the right, they may redo their error in the same case.
Meanwhile, for someone who already knows the concept but doing something wrong can be said that he/she doing a mistake. Mistakes often occur because of reckless act both in writing and speaking. Example of mistake:
Andy writes these following sentences:
  1. They work in the hotel.
  2. We works in the cabin.
  3. Jono works in the restaurant.
  4. They can work in the hotel.
  5. Jono can work in the restaurant.
Regarding to the example, Andy does a mistake in the sentence no. 2. He already knows the concept of simple present tense but still doing something wrong.
Both error and mistake must be avoided to master a language. Language learners need to practice the target language to stay away from doing a mistake or error. Furthermore, language learners can elaborate their language understanding by reading recent writing and learning other aspects influencing the target language, for example: culture.


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