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ABSTRACT:
As far as the writing skill is concerned, our EFL students are suffering from a serious
problem while writing using the target language English. For this reason through this
paper we seek an answer to the following question: What mainly lead our students to
commit such number of errors when writing in English? And what measures should be
taken to eliminate their occurrences again?
Errors in the chain of language can be usually accounted for, and often overlooked
much more readily than those in its choice. We will study the process of language (L2)
learning among children and try to analyses which errors they make more in their writing,
whether of chain or choice. We shall look at them from the point of view of the different
choices that are available to us in different parts of the sentence and we shall look at them
from the point of view how these different choices link up together to form a whole. We
shall examine sentences horizontally and vertically, as a chain of structures with the
possibility of choice in the various links.
For this purpose, we select a group of students, give them a writing task. Then we
will find out the errors in the writing, made the group of the students and in the end we
will give our recommendation to eradicate these errors.

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Grammar

Assignment No.2

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INTRODUCTION:
As far as teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) is concerned, a special
interest should be given to all the skills of that language (writing, speaking, listening, and
reading) from both the teachers as well as the learners. This interest is the responsibility of
both partners of the teaching learning process at all stages of learning. When it comes to
higher education precisely, language learners should give equal importance to each of the
skills because mastering one rather than the other will result in a gap. For this reason,
language learners should have a good mastery of all of those skills. Without denying the
importance of any skill, our focus in this paper goes particularly to one of the productive
skills: writing. The latter has attracted our attention for the simple reason that our students
suffer from many weaknesses, thats why we decided to spot the light on this serious
problem which touches all levels. To be a good language learner is to be good in writing
but its not compulsory to be talented as Ruszkiewicz et al (2011, p.2) stated that Writing
is not a mysterious activity at which only a talented few can succeed. Our interest comes
out of the observations weve made during the correction of the students exam papers,
homework,

class room productions,etc. Unfortunately our students have a great

problem in expressing themselves using the target language English because of many
factors that will be stated in later sections of the paper. It is quite natural to commit
mistakes, but whats important is to be aware of their occurrence and to work seriously to
avoid their appearance again as it is stated by Blanchard and Root (2004) Not everyone
is a naturally gifted writer. Writing is a skill that can be practiced and mastered. In many
ways, it is like driving a car. If you have ever driver in another country, you know that
some of the rules of the road may be different. Just as the rules for driving differ from
county to country, the conventions for writing may change from language to language.
(p.1)
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Assignment No.2

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Chain and Choice are two notions describe two important and related principles of
linguistic organization, and are essential to understanding the basic rules of word order.
We have, so far, made the point that chain is concerned with the horizontal
arrangement of structures within a sentence what come first, second, third and how one
may depend on another. Let us now look at some examples of language chains and give
grammatical labels to the different links. Unlike a real chain, the links in a sentence can
be of different sizes and can be substituted. The term chain refers to the way in which units
may be linked together in linear sequence, like the carriages of a train or the links of a
chain. Language must always exist sequentially, along the axes of time and (in writing)
space. At every point in the sequence, and at every level of organization, we can find
restrictions and prescriptions as to how this linking of units may take place, and the
question as to which unit can follow which gives rise to the system of choice.
Chain has something to do with the syntax. Or in other words, chain is the horizontal
arrangement of words. We have a definite system of arranging words in order. Arranging
words in an English sentence is called chain. Example. I have a cat. (This is the
grammatically right sentence. Here, the words are in the right order. Subject is before the
verb and the object is on the right place as well) There is no error of chain in this sentence,
we can say that. Now examine another sentence.... To Amjad goes Lahore. This sentence
has error of chain because the word order is not according to the grammar rules. Hope you
have understood the concept of chain. Choice: It is replacing words with words. For
example.
1. He has a pen.
2. She has a computer.
3. They have many computers.

