In this paper we demonstrate that by using syntax error-analysis from a single composition from an ESL learner, a succession of structure lessons can be devised based upon the principles of Chomsky’s Generative Transformational Grammar (Koffi, 2010). This is analogous to the Cognitive Code Approach of the 1970s which was greatly influenced by the work of linguists and psycholinguists such as Chomsky and Miller (Celce-Murcia, 1991). We reveal that while mistakes are inevitable in the acquisition process, teachers can create personalized “mini-grammar lessons” (Celce-Murcia & Hilles, 1988, p.145) based on the identification of recurring patterns of errors in their students’ compositions (Kroll & Schafer, 1978).

Faculty Supervisor

Dr.Ettien Koffi



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