Grammatical Deviations in the Compositions of AB English Freshmen by Mendez & Palconite (2010)


In this chapter, the researchers present the background of the study, the statement of the problem, the theoretical and conceptual framework, the significance of the study, and the scope and delimitation of the study and definition of terms.

Background of the Study

Language is the means by which humans communicate. It is through this medium where certain information is transpired spontaneously. Without language it could be hardly imagined nor predicted how people express themselves to convey meaningful ideas.
In the modern times, English language dominated the world. It is widely used in business, government, communications and academic institutions in almost all of the countries in the world. Thus, being competent in using the English language, in spoken or in written form is undoubtedly very rewarding both academically and economically.

Standard English means the knowledge of lexis and correct grammar. In any context which requires writing and speaking, one must have the proficiency in using the Standard English, that is, by having the knowledge of the basic rules of grammar. By this, one can write and speak effectively. Virtually, all the writings done by millions of people employed in white-collar jobs require the use of Standard English (McMahan and Day, 1984).

Subsequently, upon knowing the idea of the vast opportunities brought by having the aptitude to speak English fluently, learning the said language is at all time high in most parts of the world certainly due to a combination of economical need and English “media feeding”(Gibrakow, 2006).

Following the global standard of English proficiency, many institutions strengthened their ESL/EFL programs. However, their efficiency is hampered because many second language learners still fail to learn the mechanics of the language. Despite learners’ efforts, errors are still apparent particularly on the grammar of the language since it is the most intricate aspect in learning a second language.

This problem regarding errors is also the concern of many institutions worldwide. For instance, test takers of TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), including Tagalog, Cebuano, Japanese, Lithuanian, Georgian and other foreign nationals, often times have problems regarding their proficiency in the English language (Test and Score Data Summary for TOEFL Tests, January-December 2007).

The English language has been used by the Filipinos as a second language for a century. It has been introduced by the American people during the threshold of the nineteenth century. Since then the English language plays a great role in the educational system of the country.

Nevertheless, the mastery of the language is still a problem among Filipino learners. In fact, in 2004 only one in five teachers passed the English proficiency test. The effect of this dilemma on students is plain to hear. In 2007, the country flinched when the seventeen-year-old winner of the Miss Philippines World beauty contest failed spectacularly to answer in English the usual questions posed by judges in such event. Also, call-centers complain that they reject nine-tenths of otherwise qualified job applicants, mostly college graduates, because of their poor command in the English language (

In Davao City, particularly in the University of Southeastern Philippines, proficiency in the English language is also an immense problem. In fact, results of previous studies showed that the students have problems in utilizing the rules of the English grammar like the subject-verb agreement, tenses, faulty parallelism, dangling modifiers, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and the like (Cervantes and Pinili, 2006; Bustamante and Mamburam, 2006; Fernandez and Mercado, 2007).

With this academic predicament, the researchers studied the current situation of this problem regarding the grammatical deviations of the students so that a precise action could be done to answer such dilemma.

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