A Study of the Grading of English Language Scripts of Technical University Students in Ghana

Keywords: errors, pre-test, post-test, direct corrective feedback, indirect corrective feedback, English language


This paper assesses how English language texts of Technical University (TU) students in Ghana are graded. In their quest for their certificates, Higher National Diploma (HND) students are required to write Communication Skills I and II papers in the first year. Nonetheless, most HND students do not normally perform well in these two courses. The objectives of the paper were, therefore, to find out the type of errors TU students make; and the influence that Direct Corrective Feedback (DCF) has on their texts. The paper was grounded in Noticing Hypothesis theoretical framework. The design of the research was sequential exploratory mixed method (Note 1). The participants for the study were selected from four technical universities – Ho, Koforidua, Kumasi, and Sunyani Technical Universities. From each of the technical universities, 20 participants were randomly selected. Therefore, the sample size, in terms of the participants, was 80. However, 240 raw data were collected. That is each of the 80 participants composed one letter at the pre-test stage. After grading their scripts with DCF technique, the participants were, again, asked to compose another letter at the post-test stage. Also, the participants were made to fill questionnaire item each. SPSS and BLAF were used in analyzing the questionnaire items and the scripts respectively (Note 2). The findings of the study showed that DCF treats written errors effectively. The study, therefore, recommends that assessments of letter-based tasks of TU students should be made up of both pre- and post-test items, and DCF should be used in assessing HND students’ letter or essay-based scripts.

Author Biography

Edward Owusu, Sunyani Technical University, Sunyani

Dr. Edward Owusu is a Senior Lecturer of English Language in the Department of Communication Studies; and the Director, Quality Assurance, Sunyani Technical University, Sunyani, Ghana. His research interests include Second Language Studies, Literature-in-English, Sociolinguistics, Applied Linguistics, Communication Skills, and Essay Writing. He completed his PhD studies in 2017 from the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana. He has published over 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has attended conferences in African, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Dr. Owusu is also a Gospel Recording Artiste. He is also the Music Pastor of WordSprings City Church, Kumasi, and the CEO of Maciv Ministries and Maciv Music.


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Response of Participants on the use of DCF