A Critique of Undergraduate Students’ Writing Skill in an ESL Setting: Samples from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria

Helen A. Bodunde, Bosede S. Sotiloye


The importance of writing cuts across all levels of education. Its effectiveness hinges on the ability to use thegrammar of language appropriately especially in a second language (SL) situation. This paper compares the writingskill in English Language of eighty 100 level students and forty of those in 500 level core Agriculture colleges whowere randomly selected for grammatical assessment in a Nigerian University. The research was carried out after bothgroups had gone through English and Communication Skills courses. The results show that students have problemswith almost all aspects of grammar – tense, punctuation, spelling, concord, abbreviation, preposition, and wordamalgamation. At the 100 level, tense and spelling errors were the most frequent while punctuation and tense errorswere most prominent in 500 level scripts. Tense errors were common to both groups as a result of negative transferfrom the first language (L1), though the environment in which they occurred differ. The study also reveals animportant relationship between a mastery of the speaking skill and effective writing. The implications of the findingson the teaching and learning processes were discussed and suggestions were made on how to improve students’writing capability.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v3n2p10

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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