A SYNTACTIC STUDY OF ERRORS IN THE WRITTEN ENGLISH
Keywords:English, second language, Yemen, Errors, education
Dr. Taha Ahmed A. Al-Fotih’s present book is timely and significant. He has judiciously used the available theoretical knowledge of foreign/second language teaching and learning, which underwent a tremendous proliferation in the 1970’s and 1980’s, while analyzing the wide variety of errors frequently committed by the Yemeni freshmen covering spelling, articles, prepositions, vocabulary, verb-forms, relative clauses, yes-no and wh-questions, negation, etc. He has carefully designed and administered a number of tests, like multiple choice test, sentence structure test, writing and translation test, etc. to find out the causes of these errors. His argument that besides interlingual and intralinguas influences, avoidance and low-level competence also induce learners to commit errors is significant, he also makes certain statistics-based observations that are worth taking note of. For example, errors occurring in the sentence structure test outnumber those found in the multiple choice test, errors committed in the translation test are significantly higher than those found in the writing test, and the number of vocabulary and spelling errors are much more than those noticed in the translation test, etc.
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