Morphosyntactic influence of spanish on english as a foreign language in high school students
Influencia morfosintáctica del español en inglés como lengua extranjera en estudiantes de secundaria
Keywords:learning, cross-linguistic influence, morphosyntax, erros
When learning a foreign language, the mother tongue (L1) influences the learning process either to enhance or to hinder it. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the most common errors high school students make due to the Spanish morphosyntactic interference when developing the English writing skill, to determine the factors that caused those errors and to propose some suggestions to overcome them. The participants of the study were 32 students of an Ecuadorian public high school. A quantitative and qualitative study was carried out; data collection instruments included a pre and a post-test as well as a questionnaire for students and teachers. Four morphosyntactic errors were identified: word order, negation, pluralization, and subject omission. After the intervention, it was determined that to overcome these errors, school teachers should focus on practicing more writing activities with their students in class and on motivating learners to do English tasks at home.