In the Name of God
the Beneficent,
the Merciful

معاونت پژوهش و فن آوري
به نام خدا
منشور اخلاق پژوهش
با ياري از خداوند سبحان و اعتقاد به اين كه عالم محضر خداست و همواره ناظر بر اعمال انسان و به منظور پاس داشت مقام بلند دانش و پژوهش و نظر به اهميت جايگاه دانشگاه در اعتلاي فرهنگ و تمدن بشري، ما دانشجويان و اعضاء هيئت علمي واحدهاي دانشگاه آزاد اسلامي متعهد مي گرديم اصول زير را در انجام فعاليت هاي پژوهشي مد نظر قرار داده و از آن تخطي نكنيم:
1- اصل حقيقت جويي: تلاش در راستاي پي جويي حقيقت و وفاداري به آن و دوري از هرگونه پنهان سازي حقيقت.
2- اصل رعايت حقوق: التزام به رعايت كامل حقوق پژوهشگران و پژوهيدگان (انسن،حيوان ونبات) و ساير صاحبان حق.
3- اصل مالكيت مادي و معنوي: تعهد به رعايت كامل حقوق مادي و معنوي دانشگاه و كليه همكاران پژوهش.
4- اصل منافع ملي: تعهد به رعايت مصالح ملي و در نظر داشتن پيشبرد و توسعه كشور در كليه مراحل پژوهش.
5- اصل رعايت انصاف و امانت: تعهد به اجتناب از هرگونه جانب داري غير علمي و حفاظت از اموال، تجهيزات و منابع در اختيار.
6- اصل رازداري: تعهد به صيانت از اسرار و اطلاعات محرمانه افراد، سازمان ها و كشور و كليه افراد و نهادهاي مرتبط با تحقيق.
7- اصل احترام: تعهد به رعايت حريم ها و حرمت ها در انجام تحقيقات و رعايت جانب نقد و خودداري از هرگونه حرمت شكني.
8- اصل ترويج: تعهد به رواج دانش و اشاعه نتايج تحقيقات و انتقال آن به همكاران علمي و دانشجويان به غير از مواردي كه منع قانوني دارد.
9- اصل برائت: التزام به برائت جويي از هرگونه رفتار غيرحرفه اي و اعلام موضع نسبت به كساني كه حوزه علم و پژوهش را به شائبه هاي غيرعلمي مي آلايند.
معاونت پژوهش و فن آوري
به نام خدا
تعهد اصالت رساله یا پایان نامه تحصیلی
اینجانب سیدرضاموسوی مقدم دانش آموخته مقطع کارشناسی ارشد در رشته آموزش زبان انگلیسی که در تاریخ 27/6/1392 از پایان نامه خود تحت عنوان:
Overt-Correction vs. Recasts and Grammar Performance
of Iranian Male Learners of English
با کسب نمره 18/80 دفاع نموده ام بدینوسیله متعهد می شوم:
1) این پایان نامه حاصل تحقیق و پژوهش انجام شده توسط اینجانب بوده و در مواردی که از دستاوردهای علمی و پژوهشی دیگران(اعم از پایان نامه, کتاب, مقاله و …)استفاده نموده ام, مطابق ضوابط و رویه موجود, نام منبع مورد استفاده و سایر مشخصات آنرا در فهرست مربوطه ذکر و درج کرده ام.
2) این پایان نامه قبلاً برای هیچ مدرک تحصیلی( هم سطح, پایین تر یا بالاتر) در سایر دانشگاه ها و موسسسات آموزش عالی ارائه نشده است.
3) چنانچه بعد از فراغت از تحصیل, قصد استفاده و هرگونه بهره برداری اعم از چاپ کتاب, ثبت اختراع و … از پایان نامه داشته باشم, از حوزه معاونت پژوهشی واحد مجوزهای مربوطه را اخذ نمایم.
