About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 4170 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain

LEARNER ERRORS IN EFL WRITING: A FOCUS ON SPANISH SECONDARY EDUCATION

M.D. Garcia-Pastor, T.R. Selistean

University of Valencia, Faculty of Education (SPAIN)
This research focuses on L1 Spanish students’ errors in English as a foreign language (EFL) written assignments in Secondary Education, more specifically, the second year of the so-called “Bachillerato”, i.e. 12th grade or year 13 in North-American and British High School respectively. In this study we have taken error analysis (Corder, 1976; James, 1998; Richards, 1974) and transfer analysis (Selinker, 1969, 1983) as a starting point to deal with learner errors. We have thus analysed learner errors from a qualitative perspective, which is combined with basic descriptive statistics. In particular, the main research questions that have guided this study are the following: 1) Which are the most frequent errors in terms of intralingual or transfer errors in students’ written productions in EFL, and which are the linguistic categories most affected by them? (RQ1); 2) Does the length of the writing task have an influence in the quality of writing as regards the number of errors made? (RQ2); 3) Do time constraints have an influence on accuracy and on the variety of specific vocabulary used in writing tasks? (RQ3). In order to answer these questions, a total of 56 opinion essays from EFL Secondary Education students were collected, fieldnotes within the classroom setting were produced, and interviews with the students on their own errors were also conducted. Out of the 56 essays, an incidental sample of 12 essays written at home and in tests was also analyzed to find a response to our third research question. As regards RQ1, intralingual errors outnumbered transfer errors; however, transfer errors were more frequent in lexis and syntax. Conversely, intralingual errors were more abundant in morphology. This linguistic area was the most affected by student errors in general, contrary to some research findings. Concerning RQ2, the percentage of error occurrence in shorter essays was higher than in longer essays, and a clear relationship emerged between students’ level of proficiency and the length of their essays, i.e. longer essays revealed a higher level of proficiency. In relation to RQ3, contrary to some research findings (Kroll, 1997), learners’ linguistic accuracy in written assignments at home was found to be superior to that of their written assignments in tests with errors affecting less linguistic categories in the former. In keeping with some scholars in the field (see Rusell and Spada, 2006, for a review), this study evinces 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{GARCIAPASTOR2013LEA,
author = {Garcia-Pastor, M.D. and Selistean, T.R.},
title = {LEARNER ERRORS IN EFL WRITING: A FOCUS ON SPANISH SECONDARY EDUCATION},
series = {7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-2661-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {4-5 March, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {4170}}
TY - CONF
AU - M.D. Garcia-Pastor AU - T.R. Selistean
TI - LEARNER ERRORS IN EFL WRITING: A FOCUS ON SPANISH SECONDARY EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-616-2661-8/2340-1079
PY - 2013
Y1 - 4-5 March, 2013
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2013 Proceedings
SP - 4170
EP - 4170
ER -
M.D. Garcia-Pastor, T.R. Selistean (2013) LEARNER ERRORS IN EFL WRITING: A FOCUS ON SPANISH SECONDARY EDUCATION, INTED2013 Proceedings, p. 4170.
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