Grammatical Analysis of Errors found among Students in the Secondary School



1.1          Background to the Study

The study of English grammar is considered an important aspect of the learning of English in Nigeria and in the world as a whole. One of the aims of the English language syllabus by the ministry of education is to enable pupils, students and the undergraduates to speak, write and make presentations internationally acceptable grammatically correct and appropriate for the audience. Teacher’s knowledge of grammar and how it functions is acknowledged to contribute to effective language use (Ibid: 6).

However, Corder (1967) in his writing highlighted the importance of considering errors in the language learning process. There has been a shift in emphasis towards an understanding of the problems learner face in their study of language. Errors are indispensable to learners since the making of errors can be regarded as ‘a device they use in order to learn’ (Selinker 1992: 150).

Indeed, as Carter (1997:35) notes, knowing more about how grammar works are to understand more about how grammar is used and misused. There is a need for students to recognize the significance of errors which occur in their writing to fully grasp and understand the nature of the errors made.

Rightly or not, it should, however, be noted that society in general judges on the basis of how words are being used, if one has written and even speak English in a standard way. People who write or speak the standard or polite English are generally respected and taken more seriously than those who use informal English in every situation in which they find themselves. To this end, knowing the Standard English usage enriches our understanding of the way words work and constructed, thus enabling us to vary the ways we can employ language either writers.

In the same vein, writers who intend to use non-standard English cause their readers to stop and wonder what they are much more often than those who know and use the Standard English. It should, however, be noted that a text with a lot of errors is full of verbal ‘road bumps’. Everyone makes a usage mistake now and then but a text with many usage errors will be much less ambiguous than the one that has few or no usage errors.

Grammatical Analysis of Errors found among Students in the Secondary School

In this regard, the research work shall, however, distinguish ‘mistakes’ from ‘errors’ where the former refers to unsystematic errors of learners from which we are able to reconstruct the knowledge of the language to do (corder, 1978). The underlying assumption is that students’ errors made in grammar are systematic and classifiable.


1.2            Statement of the Problem

It is sometimes very embarrassing that the majority of our dear students in various schools find it difficult to construct simple sentences. As such, they write the way they speak. This error in writing may emanate from the mother tongue interference, use of determiners, definite and indefinite articles are strongly neglected by the students while composing their letters and other essays. In some of the compositions written by students, some of the sentences are a mere fragment that is lacking the major ingredients of a sentence which is the subject and at times, a predicate. Some of the participles/modifiers in sentences tend to be dangling. The wrong choice of words is not left out of this problem. Here, students tend to impress themselves rather than the examiner and the reader. They lack the idea and the understanding that not all similar words may be appropriate. These are some of the problems the students have when writing especially the students of state College Secondary School, Ikot Ekpene L.G.A, Akwa Ibom State where this research work was carried out.

In this regard, it is a sin to an academic carrier for a student to graduate with these flaws in grammatical expressions knowing that he or she is going out to face the outside world in one way or the other. These problems mentioned above are the ugly feelings of the researcher which has compelled her to conduct a study on why students commit the blunders in their daily English expressions.


1.3            Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to find out the major causes of the grammatical mistakes and errors found among students mostly in secondary school level in particular reference to students of State College, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State. This research is also conducted in order to find a panacea to some of the causes of these mistakes and errors especially when writing the English language.

1.4            The Significance of the Study

This study is significant in the sense that it will expose and point out the grammatical errors which some of our students make in their daily written compositions. It is also important in the sense that students after discovering where the errors and the mistakes come in various writings and other English expressions, will be able to correct some of the grammatical flaws they make when writing.

Apart from this, the study will be of great importance to both the researcher, educationists and to the public in general. This study will at the same time serve as reference material to future researchers.

Grammatical Analysis of Errors found among Students in the Secondary School

1.5            Research Questions

Some of the research questions underlying the study are;

i.     Does the wrong use of the parts of speech in sentences affect or alter the meaning of sentences while writing?

ii.    Does the wrong use of nouns in a sentence affect the meaning?

iii.   Does the mother-tongue interference affect the students when writing the English language?

iv.   Does the learning environment contribute to the poor learning of the English language?

1.6            Delimitation of the Study

The researcher concentrated the study on State College Ikot Ekpene Akwa Ibom State with a look at the grammatical analysis of errors students make in the school. However, the research work centre ultimately on the extent to which the rules of grammar are violated by the students in secondary school.


Grammatical Analysis of Errors found among Students in the Secondary School

Originally posted on April 26, 2021 @ 5:37 pm

About Peter Lawson 2732 Articles
Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.

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