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Al-Sofi (2022)


Journal of Research in Language & Translation

Issue No. 1 Vol. 2 (2022)

Syntactic Errors in Saudi EFL Learners' Writings:Types, Sources, and Remedial Strategies

Bakr Bagash MansourAhmed Al-Sofi

Department of English,College of Sciencesand Arts in Al-Namas, University of Bisha, Bisha, Kingdomof Saudi


Received: 18/11/2021; Revised: 22/1/2022; Accepted:13/2/2022

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This qualitative study investigates the overt syntactic errors made by Saudi EFL learners on paper-based exams. It also revealsthe sources of these errorsand suggests remedialstrategies. To achieve these objectives, the error analysis model of Gass and Selinker(2008) was chosen as a frameworkfor this study in which the data werecollected from naturally occurringerrors in a sample of 70 mid-term and final exam papers of 50 learners from the English Department at the University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia. Specifically, common errors were identified, classified, quantified, and qualitatively analyzed based on their types and sources. Remedies for minimizing these errors were also suggested. Furthermore, structured interviews were conducted with ten teachers who have accumulated experience of more than eight years in teaching English courses at the same university. The results showed that among the students' syntactic errors were the inappropriate application of verb forms, subject-verb agreement, the subject, parts of speech, and substitution of content words. The causes of these errors were rooted in the students’ interlingual (first language interference) and intralingual (overgeneralization, inadequate knowledge of second language rules, and inappropriate application of such rules) factors. Detecting and analyzing these actual errors helps teachers, policymakers, and students take immediate actions to remedy them.


Keywords: interlingual; intralingual; remedial strategies; Saudi EFL learners; syntactic errors; writing skill


Last updated on : March 10, 2024 7:06pm