AN ERROR ANALYSIS ON ACADEMIC WRITING: A LOOK INTO THE INTERLANGUAGE OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

Trexie O. Alawi

Abstract


In the college or university level, competence in writing is imperative if the learners need to engage and succeed in academic discourse. However, most of the teachers in tertiary level end up frustrated with erroneous written outputs of college students such as essays, letters, précis, critical analyses of texts, discussions during written exams, and the like. Thus, this paper is an attempt to describe the interlanguage or the learners’ knowledge of language by way of investigating the errors made by first-year students of Surigao del Sur State University. It intended to locate areas of linguistic difficulty in order to suggest remedial actions in terms of syllabus design, instructional materials preparation, curriculum review, and teaching strategies. The data comprised of five sets of free written compositions in English 101 (Basic Study and Thinking Skills) classes. The outputs were subjected to error analysis which focused on establishing the error density index (EDI) and error production frequency. The results revealed that, among the 18 error categories, the top three in terms of frequency production are errors in verb usage (20%), followed by punctuation (16%), and capitalization (11%). An average of 79 percent EDI was also established from the students’ written compositions. The EDI shows a below-average level of writing skills expected from the students in the University. These results have been suggested to be bases of pedagogical decisions as to priorities in terms of syllabus design, instructional materials preparation, curriculum review, and teaching strategies

Keywords


applied linguistics, interlanguage, error analysis, language assessment, teaching english as a second language, action research, Philippines

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References


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