Case Study: Error Analysis of Turkish EFL Learner

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This case study titled Error Analysis of Turkish EFL Learner. It aims to find out the types and frequency of errors that Turkish learners’ made in their writing. Furthermore, the researcher also find out which factor that causes these errors whether interlingual or intralingual and what are the learners’ opinions about the feedback they get about their writing assignments.

Mistakes in spoken and written language are made by L1 and L2 learners are mentioned in many studies. These mistakes can be amended when the learners receive the corrective feedback. The review of related literature mentioned that learner’s errors are one of the steps in the process of learning. However, before 1960s errors were undesirable but after Chomsky’s “Universal Grammar” was introduced, the view of learner’s errors was changed and also understood the learning process. The tools that can help the scholars and researchers understand the errors are contrastive analysis (CA) and error analysis (EA). These two methods are based on different hypothesis, the former one is based on behaviorism and structuralism but the latter is focusing on learner and the language that being learnt. The results of these two analysis also different, since it is thought L1 rules will transfer to L2, CA would help teacher understand what the learners have been learnt and what the learners need to be learnt. On other hand, EA, which compares between learners’ errors and the target language, would give the hints for the teacher to notice L2 knowledge and learner’s internal system. Error analysis could also help the teachers clarify the sources of the errors whether they are interlingual or intralingual or both then they can adjust the teaching style to serve students’ need.

The participants were 32 students at Gazi University Turkish Language Learning, Research and Application Center. They are Turkish university students in elementary level and have learnt English for about 4 months. Certain lexicon-grammatical structures and vocabularies were taught and assigned writing assignments of each unit to the students. The students would submit two writing assignments, one after they get the writing examples and another one after they get the feedback on their writings with the corrected form from the researcher. In the final exam, the learners will choose 1 topic from 3 topics to write with different grammatical structure—present simple tense, past simple tense and future simple tense. From this final examination, the written exams would be one of the data collection instruments together with the written interview forms that the participants provided their opinions on all feedbacks that they got from written assignments, feedback sessions and their suggestions. SPSS 16 were used to analyze demographic variables of the participants. Content analysis was used to analyzed the written exam and interview data. The coders followed the steps indentified by Ellis (1997) Collecting data, indentifying errors, classifying errors, analyzing errors, explaining errors.

The results from this case study were found the errors that the learners made are 270 errors in 10 categories. They were prepositions, verbs, articles, tenses, sentence structures, possessives, punctuation, gerunds, word choice and pluralisms. The most kinds of errors are preposition (N= 63, 23%), verb (N=46, 17%) and article (N=44, 16%) whereas the least kinds of errors are possessive (N=7, 2.59%), gerund (N=7, 2.59%) and pluralism (N=9, 3%). Further from these errors, this study also shows that the errors from Turkish EFL learner in elementary level could come from either intralingual– overgeneralization of regular and irregular verb forms and overuse of the verb to be — or interlingual—directly transfer from Turkish in to English or both. Furthermore, the positive attitudes from the learners toward the written feedback and feedback session were found in this study. The learners mentioned that the feedback session which discussed about their mistakes along with explanation about their confusing parts was really useful in order to improve their writing skill.

The findings of the study are similar to those of Alhaysony (2012) about intralingual and interlingual are the cause of the errors in article errors and omission errors. In this study there were 44 (16.29%) article errors and 25 of them were omission errors. The dissimilitude with some previous studies is also found in the finings of this study such as wrong use and verbosity of preposition and omission of preposition, spelling and tense errors, and word choice are the most common errors in language learners are found in Mahmoodzadeh (2012), Mungungu (2010) and Rocha Erkaya (2012) respectively.


Cite this paper

Case Study: Error Analysis of Turkish EFL Learner. (2021, Jan 11). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/case-study-error-analysis-of-turkish-efl-learner/



How are errors viewed in language learning?
Errors are viewed as a natural part of language learning process and are seen as opportunities to improve and refine language skills. Mistakes are not considered as failures, but as valuable feedback that helps learners to identify areas that need improvement.
What are major sources of errors in learner language?
The two major sources of errors in learner language are first language interference and poor language learning strategies.
What are the 5 types of general errors that second language learners make?
The five types of general errors that second language learners make are: 1) phonological errors, 2) grammatical errors, 3) lexical errors, 4) pragmatic errors, and 5) sociolinguistic errors.
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