The Impact of Text Genre on Iranian Intermediate EFL Students' Writing Errors: An Error Analysis Perspective

Kourosh Moqimipour, Mohsen Shahrokhi
2015 International Education Studies  
The present study aimed at analyzing writing errors caused by the interference of the Persian language, regarded as the first language (L1), in three writing genres, namely narration, description, and comparison/contrast by Iranian EFL students. 65 English paragraphs written by the participants, who were at the intermediate level based on their performance on a quick placement test, were analyzed by using Error Analysis (EA). The ideas of 15 teachers with more than six years of teaching in the
more » ... of teaching in the field of TEFL were also sought through interview to validate the collected data. The results revealed that the first language interference errors fell into 12 categories: singular/plural form, modal auxiliary, subject-verb agreement, verb tense, infinitive gerund, pronoun, article, verb form, prepositions, sentence structure, word choice, comparison structure, respectively, and the number of frequent errors made in each type of written tasks was apparently different with regard to text genres. In narration, the five most frequent errors found were singular/plural form, modal auxiliary, subject-verb agreement, verb tense, and infinitive gerund, respectively, while the five most frequent errors in description were article, subject-verb agreement, modal/auxiliary, verb tense, and prepositions. The category for that of comparison/contrast comprised verb tense, singular/plural form, preposition, and subject-verb agreement respectively. The three errors of singular/plural form, verb tense, subject-verb agreement were the most frequent errors. The results reveals that different structural features required in a genre influences the writing errors made in the genre. Moreover, some pedagogical implications are provided based on the results. Keywords: error analysis, interference, second language writing As Hyland (2003) believes error commitment is somehow inevitable in writings by EFL students because of the complexity of writing skills and because of the simultaneous processes of learning English and learning the writing skill that challenge the learners to a great extent. Research (Hyland, 2003; Ferris, 2002) indicates that EFL writing generally suffers from more errors, is less fluent and cohesive, and is shorter compared to other skills. Apart from writing errors made because of first language interference, overgeneralization and the level of difficulty are reported by Reid (1993) as other sources of error commitment in EFL students' writing. As Lalande International Education Studies
doi:10.5539/ies.v8n3p122 fatcat:fl5t24nd4zenbflj6oguwyyfi4