ERRORS IN ENGLISH WRITING OF GRADE 10 STUDENTS: A STUDY OF SCHOOLS IN DISTRICT PESHAWAR
This study attempts to identify, classify and highlight errors committed by Grade 10 students in different schools of district Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Participants of this study were selected through probability sampling from different schools in district Peshawar. An essay test was conducted from a total of 150 participants studying in Grade 10. After conducting the test, a careful effort was made to explore ratio, frequency and percentile of these errors. Varieties of errors were noticed during this study. These errors ranged from intralingual errors (errors caused by the target language itself) to interlingual (caused by mother tongue of the learners). A corpus of 150 essays was evaluated where a total of 1633 errors were pinpointed. First, these errors were identified, and then broadly divided into three main categories, i.e., grammatical, mechanical and incorrect word choice. A sum of 589 errors is related to grammatical category dominated by syntactical errors (298), 920 errors belong to mechanical category dominated by spelling errors (428), while 124 errors were directly related to incorrect word choice. These categories were subdivided in their respective types. Causes of the errors were also explored through a questionnaire. A set of 14 questions were asked from 49 teachers having different levels of experience. Three teachers, at the maximum, were selected from one school. All the teachers responded to all the questions. Reasons behind the errors were tabulated in different categories. However, majority of the respondents declared mother tongue interference as the main cause of syntactical errors. Likewise, the unpredictable and complex nature of prepositions was considered as the main reason behind prepositional errors. Most of the respondents were of the opinion that carelessness and students’ unawareness of the singularity and plurality of subject forms lead them to commit subject-verb disagreement errors. Article errors are mostly committed by the students due to their unclear and confused perception about articles. Most of the respondents argued that the root cause of punctuation errors is poor teaching and secondary importance given to them by the students.