“Effects of Writing Mistakes on the Academic Performance of Matric Level Student’s: A Study of Lahore City”

Rafia Kausar
Department of Applied Linguistic, University of Lahore

  
Abstract
Writing is very important for every level student in an academic. At metric level in Pakistan most of the teachers ignore the writing practices of the students that is why these students face problems in grammatical writing at advances classes. Writing skills are a very important area of language learning. It is very essential that our students of become proficient in writing essays, letters, reports, paragraphs, dialogues, précis, and other texts. Writing has great importance from psychological point of view as well. To assess the student mistakes regarding grammars. There are many objectives for this study from them to assess the teacher’s interests for correction of grammatical mistakes as well as to assess the student weakness in writing practices. In this research paper total two hundred respondents has been taken from different schools of   Lahore City. All these students belonged to the matric level classes and questionnaire was prepared in Urdu language for the data collection. Simple random sampling was used for collection of data from the target population. Table showed that 41students strongly agree with this statement while 39students agree with it while 10 percent students remained undecided while 11 percent disagree and zero percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.08.Table showed that 41students strongly agree with this statement while 44 students agree with it while 9 percent students remained undecided while 06 percent disagree and 01 percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.15. Table showed that 46 students strongly agree with this statement while 39 students agree with it while 08 percent students remained undecided while 06 percent disagree and 04 percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.18.Table showed that 33 students strongly agree with this statement while 50 students agree with it while 11 percent students remained undecided while 06 percent disagree and 01percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.6
Key Words:
Grammatical Mistakes, Academic, Performance, Matric Level.

Introduction
The application of accurate grammar is an important feature of any good piece of writing. In addition, students can advance their level of English by producing written work that employs the grammatical structures they have learned. Although it is unrealistic for nonnative students to expect to reach 100% accuracy (and many native English speakers may have similar difficulty), they should aim to continuously improve their writing accuracy, in order to make their work as readable and efficient as possible. Writing skills are a very important area of language learning. It is very essential that our students of become proficient in writing essays, letters, reports, paragraphs, dialogues, précis, and other texts. Writing has great importance from psychological point of view as well. It gives confidence to the students who find a tangible proof of their abilities in the form of their own written work. It is also a proof of student’s linguistic competence, proficiency and knowledge. The learners have to learn ‘writing’ as it is their academic as well as social need. Besides this, effective communication at the international level is the need of the time as our students will need these skills in the world which is fast changing into a global village Writing involves compilation of texts as well as orthography and grammar. The right meaning of words, grammatically correct spelling and correct syntax and grammar contractions must be acquired in order to attain a good penmanship (Cain and Oakhill, 2007: 41–76).
Learning grammar, especially the use of punctuation marks is one of the most difficult tasks for students. This is confirmed by international comparative studies (OECD 2009, 2013) and the result of national academic placement tests in the native language (Sinka, 2009; Vardja, 2008). It also looks into the differences in opinions on effective language teaching strategies of teachers with different teaching experience. Grammatical correctness of language use becomes topical when children go to school (Skehan, 2008: 13–27; Widodo, 2006: 27–38) where different strategies are used to teach languages. The choice of strategies is found to be dependent on student’s learning motivation, self-esteem and individual characteristics (Jinping, 2005: 90–94; Mayer, 2002: 227–232). The choice of the appropriate strategy has also been found to ensure success in further. Studies show that ignoring mistakes may jeopardise the linguistic development of students (Thornbury, 1999; Woods, 1997: 8–9). It is important to pay attention to the manner of reacting to grammar mistakes that have occurred. A teacher has to identify the type of mistake and decide whether it is important to correct it, when to correct it and which strategy to use for it (Entwistle, 1998: 225–258).
By the end of basic school students must be familiar with the phonetic system of the language, the basis of orthography and be able to follow the basic rules covered at school (The National Curriculum for Basic Schools, 2010). Students have to construct proper sentences and use punctuation marks in simple and easier compound sentences, as well as apply this knowledge when creating texts. A variety of language teaching practices and strategies must be used to improve students’ penmanship (Uibu and Männamaa, 2014: 96–131). Different ways of individual work or cooperative learning should be used depending on the topic and goal of teaching (Entwistle, 1998: 225–258). The general trend prevailing currently in language teaching is to move from teachercentred teaching to student-centred learning where the teacher encourages analysis and creativity (Mattarima and Hamdan, 2011: 238–248). On the contrary to the deductive learning which proceeds from the principle that at first students get acquainted with language rules followed by explanatory examples and exercises, the inductive approach starts with presenting exam All language learners make mistakes. If mistakes occur it is important to pay attention to their type and reason why they have occurred. It is also important to analyse different ways to prevent mistakes (Thornbury, 1999). Errors may emerge at the level of single words (e.g. in orthography where affixes, vowel and consonant clusters and inflected forms play an important role).
 Ration of the Study
Writing is very important for every level student in an academic. At metric level in Pakistan most of the teachers ignore the writing practices of the students that is why these students face problems in grammatical writing at advances classes. The rational of this study is to identify those mistakes and factors which are major cause of these problems. These grammatical mistakes some drop very brilliant talent at beginning level. In this way we can assess the teacher’s perception, skills, role and expertise.  And we are in position to give more reliable and authentic solution of these mistakes.


