Analysis of Expression Errors in the Writings of Primary School Students in Terms of Certain Variables

By Ungan, Suat | Reading Improvement, Winter 2008 | Go to article overview

Analysis of Expression Errors in the Writings of Primary School Students in Terms of Certain Variables


Ungan, Suat, Reading Improvement


The basic aim of mother tongue education is to enable students to understand what they read or listen to accurately and to express their thought, feelings and wishes efficiently. In this study, expression errors in the writings of primary school 8th grade students in terms of gender and location variables. For this purpose, a writing study was conducted on 100 students in 3 primary schools in the city of Kutahya in order to establish what the major errors expression errors arise from are, and their writings were analyzed to determine the types and number of expression errors in them. According to the results obtained in the study, it was seen that expression errors arising from grammar and semantics errors differentiated depending on gender and location.

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Language is the most important tool we use to express our thoughts. According to Aksan [1] language is a versatile, developed system that enables thoughts, feelings and wishes to be expressed by means of common elements and rules in a society in terms of sound and action. As can be understood from these explanations, language is a tool for communication in which there are two elements; namely, to express and to understand. The former is the expression of the thoughts, while the latter is the conclusion derived from the expression of the thoughts.

Expression occurs either orally or written. Karakufl [2] defines written expression as such: Written expression is the transformation of feelings, thoughts, wishes, dreams, desires, what is known, seen, read and heard into words eloquently and efficiently.

Writing is a way of expressing communication; expressing our thoughts, feelings, plans and experience. It is a basic language skill to be mastered in order for the language to develop. This skill is required for an individual to meet his daily needs, to carry on with his education, to be successful in life and to become a person who understands and is understood by people by improving his/her understanding and expression skills.

Writing is determined by transforming thoughts into words, words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs. Words are symbols that express our feelings, thoughts, objects and concepts that belong to our world. However, words are not sufficient on their own to express our feelings, thoughts, judgments and actions; we need sentences to make them meaningful. In this sense, a sentence is the basic unit of expression.

Every sentence is built to convey a thought or a feeling. While building a sentence, we determine our thoughts, arrange them, choose the right words and put them into the right order. The efficiency and accuracy of the expression depend on the clarity, accuracy and understandability of the sentence. According to Karaali [3], a well-structured sentence has the characteristics of accuracy, clarity, simplicity and fluency. Expression errors make a sentence intricate and ambiguous. In various works [4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] situations resulting in expression errors are presented as follows:

Expression errors arising from grammar errors; missing subject, active-passive disagreement among verbs, clause errors, missing adverbial clause of place, missing object, missing verb or auxiliary, phrase errors, subject-verb disagreement and punctuation errors.

Expression errors arising from semantics errors; unnecessarily used words, conflicting words used together, confusing words, using words in the wrong place, idioms and proverb errors, repetition and logical errors.

Complete and accurate understanding can be ensured by doing away with expression errors. Knowing what errors students usually make can be considered as the first step to correct them. This study came about from this reality

This study aims to compare the common expression errors (arising from grammar and semantics errors) in terms of gender and location by determining the awareness of primary school 8th grade students about their expression errors and the level of their making use of this awareness in writing. …

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