Sentence-level errors in ESL writers’ diagnostic essays: What students have achieved and what we can do


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Dept of English and Applied Linguistics

Document Type

Archival Material/Manuscript


This study is part of the larger project which aims at identifying the linguistic features found in the diagnostic essays of freshmen college students from five private schools in Metro Manila, Philippines, in their first week of classes. The intention is to find out what structures students have acquired in their developing linguistic competence prior to their English Communication One instruction in college in order to identify their needs. This report focuses on the analysis of sentence-level errors and suggests ways for pedagogical enhancement. Findings show that the most frequently occuring errors are related to punctuation usage (comma), vocabulary (word form and word choice), verb usage, prepositions, run-on and fragments, noun endings (plural/singular and articles), and even as basic as capitalization usage. All errors equally occur in all proficiency levels except word choice, capitalization, and missing or unnecessary comma, which have the lowest occurrence in level three proficiency. The findings will prove beneficial for curricular enhancement.



Other English Language and Literature


English language—Composition and exercises—Ability testing—Philippines—Metro Manila; English language—Composition and exercises—Study and teaching—Evaluation

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