4) چنانچه در هر مقطع زمانی خلاف موارد فوق ثابت شود, عواقب ناشی از آن را می پذیرم و دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی واحد آباده مجاز است با اینجانب مطابق ضوابط و مقررات رفتار نموده و در صورت ابطال مدرک تحصیلی ام هیچگونه ادعایی نخواهم داشت.
نام و نام خانوادگی:سیدرضاموسوی مقدم
تاریخ و امضاء
ISLAMIC AZAD UNIVERSITY
ABADEH BRANCH
English Language Department
Thesis for receiving (M.A.) degree on English Language Teaching
Title
Overt-Correction vs. Recasts and Grammar Performance of Iranian Male Learners of English.
Thesis Advisor:
F. Behjat, Ph.D.
Consulting Advisor:
M. Rostampour, Ph.D.
By:
Seyyed Reza Mousavi Moghaddam
Summer 2013
صورتجلسه دفاع از پایان نامه کارشناسی ارشد ((M.A
نام و نام خانوادگی دانشجو : سیدرضا موسوی مقدم در تاریخ 27/6/1392 رشته : آموزش زبان انگلیسی
از پایان نامه خود با عنوان :
Overt-Correction vs. Recasts and Grammar Performance
of Iranian Male Learners of English
با درجه عالی ونمره 18/80 دفاع نموده است.

نام و نام خانوادگی اعضاء هیات داوری سمت امضاء اعضای هیات داوری
1 – دکترفاطمه بهجت استاد راهنما

2 – دکترمحمدرستم پور استاد مشاور
3 – دکترسیدجمال عبدالرحیم زاده استاد داور
مراتب فوق مورد تایید است . مدیر/معاونت پژوهشی
مهر و امضاء
Acknowledgements
I am very grateful to Allah, the Almighty, for His showers of blessings throughout my research work, and the strength and perseverance He granted me to continue up to the very end both during my MA studies and when I was completing my MA thesis.
Though only my name appears on the cover of this thesis, a great number of generous and incredibly supportive people contributed and extended their valuable assistance in the preparation and completion of this study. This thesis would not have been possible without their support, encouragement, advice, and contribution. I would like to take this opportunity to show my sincere gratitude to each and every one of them.
First and foremost, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my thesis supervisor, Dr. Fatemeh Behjat, for giving me the opportunity to work on the present topic, which was my favorite one, and providing invaluable guidance throughout this study. She has taught me the methodology to carry out the research and to present the research work as clearly as possible. She provided valuable clues as to what was involved in writing a not-so easy thesis. Her painstaking effort in proof reading the drafts led to minor and major changes throughout. Every time I gave her parts of my work to read and comment on, she did so promptly. I have been amazingly fortunate to have a supervisor who has supported me throughout my thesis with her patience and knowledge whilst allowing me the room to work in my own way. It was a great privilege and honor to work and study under her guidance. I am extremely grateful for what she has offered me. Most of all, I salute her for standing by me at times of difficulty. One simply could not wish for a better or friendlier supervisor.
Equally, I would like to give my special thanks to Dr. Mohammad Rostampour, the honorable reader, for his encouragement and insightful comments. Every time I asked him questions, immediately, no matter where he was, he loaded me with enlightening answers. Notwithstanding all of the above support for this project, any errors, problems, and flaws are solely my own.
I appreciate the whole teaching team of the MA courses who taught me during the past two years at Azad University of Abadeh, Iran. I personally think when you write a thesis, you are not only getting help from your supervisor, but drawing on knowledge learnt from all the other subjects.
This thesis would not have been completed without the generous support and help from the students and administrative staff at the Iran Language Institute, Yazd branch, Iran, where I carried out the current study and collected my data. I am deeply grateful for their immense interest in the study and their cooperation during the data collection period.
Last but not least, I would like to thank my parents for their unconditional support, both financially and emotionally throughout my studies. I thank my father for encouraging me to embark on the project and for being a stalwart at all times. I thank my mother for her tender, loving care and compassion. I thank my two sisters for their love, kindness, and prayers throughout this endeavor. This thesis is indeed a realization of their dream.
