Analysing Errors among Form One Students’ Written English Composition in a Private Chinese School

Madahvi Vethamaiccam, Malini Ganapathy


Students’ studying in a private Chinese school have to master three languages which are Malay, English and Chinese. The first language is Chinese and English which is the second language acquired in school. Students face problems in learning the English language as they need to master the four skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing. Out of these four skills, writing is the major problem among the students. So, this study is aimed at in analyzing errors made by the form one students studying in a private Chinese school in the writing component. There were thirty seven students who wrote an essay on ‘The Hero’s Journey’. As the students are from Chinese speaking community who only speaks English language during the lessons, they find it difficult to write essays especially when there is a need to express them. All their errors in the essays were identified and classified into various categories. The results showed that the most common errors were made in mechanics, tenses, prepositions, subject-verb-agreement and word choice. This study has highlighted some aspects shared by the students and teachers who are teaching them to internalize the rules of the target language – English language. This study will enable English as second language teachers to understand the nature of the problems faced by students in writing essays and thus, prepare effective teaching materials to teach the students to write a better piece of essay.



Error analysis, English as a second language, essays in English, writing, grammatical errors.

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