Volume 8, Number 4

A Historical Development of Contrastive Analysis: A Relevant Review in Second and Foreign Language Teaching


Nathalie DJIGUIMKOUDRE, Université Joseph KI-ZERBO, Burkina Faso


Contrastive analysis (CA) was primarily used in the 1950’s as an effective means to address second or foreign language teaching and learning. In this context, it was used to compare pairs of languages, identify similarities and differences in order to predict learning difficulties, with the ultimate goal of addressing them (Fries, 1943; Lado, 1957). Yet, in the 1980’s and 1990’s the relevance of CA has been disputed. Many studies have pointed out the limit of CA with respect to its weak and strong versions (Oller and Ziahosseiny, 1970), (Wardhaugh, 1970) (Brown, 1989), (Hughes, 1980), (Yang, 1992), and (Whitman and Jackson, 1972). To answer the limits of CA with regards to its weak, strong, and moderate versions, many language teachers used CA with a new approach. Kupferberg and Olshtain (1996), James (1996), and Ruzhekova-Rogozherova (2007). Here, salient contrastive linguistic input (CLI) is presented to learners for an effective noticing. Yet, mere exposition of contrastive linguistic input to learners may not be enough for effective acquisition to occur. Hence, Djiguimkoudre (2020) proposed structured phonemic awareness activities to further strengthen such contrastive salient linguistic input when phonetics and phonology are involved. When grammar is involved, the processing instruction (PI) model of Lee and VanPatten (2003) is recommended since the types of activities that result in PI are believed to incite effective noticing for intake.


Contrastive analysis, phonemic awareness, foreign language, First language, processing instruction.