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Caribbean Journal of Education

An Analysis of Errors in Written Compositions of Trinidadian Secondary School Students

Publication Date: 
April 1986

Although the official language of Trinidad is English, the vast majority of the population speaks Trinidadian English Creole (TEC) as a first or sole language. Varieties of international standard English, standard Trinidadian English, and TEC, overlap in areas of lexicon, phonology and grammar, but TEC has a basically different grammatical system not always recognized as distinct because of superficial formal similarities (Carrington [7], Solomon [27], Winford [30]). This relationship has several implications for the learning of English in Trinidad, the major one being that while the similarities of TEC and English may encourage successful positive transfer of language forms and structures from the Ll to the L2, they may also facilitate negative transfer, resulting in error in the target L2, because of the difficulty for the language learner in distinguishing language boundaries.

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