To my parents:
Thank you for correcting my grammar when I was a kid;
it is about time to enjoy the fruits of your hard work.
Table of Contents
Title Page
Acknowledgements………………………………………………………….…….VI
List of Tables………………………………………………………………………X
List of Figures………………………………………………………………….……X
Abstract……………………………………………………………………………XI
Chapter One: Introduction
Preliminaries……………………………………………………………………….2
Statement of Problem ……………………………………………………………..3
The Significance of the study………………………………………………..…….4
Objectives of the Study……………………………………………..……………..5
Research Questions and Hypotheses…………………..…………………………..5
Definition of the Key Terms…………………….…………………………………6
Chapter Two: Review of the Literature
Introduction………………………………………………………………………10
Errors and Mistakes….……………………………………………………………11
Types of Errors to Be Corrected………………………………………………12
The Best Time for Error Correction……………………………………….…19
Teacher-, Peer-, or Self-Correction…………………………………….…….23
Corrective Feedback from Different Viewpoints…………………………..…….26
Positive Perspectives on Corrective Feedback………………………….……28
Negative perspectives on Corrective Feedback……………………………….33
Types of Corrective Feedback………………………………………..………….36
Overt Correction……………………………………………………….……..42
Recasts…………………………………………………………………….….49
Declarative and Interrogative Recasts………………………………….58
Advantages and Disadvantages of Recasts……………………………..59
Uptake…………………………..………………………………………………..63
Final Remarks……………………………..……………………………………..65
Chapter Three: Method
Introduction……………………………………………………………..………..69
Setting and Participants………………………………..…………………………69
Instruments………………………………..………………………………………70
Procedures……………………………………..…………………………………71
Data Analysis………………………………………………………………….…73
Design……………………………………………………………………..……..73
Chapter Four: Data Analysis and Results
Introduction…………………………………………..…………………………..75
Results…………………………………………..………………………………..75
Chapter Five: Summary, Discussion, and Conclusion
Introduction……………………………..………………………………………..84
Summary…………………………………………………………………………84
Discussion……………………………………………………………………..…86
Conclusion………………………………………………………………………..89
Pedagogical Implications………………………..……………………………….90
Limitations of the Study……………………………..……………………………92
Suggestions for Further Research……………………..…………………………93
References…………………………………………………………………………95
Appendices……………………………………………………………………….118
Appendix A: Test of Grammar…………………………………………………119
Appendix B: Reliability Calculation……………………………………………122
Appendix C: Consent form……………………………………………..………125
List of Tables
Title Page
Table 2.1 Twelve Descriptive Studies of Classroom CF in Ascending Order of CF Moves per Hour…………………………………………………………………….57
Table 4.1 Descriptive Statistics for the Participants’ Homogeneity in the Pre-test..75
Table 4.2 Independent Samples t-test for the Homogeneity of the Recast and Overt Correction Groups………………………………………………………………….76
Table 4.3 Descriptive Statistics for the Overt Correction Group….……………….76
Table 4.4 Paired Samples t-test for the Overt Correction Group……..……………77
Table 4.5 Descriptive Statistics for the Recast Group…………….………………..78
Table 4.6 Paired Samples t-test for the Recast Group……………..………………78
Table 4.7 Group Statistics for the Recast and Overt Correction Groups……..……79
Table 4.8 Independent Samples t-test for the Overt Correction and Recast Groups79
Table 4.9 Percentages of the Responses……………………………………………81
Table 4.10 Chi-square Test Results……………..…………………………………81
List of Figures
Figure 2.1………………………………………………………………………..…52
Abstract
The need to make corrections is inherent in the teaching profession, but teachers are often unsure as to how much to correct, or even how to go about it. Although a large body of research examined the effectiveness of certain types of error treatment methods, there has been little research done to investigate the efficacy of different types of corrective feedback on EFL learners’ grammar accuracy through eliciting repeated performances. The main objective of the study was to see if two types of corrective feedback, overt correction and recast, could help Iranian EFL learners’ grammar achievement at the intermediate level. The study was also an attempt to see which of these two types of corrective feedback could lead to a better grammar achievement. In addition, two methods of recast, declarative and interrogative, were under investigation to figure out which method of recast Iranian EFL learners at the intermediate level preferred to be used by instructors. Fifty male EFL students studying at the intermediate level at the Iran Language Institute, Yazd branch, Iran, took part in this study. They were divided into two groups who received corrective feedback through overt correction and recast. A pre-test was administered at the beginning before the consecutive process of corrective feedback provision started, and a post-test was given at the end when the process finished. The procedure of test administration and the content was the same for both overt correction and recast groups. The only difference was in the treatment, in which the errors of the overt correction group were corrected overtly, but the errors of the recast group were corrected implicitly. The results of the study indicated that both overt correction and recast as two types of corrective feedback could help Iranian language learners at the intermediate level develop their grammar knowledge over the instruction. Between-groups comparison revealed that there was no significant difference between the overt correction and recast groups with regard to their grammar performance. Additionally, a survey was conducted to explore the participants’ preferable type of recast, declarative or interrogative. A careful consideration of the percentages of declarative and interrogative recast choices showed a significant preference for interrogative recasts by the group receiving recasts in their class. The findings of this study suggested that both overt correction and recast are equally beneficial and might facilitate the process of grammar acquisition by Iranian EFL learners at the intermediate level.
Keywords: Corrective Feedback, Declarative Recasts, Grammar Knowledge, Interrogative Recasts, Overt Correction, Recasts.
Chapter One
Introduction
Preliminaries
Error correction of both oral and written mistakes occupies a prominent place in English Language Teaching (ELT) literature and continues to be a divisive issue. In the past, the consensus was that errors of any kind were bad. While reading aloud in class, students would have every pronunciation mistake corrected on the spot. In written work, all mistakes would be shown, very seriously put in red ink. Offering an answer in class often risked losing face and sometimes being reprimanded for being lazy if the answer was incorrect. More recently, however, in English language classrooms, there has been a shift in attitude to errors. Errors are regarded as indicators that learners are experimenting with a language, or testing out a new language hypothesis, or progressing in general.
Correction is called for in any ELT class since learners consider correction as a source of improvement (Chaudron, 1988, as cited in Celce-Murcia, 2001), but it is the teacher who determines the most proper time for correction, the best type of it and whether to correct or not. Teachers can exploit the errors that a learner makes to show him the current state of his English and to determine the content of future practice. There are different types of correction (Celce-Murcia, 2001; Brown, 2007): overt/ explicit/ direct (Brown, 2007), implicit/ indirect (Richards & Schmidt, 2002), peer-correction (Paulston & Bruder, 1976), self-correction (Swain, 1985), clarification request, repetition, recast, metalinguistic feedback, elicitation (Brown, 2007). According to Brown (2007, p. 379), “corrective feedback includes responses to learners’ produced utterances which repair or call attention to their errors”.
Although there are different points of view towards error correction and the type of feedback we can give to treat errors, teachers are responsible to provide learners with feedback on even the most persistent of errors, but if they do not, fossilization becomes inevitable.
It is also known that the acquisition of grammar is a gradual process. What teachers teach and what students learn are not always directly linked. So, we cannot put our expectations too high about the complete disappearance of learners’ errors soon after receiving our feedback.
The current study focuses on two correction methods: overt correction (explicit correction) and recasts (reformulation). In addition, two types of recasts (i.e. declarative and interrogative) will be examined. Declarative recasts are the ones based on which the recast is provided with falling intonation as a declarative statement, and interrogative recasts is a recast provided with rising intonation as a question.
Statement of Problem
There is disagreement among second and foreign language researchers over the extent and the type of feedback that maybe useful in second language acquisition. It has long been assumed by foreign language teachers and by researchers working in the area of corrective feedback that corrective feedback provision by teachers helps students to acquire correct linguistic forms and structures. As a result, they are concerned with discovering the most effective ways of providing corrective feedback so that students improve their grammar knowledge. Therefore, a lack of total agreement on the type of feedback given to students by teachers can be observed in English language classes. Additionally, language learners usually have different viewpoints on the type of feedback they receive from their teachers. While some students prefer to be corrected directly by their teachers, others are more comfortable with indirect corrections done by teachers. That is why language instructors sometimes face the dilemma of how to correct their students’ language problems.
Although a great body of research has been done on corrective feedback (Russell, 2009; Sauro, 2009; Büyükbay & Dabaghi, 2010; Lyster & Saito, 2010; Abadikhah & Ashoori, 2012; Lyster & Ranta, 2013; Lyster, Saito, & Sato, 2013 ) and its role on learning a new language, only a few studies have attempted to directly investigate whether learners who receive overt correction on their errors are able to improve their grammar performance compared with those who receive recasts (Dabaghi, 2006; Shirazi & Sadighi, 2012).

The Significance of the Study
Making errors by EFL learners is inevitable, and consequently teachers cannot neglect their duties regarding correcting these errors. Language teachers want their students to be able to understand and use the corrective feedback they provide; it is essential to consider, therefore, what kinds of corrective feedback are the most easily noticeable, unambiguous, and helpful for learners.
If teachers can identify the effective strategies to provide learners with corrective feedback, learners will acquire the correct forms of new language structures more effectively. Thus, both teachers and learners will gain maximum benefit from choosing an effective way of providing corrective feedback at the same time. Therefore, this study will contribute a new implication to the area of foreign language learning and error treatment.
Objectives of the Study
Since corrective feedback has long been regarded as an essential strategy for the development of a second or foreign language skills, the purpose of the present study is to explore whether recasts and overt correction as two methods of corrective feedback can lead to Iranian EFL learners’ grammar achievement. Besides, the present study is an attempt to find out which method of corrective feedback, overt correction or recast, can help Iranian EFL learners at the intermediate level achieve more grammar knowledge. In addition, it is aimed at investigating which method of recast Iranian EFL students prefer to be used by their teachers, declarative or interrogative.

Research Questions and Hypotheses
This study is an attempt to answer the following research questions:
1. Does each of these types of corrective feedback, overt correction and recast, help the grammar achievement of Iranian EFL learners at the intermediate level?
2. Which of these types of corrective feedback, overt correction or recast, help Iranian EFL learners at the intermediate level achieve more in their grammar knowledge?
3. Which methods of recast, declarative or interrogative, do Iranian EFL learners at the intermediate level prefer their instructors to use as a feedback to their grammar performances?
Based on the above-mentioned research questions, three null hypotheses were formed as follows:
1. Overt correction and recast do not help Iranian EFL learners at the Intermediate level achieve more in their grammar knowledge.
2. There is no significant difference between using overt correction and recast on the grammar achievement of Iranian EFL learners at the intermediate level.
3. Iranian EFL learners do not have any special preference for declarative or interrogative recasts.
Definition of the Key Terms
The key terms used in this study are corrective feedback, declarative recast, foreign language, grammar knowledge, interrogative recast, overt correction and recast.
Corrective feedback: Corrective feedback is described by Lightbown and Spada (2003) as “an indication to a learner that his or her use of the target language is incorrect.”(p.172). Simply, in this study it refers to teachers’ responses to learners’ errors.
Declarative recast: This type of recast states that something is wrong in a student’s sentence through statements and the repetition of the same sentence produced by the student.
Foreign language: This is a language other than one’s mother tongue. One learns it, but he does not have the opportunity to use it within his own country, and he is not exposed to it so much.
Grammar knowledge: Grammar knowledge in general is the same as linguistic knowledge. One’s knowledge of the phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics of the language is referred to as grammatical knowledge. In specific cases, grammar knowledge may specifically refer to the knowledge of syntax.
