An Error Analysis on The English Students’ Narrative Writing Texts
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In this thesis the researcher investigates the errors made by the students of the 5th semester of English Study Program of Politeknik Negeri Jember in their narrative writing texts. Learning English as a foreign language is different thing to do for the most of Indonesian students, because it cannot be learnt naturally as their mother tongue. In other words, learning foreign language means learning the dictionary, grammar and the sound of system in that language. The learners of English, in which English is completely a foreign language like Indonesian students, will of course face a new language structure which is different from the language system they have mastered. Indonesian learners may face some problems in learning English because English and Indonesian have different language families. It is essential to know the term of errors when we are discussing them. In this case, Dulay et al. (1982:138), state that “errors are parts of a conversation or composition that deviate from some selected norm of mature language performance”. Meanwhile Ellis (1996;51) explains the errors reflect the gaps in the learner’s knowledge; that is, an error is produced due to the fact that the learners cannot identify what is correct and incorrect. In contrast, a mistake reflects the learners’ inefficient performance; that is, it occurs because the learners are not able to perform what they already know correctly. He also suggests two ways in determaining error or mistake. The first one is to check the consistency of learner‟s writing. If he sometimes uses the correct form and sometimes the wrong one, it is a mistake. However, if he always uses it incorrectly, it is then an error. The second way is to ask learner to try to correct his own deviant utterance. Where he is unable to, the deviations are errors; where he is successful, they are mistakes. viii This research belongs to a case study which is done under the purpose to provide more information thorough an analysis and give clear explanations about the objects analysed. The data of this research are qualitative data, they are some errors that taken from the studens’ writing narrative texts. 48 students in the 5th semester of English Study Program of State polytechnic are as the respondent of this research. In getting the data, there were two tests were applied. The first test was applied to 48 students of the 5th semester of English study program of Politeknik Negeri Jember. The test showed the result that there were 22 students who did not make any erroneous, and there were 26 students who made some erroneous in their works. To make sure whether the 26 students make some errors or mistakes, they were given a second test. The second test was aimed to know the students’ consistency in making the mistakes so that it can be said that they made some errors. The result of the second test indicated that 14 students made some mistakes in their first test, but they did not make any mistake in the second test. In contrast, 12 students were consistently making some mistakes both in test 1and test 2. It meant that there were only 12 students who made Errors in the first and second data. The 12 students made 323 errors in their narrative text writing. The identified errors were classified based on their frequencies. When the same error occurred twice, they were counted as two errors in the tabulation. From the errors analyzed, the result showed that the category of errors committed by the students in their narrative writing texts were 5 categories, they were Verb tense (228 errors/71%), Plurality (30 errors/9%), Article (24 errors/7%) Subject Verb Agreement (23 errors/7%), , and Preposition (18errors/6%). The students committed errors in applying sentence structure rules in English. These students have problems in acquiring normal grammatical rules in English. Since grammatical features of each language are not similar, errors made are obviously different. These errors are caused by the interference of the students’ first language and their inadequate understanding of grammatical rules of English. They tend to refer to their first language whenever they face difficulties when they write in English. They construct sentences with errors because of the differences of the grammatical rules of Indonesian and English beside the students have problems with English grammatical rules and also confuse with the rules in their first language. It means that Indonesian plays a considerable role in causing students to make errors when they write in English. In general, the findings of the study show that the Indonesian students were very much influenced by their first language in their process of learning English, which were evidently illustrated in their writings. Therefore, It is important to make the students aware of the differences of the structure of these 2 languages to produce a good and acceptable sentence. And the teachers need to emphasize on how the concepts are handled in English and Indonesian. Teachers should also highlight certain rules in Indonesian that are not appropriate to be used when they write in English. This is to ensure that the students apply the correct form while they write in English and hence, it will decrease the occurrence of errors.