Sentence-level Errors in ESL Writers’ Diagnostic Essays: What students have achieved and what we can do

| January 21, 2014

| Volume 3 Index July 2009 |

Full articles

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Title

Sentence-level Errors in ESL Writers’ Diagnostic Essays: What students have achieved and what we can do.

 Author

Leah Espada-Gustilo. 

De La Salle University

Manila

Philippines

 

Bio

Dr. Leah Espada Gustilo received her PhD in 2007. Since then she has been on the full-time faculty of the Department of English and Applied Linguistics at De La Salle University-Manila, Philippines, teaching English communication, discourse analysis, qualitative research, translation and editing, and foundations of language. Her research interests concern contrastive rhetoric, computer-mediated discourse analysis, and ESL writing. She has published articles on contrastive rhetoric and online self-presentation.

Abstract

This study is part of the larger project which aims at identifying the

linguistic features found in the diagnostic essays of freshmen college students from five private schools in Metro Manila, Philippines, in their first week of classes. The intention is to find out what structures students have acquired in their developing linguistic

competence prior to their English Communication One instruction in college in order to identify their needs. This report focuses on the analysis of sentence-level errors and suggests ways for pedagogical enhancement. Findings show that the most frequently occuring errors are related to punctuation usage (comma), vocabulary (word form and word choice), verb usage, prepositions, run-on and fragments, noun endings (plural/singular and articles), and even as basic as capitalization usage. All errors equally occur in all proficiency levels except word choice, capitalization, and missing or unnecessary comma, which have the lowest occurrence in level three proficiency. The findings will prove beneficial for curricular enhancement.

Category: 2009