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2005 | 50 | 1(195) | 95-106

Article title

Language Error and Pedagogical Grammar

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The author looks at the concept of pedagogical grammar and tries to re-evaluate it in the light of the new developments in the area of language pedagogy and applied linguistics. In particular, he has set out to focus on the processes involved in first language (L1) acquisition and foreign/second language (L2) learning. Given that the two are governed by qualitatively distinct mechanisms, the expected outcome of the learning/acquisition process should also be different. Specifically, the final state of the learner's interlanguage will remain an imperfect approximation of the steadystate adult native tongue. The major driving force behind L1 acquisition is indirect positive evidence – exposure to primary language data. The remaining types of linguistic evidence are of lesser importance or altogether negligible. In the area of foreign language learning, however, primary linguistic data does not lead to interlanguage development due to limited exposure and lack of communicative pressure. To compensate for this insufficiency, the two kinds of direct evidence - positive and negative - are back in the spotlight. The difference is important for pedagogical purposes: pedagogical grammars should be contrastive, attempting to relate new L2 material to the L1 knowledge of the learner. This assumes that L1 knowledge needs to be explained first (i.e. the learners have to become aware of what they have been doing only subconsciously). The new approach to pedagogical grammars necessarily involves a critical reflection on the nature of language errors (the distinction between error and mistake is ignored throughout) and nonthreatening ways to eliminate them. It is hoped that the perspective on pedagogical grammars adopted in this paper will be of interest to wider audiences in the field of language pedagogy.








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  • R. Gozdawa-Golebiowski, Uniwersytet Warszawski, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland


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