Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 5 : 11 November 2005

Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Associate Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.




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Copyright © 2004
M. S. Thirumalai


A. Chandra Bose, Ph.D. Candidate




Std Standard
Dist. District
L1 Mother tongue
L2 Second language
SVO Subject verb objects
SOV Subject object verb
R Rural
U Urban
VP Verb phrase
Eg. for example
AUX Auxiliary
NP Noun phrase
V Verb
LAD Language Acquisition Device



I extend my heartfelt thanks to Dr.R.SARAVANA SELVAN, Reader, Academic staff College, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, for his expert guidance and timely help on the mode of presentation of the research study for my M.Phil degree.

I find no word to express my gratitude to Dr. T. MUTHU KRISHNAN, Lecturer, Department of Educational Technology, Bharathiar University, ho has kindly rendered his help while I was doing my project.

My thanks are due to Dr.C. SIVAKUMAR, Lecturer, Department of Linguistics, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, for his encouragement during the period of this study.

Finally I express my thanks to my father S.AMALRASU, my mother A.PAPPU, my brothers, and sister, and my friends.

A. Chandra Bose



1. 1 General

Language is one of the wonderful gifts given by God to humanity. It is with the help of language that man is able to communicate and solve a number of his problems and has been able to make a lot of achievements in life. If there has been no language, it would have been difficult for man to communicate his views to fellow human beings. There would have come no educational activity into existence, there would have been no law making, no preaching, no lecturing and nothing like talking, singing, writing and exchanging views and there would have been no book. That is why it is very essential for every man to learn and use a language.

However, it is not easy to learn a language. Every language is a complex phenomenon, and one has to devote a number of years to learn a language. Even though some are able to learn more than one language.

According to Sapir (1921:10), "Language is primarily human and non - human instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotion and desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols."

Jesperson (1919:12) says, "Language is a set of human habits, the purpose of which is to give expressions to thoughts and feelings;". Every language has its own special way of making words. The ways in which words behave in a particular language is called 'grammar.' While we are speaking or writing in a foreign language or in our own language, our use of words must obey grammatical rules of the language concerned. It breaks down; the sense conveyed through that language also breaks down. The term 'grammar 'in its broadest sense refers to the statements about the regularities and the irregularities of language.

In the every day usage, grammar evokes ideas about 'correctness' of language elements. This view of grammar involves many value judgements about the acceptability of certain utterances. Grammar may all be basically the same suggested by the term universal grammar, since all grammars must reflect the human minds, then we can assume that mind, always and every where, have something common. Language reflects cultures, and it helps man for communication and gives a set of habits. Grammar can therefore be thought of as a codification of observable characteristic of large body of speech.

Therefore, in order to steer the language, one should internalise the grammatical pattern existing in all linguistic levels of language. The internalization of grammatical rules happens covertly if a language is acquired as first language and it happens overtly if a language is learnt as second or foreign language. However, the internalization of grammatical rule is an imperative prerequisite for any language learning process.

1. 2 English Language Teaching (ELT)

English, as a lingua-franca and as a link language occupied very important place in our social activities. Thus, every one in willy-nilly wants to learn the English language. Especially in the academic domain, each child is intimidated to plunge into the task of learning English language in order to survive in the competitive world. Consequently, the educational planners are moving heaven and earth to impart the English language to the future citizen of India. English, although it is a foreign language, is taught as second language as the society provides certain English learning situations.

1. 3 Statement of the problem

Notwithstanding enough serious efforts have been taken in all quarters of the educational set-up, still there has been some bottlenecks in the road of learning English language. Some early studies reveal a bitter fact that the students studying in the Higher Secondary school encounter plenty number of grammatical problems which hurdle the language user to excel in their linguistic behaviour. The present study, therefore, tries to unearth some of the grammatical problems encountered by the High school students and thereby tries to better the teaching- learning situation of English language.

1. 4 Language learning process

Second language learning is defined by Lado (1964) as acquiring the ability to use its strictures within a general vocabulary under essentially the condition of normal communication among native speakers at normal conversational speed. More specifically, it means the acquisitions of the ability to use in speaking the units and the patterns of the content when listening to the second languages. It means the learning of expression, the content and the association of expression and system of the content in rapid use in the proper position within the target languages.

In recent years, English language teaching in a developing country like India has taken a new character. A need has arisen to specify the aims of English learning more precisely than in terms of the learning of formal grammar as English has been required to play important role in our society. Through out the world, students at different levels of education find it as a struggle to learn English. In most of the countries English has taken a unique position that all the students or scholars are pushed to the situation where they cannot have better career or higher education without the knowledge of English. The students remain in a compulsory situation to learn English in order to stand up to one's own expectations. In India, English was given an important place before independence. In most of the institutions English had been the medium of instruction. The students were happy to learn the language because native speakers of English taught it. The study of English was considered to be a superior quality not only status wise but also for career that the child is expected to interact through English with its family members, neighbours in various types of interaction.

The second language learning takes place in different manner. Generally, second language learner always has the tendency to view the second language through the grammatical rules of his/her first language. Then, it is needless to say that the influence of the mother tongue will be on the second language at every level starting from phonology to syntax. This is the reason the researchers often distinguish between the language learning and acquisition. While learning the second language, the phenomenon of interference from the mother tongue is the one, which is inevitable for most of the learners. It is the main reason to develop the second language, methodology in such a way that the above-mentioned interference should be avoided to great extent.

The common and accepted approach to language teaching is through contrastive method. In other words, the language specific features of both mother tongue of the learner and the second language are studied thoroughly before and an attempt is made to teach the second language and also to prepare instructional materials for second language teaching.

1. 5 First Language Acquisition

First language is the language, which the child acquires first when the child learns to communicate with the people around. The language that is taught or used for the communication by ones mother is the first language to his/her. The child feels most comfortable in using the language. This language is called the child's mother tongue from the time of nurturing. The child has an innate language acquiring device. The child first learns the language that is his native language without being taught in formal situation. This language is learnt spontaneously without much strain, since the urge for language in the infant stage is very strong.

1. 6 Second Language Acquisition

Second language acquisition stands in contrast to first language acquisition. It is learnt as ones their additional language after he/she acquired his/her mother tongue. Second language acquisition has referred to all the aspects of the language that the language learner needs to be mastered. However, it is important to study that how an L2 learner acquires grammatical sub-systems of L2.

Second language acquisition some times contrasted with the second language learning on the assumption that theses are different process. The term "acquisition" used to refer to picking up a second language through exposure, whereas the term "learning" is used to the subconscious or the processes of acquiring a language other than mother tongue in a structured means or tutored setting. It covers the development of phonology, lexical, grammar and pragmatic knowledge but has been largely confined to morph syntax. Second language is the language acquired by a person after having acquired the basic systems of first language. Second language acquisition takes place when the child is required to learn a new language formally as a apart of its education. Second language embraces both this acquisitions and the tutored acquisition. In the situation of second language learning, this first language functions as a medium of the instruction to the second language forms rather than the tool for explanation of meaning of these forms.

1. 7 Difference between first language acquisition and the second language acquisition

  1. Language learner should be in a position to speak effectively according to the situation and should have the ability to have full comprehension whenever he is exposed to that language.
  2. Target of language teaching is to have mastery over all the language skills.
  3. Learning is an approach to language in which learners are taught rules and given specific information about a language.
  4. Then the rules were emphasized to study the grammatical rules of language.
  5. The first and second language learning/teaching is mostly a process of learning the written form of the learner's mother tongue in the school set-up.
  6. The student is quiet fluent in speaking first language and it helps to acquire the written variety of first language in school.
  7. The learner can get above opportunity to interact with the teachers and friends through first language and this situation motivates the students to learn first language better.
  8. In the case of learning second language, the learner is not that much familiar with the target language.
  9. According to second language, learning is a difficult process for the learner because getting opportunity to manifest the second language both inside and outside the class room is lesser.
  10. So, the students are not able to develop the skill in second language as they develop these in the first language.

1. 7 (b) Influence of first languages over second languages

While discussing the influence of first language over the second language, it is appropriate to mention what Lado (1971:2) he said that' those elements that are similar to his native language will be simple for him and those elements that are different will be difficult.' At this context, it is evident that the language teacher and language learners should know the structures of both the mother tongue and the second languages. Because such knowledge can help the language teacher to identify the areas of influence of mother tongue on the second language and also to develop some methods to rectify the interferences.

1. 8 English in India

English is used in India as the international and link language. For various historical reasons, English has been growing in our socio-cultural setting for more than two hundred years as it is also a second language, official language and a way of expounding Indian culture and philosophy. A vast population of India who are educated uses it. They are urban bilinguals and it is also used by institutions for inter institutional communication in a wide range of contents. Indian English has proved as an effective system of communication. At the individual level, English is considered to be as a language which provides opportunity of upward social mobility for people seeking advancement in the field of socio-economic. In short, considering the present advantages of English, it becomes a necessity for all the Indians to acquire the knowledge of English.

Students in schools are forced to learn English as the second language right from the beginning of their education. They have be to acquire all the basic skills to their best. The society of India is a multi lingual, multicultural and pluralistic in nature. English is the most widely spoken language in India. It is used in different environments for different purposes for understanding the environments and to maintain the social activities; one has to make use of this language.

The history of English in India is with us right from the day the English men stepped on our soil The English has influenced in the various spheres of Indian life. First, as trade men and then as rulers of an empire till Indian got freedom in 1947.Such an association has made English more than a foreign language not less than second language in India. After the independence, Indians developed a peculiar relationship with English. Some of us loved English like anything but some of us hate it. Many states in India have ignored English as a medium of instruction in schools and take the mother tongue almost in all domains. At the college level, many states have switched over from English as the medium of instruction to the regional languages. In certain states like Tamil Nadu, the medium of instruction in colleges is both in English and the regional language.

Some states have made the study of English compulsory up to graduate level. English is optional in schools and college in certain other states. There are states where the student s study English but a pass in the language is not necessary to complete the course. Indian students of English language at the particular level possess a very wide range of abilities and the situation becomes still more serious and confusing when we take fact into account that English is the language for trade, commerce and higher learning. For learning English language, most of them use library language in all over the world and the largest numbers of books are written and they are translated from other language to English. A developing country like India can not ignore an international language like English. India has to carry its affairs with various countries of the world in so many fields and here lies the importance of English as language of national and international communication.

