An Error Analysis of Indonesian EFL Learners at the University Level: The Types and Factors Leading to the Error Production


  • Sabrina
  • Nyak Mutia Ismail
  • Hafidh Maksum


Purpose: The ability to transfer meanings from the source language (SL) to the target language (TL) in accurate and natural fashions has become a fundamental necessity in this multilingual world. For Indonesians, English has become the top foreign language to master due to its status as the lingua franca of the world. Its significance is heightened nearly in all life aspects and it has been part of the national curriculum. As a large body of literature has focused on examining the errors produced by Indonesian EFL Learners at the school level, this paper aimed to investigate: 1) The types of errors frequently produced by Indonesian EFL learners at the university level who, technically, have a long period of exposure to English, as well as 2) The factors behind the error production. Design/methodology/approach: This research was descriptive qualitative. Thirty EFL learners at the university level were the research subjects. A translation task and interviews were the data collection instruments. The data from the written test were analysed using the Surface Strategy Taxonomy proposed by Dulay et al. (1982) while the interviews were processed using the Thematic Analysis.  Findings: It was revealed that the types of errors produced from the most dominant to the least were Omission (50.60%), Misinformation (36.7%), Addition (10%), and Misordering (2.7%). The results of interviews also unveiled the causes of error production, with limited linguistic knowledge being the most dominant (33.5%), followed by L1 interference (32.5%), cultural factors (24.2%), and anxiety (9.8%) worth teachers’ attention. This study implies that English acquisition is challenging for Indonesian EFL learners, even for those at the tertiary education level with years of exposure to English since nursery school.


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How to Cite

Sabrina, Nyak Mutia Ismail, & Hafidh Maksum. (2024). An Error Analysis of Indonesian EFL Learners at the University Level: The Types and Factors Leading to the Error Production. Jurnal Kinerja Kependidikan (JKK): Facilities of Educator Career and Educational Scientific Information, 5(2), 402–411. Retrieved from