AN ERROR ANALYSIS OF ENGLISH WRITING OF MATHAYOM SUKSA 6 STUDENTS

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Natjirath Boonrod
Nakonthep Tipayasuparat
Pawarisorn Sornsilp

Abstract

The objectives of this research were to investigate the specific types of errors occurring in grade 12 Thai students’ writings and to examine causes of the errors in writings. The study was divided into 3 phases: 1) an error identification test to distinguish the student having strong background of English knowledge from the population; 2) free writing; and 3) interview. The instruments were an Error Identification Test, a paragraph-writing worksheet. Regarding Phase 2, 15 students who got the highest scores in phase 1 were selected to write a paragraph, the topic of which was “My Dream Career”. And in Phase 3, the interview was conducted among 3 students getting the highest score in Phase 1 to investigate the perceived causes of making the errors. The result of the study indicated that among four main types of errors: grammar, structure, spelling and, punctuations, it was found that the errors in grammar was most frequently found (66.83%). This included 14 types of errors in the order of frequency found as follows: articles, tenses, conjunctions, prepositions, auxiliaries, word form, singular and plural nouns, pronouns, word order, subject-verb agreement, infinitives, relative clauses, word choices, and the use of there-be. Among the grammar errors, articles, tenses, and conjunctions were found the most frequently (15%, 8.68%, and 8.42% respectively). The errors found in their writing process could be attributed to the fact that the students applied the rules of the mother tongue to the second language while writing. In addition, the overgeneralization and the language transfer caused the errors while the second language learners were writing.

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