An Error Analysis of English Paragraphs Written by First Year Debre Markos College Teacher Education Students: A Discourse Analysis Perspective

Kebede Gedefaw Abie


The objective of this study was to identify the types of errors in paragraph writing in English made by first year Debre Markos College Teacher Education (DMCTE) students. Eight hundred and forty students was the total population. From the total population, 260 students were selected to write a paragraph about their autobiography for analysis using stratified sampling technique. Ferris’s (2005) category of errors was used as a framework for analysis. The common errors found were morphological, syntactic, lexical and mechanical errors which contain many sub-branches in each. The numbers of errors were calculated as percentage. Based on the formats used in the study, 1730 errors were made by the students. From these, 604 (34.9%) morphological, 96 (5.54%) mechanical, 542 (31.3%) syntactic, and 488(28.2%) lexical errors were identified. The highest error students commit from the above lists was morphological error like verb error, noun error, and article or determiner errors. This shows that most errors committed by DMCTE students are laid on morphological errors and the least errors are on mechanical errors. This indicates that most of the students couldn’t identify the major components of morphological structures of sentence in English language. Finally, teachers should be more aware of the most common types of errors that students regularly commit and provide the necessary follow up work to check the problem areas which is useful to give feedback to improve students writing skills. .

Keywords: Error Analysis, paragraph writing, students

DOI: 10.7176/JLLL/62-02

Publication date: November 30th 2019

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