Sunteți pe pagina 1din 23

Pangasinan State University

School of Advanced Studies

Chapter 1

THE PROBLEM: RATIONALE AND BACKGROUND

Writing is one of the most important skills human beings should learn.

As a matter of fact, it is one of the five macro skills alongside with

speaking, listening, reading, and viewing. Considering that it is a

productive skill, it can be a substitute for speaking in terms of

communication activity.

In the classroom setting, it is undeniable that errors are inevitably

present especially so to non-native (English) students. Errors

committed are that of grammar, spelling, and punctuations.

Grammatical errors which are prevalent among Filipino students are

an evidence that the deviation from the Standard American English

(SAE) grammar is unquestionable.

Written activities such as short stories, paragraph writing, essays and

the likes are the most common exercises from which teachers draw

students’ scores in such activities.

Among the most common grammatical errors that can be observed

among students’ written output is the problem on Subject-Verb

Agreement. Integrating grammar instruction on subject-verb agreement

into the revising and editing process helps students make immediate

1
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

applications, thus allowing them to see the relevance of grammar to their

own writing.

To communicate clearly in the English language, you must match a

singular subject with a singular verb and a plural subject with a plural

verb. Research strongly suggests that the most beneficial way of helping

students improve their command of grammar skill on subject-verb

agreement is to use students writing as the basis for discussing

grammatical concepts. Researchers agree that it is more effective to

teach punctuation, sentence variety, and usage in the context of writing

than to approach the topic by teaching isolated skills (Calkins, 1980;

DiStefano and Killion, 1984; Harris, 1962).

In Damortis National High School, English for Academic and

Professional Purposes is considered as one of the major subjects for the

Grade 11 Humanities and Social Sciences Students. It is a subject that

deals with special instruction designed for students to become adept in

office, business and professional writing.

The researcher believe that without grammar skill on subject-verb

agreement, writing and communicating are nothing more than just

writing symbols. Thus, a study is deemed necessary in determining the

commonly committed grammar errors on subject-verb agreement of the

Grade 11 HUMSS students of Damortis National High School and the

2
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

number of committed SVA errors in writing persuasive essays. This

served as a basis for the researcher to administer test such as

worksheets to enhance the level of SVA proficiency of the students.

Statement of the Problem

Given the foregoing linguistic situation of the said learners, this paper

sought to answer the following questions:

1. What are the commonly committed errors in Subject-Verb

Agreement of Grade 11-HUMSS students of Damortis National High School

in their persuasive essays?

2. How many errors did the Grade 11-HUMSS of DNHS commit on

Subject-Verb Agreement in their first persuasive essays?

3. How many errors did the Grade 11-HUMSS of DNHS commit on

Subject-Verb Agreement in their second persuasive essays?

4. What is the level of improvement of grammar skill on Subject-Verb

Agreement of Grade 11-HUMSS students in their second persuasive

essays after the utilization of worksheets?

3
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

Significance of the Study

This study will be of significance to the following:

Students. This research will enhance the grammar skill of the students

specifically on their Subject Verb Agreement proficiency. One of the 21st

century skills in the K12 curriculum is, Effective Communication, this doesn’t

only focus on the oral language but as well as the written language of the

students. Hence, considering our respondents who are taking the track

Humanities and Social Studies they need a firm grammar foundation to be

able to write good business and office letters.

Teachers. The research will aid the teacher in determining effective

strategies in grammar skill on subject-verb agreement. This will also prove

the effectiveness of administering test such as worksheet in improving the

proficiency of the students on Subject Verb Agreement.

Future Researchers. This study is beneficial to future researchers

who would want to conduct related researches or improve the present

study.

4
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

Chapter 2

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES

Different studies related to subject-verb agreement and subject-verb

agreement errors are discussed below.

Santesteban (2013), in his research titled The effects of word order on

subject-verb and object-verb agreement: Evidence from Basque, reveals

that the participants of his experiment on the SVA error were equally likely

to produce erroneous plural subject agreement following singular subjects

and plural object agreement following singular objects. Also, both subject

and object errors were more common for OSV (object-subject-verb) than

(subject-object-verb) SOV sentences. The results in his study suggests that

agreement encoding is affected by both overall sentential word order and

proximity of agreeing elements.

