Persistence of interference from L1 Arabic in written Hebrew


  • Roni Henkin



fossilization (stabilization; persistence), general learner effect, interference (negative transfer), written corrective feedback, written interlanguage (learner) corpus, written learner corpus


As the official and predominant public language in Israel, Hebrew is taught in Arab minority schools, most-ly by L1 Arabic-speaking teachers. Active acquisition of Hebrew accelerates in the immersion conditions of high education. I explore the persistence of very common interference errors in various linguistic domains, as established by teachers' written corrective feedback, and the correlation between persis-tence, error salience and a general learner effect. From a corpus of 56 Hebrew essays written by 9th graders, 11th graders and undergraduate students in southern Israel, the 14 most frequent interference errors were isolated and incorporated in a compiled test essay, which was then given to 13 L1 Arabic-speaking teachers of Hebrew to correct. The salience of each item was established by the percentage of teachers correcting it; each was also graded for its status as a general learners' error. Statistical analysis showed a significant correlation between each of these two measures and persistence over the time period studied. This corroborates a multiple effect approach to persistence. Localized errors of phonolo-gy, orthography, and morphology generally declined faster than syntactic errors, which persisted espe-cially in structures that occur in L1 Hebrew, marked for discourse-pragmatic effects.




How to Cite

Henkin, R. (2020). Persistence of interference from L1 Arabic in written Hebrew. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 20(1), 1–31.