Analyzing Errors in Formative Assessment: The Case of Pakistani ESL Undergraduates

  • Asma Khan, Dr. University of Education, Lahore
  • Noormah Babar University of Education, Lahore
  • Mahwish Farooq, Dr. University of Central Punjab, Lahore
Keywords: Error Analysis, academic assessments, grammatical rules, formative assessment


The current study endeavors to probe into the possible intricacies of English language errors committed by the undergraduate students after assessing their academic assignments and compositions. In Pakistan, English is not the native language but is mandated as a compulsory subject within educational institutions. Therefore, ESL learners often engender linguistic errors. The primary objective of this scholarly investigation was to elucidate prevalent linguistic errors inherent in undergraduate students’ academic assignment. Therefore, the research framework of Error Analysis, pioneered by Corder (1979), was embraced. The scope of this research was only confined to the public sector universities. The researchers meticulously amassed and scrutinized all undergraduate students' assignments to quantify the frequency of errors therein. Consequently, a gamut of eight distinct error categories was identified, among these errors, punctuation and capitalization errors were registered with the highest incidence. Evidently, this study also uncovered a dearth of cognizance for the accurate use of grammatical rules. This study can serve as a pivotal resource for the learners, educators, and researchers to the linguistic errors as per the prowess of undergraduates in Pakistan. Furthermore, this work furnished prescriptive recommendations for both ESL learners and teachers for ameliorating language errors.

Keywords: Error Analysis, academic assessments, grammatical rules, formative assessment