The study of Rispens and de Amesti (2017) What makes syntactic

processing of subject–verb agreement complex? The effects of distance

and additional agreement features investigated the two factors which

influence or affect the level of complexity of processing subject-verb

agreement. These are identified a the factors: (i) distance between the

subject and the critical verb (0, 1 or 2 constituents) and (ii) type of

intervening constituent between the subject and the verb (adverb versus an

5
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

NP within a PP). It is found out that Noun Phrases but not adverbs or

adverbial phrases. Their study suggests that that integration of additional

linguistic elements makes it more complex to process the subject–verb

agreement relationship at the verb, regardless of the presence of additional

number features.

Nicol JL et al. (2016) explored the language production process by

eliciting subject-verb agreement errors. The subject participants of the were

asked to write complete sentences such as The elf's/elves' house with the

tiny window/windows and The statue in the elf's/elves' gardens. Such

sentences were studied and analyzed using the paradigm of subject noun

phrases and possession. This study suggests that proximity to the head

noun matters: a possessor directly modifying the head noun induce a

significant number of errors, but a possessor within a modifying

prepositional phrase did not, though the local noun did. The findings

suggest that proximity to a head noun is independent of a "processing

window" effect.

Alamargot, Flouret et al (2015) in their study Successful Written

Subject-Verb Agreement: An Online Analysis of the Procedure Used by

Students in Grades 3, 5 and 12, conducted a study in which it was designed

to (1) investigate the procedure responsible for successful written subject-

6
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

verb agreement, and (2) describe how it develops across grades. Students

in Grades 3, 5 and 12 were asked to read noun-noun-verb sentences aloud

(e.g., "Le chien des voisins mange" (["The dog of the neighbors eats"]) and

write out the verb inflections. Some of the nouns differed in number, thus

inducing attraction errors. Results showed that third graders were

successful because they implemented a declarative procedure requiring

regressive fixations on the subject noun while writing out the inflection.

Chapter 3

METHODOLOGY

Research Design

The study aims to identify the commonly committed subject-verb

agreement errors of the Grade 11 HUMSS students as well as the number

of errors committed in their first persuasive essay that served as the basis

of the administration of tests specifically worksheets. A second persuasive

essay writing activity is performed by the Grade 11 HUMSS students to

identify if there is a decrease in the errors on subject-verb agreement.

Source of Data

The researcher collected ten persuasive essays from the Grade 11

HUMMS (Humanities and Social Sciences Students) of Damortis National

High School. The age group of these students varied from 16-18. These

7
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

essays are their written outputs in their English for Academic and

Professional Purposes subject. After the administration of the worksheets

that focused on the commonly committed errors on SVA, the researcher

gave another writing activity to the students expecting a least number of

errors on SVA.

Data Analysis

The researcher collected 10 persuasive essays from the Grade 11

HUMSS Students with the theme: The Youth are still the Future of our

Nation and identified the most commonly committed errors in the Subject-

Verb Agreement through a descriptive and qualitative interpretation. The

frequency of errors on SVA was also tabulated by the researcher. The

results served as the basis of the worksheet that the researcher

administered. Worksheets are identified as effective tools for enhancing the

grammar skill on Subject Verb Agreement of the students.

The following lists are examples of goals that can be addressed by using

worksheets. (http://www.maa.org/t_and_l/exchange/ite11/worksheets.htm)

1. Helping students focus on an underlying “big picture”.

2. Bridging the gap between watching and doing.

3. Focusing students’ attention in class.

4. Delivering and/or summarizing content efficiently.

5. Encouraging students to communicate their mathematical ideas.

8
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

6. Teaching students how to learn from their textbooks.

7. Connecting new material to previously-covered material.

The researcher conducted another persuasive writing activity with a

different theme which is, “To Love or Not to Love when Studying” to the

Grade 11 HUMSS students to identify the improvement on the level of SVA

proficiency after the utilization of the worksheets.

Tools for Data Analysis

To describe the level of improvement in the grammar skill on Subject

Verb Agreement of the respondents, the percentage will be computed using

the formula below:

Formula:

P = (f/n) x 100

where:

P = percentage

f = frequency

n = total number of respondents

9
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

Chapter 4

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

The data gathered were subjected to statistical analysis and

systematically presented to identify the commonly committed errors on

Subject Verb Agreement and the frequency of SVA errors in the first

persuasive essays that will serve as the basis for the utilization of

worksheets. A table of difference between the number of errors

committed in the first persuasive essay and the frequency of errors

committed in the second persuasive essay after the use of worksheet,

was also tabulated and analyzed.