Objective of the Study
·         To assess the student mistakes regarding grammars.
·         To assess the  teachers interests  for correction of grammatical mistakes
·         To assess the student weakness in writing practices.
·         To  assess the   teachers  guidance  for removing of  grammatical mistakes
·         To assess trends of correction of grammatical errors at matric level.
Literature Review
Writing is undeniably important for students in an academic context and it becomes more as far as learners of other languages are of concern. Writing, especially academic writing, could be considered more difficult than other skills since, on the one hand writers have to think, generate and organize different ideas and on the other hand, they have to translate their ideas into a readable text that suits the context better (Richards & Renandya, 2002). Writing can be seen as  tool for the accomplishment of other purposes like taking notes or as an end which its main aim is transferring ideas and messages (Ur, 2009). To this end, a well written text should be concise, clear, readable, finding the right tone, consistent and relevant (Ellis, 2009). Besides, writing is an activity which is socially and culturally affected and is used to reach a social or individual purpose (Sperling, 1996). So, texts are becoming more context and socially specific and needed to be more purposeful. As Johns (2002) describes in the introduction of her book, in the realm of language teaching, it has been more than thirty years that the focus has shifted to the situations and contexts in which writing is taking place. So the idea of writing genres comes to the
surface over time
.
Mourtaga (2004) points out that errors and mistakes are different from each other because an error cannot be self-corrected and is caused by a learner’s inadequate knowledge of the target language whereas a mistake can be self-corrected. Gas and Selinker (2001) explains that a mistake can be self-centered, but an error is systematic. Errors occur repeatedly and cannot be recognized by the learner. Hence, only the teacher or researcher could locate them. While mistakes according to Yuksel (2007) are not a result of deficiency in competence. They can be characterized by the slips of the pen or the slips of the tongue. Lapses may result from some factors such as memory failure and physical or mental fatigue. Pongsiriwet (2001) identified 12 types of most common grammatical errors in NNS compositions and reported that errors occurred most frequently in the verb usages, in subject verb agreement, verb formation and tense. He claims this result to be consistent with previous studies which have acknowledged the use of tenses, verbs, and articles as the most erroneous areas in L2 writing production (Arani, 1993; El-Sayed, 1982; Ghadessy, 1980; Kroll, 1990; Santos, 1988; Scott & Tucker, 1974; Yang, 1994, as cited in Pongsiriwet, 2001). Similarly, Reid (2000) stresses the importance of learners’ ability to accurately understand and use verb tenses by saying that verb tense errors can cause interference in communication
On the other hand, in a more recent study, Mattar (2003) proposes that avoidance may not be directly and solely influenced by the similarity between L1 and L2 but possibly related to learners’ language proficiency level. Kleinman (1983) also diverts from the L1 interference theory and focuses more on confidence, which “reflects the learner’s perception of his knowledge rather than his knowledge of some structures” (as cited in Mattar, 2003, p. 104-105). These findings in sum have stimulated more in-depth analyses on the phenomenon of avoidance in consecutive studies, for avoidance in L2 production may hold the key not only to understand L2 learners’ errors but also to providing practical guidelines and directions to language teachers and curriculum designers of second language teaching.
Smit (2004) implies that academic discourse as a genre may not be practically useful after the students leave campus as the practitioners in various fields (as cited in Osborn, 2009, p.27). Moreover, Rose (1989) studied the effects of remedial writing courses that focus on teaching academic writing discourse to college students (as cited in Osborn, 2009). Although he only analyzed remedial writing, he gives insights to consider limitations of academic writing discourse by arguing that such focus on academic discourse may be “limiting growth in writing” in five ways: (as cited in Osborn, 2009, p.35). Ghadessy (1980) examined errors made by Iranian university freshmen in their written compositions. The most frequent types of errors he found were tenses, articles, prepositions, word order, morphology, syntax, and lexis, most of which were similar to previously reported studies. According to Ghadessy, these errors occurred as a result of overgeneralization, analogy, incomplete application of rules and false hypothesis based on limited knowledge of the target language.
Many studies have made it clear that after having studied English as well as academic writing for years, non-native students experience a great deal of difficulty in their writings. For example, Johns (1997) found that many non-native speaking graduate and undergraduate students, after years of ESL training, often fail to recognize and appropriately use the conventions and features of academic written prose. Researchers have pinpointed many reasons that the academic writing of even highly advanced and trained non-native students continues to exhibit numerous problems and shortcomings ( Hinkel, 2002; Johns, 1997; Jordan, 1997; Leki & Carson, 1997; Prior, 1998). Such shortcomings include, among others, the ineffectiveness of writing courses in preparing students for academic writing tasks and the disparity between the existing teaching and assessment practices in academic writing contexts. The effectiveness of writing courses in preparing NNS students for actual academic writing in universities is discussed by Leki and Carson (1997). They found that, “what is valued in writing for writing classes is different from what is valued in writing for other academic courses” (p. 64). Many researchers have reasonably argued that for academically oriented and advanced L2 learners, grammar instruction is essential if they are to achieve their educational and professional goals (CelceMurcia 1991; Schmidt 1994; Shaw & Liu 1998). Celce-Murcia (1991), for instance, emphasized the importance of a reasonable degree of grammatical accuracy in academic writing. She mentioned that high frequency of grammatical errors in nonnative speaker’s academic writing (an average of 7.2 errors per 100 words) most probably makes their writings unacceptable to the University faculties.
Methodology
For this research paper total  two hundred respondents has been taken from different  schools of   Lahore City. These students belonged to the matric level classes and questionnaire was prepared in urdu language for the data collection. The values of Crome Batch Alpha was (. 73) which is significant value of reliability of data. Simple random sampling was used for collection of data from the target population. The data is presented in tables and graphical form.



