The effects of comprehensive versus selective correction of errors made by Hong Kong students' writing in English

Date of Completion

January 2007


Education, Language and Literature|Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Curriculum and Instruction




Although both interventionists and non-interventionists agree on the fact that making errors when learning a foreign language is inevitable, their perspectives on the treatment of errors differ significantly. Despite such controversy, most if not all of the Hong Kong English teachers still use error correction in the English writing class as a teaching methodology. It is not only commonly adopted, but also demands tremendous amount of time and energy from both the students and the teachers. Hence, a second look at its impact on the students' writing in terms of accuracy might shed some light on whether the already limited resources of both the English teachers and the students of Hong Kong has been allocated appropriately. This research attempts to examine one aspect of the error correction practice in Hong Kong the selection of errors for correction. Research done by Mantello (1997) showed that correcting only high frequency errors might be more effective for improving second language writing. The study participants will be two classes of secondary school students in Hong Kong in a one way ANOVA design with the type of error selection (all errors versus high frequency errors) as the independent variable. The number of the errors after eight months of treatment will be the dependent variables. ^