Yasmine Liong Pui Kwan Abdullah(1*)

(1) English Language Teaching Centre Malaysia
(*) Corresponding Author


English is a globally recognised language spoken almost all over the world. When learning the English language, one needs to acquire four skills. They need to develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skill. Writing is difficult for English as Second Language (ESL) learners to acquire. It is an essential skill as they need it for many purposes in their daily lives. However, Malaysian pupils, being ESL learners and for some foreign language learners, it is even more challenging to master the skill. Teachers need to identify the area of weaknesses faced by their pupils so that they can choose appropriate materials and practical pedagogical approaches to help them learn. Error analysis is an effective way to help teachers obtain information on their pupils' kind of errors. This study aims to identify grammatical errors made by 77 Year Five primary pupils from a suburban school, focussing only on tenses. The analysis is done based on a short essay written by the pupils. This study suggests that by understanding their pupils' weaknesses, teachers will be able to develop interventions for the betterment of their pupils' learning.


English As Second Language (ESL), Tenses, Writing, Error Analysis, Primary School Pupils

Full Text:



Asrifan, A. 2015. The Use of Pictures Story in Improving Students’ Ability to Write Narrative Composition. International Journal of Language and Linguistics 3(4): 244. doi:10.11648/j.ijll.20150304.18

Corder, S. P. 1967. The significance of Learners’ errors. IRAL, 161-70. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching. IRAL 4(November): 161–170. Retrieved from

Corder, S. P. 1975. Survey article: Error Analysis, Interlanguage and Second Language Acquisition. Language Teaching 8(4): 201–218. doi:10.1017/S0261444800002822

Fareed, M., Ashraf, A. & Bilal, M. 2016. ESL Learners’ Writing Skills: Problems, Factors and Suggestions. Journal of Education & Social Sciences 4(2): 83–94. doi:10.20547/jess0421604201

Gedion, A. & Peter, J. C. 2016. A Syntactic Errors Analysis in the Malaysian ESL Learners ’ Written Composition. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research 3(6): 96–104.

Ho Peng, L. 1976a. Errors and Error Analysis in TESL: The Malaysian Experience. RELC Journals 7(2): 23–29.

Ho Peng, L. 1976b. Malaysian Experience. REL 7(2): 23–29. doi:Ho-Peng, L. (1976). Errors and Error Analysis in TESL: The Malaysian Experience. RELC Journal, 7(2), 23–29. doi:10.1177/003368827600700203

Ismail, I. & Mohd. Shah, P. 2015. Self-Efficacy in Learning English Among Form Four Students in Malaysia. Proceedings of Academics World 2nd International Conference.

Kaur, C., Singh, S., Mei, T. P., Abdullah, M. S., Mazlini, W., Nor, O. & Mostafa, A. 2017. ESL Learners’ Perspectives on the Use of Picture Series in Teaching Guided Writing. International Journal of Academic Research in Progressive Education and Development 6(4): 74. doi:10.6007/IJARPED/v6-i4/3463

Ministry of Education, M. 2013. Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 - 2025. Education 27(1): 1–268. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2010.08.007

Nusrat, A. 2016. Developing Esl Learners ’ Writing Skills : a Needs Analysis Developing Esl Learners ’ Writing Skills : a Needs Analysis (December).

Raimes, A. (Ed.). 1983. Techniques in Teaching Writing, hlm. First Edit. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sa ’diyah, H. 2017. Improving Students’ Ability in Writing Descriptive Texts Through a Picture Series- Aided Learning Strategy. The English Teacher XL(1993): 164–182.

Seitova, M. 2016. Error Analysis of Written Production: The Case of 6th Grade Students of Kazakhstani School. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 232(April): 287–293. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.10.022

Sesrica, M. & Jismulatif, A. 2017. The Effect of Using Pictures In Teaching Writing Descriptive Text For The Second Year Students Of SMPN 1 Siak Hulu. Retrieved from

Talif, R. & Edwin, M. 2015. Error Analysis of Form Four XVIII(September 1989): 1–12.

Thirusanku, J. & Yunus, M. M. 2014. Status of English in Malaysia. Asian Social Science 10(14): 254–260. doi:10.5539/ass.v10n14p254

Wening, R. H. 2016. The Role of Picture Series in Improving Students’ Writing Ability. International Conference on Education 739–746.

Yamat, H., Farita, N., Umar, M., Muhammad, & & Mahmood, I. 2014. Upholding the Malay Language and Strengthening the English Language Policy: An Education Reform. International Education Studies 7(13). doi:10.5539/ies.v7n13p197

Yamat, H., Fisher, R. & Rich, S. 2014. Revisiting English language learning among Malaysian children. Asian Social Science 10(3): 174–180. doi:10.5539/ass.v10n3p174

Yunus, M. M., Hashim, H., Sulaiman, N. A., Sulaiman, W. S. M., Richmond, R. L., Jarail, S. & Royal, N. 2018. Students’ Awareness and Perceptions towards “Pre-Writing Stage” as a Strategy in Writing Directed Essay. Creative Education 09(14): 2215–2223.


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 127 times
PDF - 14 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 English Language and Literature International Conference (ELLiC) Proceedings

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Electronic ISSN: 2579-7263
CD-ROM ISSN: 2579-7549

Published by

Jl. Kedungmundu Raya No.18 Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia
Phone: +622476740295, email: