Comparing Essay Errors Of L1 And L2 First-Year Composition Students At GMU

  • Tara Scottolano George Mason University


Location: Dewberry Hall

With over 34,000 students representing 123 countries, George Mason University is a vastly diverse university with students bringing different learning experiences and skill sets with them into the classroom. The study that our team conducted analyzes the essays of native English speakers, as well as the essays of students for whom English is their second language. Our objective when conducting this research was to observe the essays for signs of syntactic complexity and patterns of language errors. Specifically, we looked for subordinating clauses, transitions, subject/verb agreement, article usage, run-on sentences, and fragments. We found that some errors in L1 and L2 populations were consistent with our expectations, but others reveled a more complex understanding of the linguistic norms of the groups studied. The results of these findings will give professors of all disciplines and modalities insight to the challenges that first-year L1 and L2 students confront when faced with a writing assignment.

Author Biography

Tara Scottolano, George Mason University

Tara is a graduate student at George Mason University pursuing a degree in English with a Concentration in Teaching Writing and Literature. Her research is focused on better understanding the student as a whole, in order to best help them learn and succeed.

4:15pm-5:30pm POSTER SESSION (Group A- 4:15-4:45pm)