The present study focuses on the way in which error correction is done and the significance of errors in the Romanian context. In designing it, I did not use my knowledge on causes of errors as I was not interested to find out whether it can be established a correlation between students’ mother tongue, the target language and the production of errors. I oriented this study towards a narrower issue: the attitudes of teachers, students and native speakers of Romanian towards error correction. In order to do this, I used the following classification of correction techniques: self – correction, peer correction and teacher correction.
My research instrument for finding out teachers’ and learners’ attitudes towards error correction was the questionnaire. In constructing my questionnaires my sources were David Nunan’s books entitled ‘Language Teaching Methodology. A Textbook for Teachers’ (1991) and ‘Research Methods in Language Learning’ (1995).The questionnaire is a research instrument which involves asking questions of other people and it is classified as ‘introspective’, since it involves respondents reporting on themselves, their views, their beliefs and so on. According to Nunan (1995:115) ‘introspection is the process of observing and reflecting on one’s thoughts, feelings, motives, reasoning processes, and mental states with a view to determining the ways in which these processes and states determine our behaviour’.Very often the questionnaire is answered by reading the questions and then ticking responses, or by writing in short answers. Thus, it is easier for the researcher to deal with the data collected and this is one of the reasons I chose it. The Theory of Questionnaire Design and Analysis
The first thing to be very clear about was the purpose, that is, I had to know exactly the reason why I was setting up the questionnaire and what I wanted to find out. I tried to imagine the range of responses in order to know whether they would tell me what I needed to know. •Handling the data
Again, it was important to imagine the completed responses. They needed to be in a form that was simple and convenient to analyse. This meant organising the questionnaire form so that it would be easy for me to record and discuss the results. •Practical details
I needed to know how many copies of the questionnaire I would need and how I was going to ensure the maximum return completed questionnaires. •Anonymity
I established whether the questionnaires were going to be anonymous. In case of anonymity, people might be more honest and informative in their responses. In case of non-anonymity, I might have been able to have follow-up interviews on selected questionnaires. I might also have been able to send reminders to those who had not responded. Questionnaire Design
It had to clear the informants why they were filling in the questionnaire: what was intended to achieve. It had to be clear whether or not the questionnaire was supposed to be anonymous. The instructions had to be very clear and explicit. The informants had to know whether the answers were to be ticked, crossed, circled or written out and where. •Simplicity
I needed to know whether the questionnaire was laid out in a straightforward manner and whether the layout helped respondents to find their way through it. •Types of questions
Questionnaire items can be relatively closed or open ended. A closed item is one in which the range of possible responses is determined by the researcher. In contrast, an open item is one in which the subject can decide what to say and how to say it. Questionnaires can consist entirely of closed questions, entirely of open questions, or a mixture of closed and open questions. The advantage of closed questions is that they usually make the questionnaire easier and quicker to fill in. they also make for quicker and more reliable scoring of the responses. The disadvantages of...