According to Nehru who realised the gravity of the situation and said 'obviously without going into the merits of various foreign languages English is more convenient for us than other languages like French, German, Russian, Italian etc and apart from the fact that English is a very important and very great language spoken by a great many people all over the world. It is clear that if we want a foreign language, English is the most convenient and best language for us.

1. 9 Role of English in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu follows a two-language formula. Students study Tamil or the mother tongue and English in schools and colleges. As elsewhere in India majority of students who are socially, economically and educationally backward and first generation learners come to schools and colleges. The teaching of a foreign language such as English to such students in very large numbers indeed a formidable task. Tamil Nadu has made certain special efforts to improve the standards of teaching and learning of English at all levels. Special officers have been appointed for English both at college and school levels. The standard of English is sliding down in the state. A high percentage of failures can be attributed to the galleries of the students only in English at school and college levels. For most Tamil medium students they find English as difficult subject to pass. They feel quite miserable with English and they resort to all sorts of materials on both the interested students and not interested students. They should teach them well and make each and every student to get pass marks in English.

1. 10 Teaching of English in Tamil Nadu

For a long time, the language problem has been one of the major issues in this country. It is because of the fact that the states have come into being only on the basis of the language. In all educational institutions, language is given more importance. The institutions of higher learning and the research also prefer in English. According to various socio-economic and political reasons, the government has introduced Tamil as the medium of instruction. It is a fact that learning through mother tongue is easy and quicker. The people have mistaken it and they fail to realise the value of English thinking, hearing through mother tongue is easy to get filled of knowledge. Even graduates find very difficult to communicate in English with the people who come from other states in India. The real meaning and the objective of education could not serve any purpose.

English is introduced to students from III standard in their primary education. When the children enter into their primary III, standard there they learn some of the basic skills in their mother tongue. But the same students find it very difficult to understand the second language in the formal classroom situations. English is introduced at the age of 8 or 9 and it baffles them in the classroom. Most of the primary Schools at Tamil Nadu do not have a sufficient number of qualified teachers. Most of the student population is from villages they need some basic facilities and the same trend continues to be in the secondary High schools also. The primary schools are considered to be the feeder schools of the nearby high schools. In almost all the primary schools, English is not given more importance as their other subjects are taught in their mother tongue. The students do not have interest to learn, the English language in addition to their mother tongue. The teacher also fails to develop the positive attitude towards learning English among the students.

When the student belongs to the stage 10 to11 the students find it very difficult to acquire the language without basic skills. They are supposed to know the basic items when they come without basic skills. They are supposed to know the basic items when they come to VI standard. But the conditions of the present students are not so. The teachers in the high school cannot go back to the level of VIII standard and teach them basic skills of the language to bring them to the main stream of the class. Introducing the rhymes in the kinder garden levels is to make the children familiar to the speech sound of English language. These also make them improve their pronunciation skills. By the way of memorising the rhymes, the students are able to learn the speech sounds of the target language which forms the basic units of all language.

1. 11 The Grammar in the English Language

The English word grammar has come from the Greek word 'grammar' meaning a 'LETTER.' In classical Greek and the Latin word 'grammar' referred to the general study of literature and language. From the 17th centenary onwards two meanings have been compared with each other in English. In 1605 Francis Bacon wrote concerning speech and words", the consideration of them produced the science of grammar ' while in 1637 Ben Johnson writes, " the grammar is the art of true and well speaking language." Then Bacon has told that 'grammar' is a science, a study of set of phenomena; but for Johnson, grammar is an art the skill or technique of speaking well. It is Johnson's definition. Then L. Murray has written about grammar in 1824 English grammar is the art of peaking and writing the English language with propriety.'

The term 'grammar' was at one time used to denote the study of all aspects of a language. The linguistics generally restricts the scope of this term these days. The linguistic study of a language or variety of a language, is often said to have three components; phonetics /phonology grammar, semantics. These three aspects of linguistics study are, however, not independent of each other. The chambers 20th contrary dictionary has described grammar as the science of language, from the points of view of pronunciation; inflection, syntax, and historical development. The way of the right use of language is grammar. The new shorter oxford English dictionary has pointed out that grammar is the branch of language study or linguistics which deals with the means of showing the relationship between words in use. They are divided as the study of inflections (Morphology) and the structure of the sentences (Syntax) and also often including phonology. In the grammar, speech or writing has judged as good or bad according to how it conforms or violates the grammar rules.

The language is often called as a skill rather than a subject. It is a matter of doing than of knowledge. The language skills namely listening and reading are comparatively passive, requiring less expertise on the parts of the learner. Grammar has played an important role as in those days. Languages are learnt through different methods. They are direct method, grammar translation method, linguistic method etc. The Direct method is a method thereby learners are placed in real social situation where a particular language is spoken. By the process of speaking with speakers of that language, the learner learns that language.

In the grammar translation method the method of learning the grammar of the target language compares with the language, which one learned earlier. Linguistic method is the different method from the above two. In this method, the learners analyses each and every item of the language being learnt. Knowingly or unknowingly importance has been given to the grammar of language because of the grammatical knowledge only enables a man to use that language. Then apart from this grammatical knowledge a man requires something for the manifestation of language.

The grammar plays an important role for acquiring learning and using the language. Realizing this, grammar is taught as learning element. Learners in turn are expected to get the grammatical knowledge as imported through the teaching materials. A language learner need not acquire al the grammatical items of a language .Because an individual learner cannot make use of all the grammatical knowledge, when he/she uses the language. A learner should understand the frequently used grammatical traits leaving away the other grammatical traits. The grammatical traits that are imperative for using the language is taught as pedagogical grammar. Therefore, the learners or students are expected to require the pedagogical grammar.

1.12 Teacher's attitude towards teaching English and the students

Teacher is the backbone for education. There is no learning without a teacher. The teacher of present day is not like the guru of the olden days. She/he does not show the cane like the sword over the student. Instead, he is a friend, philosopher and a guide for the student. English classes especially serve the purpose of a pressure among them to give the small opening to the students who are of the view that language classes serve as a welcome changes after the subjects such as Maths, Science, History and Geography and so on. So, it is essential to collect a few opinions from the English teachers regarding teaching of English and also about the students.

The researcher has elicited opinions from the six teachers regarding the methods of teaching. Student's, course materials and further required improvements etc. All teachers are qualified for taking English classes. Four teachers out of six teachers will read News papers and journals regularly. The teachers are conducting special class for the slow learners; arrange group discussion for the students, increase number of periods to teach grammar, workbooks help the student to develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Students and teachers interact to bring in the students to read news papers and one of them is making the students to read journals. To learn the usage of modal auxiliary verbs, a lot of practice and drill have been done. All of them accepted. For the type of the examination, four of them have recommended objective type questions and one of them has given it as essay type and another teacher has recommended short answer type.

While conversing with the students when they teach English three teachers are able to use Tamil in English class. All of them have accepted that making Error itself shows that the learning process is taking place. While teaching modal auxiliary verbs teachers are facing many problems at high school level. They are as follows

  1. The students know what are the modal auxiliary verbs but they are not able to use them in suitable sentences while they are writing.
  2. Students are not able to identify proper tense forms.
  3. A lot of modal auxiliary verbs is difficult to explain them.
  4. The difficulty they face mainly because of the main difference between Tamil and English in sentence pattern. In Tamil we have SOV form but in English it is SVO form.

1. 13 Methodology

1. 13. 1 Questionnaire

The present works adopts a descriptive method for describing the problems of learning and prescriptive method prescribing measures. The Questionnaire was one of the important sources for data elicitation. For this study, the two types of questionnaire were prepared. One questionnaire was based on modal auxiliary verbs for the students. It was given to each student to answer the questions with the social background of every student has been taken. Then another questionnaire was prepared for teachers. The teachers were asked to write the answer in the paper itself.

1. 13. 2 Aim and the scope of study

The aim of the present study is to unearth the problems of the students while learning English as second language especially while learning modal auxiliary verbs of English and to advocate certain remedies to solve those problems or at least to lessen the severity of those problems.

1. 13. 3 Specific objectives

  1. To find Students' ability in picking up modal auxiliary verbs like may, might, shall, should will, would, can, could etc.
  2. To find out whether they are able to use modal auxiliary verbs in combination with the other verbs and identify whether they are able to identify the modal auxiliary verbs.

1. 13. 4 Limitation of the study

To know whether the students are able to understand only modal auxiliary verbs. Other grammatical categories have not been taken into consideration for this study.

Only two Tamil medium schools were taken for data collection, one from rural and another from urban area. Apart from that English teachers were also interviewed.

1. 13. 5 Significance of the study

Errors observed from rural students and urban students studying from VIII Std. to X Std. have been taken into account for the present study. This has taken only confined to the problems experienced by the cited students especially while learning the modal auxiliary verbs. Other grammatical problems are beyond the purview of the present study.

1. 13. 6 Selection of the informants and interviewed

The total numbers of informants are 150, which includes 75 from the rural area and remaining from urban area Tamil medium schools. Those 150 students are studying in the classes from VIII Std, IX Std., X Std. Those 150 students have been interviewed besides interviewing by questionnaire. Teachers were asked for their views individually.

1. 13. 7 Study Area

The corpus for the study has been elicited from the urban and rural areas of Ramanathapuram district. The Government High School of Thiruppalikkudi and Syed Ammal Higher Secondary School of Ramanathapuram were selected representing rural and urban variables respectively.

1. 13. 8 Data Elicitation

  1. Data was collected from 150 students from rural and urban Tamil medium students separately.
  2. Only 6 teachers were interviewed through questionnaire, they were asked to write their own views and suggestions
  3. The students were just to write answerer to the questions, given in the questionnaire.
  4. In the first part, nineteen sentences were given. They were asked to write proper modal auxiliary verbs
  5. In the second part, five sentences were given and students were asked to write verbs with the suitable tense form from the forms given in brackets
  6. In the third part, the students were to choose the appropriate verb form from the given forms.
  7. In the fourth part, dialogue was given as fill- in the blanks, in that. The students were asked to write the suitable modal auxiliary verbs which will be applicable in that dialogue
  8. For the teachers' twenty one questions were asked and they were asked to write their own answer

1. 13. 9 Data analysis

The student's errors have been classified and error analysis has been made. Statistical analysis was also done. First by counting number of correct and wrong entries, then their comprehensibility was inferred through the statistical analysis.

