The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship



Regardless of whether a student is a native English speaker or an English Language Learner (ELL), high school graduates are expected to be able to write in a clear, proficient manner. However, the productive skill of writing can be particularly challenging for second language (L2) learners. The purpose of this paper is to examine issues relevant to L2 writing as diagnosed from the sample text, “Essay #9: Unreported world – Somalia,” which was written by a college-bound Somali student. Aspects of the paper focus on orthographic errors, syntactic issues, and pedagogical implications. The analysis reveals that both insufficient L2 grammatical knowledge and transfer of grammatical patterns from the learner’s first language (L1) contribute to errors when writing in English. The analyses provided here are intended to inform pedagogical practices for teaching writing skills to ELLs. The patterns of errors encountered in this composition raise important issues in developmental syntax.

Faculty Supervisor

Ettien Koffi



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