Treatment of Written Error Correction by Esol Research Proposal

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Treatment of Written Error Correction by ESOL Teachers

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This study will focus on highlight the treatment of written error correction by ESOL teachers at a college in East London for all elementary (beginner), intermediate and advance level of students that are studying under the ESL program and curriculum being implemented at the college. The study will be divided into four different chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of the study. The first chapter, 'Introduction' will give a brief opening to the paper highlighting the statement of the problem and the purpose of the study. Chapter 2 will be the 'Literature Review' where we will use all the prior studies conducted in the field as a spectrum of reference to highlight the importance of the topic and the impact that various error treatments have on the understanding capabilities of the students as well as how they react to the different format of the treatment techniques used by teachers at the different levels. Here, we will also explain the terminologies that will be used in the paper as well as point out some of the common negative impacts that different types of treatments can have on the teachers and students. Some of the correction codes and taxonomies that are regularly used by teachers will also be lined in this section. Chapter 3 will consist of the 'Methodology' where we will include the research questions, written sample selections of corrected material, research methods and tools that will be used to conduct the study. This section will also include the classification of errors and a data analyses section. Chapter 4 will highlight the results, conclusion and interpretations made from the data collected and will highlight the interview analyses made with specific attention given to the impact that some explicit treatment techniques have on the students.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Research Proposal on Treatment of Written Error Correction by Esol Assignment

This study will aim to analyze the significance of the teacher's corrections and guidance within the dynamics of Second Language Acquisition (SLA). The study will highlight the impact that different corrective measures have on student performances and will simultaneously highlight some of the common mistakes that SLA students make when learning English generally or for academic purposes.

Statement of the problem

The mistakes and errors that students make, especially within the SLA dynamic, are usually perceived and handled very negatively which makes the entire process a lot more discouraging and difficult for the SLA students. There is a dire change needed in the attitude and corrective measures used towards the mistakes made by SLA students in order to ensure that the results attained in the form of student performances are superior and durable.

Purpose of the study

The present study will analyze the methods and procedures that ESL/SLA teachers use as corrective measures when tackling a variety of mistakes made by SLA students. This study will take place at a College in East London and assess the mistakes and corrective measures used for students at different level sie. beginner, intermediate and advanced. The study will aim to highlight the common errors and common corrective measures as well as highlight the association or link between all relative literature on the use of corrective measures and their practical implementation.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Chapter 2, the literature review, will mainly deal with identifying and explaining prior studies that have been conducted on the correction of mistakes made in written English when it is taught as a second language. All of the studies used in this section will be aimed to give an abstract for the theoretical setup for this study as well as give an overview of some of the terminologies used in correction techniques.

Meaning of Terminologies

The concept of the correction of errors has been a popular domain of research and the two most common terminologies used in such studies include 'error' and 'error treatment'. These two terms are very much understood by many in a lay man stature, however, their contextual use in communication is quite vague and both these terms have been explained in numerous ways. Since this study is dependent upon the exact definition of both these terms, it becomes even more important to clearly understand them first.

To define error, Cobuild explains that error is basically a mistake (Cobuild, 1997). Simply categorizing error as a mistake does not satisfy the science behind its use within the dynamics of the English language. Ellis tries to encompass the scientology of the word by explaining that error was merely a digression from the established standards of the English language (Ellis, 1994, pg. 94-95). This definition too is open for interpretation because of the wide context in which the established standards can be used. For this study, we are focusing on the correction of written errors and hence will not be concerned with the causes of the errors. Keeping this fat in mind, error within the context of this study can be defined as recognizable or visible errors made by the learner that digressed from the universal standards of written English as well as all the structures of the learner's English that are believed to be improper or out of place by the tutor.

Since the terms 'error treatment' and 'error correction' are not clearly defined as separate entities, they will be used synonymously in this study too. Defining error treatment, Chaudron (1986, pg. 64-84) explains that it is a process whereby the tutor alters the use and/or attitude of a student towards written English by articulating their displeasure or by insisting on precise changes. Hammerly (1991, pg. 120-208) and Plumb et al. (1994, pg. 347-360) in their studies have used the term error correction as the tutor's exercise to deal with written errors made by the students. This particular approach was initially adopted by Hendrickson in 1984 when he published 'The treatment of error in written work'. Ellis (1994, pg. 94-95) adopts a slightly different approach and explains that correction was merely the tutor's way to prove the errors of the students through identifying where they went wrong and disallowing them to continue on the same pattern.

Outline of studies conducted on Error Treatment

Changes in the structure of teaching English as a second language has also resulted in simultaneous changes when tackling with the errors made by ESL students. Since the new structure of teaching is based on effective communication instead of rigid correctness, the overall strictness on grammatical use has also been somewhat eased over the years (Bell, 1992, pg. 21-32; Lee, 1997, pg. 465-477). Till late 1960s the main focus for ESL teachers had been the memorization of the accepted formats and standards of English language in order to construct standardized and correct sentences. The highest priority was to get the grammar absolutely correct which is why all errors were corrected at the initial stages. Mings (1993, pg. 171-179) explains that errors were beyond unacceptable; if errors were made they were treated as immoral. Major explains that because of the rigidity of the approach, it didn't fulfill its aim of enabling students to make correct sentences individually or decipher their varying meanings (Major, 1988, pg. 81-100). Hendrickson explains that memorization was useless as students more or less forgot what they learned over a passage of time (Hendrickson, 1980, pg. 153-173).

Another improved change in the outline of researches emerged in the 1970s with the introduction of the second language acquisition (SLA) terminology. SLA needs to be efficiently defined when understanding the dynamics of the error treatment for ESL students. The SLA concept mainly highlights how learning a new language is always going to invoke a whole array of mistakes from the learners and that making these mistakes is part of their learning process. Furthermore, the concept of SLA heavily promotes the communicative format of learning and discarding the age-old tactic of memorization of grammatical rules and policies. Dulay, Burt and Krashen (1982, pg.138) explain that no student can effectively "learn language without first systematically committing errors," which simply means that the errors made can be used as indicators to identify how much of the language students have actually learned.

Damaging Outlooks of Error Treatment

With every positive aspect associated to error correction is the direct and opposite negating aspect that needs to be addressed too. For all corrective measures that are helpful and successful in certain circumstances can be damaging and restricting if not exercised corrected. Kepner explains that error correction is still preferred by many despite the possible damaging outcomes because many believe that the damaging outcomes would be far more if the corrections were not made (Kepner, 1991, pg. 305-313). Truscott explains that error correction as a mere tool aimed to boost the overall performance of the student by correcting their grammar use was a damaging and useless activity specifically in the L2 writing classes as it made no major impact (Truscott, 1996, pg. 327-369). Truscott forced many to re-think their approach of teaching within the ESL class setting.

Constructive impacts of Error Treatment

The harsh criticisms on the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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