Francesco Romano
Francesco Romano

Francesco Romano började 2017 på Romanska och klassiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, som post doc-forskare inom andraspråksinlärning. Hans forskning fokuserar på att förstå huruvida grammatisk kunskap hos arvspråkstalare liknar inföddas eller andraspråkstalares.


English for Academic Purposes (EAP) is a thriving educational context in contemporary UK higher education. Although instruction in EAP focuses on the full set of language skills, one area in which it fails to yield learning gains is grammar. In fact, past research shows that tense and agreement inflection are especially troublesome for the academic writing of speakers whose L1 lacks such verb forms. However, use of tense/agreement and other forms such as the passive are believed pivotal to academic writing and contradistinguishing the syntactic complexity of native texts.

I report on a study of EAP writing by a homogenous groups of L1 Chinese students who completed a series of academic tasks at two UK institutions. Error analyses show that participants omit and misuse inflection tense/agreement inflection more than passives and modals and do so to a significantly high degree despite the test procedure allowing participants to revise their writing. Moreover, rate of omission and misuse is strikingly similar across the three verb types examined.

I argue that the findings are consistent with previous research indicating that tense/agreement errors in EAP can be traced to the absence of comparable inflection in the student's L1. On this basis, I discuss pedagogical implications in relation to how, what, when grammatical errors should be remedied.