Research Key

Spelling Errors in Students’ Written English: The case of Kings’ Secondary School Limbe

Project Details

Project ID
International: $20
No of pages
Qualitative research
Analytical tool
Descriptive statistics
 MS word & PDF

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This research is based on spelling errors found in the scripts of secondary school students. It is aimed at identifying the types of error and reasons why students make them when writing an essay. The sample of students on which the study was carried is form 3 and 4 students of Kings’ Bilingual Comprehensive Community College Mile 4 Limbe.

Their scripts were used as the basis for the qualitative and quantitative analyses.

Error analysis was used to analyse the errors and it was found that students spelling pattern follows the pronunciation pattern which is to say that the students tend to write what they pronounce.

The mistakes mostly found in the scripts of these students are substitution with 79% and omission with 69.7%. The students’ performance also shows that spelling errors are in line with students’ academic failure as 20% of the students succeeded.

It is recommended that school councillors in collaboration with school authority should organize orientation programs for new teachers. This will equip them with the skills to identify the areas of students’ weakness and the kind of remedial programs to put in place.



Background of the Study

During the last two decades, the English language has become one of the world’s leading

languages. It is widely used in about 70 countries of the world for communication, business, travel, education, and official languages. It is also one of the languages used officially in science, media, and cinema.

English as an international language occupies a very prominent place in Cameroon, especially in the Anglophone regions. It is considered as one of the marketing tools in the Anglophone region of Cameroon for trading, health, media, press, and education sector.

In this region, English is considered and taught as a second language. Students have to master the four basic language skills i.e. reading, listening, speaking and writing. English writing skills are significant as they play an important role in communication.

To convey messages effectively, correct spelling is strongly required. One of the major problems that confront second language learners of English is wrong spelling (Fontem and Tabah, 2015). Spelling is one of the writing problems L2 students encounter, including students of Kings Bilingual Comprehensive Community College (KBCCC) Mile 4 Limbe

In my findings to study the use of English as a second language (L2), I discovered the problems faced by many students who wish to acquire the language, and this problem happens to be the misspelling of words or spelling errors.

Spelling per Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (7th edition, 2006), “is the way that a particular word is written” and it defines Error as “a mistake, especially one that causes problems or affects the result of something”. As an L2 learner of English, I have noticed that the students of Kings’ College often find it difficult in

Statement of the Problem

Since writing is fast becoming an indispensable skill as every aspect of life needs it especially when preparing for an exam, applying for a job etc. spelling error is causing a lot of setbacks especially to many secondary school students.

This research encompasses writing, spelling, error analysis and essay writing. Students’ written language product still has so many spelling errors. Many attempts have been made to solve this challenge, but it remains visible.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is not merely to analyse the students’ errors but also to determine the problems and try to understand them so that they could be tackled more effectively, and to provide suggestions on how to help students improve their writing skills.

Error analysis in this study would reveal the sources of these spelling errors and what the causes are and the reason for their frequent occurrence. Once the sources and causes are discovered, it would be possible to determine the solution or remedy.

Aims/Objective of the Study

To identify, classify and analyse the different spelling errors and the sounds that constitute the problematic areas for secondary 3 and 4 students of Kings’ college Limbe.

To help discover the reasons why students of secondary schools are faced with the problem of spelling.

To help the teachers know the root cause of their student academic failure and properly look for possible solutions to help advocate this problem.

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