Table 1

Most Commonly Committed Subject Verb Agreement Errors of the

Grade 11 HUMSS Students in Damortis National High School

Rules on Subject Verb The Frequency of SVA Rule

Agreement Violation in Students’

Persuasive Essays
(De Guzman, 1973)

Rule 1: “A verb agrees with its 37

subject in number” (p.72).

10
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

Rule 2: If two subjects are joined 4

by and, they typically require a plural

verb form.

Rule 3: Two singular subjects

connected by or,

either/or, or neither/nor require a

singular verb.

Rule 4: Sometimes the subject is

separated from the verb by such

words as along with, as well as,

besides, not, etc. These words and

phrases are not part of the subject.

Ignore them and use a singular

verb when the subject is singular.

Rule 5: “The number of a noun 5

(singular or plural) in a phrase does

not affect the number of the verb.

The verb still agrees with its subject

and not the phrase” (p.73).

11
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

Rule 6: The indefinite pronouns 2

both, many, several and few take a

plural verb.

Rule 7: The singular verb form is

usually used for units of

measurement or time.

Rule 8: Titles of books, movies,

novels, etc. are treated as singular

and take a singular verb.

Rule 9: In sentences beginning

with here or there, the true subject

follows the verb.

Rule 10: Nouns that refer to a 15

group or collection, such as class,

dollars, years, miles, faculty, team,

committee and board of trustees,

take a singular verb when the group

is considered a unit; plural verb

when the members are thought of

individually.”

12
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

Frequency and Percentage of Table 1

Rule Frequency Percentage

Rule 1 37 58%

Rule 10 15 23.8 %

Rule 5 5 7.9 %

Rule 4 4 6.3%

Rule 6 2 3.17 %

TOTAL 63 100%

Table 1 presents the commonly violated rules on Subject Verb

Agreement of the Grade 11 HUMSS Students of DNHS in their persuasive

essays. It can be seen from the table that the respondents mostly violated

rule #1 of De Guzman (1973) with a 58% of the total errors. This is followed

by rule # 10 having the percentage of 23.8 %. The third most violated rule

is rule # 5 with a 7.9% of the total number of errors. This implies that the

students performed poorly in the basic rule of SVA, had a hard time in

identifying whether the subject is considered as one unit or was taken

individually, and confused on the subject of the sentence because of the

presence of phrases specifically prepositional phrases. The results were the

13
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

basis of the questions in the worksheets that the researcher administered

to the students.

Table 2

Frequency of SVA Errors of the Grade 11 HUMSS Students in

Damortis National High School before the Utilization of

Worksheets.

Student Number of SVA Errors

S1 6

S2 2

S3 5

S4 2

S5 5

S6 2

S7 2

S8 7

S9 8

14
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

S10 2

Total 41

Mean: 41.1- High

Data Categorization

49-50 Very High

41-48 High

35-40 Low

1-34 Very Low

Table 2 shows the frequency of errors on SVA of the ten Grade 11

HUMSS students in their first persuasive essays with the topic: “The youth

are still the Hope of the Nation”, before the utilization of the worksheets. It

can be seen from the table that the ten students committed numerous of

SVA violations with the total of 41 errors.

15
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

Table 3

Frequency of SVA Errors of the Grade 11 HUMSS Students in

Damortis National High School after the Utilization of

Worksheets.

Student Number of SVA Errors

S1 1

S2 4

S3 1

S4 4

S5 1

S6 1

S7 1

S8 3

S9 4

S10 2

Total 22

16
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

Mean: 22 - Very Low

As can be gleaned from the table, the students committed few SVA

errors on their second persuasive essay with the topic: “To Love or Not to

Love while Studying”, after the administration of the worksheets with a total

of 22.

It can be interpreted that the number of errors committed on SVA

decreased after the usage of worksheets.

Table 4

Improvement on SVA Proficiency of the Grade 11 HUMSS Students

in Damortis National High School before and after the Utilization

of Worksheets.