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All these three sentences have the same chain but different choices (of words). I
mean to say that without disturbing the chain of the sentence, we have substituted certain
words. This selection of words is called choice.
We suggest a real sentence, which has syntax as the nonsense sentence:
The engineers activate the new circuits carefully
The sentence could be divided up like this:
The engineers + activate + the new circuits carefully
In a language chain, there is also choice, choice of grammar and choice of words.
In this initial overview of the topic, we shall give just one move example of each.
Grammatical choice:

The plural form circuits instead of the singular form circuit

Word choice

The noun engineers in preference to, say electricians

The notion of chain and choice brings about several useful thins. It deals with the
sequences of structures, word order is a less technical term, and it, also indroduces the idea
of appropriacy in the choice of vocabulary in this way. It allows us to integrate grammar
and vocabulary and by so ding open the door to a later study of stylistics and the teaching
of literature.
Looking at language from the point of view of horizontal patterning with vertical
choices can be especially useful in remedial situation. Errors in the choice of language can
usually be accounted for, and often overlooked, much more readily than those in its chain.
We have already drawn the attention to those constructive errors of choice that appear to
be such significant stepping stones in language acquisition. Form such as good and brined
can be errors of choice in an otherwise perfect chain. In an L2 situation, we should be
equally tolerant of errors of choice which merely signal that the Jearner is in the process of
sorting things out for himself, and still at all the discovery stage.

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Errors in the chain of language, on the other hand, can be indicate a real lack of
understanding, or can be evidence of learning difficulty. Consider the following examples.
a) Is Nasir on my chair sitting:

The speaker intended this as statement to

complain that another pupil had taken his usual place. He has got the basic
sequences wrong and is confusing statement with questions. The syntax is very
faulty.
b) Bashir is sit on my chair: He has got the chain right, but has made a wrong
choice in the structures of the verb he has omitted the ing morpheme. The
syntax is faultless.
Both the students have taken from English as second language (ESL) situation,
where the students were attending a local school. At a later stage, errors in the choice of
language can indicate that a student is linguistically ambitious and prepare to experiment
with language and by so doing take risks.

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Assignment No.2

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FREQUENT ERRORS IN WRITING L2 (ENGLISH)


Affect / Effect

Affect is a verb, for example Sometimes, the weather affects my mood.

Effect is a noun, for example The effect of weather on ice cream sales is well
documented.
By thinking in terms of the effect you can usually determine whether to use affect or
effect since the will not work in front of a verb.
To add to the confusion, bear in mind that some people may use effect as a verb
(for example Contractors seek to effect a settlement with strikers) but this usage is
slightly archaic and most often used in legal writing.

Apostrophes
Apostrophes strike fear into the heart of many. However by learning a few simple rules,
and the inevitable exceptions, you should be able to use apostrophes with ease. The
apostrophe is used for a purpose, either to indicate a possession (implying ownership) or a
contraction (in place of other letters). Since its use to indicate a contraction is easiest, we
will deal with this first.

Using Apostrophes to Indicate Contraction


Where one or more letters have been dropped, an apostrophe is used as a replacement:

It is = its

We are = were

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Does not = Doesnt

Of the clock = oclock


Using Apostrophes to Indicate Possession
Apostrophes are also used to indicate possession:

Matthews car

The farmers field (one field owned by one farmer)


If the subject (the farmer or Matthew above) has a name ending with an s, then there is
a choice to either follow the formal rule (The Joness house) or to drop the final 's'
(hence The Jones house). The choice is a matter of style but the important thing is
to be consistent.

If the subject is plural, the apostrophe is placed after the s:

The teachers staff room

The farmers fields (multiple fields owned by multiple farmers)


Note that if the word is already plural, for example children or people, then you would
write childrens or people's.

When Not to Use Apostrophes


If the word is a plural then do not use an apostrophe (for example kittens or
apostrophes). Placing an apostrophe before the final s is universally considered incorrect
and commonly referred to as the greengrocers apostrophe (or greengrocers
apostrophe if referring to more than one greengrocer). There are possible exceptions to
these rule is if the word comprises a single letter, a number or abbreviation where the

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simple addition of an s could cause confusion. Hence: There are two ts in Matthew. To
write There are two ts in Matthew may confuse the reader even though it is
grammatically correct. Alternatively, you could rephrase this as There are two ts in
Matthew. However, the modern convention is to avoid using apostrophes in plurals
wherever possible even in the plural of numbers and abbreviations. For example, I keep
buying DVDs and He loves 80s music is preferable to adding an apostrophe.

Could have / Should have / Would have


Even though we might pronounce couldve (a contraction of could have) as could of
this is incorrect. Always use could have / should have / would have.

Its / Its

Its is a contraction of two words: it is or it has.

Its is possessive, like hers, his, and whose.


The confusion between it's and its occurs because on virtually every other word 's
(apostrophe + s) indicates possession, so English speakers naturally want to use it's to
mean "something belonging to it."
But 'it's' is only used when it is a contraction of 'it is' or 'it has'.
If you are in doubt as to which version to use, try replacing the word with "it is" or "it
has". If this still scans correctly then use its, otherwise, use its.

