“People believes on ghosts” - an Error Analysis of Swedish Junior and Senior High School students´ written compositions
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
This paper investigates errors in compositions written by junior and senior high school students. Two types of errors are specifically targeted, one relating to grammar in subject-verb agreement and another relating to the word class of prepositions. The aim of the present study is to focus on aspects which are of particular difficulty for the students, and to unveil underlying psycholinguistic mechanisms which affect the students’ acquisition process, for example, a potential influence of the mother tongue. The study is also expected to yield information about potential differences in error frequency and language construction between proficiency levels. The study is cross-sectional and includes altogether fifty-six samples collected from 7th and 9th grade at junior high school, and Year 1 and Year 3 at senior high school. Each group has produced fourteen compositions of free writing, and each text consists of approximately 200-300 words. The topic of the writing task was related to the supernatural and the head title was set as Do you believe in ghosts?
A few taxonomies (James, 1998) and a method referred to as Error Analysis (Ellis, 1994), (both deriving from Second Language Acquisition research) are used to categorize, describe and explain error frequencies of certain error types. The results of the study show that the error frequency generally decreases from one expected proficiency level to another. The highest number of errors was found in 7th grade students’ writing, and the lowest in Year 3 students’ writing. Regardless of proficiency level, what is most troublesome for the students with subject-verb agreement is to master the 3rd person –s inflection. Prepositions, on the other hand, which account for a lower number of errors in the compositions compared to the number of subject-verb agreement errors, tend to be used erroneously when the students are confused about when and which a particular preposition should agree in a specific contextual meaning in English.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 63 p.
Linguistics, Grammar, Error Analysis, Composition
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215348OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-215348DiVA: diva2:687028