An ELT Glossary : Fossilisation

  • Definition : A process which sometimes occurs in which incorrect linguistic features gradually become a permanent part of the way a person speaks or writes the language. 

  • Example :  A C2 level speaker may still leave off the 3rd person "s", despite using other more complex structures accurately and at a generally "expert" level. 

  • Associated with the work of Selinker in the 1970s.