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Assignment No.2

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There / Their / Theyre

There refers to a place or idea. An example of its use referring to place is Look
over there! An example of its use referring to an abstract idea is There are many ways to
skin a cat.

Their is possessive meaning it owns something, for example Their dog keeps
getting into our garden.

Theyre is a contraction of they are (the apostrophe replaces the missing letter).
An example of its use is Theyre moving in next door.

Theres / Theirs

Theres is a contraction of there is.

Theirs is the third person plural possessive pronoun and replaces their + noun.
The idea that theirs needs an apostrophe (hence theirs) derives from the convention that,
in virtually every other word,s (apostrophe + s) indicates possession. However, theirs is
an exception and theirs is incorrect.

To / Too / Two
'To' has two functions. First, it is a preposition and always preceded a noun, hence:

I am going to the shops

This belongs to Mary


Second, 'to' indicates an infinitive when it preceded a verb, hence

I need to sleep

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He wants to go for a walk

'Too' also has two uses, the first as a synonym for also hence:

Can I come too?

I think thats his bag too


Second, 'too' means excessively when it preceded an adjective or adverb hence:

Im too tired to go out

Youre too generous


'Two' is a number as in one, two, three
The most common confusion is between to and too. Try replacing the word with also or
as well and if the phrase makes sense then use too. Otherwise, and if not a number, then
use to.

Frequently Misused Words


Decimate
Strictly, decimate means to reduce by one-tenth and not to reduce to one-tenth. However,
this usage is now increasingly common, and seems likely to become accepted.

Literally
Literally means actually or without exaggeration. When you say I literally you are
describing something exactly as it happened and without exaggeration. If you were to say
I literally died of boredom you are implying you actually died and the use of literally
is therefore incorrect.

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Lose / Loose
Lose is the opposite of win, whilst loose is the opposite of tight or contained.

Weather / Whether
Weather is usually a noun referring to the atmospheric conditions at a particular point in
time (Whats the weather like there?) but is also a verb meaning affected by the weather
(for example Your fence has really weathered) or even as a figure of speech meaning to get
through or survive something (We weathered the crisis).
Whether is a conjunction that introduces alternatives, for example Whether I win or
lose or You do it whether you like it or not. Whether is similar to if, so if you
could replace the word with if then use whether.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY / DATA ANALYSIS


A group of students in a local school gave a paragraph, on topic My favorite
hobby
A number of errors were made by students while using chain and choice in their
writing script. Some writing mistakes are very common and frequently seen in printed
material. This page details some of the most common and easily avoidable writing
mistakes. By learning to recognise such errors students can improve their writing skills
and avoid common writing mistakes in the future
Writing and Learning Vocabulary

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As far as EFL classrooms are concerned, it is the responsibility of all EFL teachers
to encourage their students to be successful learners as well as to master the language
skills in general and writing in particular. In other words, not only written expression
teachers should pay attention to their students writing style, vocabulary, and mistakes, but
also the teachers of other courses should give their students writing errors the same
importance. In what concerns the Algerian language classrooms, the English language is a
foreign not a second language as in other countries, thats why the Algerian students of
English commit a remarkable number of errors when writing in that target language.
Therefore, having a good background Knowledge in English is quite important for EFL
students. This can be realized by giving a special importance to vocabulary learning as
Thornbury claimed without grammar very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary
nothing can be conveyed. (2002, p.13). In addition, teaching writing is implicitly
embedded in teaching grammar and vice versa, i.e. to write well one should master
grammar rules and mastery grammar rules (sentence structure, tenses,etc) leads to good
writing as it its mentioned in the following:
Teaching writing is of ten about teaching grammar. If grammar comes up any where in
EFL, it is the Writing classroom. (Teaching Writing in the EFL Classroom), Moreover,
EFL teachers should motivate their students to write because of the great impact of such
skill on their learning process as it is argued by Bjork and Raisanen (1997 cited in
Tahaineh,2010, p.78): we highlight the importance of writing in all university curricula
not only because of its immediate practical application, i. e. as an isolated skill or ability,
but be cause we believe that, seen from a broader perspective, writing is a thinking tool. It
is a tool for language development, for critical thinking and, extension, for learning in all
disciplines.
Writing Errors and Their Correction

