Date of Graduation
This study attempted to combine the study of grammatical accuracy with the study of discourse features of second language writing. It was designed to investigate (1) the frequent types of grammatical errors in EFL writing; (2) whether there is a relationship between scores on grammatical accuracy and discourse features of writing; and (3) the effects of grammatical accuracy and discourse features on the evaluation of writing quality. The participants of the study consisted of 155 university freshmen majoring in agriculture, education, engineering, English, and general science who enrolled in Foundation English at Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen Campus in Thailand. Data were collected from in-class student writing which described or narrated a story about significant events or people in their lives. The analysis of grammatical errors was based on 80 compositions selected at random. The results show that frequent types of errors include nouns, pronouns, tense, articles, prepositions, word form, verb formation, subject-verb agreement, and fragments. The most frequent errors occur in subject-verb agreement followed by verb formation and tense, respectively. To examine the relationship between grammatical accuracy and discourse features and the effects of these two aspects on holistic writing quality, a subsample of 40 compositions was selected. Grammatical accuracy was measured by a words/error ratio. The discourse featuresâ€”cohesion and coherenceâ€”and holistic quality were assessed by two raters, one native-speaking teacher of EFL and one Thai-speaking teacher of EFL. The findings reveal no statistically significant correlation between grammatical accuracy and cohesion but a statistically significant correlation between grammatical accuracy and coherence. In terms of relationships among the three areas of evaluationâ€”grammatical accuracy, cohesion, and coherenceâ€”with holistic quality, the results indicate the highest correlation between holistic quality and coherence followed by cohesion and grammar, respectively. Insights gained from this study are that (1) students who are good at grammatical accuracy are not necessarily good at cohesion but might be good at coherence, and (2) raters tend to rely more on discourse features, especially coherence, than grammatical accuracy in evaluating the quality of writing.
Pongsiriwet, Charuporn, "Relationships among grammatical accuracy, discourse features, and the quality of second language writing: The case of Thai EFL learners." (2001). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9588.