Error analysis of grade 12 pupils' in english expository compositions: A Case of selected secondary schools in Nakonde district Zambia

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Simbeye, Mwaka Racheal
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University of zambia
There has been a tremendous decline in the writing skills of Grade 12s. It has been noted that compositions produced by these learners are usually full of errors. As a language teacher for nineteen years, I have observed that despite measures put in place to improve writing, it is not known what causes pupils to make numerous errors when writing compositions in English. The Study sought to find out some of the causes. English is the world‘s widely studied language and Is critical to the social and economic advancement of any learner or person here in Zambia. The study employed a descriptive survey design. The sample of the study included teachers, pupils and administrators. Lesson observations were done and semi-structured interviews questionnaires and focus groups discussions were done. The data was analyzed qualitatively into themes and Subthemes. The study did an analysis of the sample scripts from the pupils by looking at the types of pupils ‘errors, the views of the pupils as regards to the teachers effectiveness in their delivering of lessons and learning material and the attitudes of both the teachers and the pupils towards teaching and learning English composition. The study has shown, among other things that the pupils enter Grade 12 with a faulty background of English language and do not have the basic writing skills either. Lack of a reading culture among teachers and learners was also identified as one contributing factor to the challenges observed in the writing of English composition by Grade 12 learners. The fact that pupils are not taught the necessary composition skills and theories in the observed schools makes it difficult for them to acquire the required writing skills in writing English language composition. Other contributing factors were negative attitudes of teachers towards the teaching of English composition as they often appear to be testing other than teaching and the lack of teaching and learning material in English language. The findings were that Grade 12 pupil‘s make numerous errors in their compositions. The recommendations were that the pupils needed to be provided with a Language rich environment which among others should include: libraries and enough teaching and learning materials. Furthermore, the Standards officers whose job is to supervise teachers should take seriously the monitoring of what goes on in classrooms, especially schools in rural areas. It is important to find ways of improving learner‘s writing skills to ensure that we have citizens who write properly.
A thesis in Education
English language--Ability testing , English language--Study and teaching , English language--Composition and exercises.