An Investigation of Writing Errors Made by Saudi English-Major Students


  •  Abdulrahman Alzamil    

Abstract

The present study aims to explore writing errors made by Saudi foreign language learners of English. The study seeks to address the following questions: a) to what extent do Saudi English-major students face difficulties in English writing; and b) what types of errors do Saudi English-major students make in their writing. Addressing these will facilitate an examination of the role of the first language and the difficult nature of writing in English. Twenty-four male English-major students attending a Saudi university participated in the study (aged 19–22 years). The participants wrote 48 compositions over a two-week period, from which the data for this study were collected. These written compositions were analysed manually by the researcher. The findings of the study reveal that: a) the targeted participants had difficulty in writing accurately in English, given the high rate of errors they made; and b) capitalisation, spelling and use of articles were the top three types of errors accounting for around 50 per cent of overall errors. The writing difficulties that students face require Saudi universities to revise their writing courses materials and teaching approaches.



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