An Analysis of Interlanguage Features and English Learning


Xin Wang, Lingling Fan


The term interlanguage was first used by American linguist, Larry Selinker [2]. It is the unique linguistic system because it is neither L1 nor L2 but at the same time bears resemblances to both, which functions as a relatively systematic transition from initial knowledge of a language tonative proficiency during the process of language acquisition, and is always regarded as an unstable set of language characteristics produced by learners. Fossilization in interlanguage is significant in English learning. It is a universal phenomenon in Second Language Acquisition and it derives from multiple factors. This paper analyzes the conception and the causes of the phenomenon. Through this research, we should hold a totally different view from traditional one on the nature and function of teacher’s training, teaching materials and the handling of the learners’ errors, etc. It tries to propose some solutions to deal with fossilization so as to improve the effect gains in English learning.


interlanguage, target language, fossilization, language learning


  1. Selinker, L. Language Transfer. General Linguistics. 1969; 9: 67-92.
  2. Selinker, L. Interlanguage. IRAL. 1972; 10: 3.
  3. Nemser, W. Approximative System of Foreign Language Learners. IRAL. 1971; 2: 115-123.
  4. Rod Ellis. Understanding Second Language Acquisition. London: Oxford University Publishing; 1985. p.107-231.
  5. Lenneberg E. Biological Foundation of Language. New York: Wiley; 1967.
  6. Ellis, Rod. The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford University Publishing; 1994.
  7. Adjemain, C. On the nature of interlanguage systems. Language Learning. 1976; 26: 297-320.
  8. Ellis, R. Understanding Second Language Acquisition. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Teaching Publishing; 1999.
  9. Selinker, L. Rediscovering Interlanguage. White Plains: Longman Publishing; 1992.
  10. Corder, S. The Significance of learners’ errors. International Review of Applied Linguistics. 1967; 5: 61-70.
Copyright © 2020 Xin Wang

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


  • There are currently no refbacks.