Learner Corpus and Academic Writing: Identifying the Error Patterns of Taiwanese EFL Students

Hsiao-I Hou


The purpose of this study is to find practical implications for improving academic writing curriculum design by exploring lexical and grammatical errors produced by EFL learners in a vocational institution in Taiwan. To satisfy this purpose, a small learner corpus was compiled in this study. The data were obtained from 58 undergraduate students of a public vocational university from September 2012 to June 2013 in Taiwan. There are 112 essays in the corpus that include 34,426 tokens. Learner errors were annotated based on the error categories found in (Dagneaux et al, 1996). Transfer errors and intralingual errors were analyzed. Lexical Tutor and AntConc software were used to conduct the analyses. Lexical errors, including incorrect word choices, misspellings, and word insertions, deletions or replacements occurred primarily due to students’ insufficient mastery of vocabulary. The top three grammatical errors were verb forms, article errors, and preposition errors. Based on the research results, pedagogical implications that focus on teaching EAP writing to vocational university students in Taiwan are discussed.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jsel.v4i1.9193


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