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ERIC Number: EJ905525
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-0039-8322
Toward a Taxonomy of Written Errors: Investigation into the Written Errors of Hong Kong Cantonese ESL Learners
Chan, Alice Y. W.
TESOL Quarterly: A Journal for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and of Standard English as a Second Dialect, v44 n2 p295-319 Jun 2010
This article examines common lexicogrammatical problems found in Cantonese English as a second language (ESL) learners' written English output. A study was conducted with 387 student participants, who were asked to do two untutored and unaided free-writing tasks of about 200-300 words each. A range of lexicogrammatical error types commonly found among Hong Kong Cantonese ESL learners was identified. Errors from the lexical level included vocabulary compensation and inaccurate directionality; errors from the syntactic level included calquing, existential structures, incorrect ordering of adverbials, and independent clauses as subjects; and those from the discourse level included periphrastic-topic constructions. Mother-tongue influence was inevitably an important source of the problems, but inadequate mastery of correct usage of the target language and universal processes were also important factors. The results of the study have potential for enhancing our understanding of the interlanguage grammar of learners and the nature, sources, and prevalence of learner problems. The results also have promising pedagogical implications, as they inform teachers of the levels, nature, sources, prevalence, and gravity of learner errors and equip them with the key ingredients needed for the design of appropriate remedial instructional materials. A discussion of how the taxonomical classification would be useful for language teachers is also given. (Contains 5 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong