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International Journal of Language and Linguistics

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200303 English as a Second Language

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Previously a tool was designed for the purpose of improving the standard of the sentence production of Freshman University Students with an ESL low level, which assisted them to avoid errors in syntax precision and sentence generation. The lamenting aspect of the previous article is that the tool was not tested for effectiveness. In this article, the results are presented of applying the tool in a class situation. The focus was on problems that beginners experience in a ESL situation regarding syntax in grammar and whether this tool could help them. A project was designed for the students to watch a small video of a robot-“donkey” designed by Boston Dynamics in their online video. The actions of the robot had to be described by them following the instructions of the teacher as to how to use the grid for each sentence. For 2014 spring semester 10 products of students were selected without instructions how to use the syntax tool as compared to 10 products of students for spring semester 2015 in which the tool was mandatory. In both years the students had to know descriptively, procedurally and processionally. The characteristics of the students were listed, namely gender, major, final grade, ranking in team presentation, and listening TOEIC score. The reason the characteristics were brought to the table surrounding the specimens to be investigated is that every specimen can be “weighed” better and it would also permit more interpretation velocity. The errors were listed and the results demonstrated that there are less syntax errors in 2015 than for 2014 but both researchers felt that ”Further investigation is needed with a larger sample size”. Students were given a questionnaire to indicate their feelings and this was also analyzed. We felt, with reasonable reservation that the Grid has a significant impact on aiding students and that one should continue to improve the current Grid as well as developing Grids for pre-intermediate and advanced students.

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Used by permission: IJLL and the authors.

Copyright © 2015 Koot van Wyk

International Journal of Language and Linguistics (IJLL) is an open access and double blind peer reviewed international journal published by Center for Promoting Ideas (CPI), USA.

At the time of writing Koot van Wyk was affiliated with Avondale College of Higher Education as a Conjoint Lecturer.