First Advisor

Marjorie S. Terdal

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Teaching English as a Second Language




English language -- Spoken English -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Foreign speakers, English language -- Errors of usage



Physical Description

1 online resource (74 p.)


This research is observational and descriptive. Its primary purpose is to provide data on the extent to which, and how, Non-Native Speakers (NNSs) of English engage in error correction of their peers when participating in classroom oral group work. In addition, it shows to what extent these learners self-correct their own errors in the same situation. The over-arching focus of the study is to examine the role of second language learners to determine whether they possess the potential to play a more active and productive part in their own language learning. Nine beginning level adult university ESL students are the subjects of this research. They were placed in small groups and asked to perform specified classroom tasks designed to generate maximum oral interchange among the participants. The ensuing discussions provided the basis for the data which were collected via tape recording each group's proceedings. The data samples were listened to and coded per an error typology and any correction that took place. The data were then statistically analyzed via SYSTAT. The findings are consistent with the results of other research and indicate that while many errors are not treated, a significant number of them are corrected clearly and accurately. These results lend credence to the idea that second language learners may have much more to learn from each other than they think, and that they do have the potential to play a greater role in their own language learning. Much more research is indicated in order to better understand the multi-faceted phenomenon of second language learner error and its treatment.


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