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A Guideline for Contrastive Analysis Research

Anggiat Mananda Hutabarat

Narrowly defined, contrastive linguistics can be regarded as a branch of comparative linguistics concerned with pairs of languages which are ‘socio-culturally linked’. In broad perception, contrastive linguistics is also sometimes used for comparative studies of (small) groups (rather than just pairs) of languages, and does not require socio-cultural link between the languages investigated. On this view, contrastive linguistics is a special case of linguistic typology. Accordingly, comparing English from Javanese is one of the contrastive linguistics and can be conducted through analysis (contrastive analysis).

James (1985) describes contrastive analysis is concerned with the way in which native language affects foreign language learning in individual. James’ statement implies that L2/L3 learners are potential to find difficulties in learning that language. By this fact, Fries (1945) emphasizes that the most efficient teaching-learning materials are those based upon a scientific description of the L2/L3 to be learned, carefully compared with a parallel description of native language of the learner. Consequently, through contrastive analysis one can predict the types of difficulties a learner may find when learning an L2/L3 (in strong or weak version). Hence, analyzing two languages contrastively, one (teacher) is enabled to put focuses on the L2/L3 teaching and learning.

This article is of attempts of guiding students to prepare and to complete their thesis (‘skripsi’), especially those taking contrastive analysis for their field of research. This guideline consists of five chapters, each of which provides rules of thesis writing. May this article help! Good luck!


Chapter I should contain some of these basic components, including: Background of Problems, Problem Formulation, The Research Objectives, and The Significance of Research. The following are the descriptions of each component.

A. Background of Problems

This section contains the description of field conditions with descriptions of the problem, by using data supports that describe the problem. It is suggested that the problems be those related to teaching and learning language, especially of foreign language. To solve the problem action or treatment is required applying a (new) approach/method (in this case contrastive analysis). In addition, the background of problem should describe one or more reviews of studies. By that case you can show the importance of conducting the research.

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