Interrogative recast: This type of recast indicates that something is wrong in a student’s sentence through asking a question directly or restating the sentence as a question.
Overt correction: Overt correction refers to the process of providing learners with direct forms of feedback.
Recast: Long (2006) states that corrective recast may be defined as a reformulation of all or part of a learner’s immediately preceding utterance in which one or more non-target-like items such as lexical, grammatical, etc. are replaced by the corresponding target language form(s), and where, throughout the exchange, the focus of the interlocutors is on meaning not language as an object. To put it simply, teachers reformulate all or part of students’ utterances but do not explicitly say that the utterance is wrong.
Chapter Two
Review of the Literature
Introduction
A glance at the literature on error correction sheds light on the key issues that surround the provision of corrective feedback in language pedagogy. The earliest error correction research was in the contrastive analysis era. At that juncture, differences between the native and the target language were considered to stop errors happening in language learning. There are different understandings about the causes of errors and how best to deal with them in teaching. Due to the complexity of the topic and various opinions, this chapter is organized into six main parts. The first part deals with error. It offers definitions of error, classifications of errors followed by the findings from empirical research on error to examine what errors should be corrected. Then, the best time for error correction, including studies that have taken timing of error correction into account will be reviewed. This will be followed by a summary of the literature related to the choice of corrector, i.e. teacher-, peer-, or self-correction.
The second part will initially clarify corrective feedback from different viewpoints in order to provide a clear definition of the term used in this study. Then, it will present positive and negative perspectives on the practice of corrective feedback. In the third part, various types of corrective feedback will be discussed. Next, two commonly used types of corrective feedback, overt correction and recasts, will be specifically examined. This part is also dedicated to presenting two types of recasts, declarative and interrogative. In addition, the advantages and disadvantages of recasts, the most frequently observed corrective feedback technique, is also highlighted in the review. The next part will discuss uptake and its correlation with error correction. Finally, a summary of the chapter will conclude the unresolved issues in topics discussed.
Errors and Mistakes
The terms ‘error’ and ‘mistake’ are two concepts of different natures. Long (1977) defined an error as:
(1) Any phonological, morphological, syntactic or lexical deviance in the form of what students say from a standard variety of English which is attributable to the application by the learner of incorrect grammatical rules,
(2) Recognizable misconstrual of or lack of factual information,
(3) A breach of rules of classroom discourse, and
(4) A bit of student language behavior treated as an example of (1), (2) or (3) by the teacher (p. 279).
Hendrickson (1978, p.387) defined ‘error’ as “an utterance, form, or structure that a particular language teacher deems unacceptable because of its inappropriate use or its absence in real-life discourse”. Likewise, Chaudron (1986) identified errors in his study based on the following criteria:
(1) An objective evaluation of linguistic or content errors according to linguistic norms or evident misconstrual of fact, and
(2) Any additional linguistic or other behavior that the teachers reacted to negatively or with no indication that improvement of the response was expected (p. 67).
Han (2002) believed that error pertains to knowledge system and cognition while mistake has to do with the practice of the system. It could be said that error indicates the lack of knowledge. On the other hand, a mistake indicates that the learner has the correct knowledge but cannot use it. Therefore, error is systematic while mistake has no specific pattern. A second language learner is able to recognize a mistake but not an error. Similarly, Mirzaei and Saadati (2010) differentiated between the terms ‘error’ and ‘mistake’. A mistake is often considered to be a spoken or written slip committed by a native speaker who, once the slip is pointed out, would be able to self-correct. An error, on the other hand, is made by a non-native speaker who does not recognize the error and is therefore unable to correct it. One objection to this might be that many native speakers make mistakes which, using Standard English as a base, they are unable to recognize and correct; the distinction then becomes spurious.
