Investigating the Impact of Interlanguage on Adult EFL Learners in Indonesia: Strengths and Weaknesses


The study of second language acquisition (SLA) concerns not only the way to learn a second language (L2), but also the unique language system created by language learners (interlanguage). This qualitative study analyzed EFL learners’ interlanguage by focusing on their strengths and weaknesses in speaking English, especially on phonological, grammatical and pragmatic competence in speaking English. The language data were obtained from a recorded conversation between two non-native English speakers from Indonesia. The data were analysed by referring to contrastive analysis, error analysis and the socio-cultural perspective in SLA. The results indicated that although both learners had a strong L1 accent, the learners did not face any difficulty in constructing English sentences in the right sentence order (SVO). In addition, when facing difficulties in speaking English, the learners were seen to ask and provide support to each other, as well as to talk to themselves (private speech). In terms of weaknesses, the study found that the learners often mispronounced the letter “t” in English as the sound of “t” in Indonesian, made grammatical errors in subject and verb agreement, and applied Indonesia’s pragmatic concepts when speaking English. The study suggests that it is necessary to have a positive view on learners’ interlanguage as it can be used as a tool to learn a second language.

Keywords: Contrastive analysis, error analysis, interlanguage, second language acquisition, socio-cultural perspective in SLA.

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