1. 14 Socio-Economic background and attitude of students

The attitude of the students plays a vital role in determining the extent of success of teaching/learning activity. The first of the questionnaire used in this study contains questions related to the social background of the students. Because of this information has much to do with his/her learning process. It has the information regarding their mother tongue, whether they come from rural/urban background, educational level of their parents, mark secured in their previous exams etc.

The questionnaire provides with information regarding the student's, likes and dislikes towards teaching / learning of English 150 students were selected as the informants for this study. In each class from 8th Std, to 10th Std both rural and urban Tamil medium students were taken into account. In each class twenty five students were taken and the data elicitation was made. All the students from VIII rural, VIII urban, IX rural, IX urban, X rural, X urban all of them use guides for English. All of them have accepted that they like English classes and also don't speak English at home. Then, rural students are speaking only English at class room with their teachers. Then, urban students are some times able to speak English. They mostly speak in Tamil with teachers. In 8th Std twenty rural students are having T.V set at home five of them are not having, then twelve students will read magazines in English. Thirteen students do not read magazines in English Eleven students are able to read English books other than text books. In 8th Std fourteen urban are having T.V set at home others are not having. Ten students are reading magazines fifteen students will not read magazines. In9th Std 22 rural students are having T.V set at home.3 of them are not having. Then 23 of them read English magazines,2 of them will not read magazines. In 9th Std 20 urban students are having T.V. set at home. 15 of they will read magazines in English. Then 10th Std 23 urban students are having T.V. set at home, 2 of them are not having. In 10th Std 25 rural students are having T.V. set at home, 23 of them of them will read news paper in English.

1.15 Table showing the educational qualification of parents of VIII to X, rural students &VIII to X urban students of Tamil medium schools.

Educational qualification

                                       Illiterate               School             College

VIII   (R)                              5                    17                        3

VIII   (U)                            11                   10                        4

IX     ( R)                             4                    12                        9

IX     ( U)                             8                     14                       3

X     ( R)                               3                     10                     12

X       (U)                              4                     17                       4

Table showing the occupation of the parents

Labourer           Self-employed             Govt. Employed            Unemployed


   10                           7                                               8                                              0


   12                           5                                               6                                              2

IX   (R)      

     8                             6                                              10                                1

 IX (U)

     6                           10                                             5                                              4

 X (R)

     5                           12                                             8                                              0

X (U)

    8                            11                                             6                                              0

This table shows the total amounts of students' parents were listed. According to this data of 150 students were taken as a subject.

1. 16 Evaluation of Teaching Methods

Evaluation of teaching methodology plays a vital role because the second language is learnt deliberately through formal class room teachings. Various methods are used through out India to teach English. Experts in the fields of language teaching evaluate these methods now and then. Some of the teaching methods that are followed in India are as follows.

  1. Direct method
  2. Grammar translation methods
  3. Conversational methods
  4. Audio-Lingual methods
  5. Eclectic method etc.

From those methods one is different from another or it may be different from many aspects. In the schools, they are introducing different contexts. No method is self sufficient.

1. 16. 1Direct method

The main idea of the direct method is to make the learner to acquire the second language in the same way as he learns his mother tongue. In this method, oral practice is given by associating speech with ideas. The words are taught by pointing out the objects or pictures to the learner. That will be suitable according to their lessons grammar exercise easily. The second language is taught directly without associating it to the mother tongue.

1. 16. 2 Grammar Translation Method

In this method is to teach the second language through translation. This is marked by the dominance of mother tongue. This method is used widely in the schools.

1. 16. 3 Conversational Method

In this method, vocabulary and grammar of the second languages are presented to the learner in the form of the pattern as for (e.g. conversational to the situation).Then, the learner is made to participate in the conversations. In this conversational method, they are able to by- heart all the source materials what ever they are needed for their lessons.

1. 16. 4 Audio-Lingual Method

In this method, listening and speaking skills are given more importance. The learners are expected to listen to the teacher and repeat the graded utterances. According to this method, learner is getting the listening habit in the class and whatever teachers easily teach they are able to grasp. For the hard words they are able to get from their teachers speech itself.

1. 16. 5 Eclectic Method

In this method it is a combination of all above mentioned methods. The function and success of this method depend upon the needs of the learners and the skill of the teacher .It gives the more importance to all the form of the skills as the language, namely as speaking listening, writing and reading. It improves all the ways to the learner with this one method. The learners are able to understand their vocabulary to improve their knowledge through the listening. They are able to get listening carefully in the class rooms, then in the reading they are able to read the hard words with the correct pronunciation. Then, in the speaking skills, they are able to get the fluent speaking in English at the class room. Then, in the writing, they are able to write their grammar parts with fully written method without committing the mistakes even in their spelling also.


According to these six methods that have been listed, then in the direct method conversational method and Audio - visual methods are not in use in the schools where the study was conducted. The teachers are not fully aware of the conversational and audio-lingual methods. They prefer to use the traditional methods. Grammar classes are very dull because of the students are repetitions of sentences by groups. The new trends in teaching second language are yet to be implemented in the schools that were selected for the present study.



2.1 General

A sentence is not just a group of words, which gives meaning. It consists of certain elements, which follow each other in a sequence or systematic order. A sentence may be said to be composed of units. They are called as a subject, verb, complements, object, adverb phrase etc. A sentence comprises of a noun phrase which is called as the shortest form as(NP) and a verb phrase is called as the same as (VP). The verbs in the verb phrase can be classified in relation to their functions in the following ways.

They are as

Tree diagram 1

Verbs can have typical forms and they may be classified as according to the form that they possess. In the lexical verbs there are verbs that have six, five or four inflectional forms. In English, the Auxiliary 'have' has a maximum five forms and 'be' is exceptional in having eight forms. The forms are as following.

2.2 From Names                Verbs                                 Auxiliaries

Simple             write             take                        have   

Infinite             to write         to take                   to have        to be, am, are

Preterit             wrote            took                       had              was, were

Participle         written          taken                      had              been

Ing-form          writing          taking                    having         being

s- Form            writes            takes                      has               is

2.3 Classification of Auxiliary Verbs

There are the Auxiliary verbs, which have been classified into two types. They are as (1) Modal verbs and (2) Aspectual verbs. These modals have been divided in to two by Hoffman (1966) as 1. Epistemic modal, 2. Root modal. The modality usually focuses the specific relationship attitudes, commitment etc. between the speaker and the proposition. Such construction has presence of the modal indicates a situation where the speaker's point of view may be considered predominant. On the other hand, in aspectual constructions the aspect has indicated the temporal notion as their predominant. Comire(1976) observes that" Aspects are different ways of viewing in the internal temporal consistency of situation." the progressive, habitual etc. According to Alice F. Fred (1979) the perfective relates some state to a preceding situation and it expresses a relation between two time points on the one hand the state resulting from prior situation." She calls this class of the verbs as an Aspectual verbs (or) Aspectualizers and says that 'the aspectual verbs under considerations constitute a time index indicating the beginning, duration continuation, repetition, cessation or completion of such activities (or) events.'

In the background of the auxiliary verbs in English has been classified into two. They are 1. Aspectual verbs, and 2.Modal. Theses two auxiliary verbs occur after the verbal participle of the main verb are called as a aspectual verbs. Then the Auxiliary verbs, which occurs which after the infinite of the main verbs are called as modal. But there are some of the aspectual verbs occur after infinitive.

2.4 Auxiliary verbs in English

Auxiliary verbs are precisely those verbs, which function as dependent in VP in the structure and in the contrast with the main verbs. Verbs such as be, have, do etc. These belong to the both the classes. The verb may be preceded by up to four auxiliaries. The modal auxiliaries are distinguished from other verbs both main and auxiliaries they have only tensed forms and do not occur in any syntactic Environment where a non-tensed form , a base form is required .Since the position for the following modal is one where a non- tensed form, a base form is required (She may be come). We cannot have non- coordinated sequences of the modals, which come within a single VP (Soon he will can swim, I may shall regret it). (Rodney and Huddleston, Introduction to the grammar to English).

There are the Auxiliary verbs, which are in twelve in number form a closed set. Not all of them can be used as main verbs. Auxiliary is a term used in the grammatical description of the VP to refer to a set of verbs subordinate to the main verb, which helps to make the distinction in mood, aspect, voice etc. In English, there are important Auxiliary verbs, which are be, do, and have E.g. He is coming, does he know, he has given.

2.4 Modal Auxiliary Verbs in English

The modal auxiliaries are such as can. could, may, might shall, should will, ought to, and used to. The classes of the auxiliaries have been identified from the grammatically from the lexical verbs in many ways. They have the negative forms. E.g. isn't , hasn't , can't as opposed to wasn't .They can be used as a subjective inversion for e.g. is he ,does he , will they as opposed to " Walks He. There are semi-auxiliaries, which have the verb that which display some but not all of the properties of the auxiliary class. Include dare and need (David Crystal). The modal are used to express various attitudes like possibility, ability, Willingness, probability obligation intention etc. the events and occurring in the actual happenings.

2.5 Main and Modal Auxiliary verbs

In this main and modal auxiliary verbs the modal auxiliaries have come from the main verb which consists of negation, inversion, Ellipsis, Emphasis and Clitic forms, etc. They have been described in the following paragraphs.

2.5.1 Negation

In this form in the modal auxiliary verbs has the operative typically has to form the contact with n't. They are such as Can't, couldn't, won't, shouldn't wouldn't and needn't etc.

2.5.2 Inversion

This inversion of the subject and the infinite operator is typical of a range of the largely grammaticized contexts. It occurs in the main clause interrogative and also in the tag questions after a fronted negative with scope over the Auxiliary.

E.g. Will he hurt her?

Will he not hurt her? Won't he hurt her? At no point could see what was intended.

With non auxiliary verbs such inversion are restricted, and there is no general pattern.

2.5.3 Ellipsis

Modal auxiliaries both finite and non-finite may appear in elliptical constructions without their normal complement, where the sense of the complement is to be in thrived from the linguistic context of utterances.

E.g. He must come today, but I don't think he will, (come today)

2.5.4 Emphasis

There is a straightforward contrast between the sentences given below. In the first sentence it occurs as stress in on 'Should' and in the second it is 'will' and here the scope of the emphasis lies within the verb phrase centrally involving the verb itself.

E.g. You should not go there (I don't stuff them in my ears)
I will go home tonight

In this modality tense/aspect may surely also be included in what is emphasized

They must try to do better
He should work hard to get good marks.
She must have her own way

2.5.5 Cilitic forms

Some operations have clitic forms which are available after pronunciation or in the case of "d' more generally. This clitic form in the question is full non-syllabic reduction or even the complete absorption into the proceeding from in the case of they 'I'd'',I'll. And this clitic forms occur in after pronouns as

'd' -would , had
'll' -will ,shall

Can ,could must shall should have in this clitic forms.

2.6 Characteristics of Modals

Some of the characteristics of the English modal auxiliaries are listed below:-

2.6.1 Affirmation

The Modal auxiliaries can be paired off with affirmative forms such as

He will come
I will come
I will see him

2.6.2 Interrogative

In question clauses we where a discontinuous verbal group occurs, the modal auxiliary stands first.

  1. Shall come tomorrow?
  2. Cantry to do better?
  3. May II come in sir?
  4. May I do this for you?

Then in third elements on modal auxiliaries is made by the tendency to avoid repeating a main verb as

  1. May I come in Sir? May I?
  2. You must read news paper aloud? Will you
  3. May I do this for you? Will you


Modal Auxiliaries may be used for insistence in certain situations.

  1. I could pass
  2. He won't come tonight.

2.7 Types of modal auxiliaries

The modal auxiliaries are having their characteristics forms:

Non-negative                     Negative                           Contracted form

Can                                     Cannot, Can not                     Can’t

Could                                  Could not                               Couldn’t

Should                                 should not                              shouldn’t

May                                     may not                                  mayn’t

Might                                   might not                             mightn’t

Shall                                    Shall not                               shan’t

Will‘ll’                                will not      ‘llnot                   won’t

Would, ‘d’                           would not ‘don’t                   wouldn’t

Must                                     must not                               mustn’t

Ought to                               ought not to                          oughtn’t to

Used to                                 used not to                            usedn’t ot

Need                                     need not                             needn’t

2.8 Derivational of Modal auxiliary verbs

The derivation of surface sentence may have more than one Auxiliary verb. The main verb has been marked as (-Aux) in the lower embedded sentences. The Auxiliary verbs are marked by (+ Aux) in the higher sentence. In order to rising of the predicate raising transformation is necessary. It has given the following sentences.

He may have come.

The deep structure diagram


Tree diagram 2

2.9 Use of Modal Auxiliaries

2.9.1 CAN

Can usually express ability or capacity as
1. I can walk a mile
2. He can write a book
3. Can you lift this pen -container.
Can and may are used to express permission. May is rather formal
1. You can/ may go now
2. Can / may I borrow your pen

2.9.2. MAY

May is used to express possibility in affirmative sentence. Can is used in the corresponding interrogative and negative sentences.

1. It may rain tomorrow
2. She may be at the office
3. It cannot be false.

In very formal English, may is used to express a wish as May success attend you!

2.9.3 Could and Might

These are used past equivalent of can and may; as

1. I could walk a mile (ability)
2. He could write a book (ability)
3. She said I might /could go (permission)
4. I thought she might be at the office (positive)
The use of can, could, may and might with the perfect infinitive:
1. She is not there, where can she have gone?
2. Sita may/might have gone with Rama.
3. Shall, Should, Will and Would
'Shall' is used in the first person and will in all person to express pure future.
1. I shall be twenty-two next birth day.
2. We will need the book on 15th.
3. When shall we see you again?
4. Tomorrow will be Sunday.

In the present-day English, however, there is a growing tendency to use will in all persons.

Shall is sometimes used in the second and third persons to express a command, a promise or threat as in

He shall not enter my room again (command)
You shall have a holiday tomorrow (promise)
You shall be punished for this (Threat)

'Shall' is used in the second and third persons to ask after the will of the person Addressed: as

Shall I open the window? Which pencil shall I buy? Shall the waiter serve tea now?
'Will' is used to express
(a) Volition; as
I will carry your books.
I will try to do better next time.
I will succeed or die in the attempt
In the above examples, 'will' is strong stressed.
(b) Characteristic habit; as
He will talk about nothing but films
She will sit for hours listening to the wireless.
(c) Assumption or Probability; as
This will be book you want, I suppose.
That will be the policeman, I think
Will you? Indicates an invitation or a request; as
Will you have tea?
Will you lend me your bike?

2.9.4 Should and would are used as the past equivalents of shall and will; as,

I expected that I should get a first class.
He said he would be twenty two next birthday.

2.9.5 Should is used in all persons to regulations duty or obligation; as'

We should obey the rules and regulations.
You should keep your promise.

2.9.6 In clauses of condition, should is used to express a supposition that may not be true

If it should rain, they will not come.
If she should see me here, he will be annoyed.

2.9.7 ought to, must

(a)Ought (to) express moral obligation or desirability; as,
We ought to love our neighbours
We ought to help them.
(b) Ought to can also be used express probability.
Price ought to come down soon.
This book ought to be very useful.
(c) Must is used to express necessity or obligation. You must improve your handwriting We must get up early
(d) Must refers to the present or the near future. To talk about the past we use had to (the past form have to); must has no past form.
Yesterday we had to get up early.
(e) Must is often used when the obligation comes from the speaker. When the obligation comes from somewhere else, have to is used compare
I must be on a diet
I have to be on a diet.
(g) Must can also express logical certainty
She must have left already



3.1 General

English is a unique language with very special characteristics not found in any other language. Apart from striking discord between spelling and pronunciation, it has many other specialties and peculiarities. Its rules of grammar change in accordance with usage of the language by native speakers. It gives so much trouble to the non-native.

Learners of English, More over, English has undergone many changes. English of Chaucer is much different from that to present hearing. Among the English speaking countries them self, there are many varieties of English. In our country, we follow different sound system. We never hesitate to brand it an 'Indian English.' Again there are variations in the expression of English in different regions.

According to Robert Lado "The process involved in learning the mother tongue and second language is the same. In either case listening and speaking proceeds reading and writing. Yet the learning of mother-tongue and the learning of a foreign language differ from each other in a number of ways."

Learning of mother tongue is natural but learning of a foreign language is artificial. There is no linguistic interference in learning one's mother tongue, but the habits of one's native language often seriously interfere with the learning of a new language. Then, the learner does not listen to the language all the day as he does his mother tongue. Since, Learning a second language is a conscious effort, there is a great need for motivation and exposure on the part of the learner.

Most of the learners of English are lacking in motivation from, the beginning, English is a foreign language to them. They have developed a good knowledge towards English. In Tamil Nadu, students do not give much attention to learning a language other than Tamil also. Since, English learning is difficult in the beginning; the students are not showing much enthusiastic in learning it. This has caused the students carelessness of their study. They never feel shame for committing the errors.

As the mother tongue is symbol of the life of the people, it is a good source inspiration and pride for them. English cannot attain this position and is a language of the Educated only. So English is learned in an artificial environment. This leads the learner in a difficult position to select the appropriate words and their correct usage.

All the learners make mistakes. This is not confined to the language learners. All of them make mistakes when they are speaking through mother tongue. We will bother to correct ourselves or not seem to depend on whether we think our listeners will be noticing the Errors. When the learners are able to recognize the mistakes, they are to pay special attention to correct their errors.

A learner's knowledge of the language is be judged by the number and sort of mistakes he make. When a learner knows the languages he will not make mistake. Prof. Pit Coder(1967:54) refers to the lapser and mistake of the native speakers as 'Breaches of code' since, by definition the learners know the formation rules of their mother tongue. The native speakers are able to correct their mistakes or errors, but learners are unable to correct their own errors.

Then the teachers are aware of the fact of errors in the comprehension occur and make regular use of the information from them in their teaching. Examinations and text normally include a component whose object is not to test understanding, (eg.,) for paragraph writing errors provide feed back, they tell the teacher something about the effectiveness of their teaching materials and his teaching techniques, shows what parts of the syllabus it heed further attention.

3.2 Error Analysis

Teaching of a language structure alone was considered as the thrust area in language teaching. The errors on L2 learners committed in the units' structures of the L2 were interpreted purely on the structural basis. One of the causes for the existing errors in L2 is the interference of L1 structure on that of L2. Some applied linguistics felt that a contrastive study of L1 and L2 structures are not only help the language teachers to design the curriculum and teaching materials and also in the gradation of the teaching materials.

One of the most important factors which the contrastive analysis fails to account is that the L2 learner commits errors which are not only due to the interference of L1 but also due to the learner's misapplications of the use to organize the materials they learn. Chomsky's research on language acquisition tries to establish the existence of an innate language Acquisition Device (LAD) in every learner. With the help of the LAD, every learner cognitively creates structure of his own from the input language materials he comes across through certain cognitive process like induction, over generalization, analogy etc. Chomsky describes of a language acquisition process felt that mere contrastive study of L1 and L2 structures only reveal the structural difference of L1 and L2.

It is assumed by some of the applied linguists that by analyzing the errors committed by the learners while learning L2 one could identify the cognitive strategy applied by L2 learners. On the basis of this, one can identify and establish universal strategies and principles involved in L2 learning.

3.3 Errors and Mistakes

While writing the L2, use of word or grammatical features showing faculty or incomplete form may occur. Incomplete knowledge is the main reason for the occurrences of such errors. The occurrences of mistakes occur by writing may be due to the lack of attention on the part of learner. Mistakes are derivations due to performance factors such as memory limitations (eg. Mistakes in the sequence of tense and agreement in long sentences) they are typically random and are readily corrected by the learner when his attention is drawn to them. Errors, on the other hand are systematic, consistent deviances characteristic of the learner's linguistic system at a given stage of learning.

Generally, unsystematic wrong items occurring sporadically in speaking or writing may be called as mistake and systematic wrong items occurring uniformly in all the context of speaking or writing may be called as errors. In other words, mistake is connected with language competence or grammatical competence. However, it is difficult to identify which one is an error and a mistake. But even the researcher should work hard to identify whether it is a mistake or an error. Sometimes it may be correct and sometimes it may be wrong. But if the researcher asks the students to write a particular word/ sentence several times, the researcher may be able to come to the conclusion at least through an average count whether one is an Error or a mistake.

3.4 Error Analysis and its uses

Errors are important sources of information to decide the learner's strategy in learning and are found in the learner's out - put. The teachers come to know the learners struggle to learn L2 while learning it for communicative purposes. A look at the various kind of errors L2 learner made, will guide the teacher not only to identify the problematic area of L2 learners, but also to spot out areas for which remedial programmes and materials are needed. So the error analysis not only finds out and classifies the errors in L2 learners out put. It also tries to interpret the learning strategy of the learners. Error analysis also helps in the selection of teaching.

David Horner (1988:218) has suggested three principles were involved for the correction of errors. They are

  1. Correct the in & out-put of the students if it appears to some effect.
  2. Do not try to correct everything. The students are learning the language to be able to communicate with outside world. So the primary concern is with error, which renders the communication itself.

Error analysis is consideration as one of the important aspects of applied linguistics research, because it needs considerable amount of influence over learning, teaching, testing and evaluation in the material production. The following are some of the uses of error analysis in the language teaching curriculum:

  1. Error analysis is useful to rectify the errors, to give remedial practice and prepare lessons keeping in mind the nature of errors committed by the learner.
  2. It helps to identify the level of linguistic and communicative competence of the learner.
  3. It helps to identify the influence of L1 while learning L2.
  4. It is also useful to deduct the amount of interest learner show on L2 learning.

3.5 Steps in Error Analysis

There are various steps involved in undertaking error analysis.

  1. Collection of data.
  2. Identification of the errors.
  3. Classification of the types of errors.
  4. Providing remedial drills, lessons etc.

Error has occurred as,

Errors of competence, etc.

Error has occurred like this.

3.6 Sources of Errors

Nadaraja Pillai (1981:41) has given a classification of the various casual factors or sources of the errors. According to him, sources of the errors are the following:

  1. Over-generalization
  2. Over-extension of target language rules.
  3. Inter language differences.
  4. Mother tongue interferences
  5. Filter language interference
  6. Simplification of errors
  7. Induced Errors
  8. Deficit learning.

3.6.1 Occurrence of Errors

  1. Errors in pronunciation
  2. Grammatical Errors.

3.6.2 Errors in pronunciations

When the learners' pronunciations the errors were occur like this

  1. The influence of the mother tongue (interference errors)
  2. Approximation.
  3. Lack of correspondence between the spelling and pronunciation.
  4. Regional or local influence.

3.6.2(a) The influence of Mother tongue

Most of the Tamil speakers of the English are enable to produce the inter dental fricatives as in thick, thin They substitute the Tamil dental plosive for English. Urudu speakers will do for the same reason. The word-initial consonant cluster St- as station, school etc. They add /i/ in front and say them as isstation, isschool etc.

3.6.2 (b) Approximation

When a particular English second does not exist in the mother tongue, second language learner of English tends to use a mother tongue sound closest to the English sound.

3.6.2 (c) Lack of correspondence between the spelling and pronunciation

There is no correspondence in English between spelling and pronunciation.

3.6.2 (d) Regional or Local influence

Most of the learners speak the second language by this way. First the teacher then the member of the family, the people in true might's our hood, locality or region Tamil speakers mostly produce words beginning with (e) adding a( j ).

For example:

  1. Any is produced as / peni/
  2. Empty is produced as/empti/jempti/

3.7 Types of Errors

There are various types of errors, which have occurred in the student's language. There are as follows.

  1. The pre- systematic error
  2. The systematic error
  3. The post- systematic error
  4. Inter lingual error
  5. Intra lingual error
  6. Developmental error
  7. Grammatical error

3.7 1. The pre- systematic error

The learner does not know this existence of the particular rule. The errors are random and a learner may occasionally produce the correct form.

3.7.2. The systematic error

The learner has made some discovery about a rule on himself. And he is using a rule of same sort but as wrong. For example, May I come in, Sir?

But here there is regularity in the error. But he uses come I may in Sir? There is irregularity in this error.

3.7.3. The Post- Systematic Error

The learners produces correct forms but he is not consistent in his performance the encouraging factors about the learner's error is that the errors are transitional and dynamic in the process of acquiring the systems of the target language and the errors will disappear when the learner are exposed to the target language systems more.

3.7.4. Inter lingual Errors

Inter lingual errors are those deviant forms, which are results of first languages interference. First language are supposed to influence all the levels of second language learning for (e.g. ) phonological, grammatical and lexical.

3.7.5. Intra lingual Errors

Intra lingual errors are caused as a result of interference from within the target language itself for (e.g. ) use of 'is' always after I, It will imitate as he, is, she, is. These errors are independent of the mother tongue of the learner.

3.7.6. Developmental Error

Development errors are those, which indicate the types of strategies by which the learner acquires a language. Due to limited exposure to the target language the learner constructs certain false hypothesis about the second language system (e.g.) if we use 'I comes' it will imitates as he comes.

3.7.7. Grammatical Error

This grammatical error shows how the learners have committed their mistakes and what type of the error has been identified. Most of the mistakes are common to the category. It will occur due to tense forms, active and passive voices and word order. In the second part of the questionnaire has occurred due to the grammatical error.

3.8 Forming Hypothesis

In these hypotheses, the error occurs as a result of faculty comprehension of the distinction in the target language. These errors are some times due to poor grading of teaching items for (e.g.) is and was may be interpreted as the markers of present and past tenses will be adding -ing, instead of 'ed'.

3.9 Over generalization

Over generalization covers the instance when the learner creates a deviant structure which is on the basis of his experience of other structure of the target language. Pit Coder (1967:84) says that these over generalization errors are produced on the basis of analogy and they are inevitable process in the learning.

3.10 Incomplete application of the rules

J.C. Richards (1969:88) says, "under this category we may note the occurrence of structure whose deviancy represents the degree of development of the rules required to produce acceptable utterance." The errors indicate that the students have acquired the rules in a haphazard manner. For example, He could wentis the full occurrence, but some of the learners may present their haphazard occurrence as He could without full meaning.

3.11 Study of Errors

According to the thesis, the error from the study of the learner's error is such an application. The psycholinguistic predicts the nature of the mother tongue, which will facilitate or make difficult the learning of certain aspects in second language. Wee make a comparative study both urban and rural Tamil medium students. The study of the error is the part of an experiment to conform or disapprove the psycholinguistic theory of 'transfer'. There are the objectives of the present study has been given below.

  1. To find out the common errors committed by the students of VIII, IX, X from their continuous writing.
  2. Students are exposed to write their answer as free composition in the questionnaire.
  3. Both rural and urban Tamil medium students' errors were identified.
  4. The common errors or majority errors which member has committed only taken as an account.
  5. Statistical analysis has been listed for both rural and urban students. These are the source materials that has been done for the error analysis


False Analogy and correct analogy have been written through this common error were listed, as from VIII Std urban to VIII Std rural error and IX Std urban to IX rural, X Std rural X Std urban were taken from the common errors.

1. VIII Std. Urban students' Errors
Correct Answer
I shall have written my exercise by that time.
For this entry students from VIII Std .Urban students wrote and their errors errors are as follows:
1. I will have written my exercise by that time.
2. I can have written my exercise by that time.
3. I should have written my exercise by that time.
4. I ought l have written my exercise by that time.
5. I could have written my exercise by that time
Rural students' Errors
1. I will have written my exercise by that time
2. I can have written my exercise by that time.
3. I should have written my exercise by that time.
They have written will in this error
2. Urban students' Errors
Correct Answer
We will be late.
Wrong entries as
1. We shall be late
2. We should be late
3. We can be late
4. We shall be late
Rural Students' Errors
1. We shall be late.
2. We must be late.
3. We can be late.
4. We are will be late.
Instead of will - many of them have written their answer as can, shall.
3. Urban Students' Errors
Correct Answer
I shall lend you my camera.
1. I will am lend you my camera.
2. I shall have lend you my camera.
3. I will have lend you my camera.
4. I might lend you my camera.
5. I may lend you my camera
Then for shall many of them has used am, have will etc in their sentences.
1. I will be lend you my camera.
2. I am lend you my camera.
3. I will be have lend you my camera.

Many rural students have committed their errors for shall as shall- am, will, have.

4. Urban Students' Errors
Correct Answer
I will come if possible.
1. I ought to come if possible
2. I must come if possible
3. I might come if possible
4. I shall come if possible
5. I can come if possible
Rural students
1. I can come if possible
2. I could come if possible
3. I must come if possible
4. I shall come if possible
5. I am come if possible

Instead of will many of them have written am, can, might, shall are as their answers.

5. Urban Students Errors
Correct Answer
You will be a big man one day.
1. You are will be a big man one day.
2. You can be a big man one day
3. You shall be a big man one day.
4. You can be a big man one day
5. You would be a big man one day
Rural students Errors
1. You shall be a big man one day.
2. You are be a big man one day
3. You are have be a big man one day.
4. You have be a big man one day

Many of them have written their as will -shall, would, can are most in both Urban and Rural students' errors from Tamil medium.

6. Urban Students Errors
Correct Answer
May I see your passport please?
1. Can I see your passport please?
2. Can have I see your passport please?
3. Can I see your passport please?
Many of them have written may - can as their answer.
Rural students
1. Can I see your passport please?
2. Could have I see your passport please?
3. Will I see your passport please?
Many of students have committed their errors by writing can, will, could.
7. Urban Students Errors
Correct Answer
May I do this for you?
1. Can I do this for you?
2. Would I do this for you?
3. Ought I do this for you?
4. Shall I do this for you?
Rural Students Errors
1. Can I do this for you?
2. Must I do this for you?
3. Would I do this for you?
4. Shall I do this for you?

Both the urban and rural Tami Medium students have committed the same error by writing can, would for instead of may. May-can, would, shall.

8. Urban Students Errors
Correct Answer
You ought to keep your promise
1. You must to keep promise
2. You should to keep your promise
3. You must to keep promise
4. You will to keep your promise
Rural Students Errors
1. You must to keep promise
2. You should to keep your promise
3. You can to keep your promise
Many of them have written as must, can, as their answer instead of ought to.
9. Urban Students Errors
Correct Answer
You must print your door.
1. You should be paint your door.
2. You can paint your door.
Many of them has used should can in their sentences instead of must.
Rural Students Errors
1. You would paint your door.
2. You can paint your door.
Many students have written can, would instead of must.
10. Urban Students Errors
Correct Answer
May I come in Sir?
1. Can I come in Sir?
1. Could I Come in Sir?
2. Will I come in Sir?
3. Must I Come in Sir?
4. Should I come in Sir?
Rural Students Errors
1. Can I come in Sir?
2. Must I Come in Sir?
3. Will I come in Sir?
4. Must I Come in Sir?
5. Shall I come in Sir?

Both urban and rural students have written their answer as can should, must, shall instead of may.

11. Urban Students Errors
Correct Answer
You should try to do better
1. You must try to do better
2. You can try to do better
3. You will try to do better
4. You could try to do better
5. You shall try to do better
6. You must try to do better
Rural Students Errors
1. You must try to do better
2. You can try to do better
3. You will try to do better
12 Urban students Errors
Correct Answer
He would come today
1. He will come today
2. He may come today
3. He can come today
Rural Students Errors
1. He will come today
2. He shall come today
3. He can come today
4. He might come today
5. He ought come today


Second part of the questionnaire deal with the suitable voice and tense were given they were asked to write the proper tense forms.

1. Correct Answer
I get up early in the morning every day.
Urban Students
1. I will get up early in the morning
2. I will getting up early in the morning
Rural Students Errors
1. I will be got up early in the morning
2. I will get up early in the morning
3. I will getting up early in the morning
2. Correct Answer
The head master will meet the students tomorrow.

Urban Students Errors
1. The head master met the students tomorrow
2. The head master meet the students tomorrow
3. The head master will met be the students tomorrow
Rural Students Errors
1. The head master is meeting the students tomorrow
2. The head master will be met the students tomorrow
3. The head master will meeting the students tomorrow


This part of the questionnaire deals with the verb forms.Students were asked to write the suitable verb forms in the questionnaire.

1. Correct Answer ------ wrong Answer
He will come tonight ------ need
Urban Students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors
5 ------ 5
2. Correct Answer ------ Wrong Answer
May I come in Sir? ------ Must
Urban Students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors
4 ------ 8
3. Correct Answer ------ Wrong Answer
It is doubtful that he might pass must
Urban Students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors
4. Correct Answer ------ Wrong Answer
He can lift this big stone ------ mighted
Urban Students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors
4 ------ 5


The Students were asked to fill up the blanks using appropriate modal auxiliaries in a dialogue. The following errors are committed by the students.

Errors Table


Error analysis of IX Std. students from both Urban and rural Tamil medium has been identified. The common errors have been taken as an account.

I Correct Answer
We will be late.
Urban students Errors
1. We shall be late
2. We will are be late
3. We would be late
4. We must be late
5. We may are be late
Rural Students Errors
1. We shall be late
2. We will are be late
3. We would be late
4. We can be late

Many of them have written shall would, must as their answer.

2. Correct Answer
You will have a holiday tomorrow
Urban Students Errors
1. You shall have a holiday tomorrow
2. You are will have a holiday tomorrow
3. You may have a holiday tomorrow
4. You would have a holiday tomorrow
5. You might will have a holiday tomorrow
6. You could have a holiday tomorrow
Rural Students Errors
1. You shall have a holiday tomorrow
2. You can will have a holiday tomorrow
3. You may have a holiday tomorrow
4. You must have a holiday tomorrow
5. You might will have a holiday tomorrow
3. Correct Answer
You ought to keep your promise
Urban Students Errors
1. You should to keep your promise
2. You must to keep your promise
3. You have to keep your promise
4. You can to keep your promise
Rural Students Errors
1. You should to keep your promise
2. You must to keep your promise
3. You have to keep your promise
4. You can to keep your promise
5. You would to keep your promise
4. Correct Answer
May I do this for you?
Urban Students Errors
1. Can I do this for you?
2. Have I do this for you?
3. Can I do this for you?
4. Had I do this for you?
Rural Students Errors
1. Must I do this for you?
2. Ought I do this for you?
3. Can I do this for you?
4. Had I do this for you?
5. Must I do this for you?

Many of them have written must in their wrong entry.

5. Correct Answer
We must help the poor.
Urban Students Errors
1. We can help the poor
2. We could help the poor
3. We should help the poor
Rural Students Errors
1. We ought to help the poor
2. We can help the poor
3. We should help the poor
4. We could help the poor
5. We ought to help the poor

Many of them used can as their wrong entry.

6. Correct Answer
I warned you, you should do it.
Urban Students Errors
1. I warned you, you must do it.
2. I warned you, you ought to do it.
3. I warned you, you can do it.
4. I warned you, you could do it.
Rural students Errors
1. I warned you, you can do it.
2. I warned you, you ought to do it.
3. I warned you, you must do it.
7. Correct Answer
You should try to do better
Urban Students Errors
1. You would try to do better
2. You must try to do better
3. You may try to do better
4. You ought to try to do better
Rural Students errors
1. You would try to do better
2. You will try to do better
3. You were try to do better
8. Correct Answer
He would do this work correctly
Urban Students Errors
1. He may do this work correctly
2. He can do this work correctly
3. He will do this work correctly
4. He must do this work correctly
Rural Students errors
1. He may do this work correctly
2. He can do this work correctly
3. He ought do this work correctly
4. 2.He must do this work correctly
9. Correct Answer
You must paint your door
Urban Students Errors
1. You would paint your door
2. You can paint your door
3. You ought paint your door
4. You should your door
5. You may paint your door
Rural Students errors
1. You would paint your door
2. You can paint your door
3. You ought to paint your door
4. You can your door


Using the voice and tense forms sentence have errors were identified.

1. Correct Answer
I get (get) up early in the morning every day.
This sentence is given in Simple present tense.
Urban students Errors
1. I getting up early in the morning very day
2. I will get up early in the morning every day
3. I can get up early in the morning very day
4. I should get up early in the morning every day
Rural Students errors
1. I getting up early in the morning very day
2. I should get up early in the morning every day
3. I must get up early in the morning very day
2. Correct Answer
One should do one's duty
Urban students Errors
1. One caned do one's duty
2. One used to do one's duty
3. One needed do one's duty
Rural Students errors
1. One mights do one's duty
2. One could to do one's duty
3. One did do one's duty


Suitable Verb forms have resulted in the correct forms.

1. You have already done it, so need not do it again.
Correct Answer ------ Wrong Answer
Need not ------ needs
Urban Students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors
10 ------ 6
2. When this old man was young, he could walk a mile. But he cannot.
Correct Answer ------ Wrong Answer
Could, cannot ------ might, might
Urban Students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors
7 ------ 12
3. Of course, He will come tomorrow.
Correct Answer ------ Wrong Answer
Will ------ can
Urban Students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors
8 ------ 11
4. He can understand it easily.
Correct Answer ------ Wrong Answer
Can ------ musted
Urban Students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors
13 ------ 9
5. We should follow parent's advice.
Correct Answer ------ Wrong Answer
should ------ might
Urban Students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors
8 ------ 5
6. We should not cross roads.
Correct Answer ------ Wrong Answer
Should not ------ might not
Urban Students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors
5 ------ 7


Correct Answers, etc.

3. 12. 3 X Standard Error Analysis

1. Correct Answer
I will see him tomorrow
Urban Students Errors
1. I shall see him tomorrow
2. I will are see him tomorrow
3. I shall see him tomorrow
4. I can are see him tomorrow
Rural Students Errors
1. I shall see him tomorrow
2. I should are see him tomorrow
3. I shall see him tomorrow
4. I could are see him tomorrow
2. Correct Answer
We will be late
Urban Students Errors
1. We shall be late
2. We have be late
3. We must be late
4. We can be late
Rural Students Errors
1. We shall be late
2. We will am be late
3. We must be late
4. We can be late
3. Correct Answer
You will a holiday tomorrow?
Urban Students Errors
1. You shall have a holiday tomorrow?
2. You are shall have a holiday tomorrow?
3. You am will have a holiday tomorrow?
4. You are shall have a holiday tomorrow?
Rural Students Errors
1. You shall have a holiday tomorrow?
2. You ought to have a holiday tomorrow?
3. You can have a holiday tomorrow?
4. You may shall have a holiday tomorrow?
4. Correct Answer
May I see your passport?
Urban Students Errors
1. Can I see your passport please?
2. Should I see Your Passport Please?
3. Must I see your passport please?
4. Could I see your passport please?
5. Ought I see Your Passport Please?
6. Shall I see your passport please?
Rural Students Errors
1. Shall I see your passport please?
2. Should I see Your Passport Please?
3. Must I see your passport please?
4. Can I see your passport please?
5. Ought I see Your Passport Please?
5. Correct Answer
You ought to keep your promise
Urban Students Errors
1. You must to keep your promise
2. You should to keep your promise
3. You could to keep your promise
Rural Students Errors
1. You must to keep your promise
2. You should to keep your promise
3. You may to keep your promise
4. You shall to keep your promise
5. You can to keep your promise
6. Correct Answer
You must paint the door
Urban Students Errors
1. You may paint the door
2. You ought paint the door
3. You ought paint the door
4. You are may paint the door
5. You must paint the door
Rural Students Errors
1. You shall paint the door
2. You may paint the door
3. You ought paint the door
4. You can paint the door
5. You would paint the door
7. Correct Answer
He would come today?
Urban Students Errors
1. He will come today?
2. He may come today?
3. He ought come today
4. He had come today?
5. He should come today?
6. He can come today
Rural Students Errors
1. He will come today?
2. He can come today?
3. He ought come today
4. He will am come today?
5. He may come today?
8. Correct Answer
He promised that it should not occur again
Urban Students Errors
1. He promised that It must not occur again
2. He promised that It can not occur again
3. He promised that it ought not occur again
4. He promised that it must not occur again
Rural Students Errors
1. He promised that it must not occur again
2. He promised that it can not occur again
3. He promised that it could not occur again
4. He promised that it must not occur again
5. He promised that it will not occur again
9. Correct Answer
How should finish his home work soon?
Urban Students Errors
1. How can finish his home work soon
2. How must finish his home work soon
3. How may finish his home work soon
4. How ought finish his home work soon
Rural Students Errors
1. How can finish his home work soon
2. How may finish his home work soon
3. How will finish his home work soon
4. How am will finish his home work soon
10 Correct Answers
May I come in Sir?
Urban Students Errors
1. Can I come in Sir?
2. Would I come in Sri?
3. Will I come in sir?
4. Can have I come in Sir?
5. Should I come in Sri?
6. Must I come in sir?
Rural Students Errors
1. Can I come in Sir?
2. Would I come in Sri?
3. Will I come in sir?
4. Should come in Sir?
5. Shall come in Sri?
6. Must I come in sir?
11. Correct Answer
He will be rich soon
Urban Students Errors
1. He shall be rich soon
2. He must be rich soon
3. He may be rich soon
4. He can be rich soon
Rural Students Errors
1. He should be rich soon
2. He shall be rich soon
3. He may be rich soon
4. He can be rich soon


