Assessment of Learning Difficulties (LD) in Writings of Arab Learners: A Perspective

Mona Saleh Alanazi


The last four decades have observed a renewed research interest in the area of error analysis. It has been the focus of attention, and subject of debate, among scholars particularly those of second-language acquisition. Scholars in this area of study hold the unanimous view that errors are an integral and unavoidable feature of second-language acquisition. The purpose of the present paper is to analyze and classify the persistent errors committed by Saudi Arabian students at Northern Border University, Rafha while composing a variety of written texts in English. In the investigation, an effort has been made to uncover the causes and sources of various errors of usage at different linguistic levels, viz.-a-viz., grammar, morphology, syntax, lexico-semantics, spelling etc. The study aims at investigating the frequency of production of these errors of usage, expressing the findings as percentage, mean and standard deviation, across the different levels of learning (levels 1 to 4). The entire population of the study consisted of 106 English students from the first two levels under investigation, registered in the first and second semesters of the 2016-2017. All of the students under investigation were male and had a homogenous pre-university and university background. Upon a cursory look at the data in terms of percentage, the subjects have been found to produce the highest number of errors in the subcategory “articles”, and a smaller number of errors in the subcategory ‘present progressive instead of past’. In the major linguistic category ‘morphological errors’, the learners have been found to produce the highest percentage of errors. In another major linguistic category of errors, ‘syntactic errors’, the subcategory ‘noun + adjective instead of adjective + noun’ received the highest number of errors, whereas the subcategory ‘overuse of conjunction ‘and’’ has been found to receive the least number of errors.


Learning difficulties, grammatical errors, morphological errors, syntactic errors, lexico-semantic errors, spelling errors

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