 Data Analysis
Students Feel Fear during Writing Practices

Responses
Percentage
Mean
SA
81
41


4.08.08
4.08
A
77
39
UND
20
10
DA
22
11
SDA
0
0

Table showed that 41students strongly agree with this statement while 39students agree with it while 10 percent students remained undecided while 11 percent disagree and zero percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.08
Table
Students has no Proper Grip on Tenses

Responses
Percentage
Mean
SA
81
41


4.15
A
88
44
UND
17
09
DA
11
06
SDA
01
01

Table showed that 41students strongly agree with this statement while 44 students agree with it while 9 percent students remained undecided while 06 percent disagree and 01 percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.15




Table
Lack of Teachers interest in Corrections

Responses
Percentage
Mean
SA
91
46


4.18
A
77
39
UND
16
08
DA
09
06
SDA
07
04
Table showed that 46 students strongly agree with this statement while 39 students agree with it while 08 percent students remained undecided while 06 percent disagree and 04 percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.18
Table
Student has Weak Writing Practice

Responses
Percentage
Mean
SA
65
33


4.6
A
100
50
UND
22
11
DA
11
06
SDA
02
01
Table showed that 33 students strongly agree with this statement while 50 students agree with it while 11 percent students remained undecided while 06 percent disagree and 01percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.6







Table
Student Face language Barriers

Responses
Percentage
Mean
SA
93
47


4.3
A
73
37
UND
27
14
DA
06
03
SDA
01
01

Table showed that 47 students strongly agree with this statement while 37 students agree with it while 14 percent students remained undecided while 03 percent disagree and 01 percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.3
Table No
Lack of Teachers Interests in Grammars

Responses
Percentage
Mean
SA
73
37


4
A
78
39
UND
28
14
DA
16
08
SDA
05
03

Table showed that 37students strongly agree with this statement while 39 students agree with it while 14percent students remained undecided while 08 percent disagree and 03percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.




   Table
Shorting Writing Trends among Students

Table showed that 43students strongly agree with this statement while 40students agree with it while 07 percent students remained undecided while 09 percent disagree and 02 percent students are strongly disagree with it.
Table
Old Techniques used by Teachers for removing of Mistakes of Students
Table  showed that 43students strongly agree with this statement while 39students agree with it while 09 percent students remained undecided while 10 percent disagree and 01 percent students are strongly disagree with it.





Summary
This study is focusing the grammatical mistakes of the students of matric level students and these students are belonging to different school of Lahore city. A well structure questionnaire was used for data collection. Simple random sampling techniques were used for data collection. Table showed that 41students strongly agree with this statement while 39students agree with it while 10 percent students remained undecided while 11 percent disagree and zero percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.08. Table showed that 41students strongly agree with this statement while 44 students agree with it while 9 percent students remained undecided while 06 percent disagree and 01 percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.15.Table showed that 46 students strongly agree with this statement while 39 students agree with it while 08 percent students remained undecided while 06 percent disagree and 04 percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.18.Table showed that 33 students strongly agree with this statement while 50 students agree with it while 11 percent students remained undecided while 06 percent disagree and 01percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.6.Table showed that 47 students strongly agree with this statement while 37 students agree with it while 14 percent students remained undecided while 03 percent disagree and 01 percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.3.Table showed that 37students strongly agree with this statement while 39 students agree with it while 14percent students remained undecided while 08 percent disagree and 03percent students are strongly disagree with it. & the mean score was 4.Table showed that 43students strongly agree with this statement while 40students agree with it while 07 percent students remained undecided while 09 percent disagree and 02 percent students are strongly disagree with it.







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