John Burrell

First Advisor

Marjorie S. Terdal

Term of Graduation

Spring 2000

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

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


Applied Linguistics




English language -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Spanish speakers, English language -- Errors of useage



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 144 pages)


The present study looked at the error correction preferences of 172 adult Latino ESL students. It was a modified replication of a study which looked at the error correction preferences of Japanese university students. A questionnaire was used to gather the data. The questionnaire measured the participants' general preferences for error correction, attitudes towards peer correction, the desired frequency of correction in five aspects of language and preferences for specific types or methods of error correction.

The study found a very positive attitude towards error correction by the teacher. There was a positive attitude towards peer correction, but only from peers whose English ability was higher. The participants preferred to have their errors in five aspects of language corrected in the order: phonology, vocabulary, grammar, pragmatics, and discourse. Less than half of the participants had a positive attitude towards correction of his or her discourse errors. The most preferred methods of correction were ones that allowed the student the chance to self-correct. Specifically, the two most preferred methods were the teacher repeating the question and the teacher asking the student to repeat their answer. The two least favored methods of correction were the teacher ignoring the error and indicating non-verbally that an error had occurred.

There were significant differences between a few subgroups in the study. Women wanted more correction on their phonology errors than men did. Women also favored four specific methods of correction more than men did. Those participants who did not have the chance to speak English outside of class favored peer correction more than those participants who did have a chance to speak English outside of class. The study found that the older the participants were the more they wanted their grammatical, phonological, and pragmatic errors corrected. It was also found that the more education the participants had, the less they liked the method of correction where the teacher only indicated the error.


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