Date of Award


Degree Type

UG Dissertation (Restricted)



First Advisor

Prof. HO Nga Man, Janet


The aim of the study was to identify the student participants’ errors at different grammatical levels, to measure the effects of error correction in terms of changes in syntactic complexity and error frequency, and to examine whether error correction leads to facilitation or avoidance of the school’s targeted grammatical forms. The study used a causal-comparative text analysis of ESL writing. 25 Secondary 3 students and one English teacher in a Hong Kong CMI secondary school participated in the research. Two sets of story writing assignments were collected from the students, who were given written feedback for the first assignment before writing the second one.

The findings show that the students produced morpheme- and word-level errors most frequently, in particular inflectional morphemes and closed-class words. Comma splices and punctuation were another two frequent error types. Error correction was effective in helping the students develop syntactic complexity, reduce tense and aspect errors and use relative clauses and passive voice in their writing. The study suggests that teachers selectively correct errors and use other teaching methods simultaneously.



Recommended Citation

Hung, T. S. (2019). Error correction in the acquisition of L2 writing: A causal-comparative text analysis of Hong Kong junior secondary school students' ESL writing (UG dissertation, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from