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The Analysis of Grammatical Errors on Students’ Guided text.pdf · PDF file1 THE ANALYSIS OF GRAMMATICAL ERRORS ON STUDENTS’ GUIDED WRITING. Dwitiya Ari Nugrahaeni . ABSTRACT

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    Dwitiya Ari Nugrahaeni


    This study examined the sources of errors produced by students in Guided Writing

    class. The research question was asked “What are the sources of learners‟ grammatical errors

    in the students‟ Guided Writing drafts?”. Fourteen participants from the Guided Writing class

    were selected to be the participants of this study. The data were obtained from fourteen students‟

    first drafts. The analysis used steps suggested by Corder (1974) in Ellis and Barkhuizen (2005)

    which included: (1) collection of a sample of learner language, (2) identification of errors, (3)

    description of errors, and (4) explanation of errors. To find out the sources of the grammatical

    errors, individual interviews were held. The results of the study revealed that intralingual errors

    were more significant than interlingual errors. This result supported several previous findings

    found by Richards (1971), AbiSamra (2003), Bataineh (2005), Husada (2007) and Sattayatham

    & Honsa (2007). The results also supported several previous finding which viewed that

    interference of L1 was not the major factor in student‟s production of errors in L2 whereas the

    students‟ competency in acquiring L2 played more significant roles (Richards, 1971 in Darus &

    Subramaniam, 2009; Dulay, Burt & Krashen, 1982).

    Key words: error, grammatical error, error analysis, sources, interlingual, intralingual.


    Writing is a multifaceted production of language skills. The ability to write a good and

    proper composition is not an acquired process. It needs a lot of step by step practice, even if it is

    done in the first language. Myles (2002) believes that writing skill is a process that should be

    practiced and learned. It also involves the ability to tell or retell and transform the information in

    the form of text. It is undeniable if not all language learners can successfully produce a good

    writing although they can perform well in other skills. Moreover in the field of education,

    writing in English still becomes the difficult subject. Myles (2002) believes that it is because in

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    writing in L2, learners need more attempt in gaining, formulating, and analyzing ideas. They do

    not only gain the ideas but also have to deliver them in L2 which needs their proficiency in

    exploiting the strategies needed (ibid.).

    This complex area of writing makes it impossible for the learners, especially those

    who learn English as the target language, not to produce errors. According to Dulay, Burt, and

    Krashen (1982) errors are the parts of the students‟ language production that deviate from the

    norm of language. This flaw is an inevitable part in learning a language. Brown (1980) in Darus

    and Ching (2009) argues that error is something that cannot be avoided. Error has become the

    part of students‟ learning and it is natural. Corder (1981) states that error is something that can be

    committed by both native speakers and the language learners. However, both speakers show

    different errors. For the native speakers, error can occur as the „breaches of the code‟, while error

    for the non-native speakers is the parts of the language production which are different from what

    native speakers produce. Chomsky (1965) in Dulay, Burt, and Krashen (1982) differentiates

    errors based on the factors that cause it to happen. The first one is performance error which is

    caused by the carelessness of the students. This type of error was then called mistake. The second

    type is competence error which is caused by the lack of knowledge in using the language.

    Errors can also be classified into two based on the source, which are interlingual and

    intralingual errors. Selinker (1972) in Darus and Subramaniam (2009) believes that interlingual

    is the system where there is separation between the native language system and the second

    language system. It means that actually second language learners have their own system to

    differentiate the native language and the second language. However, they still made errors in

    differentiating it. James (1998) mentions that intralingual errors occur as the result of the deviant

    use of the L2. In this theory, it is believed that learners have acquired the rules of L2 at a certain

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    level, however, errors still occur. Darus and Ching (2009) believe that intralingual errors may be

    caused by failure to understand and apply the rules in L2. Brown (1994) in Darus and Ching

    (ibid.) explaines that at the early stages of learning a second language, learners may be

    influenced mostly by their first language, but once they have acquired some rules in L2, more

    intralingual errors take place. In regards to the error production, many studies showed that

    interlingual error is not the main factor that causes the error to occur in the students‟ writing.

    Richards (1971) in Darus and Subramaniam (2009) showed that interference from the native

    language was not the key factor in the way learners construct sentences in the target language. In

    many research, researchers gave more attention to intralingual and developmental theory.

    Many studies have conducted the analysis on students‟ errors. There are two theories

    that are used to analyze the errors. Until 1960s, contrastive analysis (CA) was applied (Ellis &

    Barkhuizen, 2005). Wardhaugh (1983) as stated in Husada (2007) believes that CA predicts the

    error which can occur in learning the target language by contrasting the linguistic system of L1

    and the target language. Ellis and Barkhuizen (2005) mention one more major purpose of the

    CA, which is to inform which parts of the target language that the teachers need to teach.

    However, CA gained many protests because the errors that CA predicted to occur did not occur

    but those which are not predicted did occur. Besides that, the differences of those two languages

    do not become the major source of error in the target language (Dulay, Burt, Krashen, 1982).

    Seeing many rejections addressed to CA, there is another approach to analyze,

    identify, describe, and explain the errors done by the students which is Error Analysis (Ellis and

    Barkhuizen, 2005). Error analysis becomes more popular because it does not only compare two

    languages and believes that the cause of error is only from the interference on one another, but

    also on how the target language can also become the main source of errors. Lennon (1991) in

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    Ellis and Barkhuizen (2005) believes that the analysis on students‟ errors can be done by

    examining the linguistic context where the errors occur. Corder (1974) in AbiSamra (2003)

    suggests that error analysis has two objectives. The theoretical objective provides ways for

    researchers to see what and how learners learn the second language, and the applied objective

    enables the learner to learn more extensively. Thus, error analysis provides large space of

    analyzing the influence of developmental process in producing the errors. The error analysis will

    be helpful for the teachers to see the areas of L2 that still needs to be emphasized.

    The study of error in writing has been the subject of many studies. Researchers are

    intended to find out what the causes of errors in students‟ productions of language are. Richards

    (1971) in Darus and Ching (2009) argued that error made by the learners appeared because of the

    interference of the strategies they used in acquiring the language, especially the L2. AbiSamra

    (2003) carried out a study which focused on indentifying, describing, categorizing, and

    diagnosing errors in students writing. The study involved 10 students who were in grade 9. They

    shared the same backgrounds: they had been learning English since kindergarte, they were taught

    by American and Canadian teachers, and they spoke Arabic in their daily life. From the students‟

    writing about „planning for the future‟, AbiSamara (ibid.) concluded that 64.1% of the errors

    were caused by intralingual aspects, while the rest was caused by interlingual or transfer from

    their L1. Her conclusion was also supported by Lance (1969), Richard (1971), and Brudhiprabha

    (1972) in AbiSamara (ibid.) who mentioned that only one third of all errors made by second

    language learners could be included in interlingual errors.

    Another study was done by Bataineh (2005). She analyzed the use of indefinite article

    in the the composition written by 209 Jordanian students. Their age ranged from 18 to 23 years

    old. In this study, the participants were asked to write one composition about „Why do you study

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    English?‟, „Yarmouk University campus‟, „violence in movies‟, „car accident‟, or „my favorite

    author/story/poet‟. Based on her identification, she found out that language transfer or

    interlanguage aspect played a very minimal role in the students‟ errors. She also concluded that

    from all errors that she found, only one error could be included in interlingual e

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