The study showed that the top three most occurring problems in Chinese ESL students are “missing definite articles”, bare singular count noun for plural” and “bare singular count noun for plural”. A similar error was seen in the study of Milton (2001, as cited from Fei-Yu, 2005, p. 27) when he studied Hong Kong university students’ interlanguage and found four kinds of article errors: “‘singular noun for plural, O for indefinite article’(1st), ‘indefinite article for O’ (3rd), ‘definite article for O’ (6th) and ‘definite article for indefinite article’ (8th)” (Fei-Yu, 2005, p. 27).
As such, these studies show that articles are indeed a major problem in ESL Chinese students. Taiwanese and Mandarin Chinese also had difficulty in terms of present, past and future tenses (Christensen, 2003). More often than not, they students do away in using the “-ing” on their sentences. English as a Second Language (ESL) is a process of instruction of English in an English speaking country whose mother tongue is a different language (Rosenthal, 2000, p. 73).
The process of learning the English language has been strictly categorized in a strict sequence such as “”listen, speak, read and then write” (Perotta, 1994, p. 237). As such, the learning emphasizes a strict stage-by-stage approach in learning the English language. the English and the Chinese language varied greatly in terms of its phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics as such there has been significant differences in terms of how Chinese construct their sentences or use the eight major parts of speech for that mattter.
Common errors of Chines students are the following: Missing definite article; Bare singular count noun for plural; Redundant definite article; Misselection of preposition; Lexical misconception; Wrong tense and aspect; S-V non-agreement; Wrong collocation; Missing ‘a’/’an’; and Comma splice. This chapter of the research discusses the tradition of research that study has implemented, the research approach, the justification of the selected approach, the process of data collection, and the sampling method employed.
In relation with this, the instrument design, and the former’s reliability and validity were also discussed; finally how the data would be analyzed and interpreted was also mentioned. The study has one major objective and that is: To identify the common grammar errors of ESL Chinese students in Taipei, Taiwan. Specifically, the research aims to: (1) Know the errors in terms of students’ sentence construction; and (2) Know the errors in terms of the student’s use of the eight parts of speech, verb tenses, auxiliary verbs, conjunctions and punctuations, capitalizations and spellings.
For the purpose of this research, the author adopted the Qualitative Research Tradition. Qualitative Research focused primarily on words rather than numbers. The main research instrument for such a type of tradition is the process of involvement of the researcher to the people whom he or she studies (Holloway, 2002, p. 5). In relation with this, the viewpoints of the participants are also taken into much account. The Qualitative research tradition focuses on small-scale studies wherein deep explorations are being conducted in order to provide a detailed and holistic description and explanation of a specific subject matter.
Rather than focusing on a single or two isolated variables, the aforementioned takes into account interconnected activities, experiences, beliefs and values of people, hence adopting a multiple dimension for study. This tradition of research is also flexible in a sense that certain factors are being explored due to not necessarily adhering to a strict method of data gathering. It also captures certain processes wherein changes in sequence of events, behaviors and transformation among cultures are closely taken into consideration.
More importantly, a qualitative research is normally carried out in venues that are within a respondent’s natural environment such as schools, offices, homes, etc. This allowed participants to be more at ease and be able to express their ideas freely. Finally, the Qualitative research tradition is said to be inductive in nature in a sense that it starts by collecting and analyzing data and then coming to a particular conclusion. These data are then related to the literatures that were initially collected so that an analysis could be made, hence a deductive approach.
Theories then that are formulated that result due to Qualitative research is made due to the result of the data collected and not really from the theories that were studied in the literature review (p. 6). For the purpose of this research, the study used a single case study approach wherein it is an extensive examination of participants using multiple sources of evidence, which could be both qualitative or quantitative (p. 105). Case studies are normally associated with the location of the participants as a “case” could refer to an organization or a group of people, community, event, process, issue or a campaign.
A case study is relevant in order to increase one’s knowledge regarding a real and contemporary phenomena and answers questions as to how and why certain things happen (p. 105). Case studies allow researchers to know detailed information about a certain group of people. In addition with this, case studies also offer insights regarding the uniqueness of a particular group hence allowing to the creation of a unique theory or hypothesis (p. 106).