Student Number of SVA Number of SVA Decrease Improved


Errors in the first Errors in the on the SVA on the SVA
Persuasive Essay second Error Proficiency
before the Persuasive
utilization of the Essay after the
Worksheet utilization of
the Worksheet
S1 6 1 5 /

S2 5 4 1 /

17
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

S3 5 1 4 /

S4 2 4 -2 x

S5 5 1 4 /

S6 2 1 1 /

S7 2 1 1 /

S8 7 3 4 /

S9 8 4 4 /

S10 2 2 0 x

Frequency and Percentage of Table 4

Frequency Percentage

Improved 8 80%

Did not Improved 2 20%

Total 10 100%

Table 4 shows the number of Grade 11 students of DNHS with improved

grammar skill on Subject Verb Agreement. As can be gleaned from the

18
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

table, 80% of the respondents improved in their grammar skill. This

implies that the use of worksheets decreased the commonly committed

errors on SVA and that helped students create grammatically correct

sentences and phrases in writing persuasive essays. The worksheets

aided the students to easily comprehend and analyze the rules in SVA

in which they applied in writing persuasive essays. On the other hand,

there are two (2) out of ten (10) who did not improve. The error of the

first student increased into 2 points in the second persuasive essay

while the other remained its score.

Chapter 5

CONCLUSIONS

This study aimed to improve the grammar skill of the Grade 11

HUMSS students in Damortis National High School that would help them

create good written outputs and will pave way for them to become an

empowered individual in the field that they chose to take. The subjects of this

research were the Grade 11 Humanities and Social Science students in

Damortis National High School. There are thirty-five (35) students taking up

the subject English for Academic and Professional Purposes in this class but

only ten persuasive essays were collected for this study. Moreover, this

action research opt to determine the commonly committed errors on Subject

19
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

Verb Agreement and the number of errors committed by the ten students on

SVA in their persuasive essays that served as a basis for the creation of

worksheets. This study also determined the effectiveness of these

worksheets as reflected on the results of the students’ second outputs in

writing persuasive essays.

In the light of the fore cited findings above, the following conclusions

are drawn:

1. Grade 11 HUMSS students usually committed errors in the basic rule of

subject verb agreements which states that: “A verb agrees with its subject

in number” (De Guzman, 1973). This is followed by the confusion of the

collective nouns that they used in writing their persuasive essays (Rule

#13, De Guzman), thus, whether the subject should be taken as one unit

or individually. The third commonly committed error in SVA is the

agreement with intervening phrases.

2. The Grade 11 HUMSS students lacks the necessary competencies on

SVA which was showed on the high number of SVA errors that students

committed which are evident to their first persuasive essays.

3. Students were able to learn and understand better the rules on Subject

Verb Agreement through the help of worksheets. Thus, applying these

learnings in writing their second persuasive essay in which they

committed low number of errors.

20
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

4. The Grade 11 HUMSS students improved their proficiency on the rules of

Subject Verb Agreement after the utilization of the worksheets as can be

gleaned from the decrease of commonly committed errors on SVA. Thus,

this strategy in improving the grammar and writing skills of the students

was significantly effective.

21
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A. Books

De Guzman, Maria. Grammar and Idioms: Self-Taught. National


Bookstore, 1973.

B. Theses

Santesteban, Mikel. The effects of word order on subject-verb and


object-verb agreement: Evidence from Basque. University of Basque.
2013. 10 May 2017

Rispens, Judithde and Amesti, Vicente Soto. What makes syntactic


processing of subject–verb agreement complex? The effects of
distance and additional agreement features. University of Southern
California. 2017. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. 10 May 2017.

Nicol JL, Barss A, Barker JE. Minimal Interference from Possessor


Phrases in the Production of Subject-Verb Agreement.University of
ArizonaTucson. 2016. . ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. 10 May
2017

Alamargot, Denis, et al. Successful Written Subject-Verb Agreement: An


Online Analysis of the Procedure Used by Students in Grades 3, 5
and 12. University of California. 2015. ProQuest Dissertations
Publishing. 10 May 2017

C. Electronic Resources

Subject Verb Agreement Worksheet.


https://www.englishgrammar.org/subject-verb-agreement-worksheet/

Subject and Verb Agreement Exercise.


https://owl.english.purdue.edu/exercises/5/13/34/answer

22
Pangasinan State University
School of Advanced Studies

23