A Comprehensive Approach to Eliminate English Second Language Learners’ Grammatical Difficulties


  • Nomasomi Hilda Matiso


academic performance; comprehensive approach; corrective feedback; English second language; grammatical difficulties


In order to produce academically competent learners, a comprehensive approach addressing English Second Language (ESL) learners’ grammatical difficulties needs to be developed. Research has shown that learners’ essay writing skills are spoiled by incompetent writing abilities, in particular, grammatical difficulties. This enquiry, whose main objective was to unravel grammatical difficulties experienced by ESL learners and to propose a comprehensive approach addressing these, was guided by a theoretical framework that emphasises cognitive, socio-cultural, and communicative perspectives. An interpretive paradigm, embedded in a qualitative approach, was used to gather data from 16 conveniently nominated participants. A case study design was deemed suitable for this enquiry because of its ability to focus on a specified group of participants. The data were generated through semi-structured interviews and thematically analysed. The findings were that error analysis, followed by explicit instruction of language structures; learner engagement in corrective feedback; multiple exposure to and practice of a language structure; and immersion into rich target language environments could be beneficial. The learners would then take responsibility for their own learning. It is recommended that professional development for language educators is essential to employ these approaches to combat the widespread incompetence in learners’ writing abilities, which negatively affect their academic performance.



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