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It is obvious that every EFL student commit mistakes of different Kinds when
using the target language English. Indeed, the problem is common in all Arab world
countries, as it is stated by Tahaineh (2010) Notwithstanding the exerted attempts to
tackle the difficulties and problems of English language learning / teaching at all levels of
education in the Arab World ; Arab students still encounter serious problems in their
English writing (p.80), Now, the correction of those errors is the teachers mission in
the first place as it is believed in the following: when and how to correct students errors
in the EFL classroom is an issue of concern for every EFL teacher. (Correcting Errors in
the EFL Classroom).Providing feedback is quite helpful for the students to know their
mistakes, so that they avoid them the next time, Harmer stated that Feedback
encompasses not only correcting students, but also offering them an assessment of how
well they have done, whether during a drill or after a longer language production
exercise. (2001, p.99) Sometimes even with their teachers correction, students still
commit the same errors and this what let the teachers wondering One to the things that
puzzle many teachers is why students go on making the same mistakes
even when such mistakes have been repeatedly pointed out to them. (ibid).
The errors we found in our students productions include spelling mistakes in the
first place, mistakes in tenses, in word choice, in word orderetc and the table below
comprises a collection of some of those errors.
Mistakes
- Will organized
- Leaved
- Thinked
- To Keeped
- Langage
- Defer
- Compund
- Diffinition
- bybies

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Type
Verb from Verb from Verb from Verb from Spelling
-

Correction
Will organize
Left
Thought
To Keep
Language
Differ
Compound
Definition
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Spelling
Spelling
Spelling
Spelling

The appearance of those errors refers to the students lack of concentration, lack of
vocabulary, and other factors. To learn from their errors, students should receive feedback
in a way that pushes them to write more and more and this is the teachers role. Teachers
should not over correct their students written productions and should not use the red ink
too much because this may have a negative impact on the students. Most students find it
very dispiriting if they get a piece of written work back and it is covered in red ink,
underlinings and crossings out (Harmer, 2007, p.120) and of course, some pieces of
written work are completely full of mistakes, but even in these cases, overcorrection can
have a very demotivating effect.(ibid).
To benefit from the correction, teachers should make their students a ware of the
kind of errors they often commit by providing some symbols standing for each type and
this idea is shared by both Harmer (2007, p. 121) who stated that Another technique
which many teachers use is to agree on a list of written symbols (S= spelling, WO= Word
order, etc). When they come across a mistake, they underline it discretely and write the
symbol in the margin. This makes correction look less damaging., and weve found a list
of symbols suggested in Hedges work Teaching and Learning in the Language
Classroom (2000, p. 316) as it appears in the figure below:

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Conclusion
However, you can see that the English language is unfortunately complex and most
spelling and grammar checkers will not pick up subtle distinctions between some of the
often-confused words above. Likewise, such checkers will not pick up mistyped words
such as fir instead of for, or if instead of it or indeed spot all missing words.
It is vital that you therefore do not rely on a spell checker to proofread your writing for
you.
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The best advice is to read your writing or, better still, to get someone else to read it and
check it for you. Most people find it easier to spot errors when reading from a printed copy
compared to reading on a computer screen, so print out a copy to read.
6. Conclusion
After discussing, the results revealed that students errors in writing should be taken into
account seriously and work on eliminating or at least reducing their number. Therefore, at
the end of this paper we come to the conclusion that writing problems in EFL classrooms
concern both pillars of the teaching learning process. The students responsibility goes
back mainly to their poor background knowledge in the target language English and
their unawareness of the importance of the writing skill. In addition their lack of
concentration while writing in English stands as the major obstacle in their way of
improving their writing style. As far as EFL teachers are concerned, their responsibility is
in attracting their students attention to the importance of writing, providing enough and
immediate feedback in a way that enhances their students motivation to write more and
more, giving enough written tasks taking into consideration their students needs and
wants to raise their interest in such a crucial skill, encourage them to read a lot so that
theyll enrich their vocabulary as it is stated in the following: Each time and every single
time you read, you should keep growing your database of words, keep looking for new
prominent words.

RECOMMENDATION:
At the end of this work, wed like to state the following recommendations, and we
hope that theyll be taken into consideration in the future:
Where a students appears to have a problem, with the basic syntax of English, it
can often be useful remedial strategy to get him to first constructed simple sentence by
means of cards.
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ACTIVITY:
Give them all the words in written form and in your own presence advise them to
put them in correct order. These cards would have all the necessary words, but the students
would have to put them in the correct order. Some of the cards could also have morphemes
(such as plural s or past tense ed) the them. Using these cards, rather than his notebook, the
learner can build up sentences without the fear of anything other than very temporary and
transient error. He can manipulate, or play with, language and experiment with different
sequences of words.

