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A Study on Investigating the Writing Errors of ESL Sinhalese Learners

Abstract

This study investigated errors committed by first year undergraduates whose first language is Sinhala. The study examined the corpus of 60 papers written by 30 participants. Through the study, the types of errors in written English were identified and classified into various categories. The most common errors committed by the participants were subject verb agreement, the use of coordinating conjunction ‘and’, collective nouns, indefinite pronouns and relative pronouns. The study is important to educators and study material developers who should become aware of the kind of errors that their target learners make, so that they are in a better position to put appropriate intervention strategies into place. For learners, error analysis is important as it shows the areas of difficulty in their writing. The limitations and some pedagogical implications for future study are included at the end of this research paper.

Keywords—error analysis, English as a second language, first language, language acquisition, language learning, grammatical errors, frequency of occurrence, subject verb agreement, indefinite pronoun, collective nouns and relative pronoun.

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