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Maritime students meeting the maritime industry English standards: An analysis of types of sentences

Umarlebbe, Jameela Hanoon and Shamsudin, Sarimah and Mat Said, Seriaznita (2022) Maritime students meeting the maritime industry English standards: An analysis of types of sentences. English Language Teaching, 15 (11). pp. 84-101. ISSN 1916-4742

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/elt.v15n11p84


A sentence is the highest unit of grammar. Thus, constructing error-free sentences in writing is one of the biggest challenges encounted by most non-native speakers, and even university students are not an exception to this reality. This study aims at investigating various types of sentences produced by tertiary-level maritime students in a Sri Lankan university. The study was based on a narrative writing activity in the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) module. The students were provided forty-five minutes to produce the piece of writing as an in-class activity on a topic relevant to their field visit to a port. This is a descriptive study based on the analysis of a small corpus of essays written by twenty maritime students, and a structural analysis of sentences was employed to examine the students’ writing. Different kinds of sentences and sentence errors were identified, and they were classified accordingly. The findings of the study revealed that the students favoured simple sentences over other sentence types. Approximately two-thirds of the sentences produced belonged to the simple sentence category. The compound-complex form was found to be the least utilized sentence type among the target group. The analysis of sentences was based on the elements of the clause structure explained in Quirk et al. (1985) and Oshima and Hough (2006). Interestingly, it was observed that there was no single common clause structural pattern used by the participants. Instead, they used subject-verb-object (SVO), subject-verb-complement (SVC) and subject-verb-adverbial (SVA) types very often when writing. Similarly, fragments and run-on sentences were recorded high among maritime learners’ erroneous sentences in writing. The study findings have pedagogical implications for the teaching of English language grammar that subsumes essay writing in the EAP module.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:English for Academic Purposes (EAP), subject-verb-object (SVO), English language grammar
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
ID Code:104504
Deposited By: Widya Wahid
Deposited On:21 Feb 2024 07:29
Last Modified:21 Feb 2024 07:29

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