Voice & Tense
1. Correct Answer
We should have done it easier. This was given in the past perfect tense.
Urban Students Errors
1. We should have done it earlier
2. We can have done it earlier
3. We might have done it earlier
Rural Students Errors
1. We made have done it earlier
2. We can made have done it earlier
3. We should have done it earlier
2. Correct Answer
We should obey the traffic rules
Urban Students Errors
1. We might obey the traffic rules
2. We must obey the traffic rules
3. We would obey the traffic rules
Rural Students Errors
1. We might to obey the traffic rules
2. We could obey the traffic rules
3. We can obey the traffic rules


Verb Forms
1. Correct Answer ------ Wrong Answer
He could swim five km. by 5 minutes ------ Must
Ur ban students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors
8 ------ 11
2. Correct Answer ------ Wrong Answer
It is 10 o'clock. So he must be at this office ------ Can
Urban students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors
10 ------ 15
3. Correct Answer ------ Wrong Answer
I can not run fast ------ May, may not mayed
Urban students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors
9 ------ 12
4. Correct Answer ------ Wrong Answer
Will you please give me a cup of coffee? ------ must Ur ban students Errors ------ Rural Students Errors 15 ------ 19


Correct answers, etc.


The first part of the questionnaire deals with nineteenth modal auxiliaries in which some sentences were given. The students were asked to write which modal auxiliary will be suitable in the sentences. In VIII, IX, X. Both urban and rural Tamil medium students were taken into account.

VIII Std. Urban students out of 19 sentences have marked 12 correct answers.

IX Std Urban students out of 19 sentences have marked 13 correct answers.

X Std Urban students out of 19 sentences have marked 15 correct answer.

VIII Std. Rural students out of 19 sentences have marked 8 correct sentences.

IX Std. Rural students out of 19 sentences have marked 10 correct answers

X Std. Rural students out of 19 sentences have marked 12 correct answers.

Most of the urban students proficiency is good but the rural students class they have understood what are the modal auxiliaries but they are struggling to identify which modal auxiliary will be suitable for the sentences.

Second part of the questionnaire deals with the verbs, which had been given the students have to write the tense and suitable voice according to the sentence. Five sentences were given from the above aspects.

Class ------ Urban students ------ Rural students
VIII ------ 5-2 ------ 5-0
IX ------ 5-3 ------ 5-2
X ------ 5-4 ------ 5-3

For these occurrences urban students have done better than rural students have understood the modals.

Third part of the questionnaire deals with verbs they have to choose from the suitable sentences. These verb has given as a choose the correct answer from fourteen sentences were given for this.

Class ------ Urban Students ------ Rural Students
VIII ------ 14-8 ------ 14-6
IX ------ 14-10 ------ 14-9
X ------ 14-12 ------ 14-11

For this part most of the urban students have written correct answer than rural students. Majority of the error has been listed in the analysis.

Fourth part of the questionnaire deals with a dialogue was given to the students were asked to full up with appropriate modal auxiliaries according to the meaning of the dialogue for this both.

VIII, IX, X urban students VIII, IX, X rural students from Tamil medium have written almost correct entries. Majority of the wrong entries has been listed in the Analysis.

3.13.1 Statistical Data of VIII, IX,X both rural and urban student from Tamil medium

Class ------ Correct entries ------ Wrong entries
VIII Urban ------ 46.28% ------ 62.2%
VIII Rural ------ 34. 8% ------ 37.12%
IX Urban ------ 41.32% ------ 36.12%
IX Urban ------ 30.84% ------ 45.96%
X Urban ------ 37.48% ------ 40.28%
X Urban ------ 37.44% ------ 41.44%

These are the rating statistical analysis for the student's correct entries and their wrong entries. This was given all the correct and wrong entries of whole questionnaire.

3.13.Errors Analysis Conclusion

Though researchers have been undertaken various aspects of teaching and learning language certain factors affecting the process of teaching and learning has not been fully light to its value and significance.

  1. Errors are welcome evidence of learning and they reveal the amount and quality of learning that has taken place in a particular situation.
  2. It is through the errors we can understand the strategies by which the learner processes the linguistics data in his attempt to acquire the target language.
  3. Error analysis is a great help to the course designer because the feed back obtained from the learner's point out the suitability of the reorganization of course materials and framing remedial measures.
  4. Error analysis is more important in the field of language learning also because its ultimate benefits the learners.

Thus, error analysis has been beneficial in many ways in the domain of language teaching.



4.1 General

India is a multilingual and multicultural country. Different people in different parts of the country speak different languages. One has to stand the test of time to retain is long tradition. The English language has been dominating in all walks of life for more than two hundred years. It interacts within and outside the states in India. Only with the help of English language, the culture and philosophy of this land have been propagated to the rest of the world. The English language has benefited every branch of science, literature. English is one of the link languages. It has connected the people of East and western countries. English language, in India, enjoys grater status than any other language. Students are aware that without having English knowledge they are not able to attain their higher education. So leaning of English is an advantage because English is a library language.

Language is one of the human resources and hence learning of the English as a second/Foreign language has become necessary. This present project has aimed at bringing out the problems faced by the students, while learning English as their second language, in the urban and rural set up. Especially while learning modal auxiliaries, which proves their capacity of the acquisition of English.

The students' problems are observed and ideas were given for their improvement of learning English in the future.

4.2 Grammar Comprehension

Grammar is a tool to build up one's own language without any misrepresentation. There are the two methods for applying grammar.

  1. Learning a language is listening, speaking, reading and writing and then acquiring the knowledge of applying grammar in their usages.
  2. Learning Grammatical Rules properly will be able to practice and to apply the usage in the language skills.

English grammar is very essential tool to the second language learner. Rules of the grammar must be taught in order to know the sentence pattern. For this, students have to learn to construct more number of sentences with the proper grammatical features and make them become a fluent speaker or user of the English language.

The teacher and textbook should help self-learning, whenever the textbook fails in this regard, the teacher should fill up gap and motivate the students. This type of exercises will also be useful to improve the vocabulary. The role played by grammar in any language is vital. Grammar helps any person to know how a language is formed. If a person masters in grammar to an extent he can avoid the grammatical errors consciously. A man can learn a language by his daily contact or touch with language.

The error analysis, which was done in the previous chapter, has showed that all the class from VIII, to X Std. urban students have good competence of modal auxiliaries in English and VIII, to X Std. rural students have less competence.

In this respect, all the students have taken interest to learn English but according to them their mother tongues influence. They are facing lot a of problems to acquire English as a second language. From the observations of the common Errors of the students, few suggestive measures have been given to improve the students' grammatical comprehensibility.

4.3 The problems observed

  1. Students who are from urban environment, know the importance of English language.
  2. Parents who get low income like labourer, former are mostly illiterate. They send their children to while away their time and no proper involvement of them in making their children to learn an alien language.
  3. It is observed that most of the students have disinterest to speak in English because they like their mother tongue and there is an animosity towards English as it is hard, as they perceive, to learn.
  4. Students do not realise that it is necessary to speak in English in the class because all the students know Tamil well and find it easy to converse in Tamil. Only few are able to converse in English with their classmates.
  5. The system of education is examination oriented. Students are provided with answer to the question given in the text by the teachers themselves, which prevents them from acquiring the language skills.
  6. The Teachers in the English urban area schools are mostly graduates in their respective subject but this is not the case with the teachers in the rural area.
  7. The socio-economic Background of the urban students is comparatively higher than rural students.
  8. The students from urban area have private classes (tuitions) for English grammar, but it is not feasible for rural students.

Even though the researcher has done his project analysis only on Modal Auxiliary verbs, he has however observed through the analysis that students studying in VIII, to X Std. of urban and rural schools, experience the above problems which hinder the learning of English as second language at High school.

