Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume.7 Number.4  December, 2016           Pp. 277- 296
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol7no4.18

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 An investigation of Semantic Interlingual Errors in the Writing of Libyan English as Foreign Language Learners 

Abdalmonem S.  Rajab
Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia

Saadiyah Darus
Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia

Ashinida Aladdin
Faculty of Social Sciences & Humanities
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia

Abstract:
The aim of this paper is to investigate some semantic interlingual errors in the writing performance of Libyan English as Foreign Language Learners (LEFLLS). The study seeks to analyze these errorsthat appear in the learners’ written production. The data was gathered from 25 essays written by 25 Libyan postgraduates majoring in different fields. It was collected and organized according to the errors committed. Errors taxonomy adapted from James’ (1998) and Al-Shormani and Al-Sohbani’s (2012) was used in identifying and analyzing these errors. Semantic errors were classified into five categories namely formal mis-selection, formal mis-formation, lexical choice, collocation and lexico-grammatical choice. The semantic errors identified were 346. These errors were classified into four categories namely, formal misformation (46.7%), distortion due to spelling (32.4%), lexical choice (40.6%) and lexicogrammatical choice (2.4%). The results show that direct translation from the first language (L1), assumed synonym and misselection of letters sub-categories score the highest number of the errors, i.e.14.2%, 13.08% and 12.08% respectively. While the sub-category, both collocations incorrect error was the lowest (0.52%). The other errors take the form of paraphrase (11.5%) and Idiomacity (8.5%). Two main sources have been found to be the cause behind these errors namely, L1 influence and insufficient knowledge about the second language (L2). Moreover, cultural differences between L1 and L2 had its impact in the written products of Libyan students.
Keywords:   acquisition, culture, collocational, lexical,  lexicogrammatical, semantic error

Cite as: Rajab, A. S. Darus, S. Aladdin, A.(2016). An investigation of Semantic Interlingual Errors in the Writing of Libyan English as Foreign Language Learners. Arab World English Journal,7 (4).
DOI https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol7no4.18

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Abdalmonem Rajab is currently a PhD candidate at theFaculty of Social Sciences Humanities,
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. He obtained his MA in TESOL from Sunderland University,
UK in 2003. Prior to his enrolment as a PhD candidate, he has been teaching English for more
than 12 years as an English language instructor at Specific Training Centre and as a lecturer at
Azzawiya University, Libya. His research interests focus on Language transfer, applied
linguistics, semantics and pragmatics.