Fossilization among university students- A concern of SLA in Ghana

Proceedings of ‏The 2nd World Conference on Research in Social Sciences

Year: 2021


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Fossilization among university students- A concern of SLA in Ghana

Michael Owusu Tabiri, Ivy Jones-Mensah



The study adopted a qualitative case study to gather data and analyse the responses that final year university students in two universities in Ghana provided. The data used for the analysis consisted of students’ written test. From the study, recurrent errors were identified and classified into four types, namely morphological fossilization, syntactic fossilization, semantic fossilization and pragmatic fossilization. A total of 840 fossilized errors were found in the study, with semantic fossilization recording the highest form of fossilization error with 300 out of the 840 representing 36% out of the total number, followed by syntactic fossilization, morphological fossilization and pragmatic fossilization each of them recording 180 fossilized errors depicting 18%  respectively. Based on the findings of the study, causes of fossilization in students’ writing were identified as language transfer, transfer of training and overgeneralization. The study proposes the adoption and adaptation of proper pedagogical approaches as well as the integration of technology to minimize fossilization in English (L2).

Keywords: Morphological, Syntactic, Semantic, Pragmatic, Fossilization, Language Transfer.