Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Cynthia Chalupa

Committee Co-Chair

Xiangying Jiang

Committee Member

Joahn Seynnaeve


This study focuses on the effects of error recording and analysis in the form of an Error Correction Journal (ECJ) on the linguistic accuracy of students of German and on their motivation to learn the language. It focuses on three groups of students, one that completed the ECJ, one that received coded feedback, and one that was given direct correction. The goal of the study was to check for improved accuracy and increased motivation based on the use of a journal to analyze and to raise awareness about errors. Through the use of the ECJ, students became more aware of their language learning and were better able to recognize and avoid errors. They also became more aware of the types of errors they made and felt more motivated and empowered in their learning based on the use of ECJ. Students in the Experimental Group initially completed a survey in which they rated their greatest areas of weakness. The participants in all groups wrote an initial essay in order to see what types of errors they usually make. They were then asked to write three essays during the course of the semester (two drafts of each) on which they focused on error correction. After submitting and receiving each draft, which was corrected with a correction key, students in the Experimental Group analyzed the nature and frequency of their errors in the ECJ by filling out a chart and reflecting on their mistakes. The instructor compiled the data from the error correction chart to draw conclusions about the types of errors students made. A final essay was assigned at the end of the semester to gage overall improvement. The control groups responded to error correction feedback without keeping a journal. The instructor examined the error data both qualitatively and quantitatively to determine if overall improvement occurred during the semester. At the end of the semester, students in the Experimental Group also rated the degree to which the ECJ had helped them to identify errors and avoid them on subsequent assignments. The findings show that the ECJ helped the participants focus on correctness, think about the form, look at different grammatical categories, and correct their mistakes by themselves. Using the ECJ was important because it empowered learners and helped them become more independent. Even if it did not help them correct all of their errors or significantly improve their weaknesses, it taught them to reflect on their learning and take charge of it. This is not only an important academic skill that can be applied to other areas outside of foreign language learning, but it is also a necessary life skill that students can employ beyond the classroom.