Types of Errors to Be Corrected
When teaching a language, a teacher faces many errors committed by the students. Teachers must never stop helping students when it is their goal to use a standard form for what they wish to convey. Although it is impossible to correct all the errors committed by the learners, it could be possible to correct the most important and the most frequent ones. A variety of proposals have been suggested by language teaching methodologists regarding which errors to correct (Raimes, 1983; Edge, 1989; Ferris, 1999; Harmer, 2007). Corder (1967) differentiated between “errors” and “mistakes” and suggested that errors, which are performance phenomena, should be the focus of attention in the classrooms. According to Cohen (1975), “errors related to a specific pedagogic focus deserve higher attention than other less important errors” (pp. 414-22).
Burt (1975) distinguished between global and local errors. Global errors are errors that affect overall sentence organization such as conjunctions, errors with the use of subjects, objects, complements, run-on sentences, misplacement, relative clauses, sentences fragments, inversion, and errors with other construction while local errors are those which affect single elements in a sentence such as verbs, nouns, determiners, prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns. According to him, teachers should only take into account global errors which block communication flow. However, none of these proposals is easy to implement in practice (Ellis, 2009; Hinkel, 2011; Sheen 2011). Richards, Platt, and Platt (1992) gave the following examples of global and local errors:
Global error: ‘I like take taxi but my friend said so not that we should be late for school’.
Local error: ‘If I heard from him, I will let you know’.
A different approach to the choice of which error to correct for the teachers is to adopt what Sheen (2007b) called “focused corrective feedback”. In this approach, one specific erroneous linguistic form is corrected at a time while waiting for other types of linguistic problems to be corrected in future lessons. For example, a teacher can correct just the present perfect tense errors at one time and tag question errors at another. A number of researchers shed light on the effectiveness of focused correction (Han, 2001; Lyster, 2004; Bitchener, Young, & Cameron, 2005).
A number of studies were conducted on the issue. Scot and Tucker (1974) analyzed the sources, types, and frequency of the grammar errors generated by 22 Arabic pre-intermediate students at an intensive English course at the American university of Beirut. Their results revealed that verbs, prepositions, articles, and relative clauses were the students’ most frequent errors. In the area of verbs, they calculated 19% of the finite verbs used in the students’ writings were erroneous. Auxiliaries and copula were the next very frequent errors.
Abbott (1980) examined the grammar errors created by Arab students in the area of restrictive clauses. The findings indicated that 57% of the attempted relative clauses were erroneous. The types of errors committed were repetition of relative pronoun subject, repetition of relative pronoun object, wrong selection of relative pronouns and using redundant prepositions.
By the same token, Mariko (2007) studied grammatical development in second language acquisition (SLA) via indentifying Japanese learners’ errors of spoken and written English in terms of noun-, verb-, and other part-of-speech-related errors. Substantial bodies of spoken and written data were used to investigate differences between spontaneous spoken production and less time-pressured written production to show the acquisition sequence of certain grammatical features in the different modes. This study was an attempt to answer the following research questions: (1) Are there any differences in rates of part-of-speech accuracy between spoken and written second language (L2) production? And (2) What differences can be observed in patterns of noun- and verb-related errors in different production modes? The results revealed that verbal errors were firmly associated with lower-level learners, and nominal errors with advanced-level learners. Furthermore, noun-related errors shared common developmental patterns, while other varied uniquely across proficiency levels. Moreover, some types of errors did not steadily disappear during the acquisition process.
Also, Lee and Seneff (2008) conducted an analysis of interference, a factor playing an important role in inhibiting the acquisition of English among young German learners in schools in Germany. The data were gathered from an empirical study of errors in essays written by students in six schools. The findings of the study revealed that, despite having gone through six years of learning English in school environment, the learners were still having difficulty in using correct English grammar in their writings. The three most frequent errors were as follows: 1) the use of articles (22.37%), 2) subject-verb agreement (46.83%), 3) copula ‘be’ (30.8%). This study also proved that omission and misselection were the two most common types of errors in all three grammatical categories. Although not all errors were due to mother tongue interference, a large number of errors identified in the use of determiners, subject-verb agreement, and copula ‘be’ reflected the interference of German grammar.
