Innovation in Language Learning

Edition 16

Accepted Abstracts

The Analysis of Grammatical Errors in Essay Writing of English Reading and Writing 1 Students at Mae Fah Luang University and its Instructional Implications

Benjamart Thanasoontornrerk, Mae Fah Luang University (Thailand)


The present study aimed at studying and categorizing grammatical errors in student essays;  identifying sources of errors, using related theories, i.e. contrastive analysis, error analysis, and interlanguage, and proposing instructional implications which enhance student learning in essay writing. The analysis of 120 essays written by English reading and writing 1 course students at Mae Fah Luang University was done to explore grammatical errror types and to examine the error sources. Further, interviews of teachers and students who experienced the reading and writing course were implemented to examine the writing errors in depth. Results showed grammatical errors existed in both sentential and lexical levels. The remarkably made errors in the sentential level were subject-verb agreement and fragments, and errors in the word  level were singular/plural nouns, articles, word and verb forms. The major sources of errors were interlingual interference and intralingual interference. Given evidence of depth information from teacher and student interviews, the insufficient knowledge of grammatical rules of the target language as well as students’carelessness reinforce the findings. Implications for effective writing instruction, and course syllabus were suggested as follows: 1) To develop remedial lessons and activities to mainly correct global errors that cause miscommunication; 2) to study effective ways of giving corrective feedback to allow students to be aware of their errors and correct them accurately;  3) to provide students more opportunities to expose to variety of reading materials which illustrate various grammatical sentence patterns; and 4) to develop linguistic sources pertaining to grammar uses, such as language learner corpus, or grammar applications to support students’ writing skills.

Keywords: essay writing, grammatical errors, error analysis, interlingual interference, intralingual interference, writing skills.

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