About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3012-3017
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

EFL WRITING AND LEARNER ERRORS IN THE CONTEXT OF SECONDARY EDUCATION

M.D. Garcia-Pastor, R.T. Selistean

University of Valencia, School of Education (SPAIN)
This paper focuses on L1 Spanish students’ errors in English as a foreign language (EFL) written assignments in the context of Secondary Education. In this study, we have adopted a product-oriented perspective on writing (Polio, 2003), and we have taken error analysis (Corder, 1976) coupled with transfer analysis (Selinker, 1969) as a starting point to deal with learner errors. Error analysis (EA) deals with “the incidence, nature, causes and consequences of unsuccessful language” (James, 1998: 1), and transfer analysis is a procedure within the former to deal with errors which are assumed to be the result of interferences between L1 and L2. More specifically, in this study, we have intended to provide an answer to the following main research questions: 1) Which are the most frequent errors in terms of transfer or intralingual errors in students’ written productions in EFL, and which are the linguistic categories most affected by them?; 2) Does the length of the writing task influence the quality of writing as regards the number of errors made?. In order to answer these questions, a total of 56 opinion essays from Secondary Education students were collected, fieldnotes within the classroom setting were also produced, and interviews with the students on their own errors were also conducted. As for the results of the study, intralingual errors were found to outnumber transfer errors in general. However, transfer errors were observed to be more frequent at the level of lexis and syntax, while intralingual errors were more abundant at the level of morphology. Contrary to some research findings, morphology emerged as the linguistic area most affected by student errors on the whole (e.g., Meara, 1984), and within morphology, the most problematic issues appeared to be verb tense and aspect, the use of articles and other determiners, noun endings, and word order, in this order, thus supporting previous research findings (Ferris, 2002). Concerning the potential influence of the length of the writing task in the number of errors students made, contrary to the expected, our analysis revealed that the amount of errors that surfaced in learners’ texts were influenced by their level of proficiency in the target language rather than by essay length. All in all, the results of this study show that an analysis of student errors in EFL can provide useful information that can help teachers plan future lessons, design class materials, and make decisions on correction techniques more attuned with learners’ needs.
@InProceedings{GARCIAPASTOR2011EFL,
author = {Garcia-Pastor, M.D. and Selistean, R.T.},
title = {EFL WRITING AND LEARNER ERRORS IN THE CONTEXT OF SECONDARY EDUCATION},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {3012-3017}}
TY - CONF
AU - M.D. Garcia-Pastor AU - R.T. Selistean
TI - EFL WRITING AND LEARNER ERRORS IN THE CONTEXT OF SECONDARY EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 3012
EP - 3017
ER -
M.D. Garcia-Pastor, R.T. Selistean (2011) EFL WRITING AND LEARNER ERRORS IN THE CONTEXT OF SECONDARY EDUCATION, ICERI2011 Proceedings, pp. 3012-3017.
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