For the same reason, Darus and Subramanian (2009) examined grammar errors in corpus of 72 essays written by 72 Malay students studying at a secondary school. The participants came from non-English speaking background and hardly communicated in English outside the school. All of the errors of their written essays were identified and classified in to various categories. The results of the study showed that six most common error committed by the participants were singular/plural form, verb tense, word choice, preposition, subject-verb agreement and word order. These aspects of writing in English posed the most difficult problems to participants.
Abeywickrama (2010) focused on errors in English essay writing of Sinhala speaking undergraduates to identify whether the first language (L1) transfer is the major cause for errors in English writing of Sinhala undergraduates if this were to be true, then it could be concluded that the reason behind all those errors was negative L1 transfer/ mother tongue interference. He identified and described Sinhala essay writing and tried to minimize the problems encountered in their English writing. Samples of written assignments were collected from 60 students in the first and the second academic years. These students were provided with the topics ‘My University Life’ or ‘An Unforgettable Day in My Life’ and asked to write on them in 200 to 250 words. They were given sufficient time to write. This high objective and outcome-oriented investigation reflected that negative L1 transfer/interference was not the major cause for errors in the English writing of Sinhala speaking undergraduates.
In addition, Ting, Mahadhir, and Chang’s (2010) study was concerned with the grammatical types of errors in spoken English of university students who were less proficient in English. The data were obtained from the simulated oral interactions of 42 students taking part in five role-play situations during the 14-week semester. Error analysis of 126 oral interactions indicated that the six common grammar errors committed by the learners were preposition, question, plural form of nouns, article, subject-verb agreement, and tense. Preposition and question were the most difficult for the less proficient students constituting about 25% of total errors, followed by word form and article (about 11% each). The other types of errors were relatively less frequent: subject-verb agreement, plural form of nouns, tense, pronoun, misordering of question, and negative statements. The findings also indicated an increase in grammatical accuracy in the students’ spoken English towards the end of their course (about 50 hours in 14 weeks), implying that an oral communication course can have perceptible effects on less proficient students’ oral abilities.
Stapa and Izahar (2010) probed in to errors on subject-verb agreement among post-graduate teacher trainees in a college in Malaysia. Twenty postgraduate (English Language Studies) students from a teachers’ training college from the northern state of Malaysia took part in the study. They investigated 5 types of subject-verb agreements errors: subject-verb-agreement of person, subject-verb- agreement of number, agreement with coordinated subject, agreement with indefinite expression of amount and also notional agreement and proximity. Two types of written compositions, argumentative and factual, were analyzed in order to identify the problems in writing grammatically correct subject-verb agreement by the students. The findings indicated that the majority of the students committed errors in subject-verb agreement, particularly in subject-verb agreement of number and followed by subject-verb agreement of person.
Likewise, Abbasi and Karimnia (2011) investigated a number of grammatical errors that were committed by Iranian students in their translation and compared the errors of junior and senior students to reach their possible dominant errors which had not been remedied during the years of studying at university. With this intention, errors in translation of eighty Translation students, forty seniors and forty juniors from Azad and Payam-e-Noor University in the academic year of 2009-2010 were examined. Analysis of errors in students’ translation revealed significant shortfalls in English grammar. The results revealed that 98% of the students had problems grammatically, and most errors that the students produced were of interlingual errors, indicating the influence of the mother language.
Kovac (2011) examined the frequency and distribution of speech errors, as well as the influence of the task type on their rate. 101 engineering students took part in this study in Croatia. A recorded speech sample in the English language (L2) lasting for approximately ten hours was transcribed, whereby more than three and a half thousand speech errors were recorded. Morphological errors were dominant due to a significantly frequent omission of articles. Statistical testing of the influence of the task type on speech errors indicated that the retelling of a chronological order of events resulted in a significantly higher rate of syntactic errors compared to other tasks.
More recently, Mohaghegh, Zarandi, and Shariati (2011) studied the frequency of the grammatical errors related to the four categories of preposition, relative pronoun, article, and tense



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