Here are some examples of such structures cards


THE
BUS

ES

WENT

D
O

G
O

DOE
S

E
S

DI
D

TO TOWN`

NT

FROM THIS BUS


STOP

EFL teachers should:


a. look for new techniques and strategies to help their students improve their level in
writing
b. -encourage and motivate them to read and practice writing
c. -select interesting topics to be given in their writing assignments
d. -encourage them to learn from their errors by providing them with checklists of
those errors, help them to have a positive attitude to wards the correction of errors.
EFL students should:

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a. give enough importance to the writing skill- take their teachers teed back into
account whenever needed
b. not think of their errors correction as a demotivating factor
c. keep in mind is that getting rid of their writing errors is something reachable with a
strong will to do better.

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Gross Writing Errors Found on the Web
That being said, a little attention toward correct spelling and basic grammar rules couldnt
hurt, right? Below you will find some curious, to say the least, errors that we gathered on
the Web.
You are the best mom in the hole world Maybe the person lives in a hole or something,
but he probably wanted to say the whole world.
The kids were very attentive because of the recent tsunami The apostrophe has a wide
range of uses within the English language, but forming plurals is not one of them.
The kids were very attentive.
you might as well ask if less men enter nursing because there are less men in nursing
Less men? Fewer men you mean! Less is used for uncountable things, like less sugar or
less money. For plural things (countable), you must use fewer, like fewer cars.
The stock market made further progress forward yesterday This one is coming from
the New York Times (ouch!). Progress means to move forward or to develop, so progress
forward is a redundancy, and should be avoided. Its like to say that something is
absolutely essential
took me around 1 hour and my cell ran out of credit) to resolve some minor (yet
presistant) issues The issues were persistent, not presistant.
The company provides solutions in the following specialty areas: information technology,
proffesional services and direct hire/search This was found on a LinkedIn resume (ouch
again!). Not sure how professional the services really are.
the importance of the Internet and the roll it plays in our everyday lives The Internet
plays a very important role, not roll, in our lives.
These could of been handy because its easier to look at a more simple, less messy
theme to understand how These could have been, not could of. Also, if something is
more simple it issimpler.

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1K should be sufficient for an ernest payment Ernest is a male name. The good-faith
deposit used in real estate transactions is called earnest payment.
make sure that each of these templates contain the same XHTML/HTML Each refers
to singular subjects, and the verb must agree with the subject. Each of these
templates contains.
The nature of his illness had been kept quite and not many of the crew and cast had seen
much of him in the intervening time The nature of his illness had been kept quiet (not
quite).
A friend will do whatever they can to lift you up when your down because they dont like
to see there friend hurt Friends (not A friend) will do what ever they can. The
pronoun must agree with its antecedent. When youre (not your) down. To see their (not
there) friend.
hes alot like a younger version robert horry, same height, long body This is a mistake
that happens a lot (not alot) around the Internet.

Remember mistakes in writing can be embarrassing and costly - would you buy from
a company whose marketing material was peppered with common mistakes that
could have been easily avoided?
Take some time to familiarise yourself with the mistakes listed on this page and
remember to always get somebody else to check your writing before it is published even the most confident writers make mistakes sumtimes!
Computers and the Internet are revolutionizing the way we create and share information.
Through blogs, wikis and social networks, you can reach literally 1.2 billion of people
without leaving your room.
We have already discussed one such system in the case of verbs. It is important to
realize that such systems occur at all levels of the language hierarchy.

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In the English phonological system vowels are linked sequentially with consonants,
so that the consonant /b/ may be followed by any of the vowels used in the English system.
But linkage between consonants is much less free, and only certain consonants may
follow /b/, such as /l/ or /r/. Other consonants such as /p/ may not be linked at all to /b/ if
they together combine as constituents of a higher unit. Thus we cannot have /pb/ as
immediate constituents of a higher unit.
There is on the other hand a system of choices whereby /b/ may be replaced by /p/,
which like /b/ may also be followed by any of the vowels. There is thus a system of choice
between /b/, /p/ and some other consonants which operates on the principle that if one is
chosen then the others are excluded. In other words it is an "either/or" system of choice.
This can be represented diagrammatically in the following way (which you will recognize
as the familiar "minimal pairs" principle as used in pronunciation practice). The vertical
axis represents the system of choice. The horizontal axis is the axis of chain and is also
known as the Syntagmatic axis.

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Assignment No.2