4.4 Suggestions for improving grammar for the students

  1. First, students should understand the value of the English language in this world. The use of grammar must be taught to them.
  2. It is the result of keen observation that while teaching grammar in the classroom (for 8, 9, and 10) students blink and they forget it the next minute, when something is taught in grammar. To avoid this, oral test can be given. By this they will be able to remember what has been taught in the classroom.
  3. Teachers can give clues to the students to remember the grammatical feature of the sentences.
    The clues are like When Modal Auxiliary verb is taught they will ask as (e.g. ) you must come
    Teacher will ask should, must, may which will occur according to the context with the help of these three clues, the students will answer three types and they use to say the answer and are able to understand what Modal Auxiliary verbs are. Theses easy clues will help the students for learning a language grammar. So Teacher must somehow train them properly.
  4. In VIII, IX and X Std's exam question paper are carrying only 5 or 10 marks for Auxiliaries. This allotment of marks will make the students show less importance to grammar.
  5. In their text book grammar exercises were taught to the students to do those exercises only. But according to that exercises Teachers have to give more examples as their own that make students learn more grammatical sentence in grammar.
  6. If the students find difficult in learning more number of grammatical categories within a short time, it is better to have extra grammar classes to make the students improve in grammar.
  7. Teacher must get special training as how to make the students to learn grammar, without having disinterest towards the language.
  8. Teachers can also explain some of the grammatical categories in Tamil to make their students easily understand the grammar. Only grammar does not unable the students for acquiring a second language, continuous practice of language will help the students to steer the language.

4.5 General Suggestions

  1. The Teachers should be well-trained in handling English classes.
  2. Teachers who have a very good English medium background will be best for teaching the students to acquire a language.
  3. Teachers should avoid taking narrow steps for teaching English by giving clues
  4. Teachers should bring the students in a good manner, to make them read Newspapers, listen to broad casting in English. This would help them to receive proper pronunciation
  5. There should be a classroom interaction between teachers and students in a good manner
  6. While speaking in English, students are able to make mistake. But they should not hesitate to speak them if it is correct or wrong they should express them.
  7. Students must develop their writing skills by writing summary, report writing
  8. Parents should show interests in their children in learning the alien language.
  9. The Teachers should try to explain the wrong grammatical sentences written by the students by evaluating the answer on the basis of main points.
  10. Teacher should record the students reading skills before the students the tape recorder can be played before them. It will help the students to identify their Errors.
  11. Teachers should give proper exercises to the students as their home work and serious corrections should be done.
  12. The Teacher should make them to use dictionary to know the meaning of the hard words to enrich their vocabulary.
  13. The students should be taught language with appropriate illustrations. This will help the students to produce correct sentences.
  14. Most of the students have following the Tamil word order namely, S.V.O pattern. The difference between English and Tamil words orders has to be imbibed in the minds of thoughts
  15. The Teacher should use teaching aids not only to simplify his methods but also to explain the concepts
  16. Teaching aids also increase the pace of learning because in any learning situation, education is closely related to language learning, without it language learning is not possible.
  17. Before going to teach, Teachers have to plan what to teach, How to teach and how much to teach.
  18. The teachers only try to cover their syllabus within the stipulated time, so skill oriented / learner oriented Teaching should be encouraged.
  19. The problems of students' while learning English, create disinterest to the students, thus the hate English, averted by minimizing their learning problems.




Questionnaire for Students
Social Background

1 Name :
2.Age :
3.Class :
4.School :
5.Address :
6.Mother Tongue :
7.Mark secured :
8.(a) Father's occupation :
(b)Mother's occupation :
(c ) Parents educational Qualification:
9. Do you read English magazines :
10.Do you speak English at class :
11.Do you hear news in English :
12.Do you like to speak in English :
13.Do you read English text book :
14.Do you use English guides :
15.Do you speak English with your parents or with others :
16. What language do you speak normally at class :
(a) with teacher:
(b) With classmates :
17.Do you like English classes :
18.Do you learn Grammar separately :
19.Do you learn Grammar along with your text book :
20.Do you attend any coaching class to improve your English :

Questionnaire for students
Fill in the blanks with suitable modal auxiliary verbs ( Shall, Will)

1.I ---------------have written my exercise by that time.
2.You-----------have a holiday tomorrow.
3.We----------------be late.
4.I--------------lend you my camera.
5.I---------------come if possible.
6.You----------------be a big man one day.
7.He -------------------be rich soon. ( can, may, should, must, ought, would)
8.--------------I see your passport please?
9.--------------I do this for you?
10.-------------I come in, sir?
11.We------------Help the poor.
12.You---------to keep your promise.
13.You -------------paint your door.
14 you ------------try to do better.
15. He ----------------come today.
16. I warned you, you have--------------do it.
17. He promised that it---------------------not occur again.
18.He -----------do his work correctly.
19.He -------------finish his home work soon.

II. Write verb with suitable voice and tense forms.

20. I------------(get) up in the morning everyday.
21. The headmaster ---------(meet) the students tomorrow.
22. One --------(should) do one's duty.
23. We -------------(should) have done it earlier.
24.We----------------(should) obey the traffic rules.

III. Write suitable verb forms.

25. He------------(will/ need) come tonight.
26. -------------(May/must) I come in sir?
27.It is doubtful that he-----------------(might/must) pass.
28.He------------------(can/might) lift this big stone.
29.You have already done it, so you -----------(need not/ need) do it again.
30.When this old man was going, he---------------(could/might) walk a mile.
31. He -----------------(will/ can) come tomorrow.
32.He -----------------(can/must) understand it easily.
33.We-----------------(should/ might) follow parents advice.
34. We--------------(should not/ may not) cross roads.
35.He -------------(could/ must) swim five Km by 15 minuets.
36. It is 10 Clock. So he-----------------(must/ can) be at this office.
37. As he doesn't know Latin, he ---------------(can not/ may not) understand it.
38.-------------------(will/Must) you give me a cup of coffee?

IV. Fill up the blanks using appropriate Modal Auxiliaries and complete the following (may, must, can, should not, should, need not, used to, ought to )

Patient:-------------- I come in sir?
Doctor: Yes, you may.
Patient: I have been suffering from fever for the past two days.
Doctor: Did you take any medicine?
Patient: No I did not. I have got a cold too.
Doctor: Your body temperature is 102 F you -------------take medicine for at least Three days.
Patient: --------------I attend office?
Doctor: You-----------------.You -----------take rest.
Patient: what about diet?
Doctor: You-----------be on liquid diet.
Patient:-------------------I see you again.
Doctor: You --------------, but if the fever persists for more than three days, come and See me.


This questionnaire is intended to get information from teachers who teach English in schools. This information are used only for the purpose of academic research and treated strictly as confidential. Teacher are requested to express their views without any inhibition.

Questionnaire for School Teachers

1. Educational Qualification
: 2.Experience (years)
3.Do you read new paper or journals in English?
(a) Regularly
(b) Sometimes : A/B/C
(c ) Scarcely 4.Do you teach grammar separately or along with the lessons : Yes/ No
(a) Separately
(b) Along with lesson
5.Do you conduct special coaching class for slow learners?: Yes/ No
6. Do you arrange group discussions for students : Yes/No
7. Do you think allotting separate periods to teach grammar will be helpful? : Yes/No
8. Is it possible to pay individual attention to the students in English class? : Yes/No
9.Do you want to increase the number of periods for teaching grammar : Yes/No
10.Do you think that work books help students to develop their listening , reading, writing and speaking skills? : Yes/No
11. What do you think of the proficiency of students(High school level) learning English : Yes/No
12. Do you think that a good knowledge of English in necessary to have a mastery over subjects? : Yes/No
13. Do you use Tamil in English class? : Yes/No
14. What do you use in your school for extensive reading? : A/B/C
(a) Library Books
(b) Newspapers
(c) Journals
15. What are your suggestions to make English language learning effective?
16. To learn the usage of Modal Auxiliary verbs a lot of practice and drilling should be done. Do you agree? : Yes/No
17.Do you think that comparing the grammatical system of Tamil with that of English while teaching Modal Auxiliary verbs in Englis will be helpful. : Yes/No
18.What type of questions you would recommended for examination?
( a) Objective type
(b) Essay type
(c ) Short answer type
19. Do you encourage your students to interact with you while teaching English? : Yes/No
20. What language do they commonly use while conversing with you when you teach English?
21. What are the difficulties you face while teaching Modal Auxiliary verbs at High school level?
22. Making error itself shows that the learning process is taking place. Do you agree : Yes/No




Anthony Warner


English Auxiliaries
 CUP; Cambridge


Baugh C. Albert and Cable Thomas


A history of English Language
Printed in Great
Britain by Redwood: Burn Ltd., Throw Bridge Wiltshire.


Bright J.A.


Teaching English as a Second Language Theory and Techniques of the Secondary Stage
Singapore Publishers : Singapore


Burton, S.H.


Mastering English Grammar
Macmillan : London


Charlton Laird
Robert M. Gorrell


Reading about Language part IV
What's Language (p.185-186) Harcourt Bruce Jovanovinch : Inc : Newyork.


Chomsky, Noam


Language and Mind
pp. 77-87
In Reading about Languages (Ed.) By Charton Laird and Robert M. Gornell, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, inc; New York




20th Century dictionary
Allied Publishers : New Delhi


The New shorther Oxford English Dictionary


Clarendon Press : Oxford



Chastain Kenneth


Developing second language skills theory and practice
Hercourt Brace : Javanurich Inc or Lando


David Crystal


A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics,
Cambridge University Press : London


Ellis, R.


Understanding Second Language Acquisition
Oxford University Press : Oxford


Fries C.C


Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language
Ann Arbor. Longman Group Ltd; New York


Grace Jacob D.


The English curriculum on Ethnographic study
Abinav Publications : New Delhi.


Hill A. Archi bald


Reading about Language Part II
What's a language (pp. 25-31) Harcourt, Bruce Jovanovinch Inc; New York


Howard Jackson


Discovering grammer
Pergamon Press : Oxford


Palmer F.R


Modality and the English Modals
Longman group Ltd : New York


Rodney Huddleston


Introduction to the Grammar of English
Cambridge University : Press London


Robert Lado


Language Teaching Methods
Oxford Press : London


Scott Browley


English Grammar A study of Linguistic classes and structurals New Delhi Publishers : New Delhi


West G.


Teaching English in Difficult Circumstances
Longman Publishers : London


William T. Littlewood


Foreign and Second Language
Cup : Cambridge








P C Wren, Martin





Second Language
Acquisition cup : Cambridge

High  school English Grammar and composition.

Pub :S. Chand & company Ltd

New Delhi




A. Chandra Bose, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Linguistics
Bharathiar University, Coimbatore-641 046
Tamilnadu, India
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